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RealEstatePromoter.com / Unapproved charges on my AMEX

1 Belmont, CA, United States Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: 6502459382

I signed up for RealtyTrac.com on Aug 23, 2008. I cancelled my account on Sept 4, 2008. My confirmation number for cacellation is : FNR-49O[protected] and the e-mail stated the folowing:
"You were not charged for the subscription since you canceled during the trial period."

No charges on my CC statements related to any real estate dot coms appeared for Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec 2008. Then out of the blue I received an e-mail from support@realestatepromoter.com on Feb 2, 2009. Here's the transcript:

"
Dear American Express customer,

Due to a communication problem between our credit card processor and American Express, you were not billed your monthly recurring charge for hosting or marketing services for the month of November and December of 2008. Please be assured there was no uninterrupted service with us during these months. Your services remained active and accessible. In working with both companies on how to resolve this issue and to collect the funds for services rendered the decision was reached to re-submit the billings. This was done on January 29th thru February 2, 2009. You will notice a charge equaling two months of charges on your January statement from American Express. Please accept our apologizes and we look forward to working with you.

If you should have questions, we can be reached by telephone at [protected] or by email to support@realestatepromoter.com.

Real Estate Promoter
"

I saw the two transactions totalling $84.90 in my january statement along with the new charge of Jan 5, 2009: $39.95. Thats my hard earned $125 taken for nothing.

I filed a dispute with AMEX and they were nice to suspend these charges and undergo an invetigation. To my horror, they concluded the investigation being convinced that I did become the member of this website according to the details provided by the merchant RealEstatePromoter.com when i signed up for RealtyTrac. Attached were two pages, one a copy of terms and conditions I accepted and another page showing the pop up advertising their product on the partner website RealtyTrac with no mention of my name whatsoever. I am PRETTY sure that I did not accept the pop up and even if I did, its hard to make out that pop was selling a product. The fine print about the trial and subsequent charges was written in almost unreadable form. Furthermore, if I did sign up for their services, why did'nt I get a Welcome e-mail from them just like I did from RealtyTrac ? Its ridiculous. When I cancelled my account with RealtyTrac, why did'nt they inform me about an existing subscription with RealEstatePromoter ? When they let their partner advertise and show their information on their sign up, is'nt it unprofessional to not inform me that I should also cancel the partner account if I created one through their website ?

Pi

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Comments

  • Du
      23rd of Feb, 2009
    0 Votes

    Me too!

    I have got the same thing they claim that they are going to reverse the charges.

    Bob

  • Tj
      23rd of Feb, 2009
    0 Votes

    I just realized this weekend that the same thing has been happening to me, too, for the last three months! I feel like an idiot for not recognizing the charges sooner.

    I, too, know that I did not sign up for Website design service geared toward real estate professionals, as I am not a real estate agent or property owner. I contacted Real Estate Promoter and was told that I must have signed up for the "free Website" when I registered for the free trial of Realty Trac. I asked the representative why, if I allegedly signed up for this service in Oct. 2008, I have never received emails, telephone calls, or US mail correspondence regarding my membership. After all, this company is supposed to be designing a Website for me. He claimed that the company sent me at least seven emails, none of which I have received; and my spam filter is turned off! I don't feel that I have any hope of getting a refund because it's basically my word against theirs. But, I do think if everyone who has ever had a run-in with this fraudulent company speaks out, this company will be put out of business. At least, we can give them hell! So far, I have complained to the Better Business Bureau, Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Consumer Protection, Utah State Attorney General, and the FBI and have had my credit card company dispute the charges. There are a lot of people out there complaining about this company's practices -- let's make the complaints official!

  • Pr
      26th of Feb, 2009
    0 Votes

    I am the Public Relations Manager for Real Estate Promoter, and I am writing in response to the complaint filed by the above user.

    Signing up for the RealtyTrac 7-day free trial and then canceling with them does not cancel any of the other products of services you have purchased in addition to RealyTrac. After accepting the terms and conditions on the Real Estate Promoter opt-in page, we send you a confirmation email, and several follow up emails, to the address you provide for us. We cannot control the destination of the email to prevent it from going in your junk email; that has to do with your email settings.

    We understand that mistakes happen and people may sign up for these promotional offers unintentionally; therefore, we allow a 60-day window for these exceptions in which a client may call us about charges related to our services and we will gladly refund those charges.

