This post isn’t about defaulting on your credit cards. It isn’t even about not paying your mortgage payment. It’s a story about how my wife and I got into a little trouble buying some “items” online.
It all started with a daily trip to Facebook by my wife. While perusing through the endless status updates of people she probably didn’t even know, a beautiful white smile started shining back at her on the sidebar. The ad read “Have a Beautiful Smile In Under 5 Minutes a Day!” Having been thinking about getting Crest White Strips, this interested her very much. So, she clicked.
The deal seemed amazing. They claimed that they could get you a white smile in less than 5 minutes a day. All of this for only shipping and processing! So, she bought it. I mean, what could go wrong?
Later in the week, I inquired about the transaction on our bank statement. It was for $7.95 so I didn’t think much about it but I was just curious. She told me she purchased some teeth whitening and being the guy that I am, I thought we were going to save a few dollars since we didn’t have to buy Crest White Strips. Boy was I wrong.
A few days later, a charge for approximately$97 showed up on our account from 20 Minute Smiles. After the initial anger, I thought OK, when we get the stuff, we’ll just send it back. Well, even before the package arrived we got ANOTHER charge on our account for a little under $90 from Pristine Health! What the heck were the charging me for? I didn’t even get the thing yet!
Well, the next day the box arrived. What a bunch of crap! It was a syringe and a mouthpiece. I could have made it myself! We thought enough was enough. We called the company to get our money back. We were greeted by an answering machine stating that they were busy and to leave a message. We left a semi nice message asking them to call back. Well, after they didn’t call back, we called back again. Nothing. We left a more threatening message. After no response two days later, my wife called and screamed at the answering machine. I sure hope someone was there to hear it!
Since we couldn’t get our money back, I decided it was best to go to the bank and shut down the card she used to purchase the items. The bank was pretty nice about it and let us file a complaint. They shut down the account and actually credited our account with all of the money we were out.
The next day, another charge appeared! The bank said they slipped it in before they got the account closed. I started getting REALLY angry.
So, more weeks went by and we thought everything was great. I cooled off by then. We learned our lesson and actually made out pretty good since we got our money back. Then came the dreaded letter in the mail.
It read, “Dear Mrs. Adam, this letter is in regards to Mrs. Adam vs. Everbright Smiles (how many freaking names does this company have?). You have 30 days to pay $58.95. After that date, Everbright Smiles may pursue legal actions against you and we will report you to the credit agencies.” Yipee!!! Actually, this wasn’t even our first encounter with a debt collector, so we knew what to expect.
I had my wife call the debt collector and settle some kind of deal. I wasn’t in the mood to counter sue for $59. Of course they wanted her to give access to our checking account over the phone. She said we will be sending a money order. She got the charge down to $29.50 and we sent the check the other day. What an ordeal!
All I know is, this better not happen again. What’s stopping them from attempting to do it again? I mean, we can’t get a hold of the people to cancel the dumb thing!
I guess the moral of the story is: DO NOT BUY STUFF ONLINE FROM COMPANIES YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT! It will surely end bad.