A friend-of-a-friend works for a credit card company. I asked J to ask her for some tips on getting your money back if you were scammed by an on-line "wonder treatment" company, such as Gordon's Herbal Research Center.
The sweetheart came back with a goldmine of information: Here it is:
"DISPUTE" First you must understand that filing a dispute through your bank is more costly to these companies than the price of their product. If you call them and they refuse to refund the money, threaten a to file a dispute with your bank or credit card.
Most companies will fold if you do this, and return your money because -even if they win the dispute, it will cost them more to fight it than to refund the money in the first place.
So call the products Customer Service first and tell them you are going to dispute it with your bank, and if they won't help you out, file the dispute anyway!. Even if you don't win, you will know that you have cost them probably as much money as they cost you, with a nice helping of aggravation on the side. (HA! I have been telling people to go straight to their credit card company!)
Attorney General- for those in the United States, it never hurts to threaten to go to your State AG. When enough complaints, or even ONE good complaint go to his office and they decide to investigate, companies and those associated with it are suspended and prohibited to do business until the investigation is finished.
WOW! I didn't know that last part! Like I said: Gold. Most of the scammers use CCNow to process their payments. CCNow is owned by Digital River, a publicly traded US company. If the AG decided to shut down anyone who did business with (say) Gordon's Habitual Scamming Center, they would shut down CCNow! Wow! And most of the people I hear from just happen to be in the States or -interestingly, in Australia.
Do we have anyone in Australia who knows if you can do a similar thing there? I don't know if they have Attorney Generals Down Under, but I'm sure they have someone? Besides the ACCC, I mean, because I have been a bit underwhelmed with them, to be honest. Let me know K? Thanks. (e-mail link is on the top left if you are shy).
Special thanks to J's friend for this information, BTW.
-Just a little note: Most of the companies I cover don't have phone numbers listed, but they have e-mail addresses or online forms. You can do the same thing via e-mail (i.e threaten a dispute). Or if you prefer to pick up the phone, you can call CCNow, which is the company all of the scammers I have outed use to handle their billing. Calling CCNow will get the message across, because I assume that the CCNow people have direct access to to the scammers, which we do not.
And I am pretty sure CCNow don't want the Attorney General on their behinds.