    If you have concerns or questions about the billing errors on behalf of American Express, speak with William Brazil, the Amex account representative with Real Estate Promoter (William.j.brazil@aexp.com). William can give you all the details of American Express’ technical errors that prevented them from charging our clients when they were supposed to. Amex was able to diagnose and fix the problem with their system. As part of the reparation process Amex went back and collected funds for the pending payments on our clients’ accounts. Even though the funds were not actually pulled from our clients’ accounts each month, they could have seen the pending charges on their account and taken the opportunity to view and question the charges long before the 60-day cancellation period had expired.

    The unfortunate trend in these complaints indicates that people are not reading the terms and conditions of the promotional offers, but click to continue anyway. I strongly encourage anyone who signs up for any offer to read the terms and conditions before they accept. Don’t just click “Continue” a dozen times because there may be multiple promotional offers, and you should be sure you want the products and services you are signing up for.

    Contact Information:

    William Brazil
    American Express,
    Account Rep
    William.j.brazil@aexp.com

    Public Relations Department
    Real Estate Promoter
    press@realestatepromoter.com

  • Pi
      26th of Feb, 2009
    0 Votes

    First, I did not get any confirmation e-mail. I got one from Realty-Trac only. None from RealEstatePromoter.com. The only e-mail I got from RealEstatePromoter was about the problems with billing at AMEX.

    Secondly, if you understand that a user may mistakenly click on your very "intelligent" pop up with the XXX-small Terms and Conditions and XXX-big advertisement and a "Continue" button but not an "Accept" or "Deny" button ; and you give him 60 days window to get a refund; you should also realize that without sending him an e-mail, there is no way the user can know that he is being billed every month WITHOUT looking at his CC statement. And where did it ask me for CC information ? Realty-Trac did but did they seek my consent before sharing it with their partners i.e you ? And since there were problems at AMEX for the billing, I did not see any charges until I got the e-mail as stated above. And I immediately swung into action and disputed those charges. Now lets see at this point - 60 days have passed.. so I can't claim a refund, CC transaction cannot be disputed because you claim I clicked on the pop up.

    You are doing "business" through "obscurity". I feel cheated. I never logged in into whatever website you claimed you made for me and charged me for. I am a web designer by hobby too. The very fact that all the above users and many more here
    :
    http://800notes.com/Phone.aspx/1-801-705-5325 and here
    /URL removed/ and here
    http://bulletthesky.blogspot.com/

    are getting victimized by your "intelligent" pop up proves that your UI is not "explicit" . Does this mean that you really want to take people's money without explicitly telling them what they are admitting to by clicking on the continue button ?

    The very fact that I am getting e-mails from a lot of people about similar experience (exactly the same actually) and seeking a consensus on a legal proceeding proves how fraudulent and bogus your pop up is !

  • Pi
      26th of Feb, 2009
    0 Votes

    I mistakenly marked "Disagree" for the comment above. I really meant "Agree" for the complaint.

  • Pi
      26th of Feb, 2009
    -1 Votes

    By the way, a very intelligent way to understand our problem is this:


    -----------------------------------------------

    By adding a comment in this thread below, you consent to part with all your lifelong savings to the owner of this complaint.

    ------------------------------------------------

    Does this mean that I can sue every person who adds a comment in this thread tomorrow ? Obviously not. right ? This is what I mean by obscurity.

  • Pa
      10th of Mar, 2009
    0 Votes

    I have been charged with the same comapany three times in two months. Once in January 44.95, twice in Feb 39.95 and 44.95..
    I disputed the charges with AMEX saying I never went to their web site and never used my AMEX there...

    AMEX came back to me saying the charges a legit!

    I was shocked, so I disputed the charges again. But they say I have to send email to the web site that I want to close the account... but the why would I do that? I never opened account with them in the first place.

    Now AMEX has given me a credit for the charges and they wil do the research on this...

    Lets hope they will cancel the charges...
    I will update everyone of the outcome..

  • Ag
      20th of Mar, 2009
    0 Votes

    I just recognised the same charges with my credit card by other web free trail The foreclosure News report. This company opens new web with real estates issues. They charge me three times. I have the free trial cancelled after three days and have letter with cancellation information. The charges are same 44.95 dollars. How can I get out of this ? Please let me know how can I file the complein to the Better Business Bureau, Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Consumer Protection, Utah State Attorney General.
    thank you

  • Du
      23rd of Mar, 2009
    +1 Votes

    Hi

    Avoid avoid avoid

    I was lucky my visa company called when they saw the charge. The company must be flagged. I had to change my visa # --- pain. I did get my money back but feel lucky as I may not have noticed it for some time. I wonder if that is what they are counting on???

