SUBMIT A COMPLAINT

LegalZoom/Registered AgentUnauthorized Charges to My Account

1
K Review updated:

Registered Agent "service" scam. Legal Zoom has made an unauthorized charge to my bank account for $159. This is how the scam works: they sell you a service for which you agree to pay a stated price. You authorize Legal Zoom to debit your bank account for installments to cover the service you are purchasing. They do not offer you the option to just pay it out up front or if they do it is not readily noticeable. To complete your order you accept the terms & conditions by checking a box. You assume that the terms and conditions relate only to the service for which you have agreed to purchase but that is not the case. Mentioned somewhere in lengthy terms is an entirely separate service to act as the Registered Agent for the company you have formed. This service is $159 and is not included in the amount you agreed to. They wait until you have received your articles of incorporation at that time you will have made to installments on your agreement. They send an email notification reminding you when your upcoming installment payments are about to post to your account. They conveniently NEVER mention the $159 extra service fee for the registered agent service because then you may question and cancel it. You never receive an email about the impending charge. They simply debit your account for the full amount and wait for you to call to hear that it was not included and that when you accepted the terms and conditions you authorized payment for the service. The first person to take my call even said "we get a lot of these calls." It gets better: when you learn that all this service is for is "filtering" your junk mail they charge $49 to remove themselves as your registered agent. I was able to change my registered agent to myself with my state for $5 bucks. I am told that when they receive confirmation of my change they will prorate my "subscription" which in the end allows them to get at least 2 months ($26.50) payment for a so called service out of you that you would never have purchased otherwise add the $5.00 to make the change yourself (and that's only if I can get the proof before they bill again) and you have paid another $30.00 on top of what you agreed. I could have just paid a local attorney to draw up my papers for that less than that amount ($414.00). To stop unauthorized debits your bank will need to cancel your card altogether.

Responses

  •   Jul 20, 2012

    Hi Kim,

    We are sorry to hear that you were being charged for a service that you were unaware of. It looks like you may have opted in for LegalZoom to serve as your Registered Agent. We can assist you with changing your Registered Agent, if you haven't already done so. Please feel free to contact me directly for assistance at: [protected]@lzserve.com.

    Again we are sorry to hear about experience and would like to help.
    LegalZoom Customer Care

    -5 Votes
  • M
      Aug 12, 2019

    @LegalZoom Well, I did requested to take me out as a registered officer from a corporation in November 2018. In August 2019 I’ve received an email from LegalZoom asking me to re-confirm that I AM the registered officer for that company! I sent an email stating again that I am not. They reply: you have to call for your security if you want to be removed . So, I called again in August 2019 ( Remember I called in November 2018) to ask to be removed. What I found out? That I’ve been charged in JULY ( 1 month prior you sent me the email to confirm if I am still the r egistered officer, and 7 months after I already asked to me removed!). I had to call the bank to dispute the charge, and to request another credit card ( to make sure you guus will not charge anything else in the future!). What kind of company is this???

    +1 Votes
  • V
      Dec 26, 2019

    @LegalZoom I have the same experience. Legal Zoom would continue to charge your credit card even if your LLC is no longer in business. They would take advantage of people who signed up in the beginning as their registered agents and would continue to charge you $399. They would tell you to contact the State to get the paperwork before they can stop draining your money. Shame on you LegalZoom. Never again.

