Beware of FYE's VIP Backstage Pass program

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82 Responses to “Beware of FYE's VIP Backstage Pass program”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Just call your credit card company and dispute the charges…the merchant has to be able to prove you signed up and since you didn’t you will be refunded every charge…I think you can contest anything up to a year old.

  2. 0xdeadbeef says:

    Why not simply tell your credit card company the charges are fraudulent and/or have them issue a chargeback?

  3. Anonymous says:

    I stopped buying from FYE when I noticed they sold DVDs and CDs for 130% markups, I stopped setting foot in an FYE after they only hired busty and dumb high school girls to flirt their way to sales in things they know nothing about. That was almost ten years ago, and I’m glad to see they continue to keep it classy.

  4. dainel says:

    Couldn’t you just dispute the charge with your credit card company? Why is it necessary to cancel the card to stop the charges? What happens to FYE when thousands of customers are disputing their charges. If we tried to do that, our merchant account would be closed within the week.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi, I was also charged twice with $11.99. I tried to retrieve my password to have more information or ID number which I could use for cancellation (as I read on several sites about them). It didn’t work with none of my e-mail addresses. This looks I am “member” when somebody needs to be charged but I am not when I want to know the details of my “registration”. I went to my credit union and they called them on a number which was in the comment of the credit statement. Interesting. (Why do you have the intention to put a phone number there. Do you feel that they will call you? Are there too many complaints?) They could cancel my membership and gave me a cancellation code as well. To my direct question they said it will not cost me anything in the future to do this step. This looks fine now. I am balancing what to do with the charges they have already posted on my account. PG

  5. Anonymous says:

    Is this even legal?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Cancelled mine online, two days later they tried to charge my card but I blocked them from being able to because of this issue. I saved the cancellation page and the rep told me it says I needed to call a number WHILE I WAS LOOKING AT THE PAGE I SAVED!!! It doesn’t even give a number to call. I would advise anyone who has a problem like this to CANCEL their card. It is much less of a headache! And file complaints with the Better Business Bureau! Free trials are always scams! Read everything! Buyer Beware!!!

  7. dolo54 says:

    Disputing the charges is easy and just takes a phone call. I’ve had to do it numerous times. If it’s on a debit card you can dispute the charges with your bank. I’ve had to do that as well, a little more of a pain, but not too bad.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Disputing the charges is easy and just takes a phone call.

      Lucky you. The last time that I disputed a charge (in a case of theft), I was required to write an essay and snail-mail it to my credit card company. Sidelining disputed charges is one of the myriad sleazy ways that credit card companies are trying to stay solvent.

  8. Citryphus says:

    Just dispute the charges. Go through your statements and dispute every single bogus charge. In 20 years Amex has never given me a lick of trouble disputing charges. They’re great about it. You can even do it online.

    I wouldn’t worry about your credit report either. In the highly unlikely event FYE attempts to tarnish your credit, you have the right to insert your own letter into your report. If you pay your bills on time no lender going to care about some $10 dispute.

  9. ranomatic says:

    Even the threat of going to the credit card company (esp. AmEx)is enough to get companies like this to shut down the account and reverse all charges.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Next time pay in cash. Talk to your bank–tell them you are being scammed—same for the credit card.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I’m really amazed everytime at how easy it is to pull off something like this with a credit card.

    One of the reasons I try not to use the credit card too often.
    Of course I’m from germany and you actually still can use cash here.

    Or your cash card.
    You can still get scammed with those but usually its not too hard stopping monthly payments or even getting the money back.

  12. Mark Frauenfelder says:

    In a similar instance, Wells Fargo told me I had to cancel my debit card and get a new number in order to prevent these kinds of charges.

    • JG says:

      In response to Mark who wrote “In a similar instance, Wells Fargo told me I had to cancel my debit card and get a new number in order to prevent these kinds of charges.”

      Yes, you would have to get a new number to *prevent* the merchant from trying again (it’s obvious why that works). You do not need to do that in order to dispute the charges, though, and going that route, if you can afford to be out the disputed funds plus any future disputed funds, is a much better way to show your displeasure with such crummy practices.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Another vote for contacting the CC company rather than changing the card number. If you cancel the card this way, they will keep trying to charge it until they hit some threshold amount, say 1 year, when you will “owe” $120. You will never know this, since you are on a new card number now. They will then sell the “debt” to a collection agency for some reduced amount, who will find you, haunt you for the $120, and besmirch your credit rating.

