Consumer Health Benefits Association — What a fraud!
Below is a copy of my complaint to the BBB against Consumer Health Association. As stated in the complaint. I was contacted on my cell phone. Yes, I did go on the Internet looking for HEALTH INSURANCE BUT not on their website. It is like popups if you go on one website they seem to all get your information. That is how they contacted me by cell phone. Adams first words to me were "I understand you are looking for HEALTH INSURANCE." (As stated in the complaint below) after the original call from Adam, (at approximately 3:30 PM CDT on 09/14/06) I had second thoughts so I decided to go online and try to find out something about the company and the plan to no avail. I had to call several times to find out the name of the company and a website address. I never heard of this company before. I truly believe they know what they are doing that is why they record the conversation and make sure you understand there is no refund.
What a FRAUD, if they do this to a 100 people a week who hang up and realize later this is not what they want and cancel this company has made $23,989.00 and did not have to spend a penny on claims.
I am a 54-year-old widow in need of Health Insurance that I can afford. When Adam first told me the price, I still believed it was insurance. I was so thrilled with the monthly cost, I told him I wanted to get the plan. He transferred me to the Amber who stated it was going to be recorded (every company today tells you that big deal) is when I realized it was a discount plan, I changed my mine. She then transferred me to Josiah who then talked me into it. I work hard for my money. In the Rebuttal reply from Rita B Werner she states cancellation was received by telephone from consumer on 9/19/2006, 4 days after purchase. I called back on 09/18/06 and told him I wanted to cancel. He gave me a number to call and said it was late, no one would be there leave a message and they would count the cancellation as the 18th. Because I left the message stating I wanted to cancel I believed Josiah and considered that as a cancellation. Monday evening 09/18/06 I made a complaint with BBB via the Internet.
I am not satisfied with this company’s response. I want a total refund of $239.89.
(1st complaint letter to BBB 09/18/06)
Adam contacted me on my cell phone around 5pm on 09/14/06, stating I was interested in Health Insurance. I had gone on the internet several weeks ago looking for a quote on Health Insurance (Not this company. I had not heard of this company until now). I am a widow in need of insurance I can afford. Adam lead me to believe it was Health Insurance. When I agreed to purchase the plan. I was transferred to Amber who stated that the conversation would be recorded. I agreed, most phone conversion these days are for quality assurance. Upon listening to what she had to say I decided to change my mind. She then put Josiah on the line immediately. Josiah talked me into getting the plan. He said I would get information in the mail within two weeks. When I arrived home, I tried to find information on Consumer New Health, on the Internet to no avail. I called the next afternoon the no. Amber gave me for customer service [protected] and reached a recording. I then called the no. Adam called me from, I told Josiah I didn’t want the plan. I couldn’t fine anything about them on the Internet. He then gave me the name Consumer Health Assoc. and hung up. Nothing on this name either. I called again and reached a recording which gave a web address www.nbchealth.com. After going to the site, I truly discovered that this wasn’t what I wanted. I called back and couldn’t reach anyone.
I called Josiah today the 18th, to cancel the plan and wanted my money back. He told me to call customer service tomorrow noone was there now. I feel that I was caught off guard, taken advantage of by high-pressure sales and not given the time nor the opportunity to truly think it over. The monthly quote I was given was affordable and I truly did not comprehend the total picture. Louisiana law states that if you are solicited by telephone or at your home, you have three days to change your mind and get out of the contract.
I want to cancel and receive my money back. PRODUCT: discount health program
September 21, 2006
2924 N. Australian Ave
West Palm Beach, Florida 33407
Attn: Complaint Department
File #: 426sss
Member #: GTNsss
Dear Ms. Venissa
To ensure that the member understands fully what they have purchased at the time of application the members participates in a recorded verification call. This verification call verifies that they understand they are purchasing a member advocacy and intervention program along with non-insurance discount medical services, accident medical expense insurance, accidental death and dismemberment insurance and a prescription drug plan. We also verify the spelling of their name(s), their address, telephone number(s), email address, their credit card or bank statement, name on credit card or account, as well as their authorization of the non-refundable application fee and monthly premium amount. The verification call is available for you to hear upon request.
