help me get my money back!
May 31, 2007 9:55 AM   Subscribe

I got a piece of junk mail from a company called Florida Direct Vacations who said they were going to charge me $140 for some kind of vacation package if I didn't cancel the order by May 22. I think they got my credit card information from Holland America, who I took a cruise with a few years ago; they claim to be some kind of authorized reseller for them, although I've never done business with Florida Direct Vacations before. I called and canceled, and they charged my debit card anyway. I've called and they say they never got my cancellation and, basically, tough luck. What now?

Has anyone heard of these creeps before? How can Holland America (I assume?) just give out my credit card info? This is very confused as I'm certain I've NEVER heard of the company before this and I don't understand how they can make me cancel something I never ordered... Aside from the fact that they charged me even when I did!
posted by luriete to Work & Money (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Dispute it with your bank?
posted by cmiller at 9:58 AM on May 31, 2007

When you called to cancel, did they ask you for your number?
posted by drezdn at 10:01 AM on May 31, 2007

Oh, and it's tougher to fight a charge on a debit card than on a credit card, but it's doable. Contact your bank asap, and it might be worth contacting a site like consumerist.
posted by drezdn at 10:03 AM on May 31, 2007

Contact your state's Attorney General. It's illegal, if you haven't authorized it. Since it's illegal, you can take it about as far as you want. You can sue Holland America, sue these people (probably fly-by-night so you won't recover). The only way to make this kind of garbage stop is to make people pay. Of course, first make sure you didn't sign something somewhere (contest at a mall?) and make sure Holland America is involved. This is credit card fraud.
posted by clarkstonian at 10:03 AM on May 31, 2007

Seconding the dispute. It's just the same as if someone stole your card and used it without your permission. But, as Drezden said, it might be a scam to try to get your # over the phone. In that case it might be worth it to stop activity on your card as well.
posted by jimmythefish at 10:09 AM on May 31, 2007

Definately contact your bank and initiate a dispute. This is fraud. I agree that you should contact the state Attorney General.

And I highly encourage you to contact The Consumerist website. They love this sort of story and can give you some solid advice on how to get this fixed, as well as generate some bad publicity for these scummy companies.
posted by Jupiter Jones at 10:29 AM on May 31, 2007

I know that when you call your credit card company and use the word 'fraud', you get very good results. Maybe the bank would do the same.
posted by MtDewd at 10:33 AM on May 31, 2007

Also ... did you save the junk mail that you got from them originally? If you can get it, save it! It might be important later.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:51 AM on May 31, 2007

Contact the Better Business Bureau too. This sounds ridiculous and fraudulent.
posted by eatdonuts at 11:14 AM on May 31, 2007

all good advice... especially contacting your bank and the Attorney General's office. Also, request a new debit card with a new number. If you used any other credit card number with Holland America, do the same thing.

I'd also contact Holland America and ask them where they get off giving your credit card number out to other companies.
posted by jerseygirl at 11:32 AM on May 31, 2007

The Better Business Bureau accomplishes nothing. They can't assess damages or anything -- they can just log a complaint.

As for the Attorney General, in addition to contacting the one in your state, I would strongly suggest contacting the AG in the state where the company is based. There's a good chance they've gotten other complaints before and might be able to give you more background on the company.

Lastly, if it's a credit card, you should be able to dispute the charges with the cc company.
posted by Atom12 at 12:01 PM on May 31, 2007

Seconding the Better Business Bureau. I had a dispute with my credit card company that went nowhere. I went to the BBB, filed a claim online, and the whole matter was taken care of in two weeks.
posted by AthenaPolias at 12:01 PM on May 31, 2007

First cancel the card. It could be that someone stole the card # and was using it for several transactions. Then tell the bank that there was an unauthorized charge.

The BBB has a searchable list of businesses that may fit this description. Use the junk mail to see if it is the same as any of the ones listed. Then contact the BBB and let them know to add this one to the list.
posted by JJ86 at 12:38 PM on May 31, 2007

Contact your bank and ask to talk with the fraud division. Explain your situation and they should help you.

Also contact your state Attorney general's office and the Atty General for the state the business is in if it's a different state.
posted by clanger at 12:52 PM on May 31, 2007

i wanted to ask the same question as drezdn. did you give them the number over the phone when you canceled? generally, companies don't pass around customer cc numbers.
posted by lester at 3:03 PM on May 31, 2007

In addition to what everyone else has said, take the original piece of junk mail to your local post office. Explain the situation thoroughly --- this sort of thing may be considered mail fraud, which means the US post office will have an interest in your case as well.
posted by nathan_teske at 4:44 PM on May 31, 2007

Contact the Postal police--it was sent through the mail. I recommended this when I worked for a bank. This was helpful for several of my customers.
posted by dsaelf at 7:33 PM on May 31, 2007

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