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Software-HQ / Fraud and scam

1 United States Review updated:
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My father was trying to download Adobe Reader. This company comes up as an Adobe website. They are only a software support company so when you download Adobe (free software) they charge you $70 for there support and membership. My father is 84 years old and on a fixed income. He is active on his computer but did not understand he would get charged $70. He thought he was going to get a nominal charge $1.49 a month for a year. When he mentioned to me I looked at what at happened and requested a refund explaining he did not mean to join and was not going to use them for support. I also told them he was 84 and on a fixed income.

They would not refund him because they state only a two week refund. I looked them up and called the company. They refused to discuss a refund because he was outside of the two weeks. I requested to talk to someone higher which they refused. They would not let me talk to a supervisor.

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  • Wr
      20th of Sep, 2008
    0 Votes

    I also wanted to pay per year and was unable to download after paying $36.00 on my credit card

  • Al
      21st of Sep, 2008
    0 Votes

    I too was charged $70.80 to my credit card, which was only suppose to be $12.99. This HQ software company is a scam. This has to stop. I agreed to pay $12.99, for Nero burner for three years. When I checked my checking account the next day (9/19/2008) I discovered the $70.80, on hold. I am filing a complaint to the state attorneys' office here in Florida. I am so sorry this happened to you all. Times are tough right now, and we don't need scam artists companies taking advantage of us. BEWARE everyone...

  • Fr
      23rd of Sep, 2008
    0 Votes

    Hi, I searched Google for Adobe Photoshop software and Software HQ's link came up here - . You can see from the link that there is no mention that this is a TRIAL version. I also paid for the 1 year subscription but instead of $19.95, the charge turned out to be $36 or something like that. Plus, when I clicked through to download - I realised it was redirected to Adobe's site for 30 days trial version.

    I agree, this website is a scam. Supposedly you are paying for support etc but only a handful of the free software shown here have tutorials attached to them and the 14 days supposed refund window is not on registration but on products; something you find out later only AFTER you have paid. Spread the word on this scam website. I am finding other forums or consumer orgs to lodge this same complaint.

  • Su
      29th of Sep, 2008
    0 Votes

    This company scams users. They ought to be stopped in their tracks. Have complained to other sites, and note there are about 40 complaints about them. Did put a 'dispute' on my credit card, they are investigating. Called the company, rude people. If you don't monitor your credit cards and/or bank account the time you receive your are usually past the 'two weeks' time they allow you to cancel. We all need to file complaints with our respective Attorney Generals...and the A.G. of the State of Ohio.
    Let's get folks like these shut down.

  • Fr
      29th of Sep, 2008
    0 Votes

    I have filed a complaint online here at the Internet Crime Complaint Centre and I urge anyone else reading this forum to do so as well -

  • Ba
      9th of Oct, 2008
    0 Votes

    Would someone please tell me what their phone number is? I just got charged $70 for something I did not want. Thank you.

  • Sf
      10th of Oct, 2008
    0 Votes

    Much the same scenario as provided above and so far pretty much fraudulent in advertising, billing and actually product delivery. In my case, searched for Adobe on Google and got link listed as "".
    1. I opened link and it appeared to be the Adobe home by color, design and http address.
    2. I selected to get the download and next page asked for name, address and E-Mail.
    3. Continued to next page where you were asked for a cost level for 1, 2 or three year download support. There were no options here but to select one. I did select 2 year option at about $15.98 year. Cost should thus have been about $32 total.
    4. Next page was credit card data and then finally submit. I got a bill page then from Software-HQ with and order # 84553540 for $64.61. This price was essentially double and included non-agreed to download accelerator and download protection. The billing page included a link to to activate.
    5. Activated the link and entered my billing e-mail address which is all that was asked for and clicked on Log-in button. Then got message that E-mail was invalid and for problem persistence contact Cust Supp.
    6. Tried several more times and still no-go on log-in. Googled Software-HQ and got this site but also the home site corresponding to the login screen. At bottom of web page I clicked on red "support" button. I got options for Q&As, Tech Support, Billing and Login issues. I sent E-mail (which was acknowledged at my E-mail). I also call the Phone # provided for billing (800) 784-3167. Real person did answer 1st bill option but would not provide refund. 2nd option supposedly is processing an automated refund request but the request was defined for verbal response only to Name, E-mail and nature of complaint. I repeated this later also but do not feel confident that it will be processed.