    I was looking for forcloser properties and thought they had a "secret list"---their list is longer because they included already sold homes. When I called in to can my $39 per month within the hour of signing up they offered to give me a whole year for 19 dollars ///what??? I turned that down too.

    Where I live all the forclsers are on the multible listings and FREE.

    best

  • Pi
      23rd of Mar, 2009
    0 Votes

    Update...

    After I reopened the dispute with AMEX on charges, the case has been decided in my favor and they have removed the charges for November and December totalling $84 or so from my credit card bill. Charge for January to the tune of $39 or so remains.

    Everyone, please go ahead and dispute the charges with AMEX. This is turning out to be a scam. If we do take some legal action, I will be happy to be a witness.

  • Mi
      24th of Mar, 2009
    0 Votes

    add me to the list. i hope it gets to a prosecutor with some onions ...

  • Na
      31st of Mar, 2009
    0 Votes

    add me to any class action suit...they ripped me off for $369.55.

  • Kr
      16th of Apr, 2009
    +1 Votes

    I too was charged 44.95 for two months from this scam. I saw the charges on my bank statement but had no idea what they were for because there was no name or number explaining the charges. I contacted my bank and they looked into it. The only thing my bank could do was give me a phone # in connection with the charges. I called "real estate promoter" and was told there was nothing that could be done because I pre authorized the charges. Which is not true. I've never even heard of this company. They were able to cancel my subscription, bless their little souls... however, the more I look into this scam, the more I am determined to get my money back. If I had money to waste I'd rather wipe my butt with it than give it to Real Estate Promoter.

  • An
      29th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    i signed up for realty trac in march 2009 and cancelled during the free week trial. and got a confirmation from realty trac. i got my credit card statement and was charged 44.95 for realestatepromoter saying they set me up a webpage to sell real estate im not even a real estate agent they wont refund me money but canceled my subscription. i m disputing the charges with my bank. its all a scam if it was for real where is this webpage they made for me.i cant find it anywhere. real estate promoter is also saying i signed up with them i didnt how did they get my credit card number to charge me anyway my guess is realytrac gave it to them without my permisson.

  • An
      29th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    also i never got any emails from realestatepromoter.com i only got emails from realty trac all i wanted to know on realty trac was what foreclosures where in my area i found nothing but got instead got charged 44.95 for realestatepromoter.com

  • Br
      30th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    Same thing happened to me. This company is doing some unlawful things and should be shut down. They told my I must have inadvertently signed up with their company. What kind of fool do they take me for? The person I spoke to sent me a confirmation email with cancellation information and a refund. I will dispute this with my bank and get a lawyer involved if things do not get solved.

    -Brittany... from Florida

  • Ar
      11th of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    Same thing happened to me.
    I was charged $44.95 to my American Express about 10 days ago.
    I called American Express to dispute the charge and it is still under investigation.
    I hope that someone can start a legal action against this company and I will be more than happy to be included as witness.

    DZ from MA

  • Ta
      19th of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    Capital One actually called me to inform me that they believe there is a fraudulent charge on my account from this site, hopefully there making progress on these frauds.

    The unfortunate thing is the company has probably already made millions.

    I think Realty Trac should be held accountable also if not more so.

    This is one of the most disgusting acts of outright fraud I have ever experienced.

    This should not go without serious recourse.

  • Ji
      15th of Jun, 2009
    0 Votes

    I signed up for Realty Trac to get the foreclosure listings while i was looking for a home. Bought one three months ago and before we moved cancelled all my real estate related subscriptions. I'm not an agent and never intended to do any business with anyone but realty trac for the foreclosure listings. I'm forwarding this thread along with my full complaint to my godfather who is a retired federal judge for advice. We can't let this go!

  • Ne
      31st of Jul, 2009
    0 Votes

    I am also one of the victim. Just checked my credit card account online today and saw a suspicious charge. I called my credit card company right away, in the same time I searched online for this company's website and found thousand of fraud and scam reports. People, let bring these people to the authority, they should be in jail.

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