    0 Votes
  • R
      Aug 25, 2012

    The same thing happened to me :

    Registered Agent "service" scam. Legal Zoom has made an unauthorized charge to my bank account for $159. This is how the scam works: they sell you a service for which you agree to pay a stated price. You authorize Legal Zoom to debit your bank account for installments to cover the service you are purchasing. They do not offer you the option to just pay it out up front or if they do it is not readily noticeable. To complete your order you accept the terms & conditions by checking a box. You assume that the terms and conditions relate only to the service for which you have agreed to purchase but that is not the case. Mentioned somewhere in lengthy terms is an entirely separate service to act as the Registered Agent for the company you have formed. This service is $159 and is not included in the amount you agreed to. They wait until you have received your articles of incorporation at that time you will have made to installments on your agreement. They send an email notification reminding you when your upcoming installment payments are about to post to your account. They conveniently NEVER mention the $159 extra service fee for the registered agent service because then you may question and cancel it. You never receive an email about the impending charge. They simply debit your account for the full amount and wait for you to call to hear that it was not included and that when you accepted the terms and conditions you authorized payment for the service. The first person to take my call even said "we get a lot of these calls." It gets better: when you learn that all this service is for is "filtering" your junk mail they charge $49 to remove themselves as your registered agent. I was able to change my registered agent to myself with my state for $5 bucks. I am told that when they receive confirmation of my change they will prorate my "subscription" which in the end allows them to get at least 2 months ($26.50) payment for a so called service out of you that you would never have purchased otherwise add the $5.00 to make the change yourself (and that's only if I can get the proof before they bill again) and you have paid another $30.00 on top of what you agreed. I could have just paid a local attorney to draw up my papers for that less than that amount ($414.00). To stop unauthorized debits your bank will need to cancel your card altogether.

    I was very disappointed to discover this, this is a very sneaky charge and to put it in the terms and conditions like that is not acceptable. Every customer should be made aware of this ridiculous charge and have the option to opt out of it. I'm disappointed in myself for not paying more attention to the fine print and ashamed to have done business with them where they cheat other people who are trying to start their own.

    +6 Votes
  • R
      Aug 25, 2012

    Actually disregard the last comment I made I just did a ton of research and It makes sense to have a registered agent and its an ANNUAL FEE, however the customer should be made aware of this fee upfront instead of the fine print.

    +2 Votes
  • L
      Sep 11, 2012

    The process of setting up a corporation is usually done by a CPA and an Attorney. Legal Zoom like any other business, charges for it's services. I'm using Legal Zoom right now and I've gone through all there questions and they explain everything in detail. But I'm also a CPA, so I know what a registered agent is, and what's necessary to apply for a Federal ID number. Most people don't ( and will never need to). The first thing anyone who is thinking about setting up their business is to talk to their accountant or tax preparer. Another question Legal Zoom asked was to set up a S-Corp. This is another question you should discuss with your tax preparer. In addition to the fees Legal Zoom charges, there are annual reporting requirement to both the Federal and (most) State Governments and minimum taxes can be quite high. For your information, most corporations establish themselves in another state and therefore a registered agent is required. This is why Legal Zoom offers this service.
    As for Legal Zoom itself, I found the customer support to be excellent and their services reasonable. If there is any questions in using their service, please call them and ask.

    0 Votes
  • M
      Aug 12, 2019

    @Local CPA Not my case! I even sent the sunbiz doc showing clearly the resignation letter dated November 2018! I called them twice to ask to be removed from thier system! What else someone has to do to not be charged anymore?

    0 Votes
  • L
      Feb 20, 2013

    If you want to have unauthorized charges and feel like you been swindled go with Legal Zoom!

    +5 Votes
  • L
      Aug 25, 2013

    You can rest easy with LegalZoom, if you find there's a blip in your order they have great customer service to help resolve any issues. As for their registered agent service, I think it's a great time saver for a typical clerical time wasting task especially when you are based away from you companies home state.

    -6 Votes
  • K
      Aug 28, 2013

    I have the same problem, except I wasn't given any option to remove the charge. I was refunded the majority of the charges ($146), but the catch is I have to get with the state first then, go back through the hassle of getting the "Service" stopped. Which, I'm sure leads to further charges. What I found frustrating was the attitude when I reached someone to speak about this matter. I was talked down to, as if this was some official mandatory state requirement. When I repeatedly asked what service, all I was able to understand was that someone will collect ALL of my mail from the state. That someone needs to be present at all times during business hours to collect mail. Extremely annoyed that I even have to deal with this. I will never use Legal zoom again for any service such as this. If you want do pass off some outrage fee for a non-existing service, at least have the decency to describe it fully and alert them of the recurring charge!

