Is this legal?

On my credit card statement I noticed a charge for $79.99. I asked my wife if she bought anything and she had not. I called the 1-800 number and inquired about the charge. They said it was a special service for some hair care crap. I told the lady that we do not need this or ask for it. She asked if I received a package, which I did not. She told me they sent out a package last month to my address and if I didn’t want the service I had to send them something back telling them I didn’t want it. I don’t know but this sounds so wrong. I need to tell then I don’t want the service otherwise they charge me. If this is illegal who would I contact to prevent these people from doing it to other people? If this is legal I might as well close all my accounts.

You should call you credit card company. They’ll fix it.

you = your

Call your credit card company and dispute the charge. Tell them the whole story. You will probably have to fill out some paperwork. I think you have a good case to get this charge removed.

First of all, like they said, call the credit card company and get it taken care of.

Secondly, call the Better Business Bureau and report the company, but think back and MAKE SURE you didn’t sign up for anything. The BBB would have any information about any scams, and some offers have really really small print that contains this kind of thing… i.e. that they’ll send you whatever and if you keep it, they’ll charge you, and won’t charge ONLY if they get it back. The only 2 ways they could have gotten your credit card number is if you accidentally gave it to them or it was a scam. I know people who have fallen for things like this. Again, the BBB would know. Good luck!

I did get it removed. I worded the question incorrectly, I guess. Can a merchant charge you for something they send you but you didn’t request it (in my case didn’t get) and in order for you not to get charged you have to send them a document saying you don’t want it. If you don’t send it back you get charged.

I don’t know if this is still the law, but years ago, I was sent something I didn’t order. My dad, a postman, told me I didn’t have to return it, or pay for it. It was the law when things are shipped to you without your consent. You don’t have to do ANYTHING, and you owe NOTHING. Now, I don’t know if this law still applies, or to things not sent via the USPS (if the thing they sent was sent via UPS, or something) but I suspect that it is the same.

So far as I can remember, the law still applies. You have to ask in order for them to send you something.

The exception to this law is the system under which companies like Book of the Month club operate, where they will send you a warning letter telling you what’s coming if you don’t send them a card cancelling the order. But you have to sign up for the service first, so you pretty much know what you’re getting yourself into.

What also happens is that companies can get really sneaky about how they get you to say yes. Sometimes, it can be as simple as the telemarketer saying, “Can I send you something?” But since this company already had your credit card number, you must have had some dealings with them before.

In Canada the law is that if something unsolicited is deliberately sent to you, then there is no obligation at all on your part. You can keep or throw out the crappola they send you and tell them to take a hike. Mail scams which demand payment for unsolicited goods are criminal (fraud).

I vaguely recall that in the UK, unsolicited mail (or even wrongly addressed mail) is yours to keep – but only once you’ve informed the sender that you have the item. They then have 30 days to arrange to collect it from you at their expense. If they fail to do this, it’s yours.

How’d they get your credit card number?

I once responded to an infomercial by calling in and placing an order. The slick salesperson on the other line sold me a “free” service. They already had my credit card for the infomercial product, so they were able to bill my credit card for this extra service.

I was able to contact the vendor of the “free” service, and they said I agreed to $75 in fees for the service (which I never used). I explained to them that it was never represented to me as anything other than free.

I was able to contact my bank and have them take the payment off my Visa. The problem was though that I used a debit card, and had to wait considerable time before I got my money released.

I will never buy anything on an infomercial again.

The law is, and it is a federal law, that anything sent to you unsolicited is a gift to you.

The way the BOM club and similar clubs work is that you agree that you will be sent books, cds, etc., unless you specifically state to the contrary within the time given in the preview notices. In other words, you’ve agreed already to pay for merchandise if you do not specifically inform them that you don’t want it.

Bill H., It looks as though they are a subsidiary of my credit card company so they have my number. Also when I asked about it they said it was a speical service for it’s members.

It’s better to visit your bank & ask them to make sure you don’t have to pay for it. I always do that.

Chubbs, dearie, I’m starting to smell “scam” here. A “subsidiary of your credit card company”? They told you this? In these exact words? Babe, I’ve got Visa and Discover cards, and if some company I never heard of told me, “We’re a subsidiary of Discover card, which is how we got your credit card number,” I’d be on the phone to the Bunco Squad so fast it’d leave scorch marks on the phone table.

AFAIK, credit card companies don’t have “subsidiaries” with whom they share their customers’ credit card numbers.

And so this “subsidiary” sent you some hair care stuff you don’t remember ordering?

IMO, you’re being scammed. Somebody got your credit card number from somewhere and now you’ve got a big bullseye painted on your forehead, says “sucker”.

And they always tell the mark, “Oh, it’s a special service…”

Was me, I’d cancel the card, pronto. :wink:

It’s not necessarily a scam. Credit card companies often give their members’ information to companies who then try to sell them stuff. I used to telemarket services for a company that would offer certain different services for an annual fee of between $60 and $90. It sounds similar to what happened to you, Chubbs. You would have a 30 day trial period, and then your credit card would get charged. Did you agree to anything over the phone? I can’t find the website of the company that offered the products anymore, tho.

BBQ Sauce you hit it right on the head. and no verbal or written ok on this service.

Duck Duck Goose, The so called package was addressed to my home address. The credit card company gave them that info to. And yes I did close that account.