  14. Anonymous says:

    FYE proves once again that it is the unwashed anus of electronics/entertainment retail.

  15. proletariat says:

    The FTC provides a helpful guide on disputing charges under the Fair Credit Billing Act.

    Additionally, you can also file complaints with your local Better Business Bureau and State Attorney General’s Office in order to try to prevent this happening to others in the future. In some cases, the Attorney General will pursue legal action on behalf of those affected in their state.

    • IronEdithKidd says:

      I can’t believe it took 33 comments for someone to mention calling your state AG. You pay the AG in your state, make the AG work for you.

  16. Lars Haeh says:

    Just a warning: Companies like this have been known to report you to a credit reporting agency for non-payment if you dispute the charges with your card company. I believe AOL used to do this before all the credit reporting agencies eventually stopped accepting their reports.

  17. PrettyBoyTim says:

    In the UK, as well as disputing the charges, you would do well to contact the Office of Fair Trading. If you can find it out, it would also be worth contacting their credit card processing company.

  18. Anonymous says:

    This is consumer fraud. If you’re really interested in putting a stop to this type of petty theft, locate a good class action attorney. Even if you are cynical about class actions, suing the company is much more likely to (1) stop the practice and (2) making the company think twice about engaging in shady behavior in the future.

  19. ADavies says:

    Cash. Cash is your friend.

  20. Anonymous says:

    People from San Diego know that there are no Office Max stores in or around San Diego. There are a small number of FYEs in San Diego, though. Citryphus is right – Nate should take up the fraudulent charges with his credit card company because the vendor has refused to cooperate in working this out. Credit card companies tend to be really aggressive and effective in working these sorts of disputes out. He’s also right that it shouldn’t affect your credit. What it does do is undermine peoples’ confidence in credit cards, which is why the credit card companies take these issues seriously.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know if it would help, it wouldn’t hurt to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau

  22. Anonymous says:

    fye good for nothing!! the onlything they do take your money and run…

  23. Anonymous says:

    I am a sales associate at FYE, and there is no way that an associate could sign someone up who refused. We need to take the persons phone name, phone number, and address. Furthermore, in order for the customer to be charged they must sign a contract in addition to the credit card purchase approval. This contract is on a separate receipt than the credit card purchase approval. And, on this man’s receipt, he would see the purchase of the cable and something that says .00 BSPVIP (or something to that effect.) The way that we sign people up is scan a new card, then take personal info, then complete the transaction. If he no longer has his membership card (because there is no way that he was not handed one) all he has to do is go into the nearest FYE and ask them to look him up based on phone number or address and they will give him his account number. Of course the people on the phone try to convince you to keep it, but they do not refuse to cancel it. It’s not like you call and say you want to cancel and they say “no. sorry.” Instead, they say “these are the reasons you should keep it.” I sign up, on average, 3 or 4 people a week for this program. Sometimes people do need to come back into the store to get their account number to cancel, and my boss and DM have never told us anything other than “be polite and help them if they want to cancel.” For someone to be signed up without their knowledge, they would have to not notice the associate scanning in the loyalty card info, be willing to give the associate their name, phone number, and address, AND sign an additional receipt all without asking any questions. More likely, this guy did sign up and didn’t pay attention to what the associate was saying. And, for the record, if an associate DID manage to sign people up without their permission, they would be fired. This is absolutely not company policy and, as I said, it’s pretty damn near impossible.

    And, just so you know, before I started working at FYE, I shopped their frequently. I have signed up for and cancelled the VIP without issue twice. My fiance has done it once. it really is just a 3 or 4 minute phone call. In fact, now you can cancel it online by clicking a button that says “cancel.” When people complain about the horrible ways in which they were scammed by FYE (it doesn’t happen frequently, but we occasionally get them in our store) we help them as best as we can (get them their membership number and give them the cancellation phone number and website address) and then shake our heads when they leave. Because to be signed up “without their knowledge” they would need to be willing to answer a lot of questions, ignore the loyalty card booklet handed to them, and sign a slip that says “I understand that if I do not cancel within 30 days my card will be charged a monthly fee of ____” (currently 11.99/ month.)

  24. murrayhenson says:

    Cool – when you google just “FYE” now, there is a link to this BB article (above the fold). I suppose it is more profitable to rip off a bunch of people than to run a legitimate business though I doubt there is much longevity in it.

  25. vipNate says:

    Just an update. The charges have been disputed. In addition my bank was very helpful in telling me that my membership number appeared on my statement. If you have something like:

    TLG*FYE VIPXXXXXXXXJUN 877-351-2131 N

    on your statement, the X’d out numbers are your membership number.