    +2 Votes
  •   Nov 05, 2013

    Hi KevinHen,

    We're sorry your Registered Agent situation wasn't properly addressed. We’re really interested in knowing what kind of resolution you’d like to see and are willing to do anything we can to improve your experience with LegalZoom. Please contact [protected]@lzserve.com for assistance.

    We look forward to hearing how we can make this situation better.

    LegalZoom

    -7 Votes
  • 2
      Feb 05, 2014

    Don't be fooled by Legalzoom scam. They charged me the registered agent fee even after I told them to cancel all of their service. When I called them, they refused to refund. Stay away from this scam artist. There are tons of better solutions out there these days as more and more CPAs are offering cheaper packages. .

    +6 Votes
  •   Feb 06, 2014

    Hi, we are very sorry that your registered agent concern wasn't properly handled. I would like the opportunity to make things right. Please reach out to me directly at [protected]@lzserve.com.

    -2 Votes
  • S
      Mar 18, 2014

    Yep they got me too. The best part is they get you coming and going: After they tell you missed the fine print, they want to charge you to refile with the state. What a crooked way to start off doing business with a new company.

    +2 Votes
  •   Mar 18, 2014

    Hi schmidyuc,

    We'd like to resolve your filing issues, please contact us at [protected]@lzserve.com for help. We look forward to hearing from you.

    LegalZoom

    0 Votes
  • K
      May 28, 2014

    I had the same thing happen to me, I feel this is also a SNEAKY SCAM and I was told By LegalZoom that I was required by LAW to have a Registered Agent, not only
    once but SEVERAL times. Once I called NYS I found out that NYS DOES NOT REQUIRE YOU TO EVEN HAVE A REGISTERED AGENT!!! I had to pay a $30 filing fee with NYS to remove LegalZoom as the Registered agent. To make matters worse my credit card on file was expired (9/13) and they were still able to make the $159.00 charge! What a SCAM!

    +2 Votes
  •   May 30, 2014

    Hi Kathie1,
    It is very important to us that our customers are happy with the products and services we offer. We want you to be satisfied and I'd like to assist you in finding a resolution. Please contact me directly at [protected]@lzserve.com and I can try to help make things right.

    -3 Votes
  • N
      Jun 24, 2014

    Legal Zoom IS SUCH A SCAM.
    Got the run around on the phone with "Service Agents".
    They're condescending and specifically try to confuse you.
    I called about a year and a half ago to get all services cancelled. They said they would, but they happened to leave out this "service". Worst part is that they do it knowingly.
    BEWARE OF LEGALZOOM at all cost!
    I recommend paying up and using real lawyers.

    +4 Votes
  •   Jun 25, 2014

    Hi Nicave, I am very sorry to hear that you didn't have great experience and would like to hear more about your situation. Feel free to contact me directly at [protected]@lzserve.com.

    -4 Votes
  • T
      Aug 29, 2014

    I had the same experience with Legal Zoom now in attempting to understand this "Registered Agent" charge.

    Customer service agents are incredibly condescending and rude.
    Demanding to speak with a manager in my next call and have this charge reversed.

    If LegalZoom customer service is reading this please send me your contact information.
    Tom

    +2 Votes
  •   Aug 29, 2014

    Hi Tom,

    Please contact us at [protected]@lzserve.com so we can looking into the charges and resolve this issue for you.

    LegalZoom

    -2 Votes
  • L
      Mar 17, 2015

    The EXACT same thing happened to me!

    Hidden charges, completely opaque processes, lack of any real help from anyone at LegalZoom. I actually found out about LegalZoom's 'awesome' $159 fee this morning, when my bank account called to tell me my account has been overdrawn, and my subsequent auto-pay bills (that would've been paid just fine... if there were still $159 in that particular account) caused a series of overdraft fees.

