Complaint 126433 Details
- Date Occurred: 03/27/2012
- Reported Damages: $99.00
I had not looked at my bank statements in a while so I was reviewing three months worth of statements. I noticed there was an entry on March 27, 2012 debiting my account for $99.00. The entry read "Check Card Settlement CKCD Debit 00:00 ZBIDDY COM WWW ZBIDDYCO FL". March 26 fell during my children's spring break, and we were not in town at the computer, purchasing anything. At that time, we did not have mobile internet access.
In March, I had no idea of what ZBIDDY was, but by the time I discovered that they had taken money from me , I did know. Only a couple of weeks earlier, a friend of mine told me she was going to get an iPad for $19.00 from ZBiddy. I went and looked at the site, and then Googled them. They turned out to be a penny auction company where you had to purchase bids before you could place any bids. It sounded like a racket to me. There was an amazing number of complaints. Many people were irate that they had registered at the site, planning to perhaps come back at some later date when they definitely wanted to bid on an item. The registration included putting a credit card on file. It seems that many people were immediately billed for $99.00 in bids,not finding out until they read their statements. They described encountering deep resistance to the refunding of any money. Many had only partial refunds given, and were still fighting for the blance months and months after the initial transaction.
Now, I visited the ZBiddy site, but I had not registered as I never had any intention of even looking at an auction. I am certain I never gave them my debit card information. Besides, I had been on their site around May 10, 2012, while they had debited my account six weeks before I had ever heard of them.
I called the ZBIDDY Company. I spoke to a representative who gave me the most ridiculous run-around I have ever heard of. She asked me the date of the transaction, and my name. She then told me they had no record of me ever having been part of the company's records whatsoever. They could not refund my money, because they had not taken my money. They knew that they had not taken my money because they had no record of me in their computer. They had no record of my name, my e-mail address, or any Visa debit card with the same last four numbers as mine. They had no such transaction on March 26, or 27. She agreed with me that I had not voluntarily or involuntarily purchased anything from ZBIDDY. She also continued to deny that ZBIDDY had taken possession of any of my money. So, even though I had a bank statement showing that 99.00 had gone from my account to them, they maintained that they could not refund that money because they had no record of debiting it. I expressed the idea that they sounded like they thought that they had come up with a fool-proof method of stealing from people: after you criminally debit their bank account, you delete all traces of them from your computer. Voila! They could not have taken your money if you are not in their system, now could they? If they stole your money, they would have to have a record of it, wouldn't they? Which they would gladly share, I presume.
So not only could I not get a refund, I could not even get them to admit that a transaction occurred of which I had real evidence: a United States bank statement showing the transaction, and a checking account $99.00 poorer. The ever-so-helpful CSR told me that if I could call the ZBIDDY with my banker conferencing with me, they would listen to what the bank had to say. How, I asked her, am I supposed to get the bank to participate in a three-way call with me and some penny auction company. Just who at the bank was I supposed to ask to sit in on this call? And just how was I going to compel them to do this? Visa debit cards do not have all of the same protections afforded by Visa credit cards.
All she would do was continue to repeat that I needed to set up a three way call, and we'd see what happened from there.
Well, I called my bank, who told me that they could not replace my money: I would have to get it back from the company who had it. I inquired, " So this company debited my account fraudulently, then deleted my records from their computer so they could deny ever having any connection to me, and they can just get away with that?" The lady I was speaking with put me on hold, and finally came and told me to come in to a branch office and fill out a form, and it would be researched.
What she didn't tell me was that you only have 60 days after a fraudulent charge is made to a debit card to contest it. I missed that deadline simply because I never thought anyone could brazenly go in and steal money from my account, right under the figurative nose of the bank, so I was not diligent about checking my statement. It seems that everything fell into place for this thieving company. As stupid it sounds, this crooked company may have come up with a fool-proof scam. Who would have thought that all these bandits had to do was delete the names of their victims from their computers to be beyond prosecution.
I still have no idea how they got hold of either my debit card number, or my bank account number, whichever they used. Without that knowledge, this could happen again and again. If it does, at least I should be able to bring it to the bank's attention within the 60 day notification period. I will be reading my bank statements as soon as they come in from now on.
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Business Profile Summary
- Complaint Against zBiddy
- Complaints Filed: 529
- Reported Damages: $55,816.52
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