    Note that they do have a published refund policy which should apply in my case, since I had purchase at 12:08 PM 10-10-08 and still can not access the site at 4:13 PM on 10-10-08. The refund policy is as follows:

    "Software-HQ Satisfaction Guarantee
    If you have any issues or concerns with your membership our tech support specialists are available 24 hours a day at If you are still unsatisfied and wish to discontinue your membership please read our refund policy:

    The amount charged to you is based on your choice of membership and charged to the account of your choice. Once you submit your order for processing, it is NONREFUNDABLE. Only in the following circumstances will the payment be refunded:

    You are unable to logon to the member area within two hours of your purchase.
    You are unable to access our services due to a technical issue on our behalf.
    Any additional products purchased at time of checkout are refundable (minus processing fee) within the first 14 days of your membership. All requests for refunds due to fraud MUST be made via email to Any and all refunds will be subject to a $5.99 processing fee.
    All unsubstantiated and/or fraudulent chargeback requests will be prosecuted and collected to the furthest extent of the law under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

    My final actions are to provide this complaint on this site and also at the Internet Crime Complaint Center provided by an earlier reader (

  • Al
      13th of Oct, 2008
    0 Votes

    same exact case for me..i have tried to report to ohio atty gen. also saud to credit card i will not pay

  • Ke
      29th of Oct, 2008
    0 Votes

    I also was tricked into paying over $50.00 for what was supposed to be a $19.95 order. I also noted from previous complaints that I am not the only one who couldn't log on. I keep getting the statement, "Invalid Session ID". It is bad enough to be overcharged and tricked into paying more for some product "accelerator", but you can't even log onto the site. Apparently, this has been going on for some time unchecked. How can they get away over and over again without getting into trouble? Can't we take them to court? How many people do they get to steal money from for no product at all before someone steps in? In this day and age it is downright cruel to be so greedy that a company has to steal money instead of giving a paying customer the product that has been advertised. Will someone who knows the law stand against these criminals?

  • Ca
      5th of Nov, 2008
    0 Votes

    I gave my credit card information for 12.99 one time charge for technical support . I wanted to download a free program
    WINRAR . the next day I see Im charged 70.80. For WHAT !. It took 2 days to get thru and I emailed the billing department. I never recieved and answer to email. I finally got thru today and the Lady, quickly, told me it was not refundable. So when if got my bank involved, we had a conference call for dispute. I asked her what exactly did I get that was 70.80. She said a 3 yr subscription. I did not subsribe to any 3 year anything, No where did it say 3 years, for technicasl support. Apparently she has been thru this conversation before because when I asked to speak to her superviser she said Thats not going to happen, so you can yell and someone else. I was NOT yelling I was very animate about being scammed. And getting charged for a service I will not use, and after all said and done cannot get my money back because they do no give back refunds. I did call my bank back and gave them the information I found out today and told them the website and other information I found out about the company and now they will dispute the case. Im writing to let people know, about this company. I am a grandmother raising 3 small grandchildren and dont need to be ripped off. As they will tell you They didnt rip you off, you gave them your credit card. Yes they did rip me off, I promise that no where was there anything about 3yr subsription, I would not have paid that NO WAY< NO HOW...Im writing in hopes it will help anyone else out. And I will continue to fight to get the money back just for plain principle.

  • El
      12th of Nov, 2008
    0 Votes


  • Ki
      17th of Nov, 2008
    0 Votes

    same thing, wish i saw this before hand. tried to purchase a photoshop thing for my daughter as early christmas gift. was supposed to be $35 . i was charged $55.80. now we try to get the program and we get to a trial version area of it but can not dwnload full version. can not even get ahold of a billing statement from them showing what the $55.80 paid for. i have not been able to reach them by phone either. i have been laid off for over a year trying to do the best for my kids this holiday season. this is dispicable. its the season to give not to take. where is thier sense of dignity. if anyone gets a phone number that works please post it for the rest here. thanks

  • Al
      19th of Nov, 2008
    0 Votes

    Same story for me looking for Power DVD 8. 1st link to appear on google search and went through the same fraudulent bait. I am in dispute with my credit card company and have filed a complaint with the FTC, BBB and Internet Crime Complaint Center. I spoke to a very rude lady on their billing line and she said the billing department has no affiliation with the website. The billing company name was "Authorized Transactions". I asked for her name and she hung up the phone. When I typed in the phone number on BBB, no suprise that software-hq comes up. As for the original poster, I am all for filing a class action lawsuit against these petty criminals. You will get no resolve by trying to contact them by phone. They will not likely answer the phone and even if they did, it would be of no help. You will have to resort to 3rd party intervention or a dispute with your credit card company. I cancelled my credit card to be on the safe side because I have heard of people getting double charged or reoccured billing from these scammers on [redacted]. Good luck to you all.