    Unfortunately for all of us, LegalZoom is a law service... so they've got lots of legal help. They seem pretty adamant about continuing to charge me, and the only way out of it, for me, was to report fraud charges to my bank and cancel my bank cards.

    0 out of 10, would definitely not recommend LegalZoom, unless you have a bunch of money you don't really want.

    +2 Votes
  • L
      May 01, 2015

    They warned me about my second installment payment plan by email and then hit me with an additional $159 without any notice! No warnings what so ever! I am a reasonable person and this is a very shady move. Legal zoom is a rip off. I called them today and they told me that I didn't read the "fine print" in the agreement. I hope you read this fine print Legal Zoom, you will never get another dime out of me. . Crooks!!

    +1 Votes
  • K
      Aug 31, 2015

    I reported fraud to my bank and had my bank card canceled but LegalZoom was still able to debit $159 from my account! I set up my LLC 3 years ago and never did anything with it so I don't want to pay the CA annual fee of $800 in order to dissolve it. Most people just ignore this but I am stuck with Legalzoom because of this Registered Agent fee. Has anyone able to successfully get rid of this? Do I have to change my bank account since reporting fraud to my debit card was not enough.

    +2 Votes
  • L
      Aug 31, 2015

    Hi Kim, It is very important to us to try and correct the situation when a customer feels there has been a misunderstanding or an error in the service and/or product at LegalZoom. Please be advised the LegalZoom agent service if offered online as an optional service to all business entities. We provide the option of choosing LegalZoom as your agent or the selection of another person and/or company including yourself if desired. We inform all customers of the service fees in 3 sections on our website including the pricing page, the questionnaire and the itemized breakdown of charges provided prior to payment. Each of these sections outline the agent service is not charged until the business entity has been confirmed as legally filed with the state; this is because the service does not begin until the entity has been formed & we do not want to charge our customers for services that have not yet begun. Also the installment payment option was designed to help customers who need it but there is always an option to pay all processing & filing payments in one lump sum. We are very sorry for any confusion and we are happy to help you cancel the agent service. Please feel free to contact us via [protected]@legalzoom.com.

    -3 Votes
  • L
      Jan 03, 2016

    I have been paying the stupid registered agent 12.99 fee for 4 years now. I am busy and it took me til last fall to call and cancel this service that is WORTHLESS, and the person helping me said they removed that service for me. Guess what, I am still paying it to this day. Not only that, my llc is not current with the Secretary of State because I missed multiple filing deadlines of which I was never notified by legal zoom, and for some reason I thought that's what this service provided? I was completely unaware of my status until a lender checked into it for me. There is no where on the website to cancel this service and I don't have the time to spend 2 hrs on a phone call again. Yes, I sound like an dumbdumb for still paying it, I am just lazy I suppose. You're welcome, legal zoom.

    +1 Votes
  • B
      Sep 28, 2016

    I too, feel swindled and will not use their service moving forward. My order confirmation e-mail has Total Charges: $493.94 in 2 months my bank statement has racked up $902.94 in charges. I called in was given the spiel you have all gotten, they can enjoy the $400 extra they got me, the business practice has left a bad taste in my method.

    +3 Votes
  • C
      Mar 13, 2017

    Having same issue. Never did business, I folded the company i tried to form and LegalZoom would NOT let me cancel their service!!! I informed them that no business was conducted and i would like to cancel. Years later I am STILL being charged the $159 a year?!?!!? I called and they told me nothing they can do. I now have to cancel ALL my banking and change my CC, this SHOULD NOT BE LEGAL! It has really put me in a bind and from what customer service says at LegalZoom "There is nothing you can do about it".