Rita B Werner
Sr. Vice President, Customer Relations
Consumer Health Benefits Association
(My rebuttal to BBB on 09/29/06)
Dear Ms. Venissa Garcia,
Thank you for handling my complaint regarding Consumer Health Benefits Association, however I
am dissatisfied with the Company's response.
As stated in the first complaint, it is a Louisiana Law that if you were solicited by telephone, which I was, you have the right to change your mind within three days. If you did not contact the company first, the law is there to protect the consumer who realizes he/she made the wrong decision. Being caught off guard, pressured, or by not being allowed an appropriate amount of time to think it over, people make wrong decision.
I was not ask explicitly, if I wavier my rights to the 3 day cancellation law. Therefore, it is immaterial and irrelevant that they have a recorded verification of me agreeing to the no refund policy and to understanding what I was purchasing.
Therefore, I am again requesting Consumer Health Benefits Association to issue me a refund of $239.89.
Thank you your help in this matter.
504 559 4sss
Louisiana consumer law:
Consumer purchase and credit issues Louisiana consumer law includes issues that face the average person on almost a daily basis. This can include financial issues like over-extended debt, usury, interest rates, and bankruptcy. Other consumer issues include consumer loans, credit repair services, and the ability to get out of contracts resulting from home or telephone solicitation.
For a complete listing of services and information available for the Louisiana consumer, visit the Louisiana Department of Justice Consumer Protection site.
There are many laws for the consumer that were passed in response to particular abuses. For example, contracts for dancing lessons must be in writing and cannot be for more than one hundred hours or cost more than a total of $5,000. This law was in response to abuses by dancing studios in signing up elderly or gullible persons to expensive lifetime contracts.
When can you get out of a purchase?
Many people are under the impression that they have three days to get out of a purchase. The fact is, in most situations once you purchase goods or services, you cannot get out of the sale unless the seller is good enough to let you out. So, people are used to the idea that they can return things to a department store. However, this is only because the department store has a policy to allow returns to keep customers happy. On the other hand, it is not likely that an automobile dealer will let you out of a purchase. Once the contract is signed for that new car, it is binding even if you have not taken delivery.
There are, however, situations where the law does allow you the chance to get out of a sale. If you are solicited by telephone or at your home, you have three days to change you mind and get out of any contract. So, if someone comes to your home and sells you vinyl siding to cover your brick house, you can get out as long as you give them written notice within three days. This law does not apply if you first contacted the company. For example, if you answer a newspaper ad and a salesman comes to your house, you would not be able to get out of a contract. By the way, the law does not apply to religious articles. So, apparently Bible salesmen would be exempt.
Reply to Rebuttal
September 29, 2006
2924 N Australian Ave
West Palm Beach, FL 33407
Attn: Complaint Department
Re: Stephan, Beryl
Consumer Health Benefits Association (CHBA) does not solicit members by phone. Our members contact us first via the internet expressing an interest in our non-insurance medical program. Only then, the consumer receives a call back. All calls are recorded for verification purposes and archived for future use (available upon request). The above consumer knew she was purchasing a non-insurance discount medical program by stating so in the recorded verification call.
Also, the Lousiana law regarding the 3 days right to refusal does not apply in this case as (1) consumer contacted CHBA first (2) notification must be in writing and within 3 days of purchase (cancellation was received by phone from consumer on 9/19/2006, 4 days after purchase).
The fees the consumer paid were used to purchase the non-insurance discount program provided. If there was a covered service under the terms of the consumer's discount program, the consumer would expect the company to fulfill its obligations and provide the discount contracted for. Therefore, the fees paid by the consumer are considered earned and non-refundable.
Rita B Werner
Senior Vice President
Consumer Health Benefits Association (CHBA)