    With this information I was able to call and cancel the membership. According to the rep I spoke with, I was ‘signed up’ when I made my purchase. He claimed I had received a discount at the store (news to me), and that this ‘entitled’ me to membership. Since I didn’t opt out of membership within 30 days, they signed me up.

    So now I have a cancellation number from him, and time will tell if they actually cancel the charges, or continue to bill me.

    In the mean time, I’ve learned a valuable lesson – don’t shop at FYE, and check you statements, even if the dollar amount looks right. It’s easy to miss a $10 charge, which is what they’re counting on.

  26. webmonkees says:

    Having worked ‘the other side’, where a different division was signing people up unknowingly, then eventually customers called me when they noticed the bill.

    I can assure you there is a monitoring system, and threats of employee termination.. For refunding too many defrauded customers.

  27. Galadriel says:

    Ooooh, goody, credit card fraud and wire fraud. Sounds like “getting in touch with the criminal law authorities in their area” and “organizing a class action suit” time.

    • jamiethehutt says:

      Yeah, why hasn’t this been stopped yet? If this was in the UK then consumer protection laws would already have these guys facing some hefty fines at the least…

  28. Anonymous says:

    I signed up for a free 60 day trial a few months back and they just started charging me! Without notice! And i didn’t have but .83 cent in my account so now i’m have -96 dollars in my account cos’ my bank’s over draft charges! and i’m only 18 and i don’t have a job and idk what to do!D=

  29. Baldhead says:

    First time I heard of this company. Not a good first impression.

  30. Anonymous says:

    I’m sorry to report that even canceling the card may not necessarily fix this problem. I had a similar dispute with an online retailer that was charging my card monthly. I actually did lose the card, and reported it lost, got a new card, but the online retailer continued billing my old, canceled card number. I can’t remember the explanation, but there is some loophole that will allow them to continue billing as long as they want to, even if the card is canceled for new charges. The best course of action is to contact your credit card company and dispute the charges. I would also contact the store where you made the purchase. They may be able to either disenroll you or get you the account number.

  31. JG says:

    Perhaps the correct solution isn’t to *prevent* the charges. Dispute them with your credit card company, every time they happen. Vendors get charged massive fees for incurring a chargeback, regardless of whether or not the chargeback is resolved in the vendor’s favor. Each chargeback could be spanking the vendor for $15-$30 in bank fees. They’ll eventually figure out that they want you off their “list.”

  32. sloverlord says:

    Stories like this (and they appear to be more common as time goes on) piss me off so much. What FYE is doing here is basically naked robbery, honeyed up as some ridiculous opt-in initiative. And they report YOU as a criminal if you don’t pay!

    Seeing as how it seems to be widespread, there better be some serious FTC fines on their heads. Then again, if there’s a fine at all, given the precedent for cases like this, it will probably come to a tenth of the amount they made.

  33. hallam says:

    You do not need any more documentation than your credit card bills to make an FTC complaint. The burden of proof is on FYE to prove that the charges are legitimate, not on the complainer to prove a negative that cannot be proven.

    All the FTC is going to look for is whether the evidence is plausible enough to open an investigation. Then they will descend on FYE and start with the subpoenas and depositions.

    The FTC is a civil agency and cannot bring criminal charges but they can and do refer criminal activity to people with badges and guns.

    The other important thing they do is that they write a large fraction of the consumer related legislation that goes through Congress. When I was doing some opposition research on McCain during the campaign I found he had introduced about half the consumer oriented legislation passed in the past ten years, al of it based on FTC drafts written a few months earlier.

  34. vipNate says:

    Thanks for all the comments. Thought I’d clear up a couple of issues here.

    First, I am going to dispute the charges, but several posters are correct that the company will retaliate against my credit score. Much easier to simply kill the account.

    The FTC is not an option, because I have no paperwork to back up my claims. I never signed up, so I have nothing to show as evidence that I’m being scammed other than the bills that appear.

    IronEdithKidd’s suggestion of going to the state AG is pointless. I live in Texas. The AG’s office is interested in pushing social issues like gay marriage and prayer in schools. Consumer protection is simply not an issue for him. I may help pay his salary, but the office is bought and paid for by election contributors.

    As for zyodei’s question about the difference in charges, I’m at a loss for that one. If you check the stories of different people linked in the story, you’ll see the amounts also vary from person to person. No idea why. Perhaps they added different VIP ‘perks’ onto their accounts?