    +3 Votes
  • P
      Apr 04, 2017

    Same here set up a useless LLC in the state of IL for the practice of dentistry which is one of the professions a LLC is not allowed in the state. I didn't find out I had wasted $750.00 until I tried to registered my business with the IL Dept of Finance and Profession services. The lawyers (if there are any) at Legal Zoom should have caught this. The state dissolved the corporation due to lack of annual report in Oct of 2016.. I have a certificate sent from Legal Zoom who received the cerficate from the state. I did not nothing because I never performed any business with the LLC anyway. Yet this year 2017 I was charged a $249.00 fee for registered agent for a dissolved corporation. The rep on the phone in turn stated that I had to dissolve it voluntary not the administrative dissolution by the state. ??????? The agent then stated it could be reinstated so its not officially dissolved. Un F-in believable.

    0 Votes
  • B
      Jul 24, 2017

    Exact thing happened to me. Legalzoom charged me again without informing me. Earlier I called and canceled the services. Now I realize they have been charging me every year. This year they charged $399. This is really looking like a fraudulent behavior.

    +2 Votes
  • M
      Aug 20, 2017

    Same thing here, did it to me last year and just now did it again. Used legalzoom 4 times and now no more, company became a shady business .

    +1 Votes
  • M
      Aug 22, 2017

    Their registered agent is a scam. I had them assist with my LLC and they had informed me that I needed to have this registered agent.
    I had made several attempts to cancel and they want to charge me to do that. After speaking with the Attorney Generals office I have found that A company is NOT required to have a registered agent in Pennsylvania if the company is located in Pennsylvania! After I attempted to cancel the last time they still billed an outdated credit card. After moving on legal action against the credit card company for accepting an UN-approved charge on a card that is no longer valid, I have now just received a threatening letter from Legal zoom demanding their money for this service that is NOT required by the state that my company is located. This is now becoming harassing!!! I am not and will not give Legal zoom another dollar even if it is for them to cancel a NON required service to have an established business! Not only that but I paid $500 for an LLC through LZ just to find that I could of went to the local courthouse and established my own LLC for less than $100. THIEVES!!

    +2 Votes
  • J
      Sep 05, 2017

    For several years I have been getting repeated charges for registered agent services. When I contacted legalzoom they said I needed to file for a change in status with my state. I did the appropriate paperwork with my state who rejected the change because the address of have for legal zoom is not the one on file with the state. They refuse to refund the charges which were $159 a year and now have suddenly jumped to $499. I have cancelled and changed the credit card numbers with my bank and still they manage to charge my credit cards. How is this legal? DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH LEGALZOOM

    +2 Votes
  • S
      Sep 28, 2017

    Sad to see this is still going on. Same thing has happened to me, called and they will not remove them self. I need to contact state and make the change. meanwhile I have had zero contact but a heat email because my CC on file has expired. TOTAL SCAM

    +2 Votes
  • G
      Oct 12, 2017

    Unbelievable.

    Sent me a collection letter for $249.07 for the Registered Agebt service which was cancelled. Never once received an email, telephone call or physical letter in advance on collection letter.

    Legal Zoom rep told me the girl didn’t process my cancellation properly. She only cancelled the AutoPay but not the Registed Agent Service.

    I have perfect credit which potentially will be compromised because of Legal Zoom’s inadequate training and service.

    Collection company will not rescind collection letter until Legal Zoom authorizes it.

    I’ve referred several friends to Legal Zoom over the years.

    And this is how I’m treated.

    +2 Votes
  • S
      Nov 11, 2017

    Scam scam scam. Registered an llc with legal zoom and was charged the $159 for registered agent, fine. The next year called to cancel and was informed they couldn't cancel because I was not on the account (its a 50/50 llc) and they are charging MY card yet Im no where on the account. So my partner called and was informed they wont cancel unless the llc is dissolved. Bunch of crap. I just canceled the bank card and this year their auto withdrawal was rejected and then they tried sending some email about collections. Good luck. I have documentation of calls to cancel and the agents we spoke with as well as my bank calling them to try and resolve/ cancel.

