Scammed by WLI Reservation Rewards
November 18, 2007 11:04 AM   Subscribe

I'm out $120 due to the WLI*ReservationRewards scam. I called their customer service line, and the representative claimed they had no record of my name or credit card number--despite the fact they just charged me $10 on November 6th. Threats to report them to the Attorney General of my state did nothing. I called my credit card company but they can only dispute charges less than 120 days old. Now what?

My credit card company has sent the disputed charges through a process that will take 3-4 weeks--at which time my account will undoubtedly be charged another $10 on December 6th and I will only get back part of my money.

I would like to get all of my money back, and have heard accounts of people doing so, but that is when the WLI people acknowledged the accounts and charges existed. As it is, I can't even cancel my "account" with them. What am I supposed to do?

(Yes, I realize I should have caught this sooner. My fault for not keeping a balanced account, I assumed these were legitimate charges tied to online purchases and it did not occur to me until recently to actually investigate their origin.)
posted by schroedinger to Law & Government (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You could just destroy your card and report it lost. That way you'll get a new cc # and this company won't be able to automatically charge you again.
posted by special-k at 11:13 AM on November 18, 2007

well, if they've been charging $10 for a year, i'm assuming you can get at least $30 back by disputing the 120 day rule, so there's a start with that. as for the remaning 90, maybe you can contact consumerist with yoru story? or search there, often they have people talking about this and similar scams. sorry it happened to you, and yes, as special-k said, report it lost! :)
posted by citystalk at 11:36 AM on November 18, 2007

Are you actually going to report them to your AG, or did they successfully call your bluff?
posted by rhizome at 11:50 AM on November 18, 2007

Response by poster: Oh, I am. That will get them in trouble, but I don't think I'll actually get the charges refunded.
posted by schroedinger at 11:57 AM on November 18, 2007

If it helps with the vengeance side, chargebacks cost the merchant money on top of what's returned to you. Enough chargebacks, and bad things happen to them (poorer rates, more money kept in escrow, losing their merchant account). Doesn't get your money back, but might make you feel a bit better.
posted by Leon at 12:08 PM on November 18, 2007

I definitely had my credit card charged with that scam too for about two months before I caught it a few years ago, so I sympathize. I have no idea how they even got my credit card number.

Given that this company has been engaged in the unethical practice for a while (years), I wonder if trying to get some documentation of it (like, how many complaints to the BBB about them? How many complaints to state AGs?) and using that documentation to pressure your credit card company would do any good. I think it's laughable that credit card companies don't know that this is a scam, given how many people must be contesting the charges. Perhaps you could get together some documentation of its scammy-ness and having a lawyer friend write a sternly-worded letter to the credit company about being complicit in a known scam to defraud their customers or somesuch?

If you complain loud enough, I bet your credit card company will be flexible on the 120-day limit. Especially if you insinuate that you might consider class action lawsuit or going after damages since they are participating in known fraud. Or maybe threatening the publicity side of it would make your credit card company back down--this sort of thing seems like the bread and butter of those local news channel investigative reports.

IANAL. (In fact, I get lost during some L&O episodes.) Good luck!
posted by iminurmefi at 12:20 PM on November 18, 2007 [1 favorite]

You could just destroy your card and report it lost. That way you'll get a new cc # and this company won't be able to automatically charge you again.

That doesn't always work, as I have learned to my chagrin.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 2:33 PM on November 18, 2007

ten pounds of inedita:
What doesn't work? getting a new card or not being to stop changes with a new cc#?
Makes no sense. They have schroedinger's cc on file and they charge at some regular interval. If the card # is changed, the old card becomes expired. How can anyone post a charge to an expired card?
posted by special-k at 3:40 PM on November 18, 2007

ten pounds of inedita: What doesn't work? getting a new card or not being to stop changes with a new cc#?

I have lost a credit card, called it in, gotten a new card with a new number, expiry and security code and received charges to it -- sometimes months later -- from companies to whom I did not give my new information.

How does this happen? No idea. It's happened to me more than once.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 5:46 PM on November 18, 2007

Tell your CC company in writing and on the phone that you are a victim of fraud, that you don't want these unauthorized charges to continue. Note that you have tried to contact the retailer fraudulently making these charges and they were unable to cooperate in stopping these charges. Underscore that no further charges from this vendor/retailer are authorized by you as account owner and none of these charges should be accepted by the CC company on your new account. Insist that your current account be closed out entirely, labeled as "stolen" and an entirely new account issued. Request a confirmation letter sent to you stating that this account has been closed because of fraud.

Do mention to the credit card company, again in the letter and on the phone, that you are none too pleased that they are not fully cooperating with this credit card fraud and hope that since you are a victim of fraud, that they were not very cooperative in assisting you with dealing with this fraud, and they may reconsider their stance or you'll have to take your business elsewhere. Mention that due to not receiving their full cooperation in this fraud case, you are engaging your local Attorney General's office. Carbon copy your local Attorney General's office on the letter so it's shown and the CC company knows you're not bullshitting them, Then absolutely send the AG a copy with the complaint you're going to need to file. Keep copies of everything.

I'd send it registered mail with receipt, so you can be sure it was accepted, when and by who. Ditto with whomever you speak to on the phone. Note times, date, names of people you spoke to and if they have corresponding CSR ID numbers. If the charges continue, you'll have names, times, dates.

Then call the AG's office and file a formal complaint against the online company fraudulently charging and your credit card company too. The credit card company won't drop you, they make too much money off you. And really, if they screw with you, maybe this isn't a company you want to continue doing business with anyway.

You're going to have to be persistent, maybe to the point of being obnoxious, but the hell with them. Don't take no for an answer.

More info here. And do yourself a favor, check your credit report... just in case. It's probably nothing, but for your peace of mind it's worth it, and it's free.
posted by jerseygirl at 7:12 PM on November 18, 2007 [3 favorites]

I'll second the recurrent charges returning mysteriously. I've gotten more than a few credit cards replaced over the years, and many times recurrent transactions just go through no problem, even though I had a POLICE REPORT stating that some asshole stole my credit card, and was charging to it willy nilly, AND I got a new number/expiration date/etc. Whatever. I just kept disputing and disputing and eventually they went away.

That's what you've got to do -- just keep disputing and disputing. Eventually one of two things will happen:

1. The problem will resolve itself
2. Your credit card company will dump you

Either way, no big deal. It sucks to have money tied up, but that's the risk with credit cards. Just stick with it, and be glad it wasn't the other kind of criminal charging your card, which seems even more difficult to fix.
posted by Geckwoistmeinauto at 7:29 PM on November 18, 2007

Take it to The Consumerist and your Attorney General.
posted by theora55 at 8:02 PM on November 18, 2007

Response by poster: I called the customer service line, got a different customer service representative, explained the issue, and this time the representative was much more helpful. She found my account after entering in an old credit card number. My name was in the database, but my last name was listed as "MiddleInitial LastName". As soon as she found me she promised to refund everything. I will update later to confirm whether or not this actually happens.
posted by schroedinger at 4:36 AM on November 19, 2007

I got $180 back from them with no problems after I realized this was happening to me. $10/month for 18 months. They told me they got my credit card information from

Here is a site detailing various attempts to address the problem.

I simply called the number listed on the site above, told them about the various sites on the Web detailing their fraudulent practices, and civilly demanded that they refund my card, which was credited in the next 2-3 days.

Good luck, and my email is in my profile if you have any further questions.
posted by Roach at 1:08 PM on November 19, 2007 [1 favorite]

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