  • Al
      20th of Nov, 2008
    0 Votes has been traced back to ISP provider NextWeb located in Buena Park, California. Their IP addresss is I have contacted the Internet Crime Complaint Center and I urge victims to do the same.

  • Be
      22nd of Nov, 2008
    0 Votes

    yes Iwas also scammed today because I could not get the programs with vedios and music it told me I needed adobe player which I tried to down load I was to pay 12.49 but my credit card was charged for 70.80

  • Ma
      27th of Nov, 2008
    0 Votes

    I have just had £37.17 removed from my account instead of £9.99 which I believed would give me a Photoshop download.

  • Je
      29th of Dec, 2008
    0 Votes

    I have had the same experience as everyone else. I realized that I had been tricked and asked for a refund within one minute. Three times they refused. The fourth time, I told them I was contacting the Better Business Bureau. They immediately (in seconds) emailed me back and said, ok, we will refund you less a $5.99 processing fee! I replied and said no, that I had researched them on line and that they were deceiving people and that I expected a full refund. I will update once I have their reply. I will dispute the charge on the CC card as well.

  • Ri
      7th of Jan, 2009
    0 Votes

    I signed up for PDF Deluxe Office 123 and was billed $52.92 because you could not get the software without buying bogas support. PDF would not work as it claimed and made my Microsoft Office 2000 Pro
    not work after trying to convert a file from pdf to doc so that Word would be able to further change the file. My computer locked up and I had to enter Safe Mode and remove the software and reinstall Microsoft Office. This was tried in many ways and always the same problem. The phone call was only to push you off onto this sight which does not help anything. What support is that ? I would like to get this off my Charge Card but so far no one wants to deal with this issue. Richard Brand, 3640 East Doerr Ave., Alton, IL 62002 and phone is 618-465-2889

  • Al
      19th of Jan, 2009
    0 Votes

    The same experience with Software.Hq. on Jan 16.2009
    Charged me $58.20 instead of $19.90.
    Iinformed my credit company of this scam.
    I filed a complaint with which is a government agency handling scams etc

  • Al
      20th of Jan, 2009
    0 Votes

    Further to my Comment above.
    I am attaching their reply to my email and also my reply to Software.hq.
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Software HQ"
    Sent: Monday, January 19, 2009 2:37 PM
    Subject: [SWHQ #OPQ-39121-940]: Billing:Order Nr. 2263843785

    Dear Customer,

    We apologize but as stated on our website, "membership fees are
    non-refundable". To view our complete refund policy, visit our site at

    Software-HQ Support
    ================================================================================== Hello, I originally wanted only to be billed for what I signed up - 1 year at $19.95 and no more. Immediately after placing the order my credit card was charged $52.80 and not the quoted amount of $19.90.The charge was made by https;// have since found out that that website handles your collections. So, I did not request a REFUND but a correction of an erroneous - perhaps willful act - of overcharging. I have since submitted documentation to the Fraud Dept. of my Visa card. Furthermore I have submitted acomplaint to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). Furthermore, I have checked various websites and I am now confinced that your website is a fraud and scam.For proof of this I suggest you log on to; In closing I want to say that I now insist on a total refund of the $52.80.I am no longer interested in subscribing to the one year.I do not want to do business with an internet site such as your which has areputation as a scam andis using fraudulent practices IF YOU DO ISSUE A CREDIT I WILL CANCEL MY COMPLAINT TO THE "INTERNET CRIME COMPLAINT CENTER" and the "FRAUD DEPT OF CHASE" my credit card compaby. I am going to fight this to the end and you will be surprised whatresources are at my disposal. Sincerely, Alfred WeberJan 19, 20095:58 PM

    This outfit is treating us average guys like Madoff treated millionaires.

    Can we all get together and go after Software-HQ ???
    Who is willing? Any suggestion from anybody?
    Can anybody find out the town and street address of this outfit?
    Can anybody find out the guys/gals name who runs it?

    I want to report them to their local Police/Sheriff Dept. and also to the TV Stations who service that area.

    Please contact me either in the comment section or at my mail at

    Also. on one of their emails to me they stated


    Is anyone out there who knows about FDCPA and if this statement is meant to scare the hell our of potential refund seekers?

    I intent to get a lawyer involved to help me on this unless some of you can do that.

    Here is where we should apply the popular slogan 'YES WE CAN"

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