    +3 Votes
  • F
      Jan 17, 2018

    Same here. Legal zoom has an auto-renew registered agent scam. I already experienced this auto-renew scams through other companies. So, I change my credit card every couple of years. And those companies didn't bother me anymore. Legal Zoom, however, sent my name, address and phone number to a collection agency within a month of the renewal date, when it discovered it couldn't charge me. The charge $159 is for one entire year but they claim I owed them the entire fee within a month. They have the option of resigning from being a Registered agent for a mere $60. But they wouldn't do that since they can get $159 from me ! I called and told them I had already changed the agent to my own name. But now, I got a letter from their lawyers. Legal zoom has already had class action settlements for their dubious claims. Legal zoom does nothing as a registered agent other than sending a reminder. Anyway, I have now changed my registered agent to another company.

    +1 Votes
  • J
      Feb 26, 2018

    Same ol Same ol, the CSR talks to you as if you don't have the knowledge about the situation. When I questioned his policies, and he stated that he was bound by law, he raised his voice and became belligerent. A horrible experience. I ended up discussing with Chyna over email and finally someone that represents honesty took care of my situation.

    0 Votes
  • J
      Feb 26, 2018

    LegalZoom is sly, watch what happens. They now will cancel your agent registration service but when you log back inot the account you are presneted with an agreement only option to update the terms and conditions of your order. Inside of the terms and conditions it authorizes legalzoom, and you agree to pay them $200 for renewal of service. I DONT THINK SO!

    0 Votes
  • A
      Mar 21, 2018

    Wow! I am not the only one in this boat. I formed an LLC for a company that I never used. I have tried to cancel my account many times now and have received the same canned response as the rest of the posters. "You can't close your account because your state requires a registered agent..." nonsense. I am already administratively dissolved so I don't understand why this is a big problem. I also have an expired card on file... I guess I'll be looking forward to the charge regardless based on other posters. Can they get reported to BBB or is there a class action suit for this scam? This is absolutely absurd!!! Is there a way to get rid of them for once and for all?!?!

    +2 Votes
  • R
      Apr 05, 2018

    This business is a SCAM. Stay away. I had my business dissolved in 2015 but Legalzoom are still charging me $159 dollars every year and now $299 for an agent fee for a business that doesn't exist. so its over $1200 is charges I did not authorize. They are so corrupt. When I called they said there was nothing they could do and they won't even let me cancel my own membership - "You can't close your account because your state requires a registered agent." what BS. I am already administratively dissolved. Its nuts. FRAUD at its worst.

    +1 Votes
  • D
      May 12, 2018

    The FEDs should look into this for sure. I also have been getting charged for registered agent services. We contacted legalzoom My Accountant said to them that we do not need a registered agent in my state. The person from LZ refused to reason and listen.She also continued saying we I needed to file for a change in status with my state. They refuse to refund the previous charges which were $159 a year and now have suddenly jumped to $499. Advised by my account to cancel and change the credit card numbers with my bank and LZ is still calling and sending me emails. How can LZ continue to get away with this? As a previous customer. I feel like I was had too.Until this SCAM is fixed I would NOT DO BUSINESS WITH LEGALZOOM

    +2 Votes
  • V
      Aug 31, 2018

    Lol. I am on the phone with them RIGHT NOW dealing with the same problem... snuck the registered agent service in when I formed the LLC and have been charging me for years on an inactive company before I noticed what they were doing. Trying to get them to remove themselves as registered agent by filing form RA100... so far I have been talked down to, hung up on, and told that I need to “dissolve” the LLC in order to remove them as registered agent even though I live in state and can do it myself. LIES and BS. Have sent five emails and called twice and they still refuse to cancel the service. The form can be submitted to the SOS free of charge. Furious and sick of wasting my time. They also botched my trademark filing after I paid them over a grand... will never use them ever again. DO NOT TRUST THEM.

    +1 Votes

Post your comment