    The upshot is a big thanks to Mark and BoingBoing for shining the light of day on FYE. Publicity is the one thing they don’t want, and (hopefully) the most effective way to stop this.

    • JG says:

      How much information did you provide the merchant? They cannot possibly retaliate against your credit score if all you provided was a name (on the credit card’s magstripe) and a credit card number. You’d need to have provided either an address or a social security number in order to allow them to identify you for reporting with a credit bureau, and falsely reporting debts is punishable under the FCRA anyways.

      Merchants suffer disputed charges all the time, and don’t really have that much recourse. If the amount was large and especially if it’s for physical goods, they could possibly go after you via debt collection, but the economics of that don’t make sense probably until four figures come into play.

      You’re much better off disputing the charges. Given the situation you described, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. The dispute will get you your money back and will cost them some serious coin. You alone probably won’t be enough for them to stop their questionable practices, but if everybody did it, it certainly would.

    • Anonymous says:

      In addition to the other suggestions, I’d see if your local television station’s nightly news has some sort of “customer advocate” type segment. One consumer complaining may not be compelling to the corporate management — but they’ll probably jump to answer the questions of a television reporter, who could reach thousands or millions of people (depending on where the station is located) with negative publicity,

  35. Anonymous says:

    Hello, here is one more case agains FYE VIP.. I’m from Venezuela and I went to USA last year, in March. I bought several stuffs in a FYE store located in Taylosville, UT, and this year I’ve noticed two charges of $9,99 (each one) on my credit card account. I can search between that travel tickets (I always save them in a safe place) because I think they gave me a card or something simmilar. The desk clerk just gave it to me to get some discounts for my purchase or next purchases, I don’t remember so much. If you guys find a way to get back our money, please let us know.

    Regards, Freddy PH.

  36. Anonymous says:

    yeah I never shop there I was trying to find a bluray for my fiance’ that they happened to still have a copy of and i bought it along with a couple other DVD’s and I initially said no when the clerk started trying to get me to sign up for the “FYE vip pass” and because I became irritated I agreed, he indicated it was a one time charge of 11.99$, well three months and 11.99$ later to a buisness I’ve only dealt with once! what a freaking rip off. then I call to cancel and the girl goes on and on about their benifits etc. and how to maximize the use of the “pass” I was like look, I called to cancel, not to get a sales pitch on keeping your companys money RIP-OFF!! and I will never ever buy anything from that store again, for the rest of my life! boycott!a

  37. Anonymous says:

    Sounds a lot like what was being done by the makers on Enzyte.

    How’s prison treating you, Bob?
    http://consumerist.com/2008/08/whos-smiling-now-enzyte-scammer-gets-25-years-in-prison.html

  38. Anonymous says:

    I just sent this post to my local TV reporter who reports on fraud with companies. I am tired everyone do the same with your story in your area. Make this company stop STEALING money from innocent people……………….
    9 months ago my son stopped at FYE Park City Was told if he got their backstage pass he’d save $3. He signed up, told he had 30 days to cancel or would charge his account $11.99. per month. He could not get anyone to cancel, I told him no company would do this and he must not be communicating effectively and took over. Last week I called the company 5 times. First time I was told that the account would be noted and they would send me 5 check like certificates for $10 each. I asked if this was check that could be deposited, would only say they are “check like.” I said no want to talk with supervisor. Finally told account is canceled, my son saw pending charge on his checking account on Thursday and called again. Promised the charge would no go through. Had to go through the whole deal again and again told is cancelled and they will refund $47.96 and verified no more charges to bank account. Over the weekend they did pull more money from account. Store mgr will not help, FYE will not respond, district manager no response. Look on line this is a problem for company and many customers have been abused. Please warn people!

  39. Anonymous says:

    I think its time for an Executive Email Carpet Bomb a la The Consumerist… they definitely have tips on getting this sort of crap shut down!

  40. bodenski says:

    I have had credit card companies dispute false charges easily, but often required that I tried by contacting the scoundrels. The credit companies may only refund charges within a certain number of months (maybe 3) and I was told the new credit laws may limit it to less soon.
    Even more reason to check you bills, contact vendors and report as soon ASAP. And agree on contacting BBB.

  41. AirPillo says:

    This really does sound more like wire fraud than mere negligent service…

  42. donniebnyc says:

    Amex is the only way to go. I have never had a problem with them when I’ve disputed a charge and I’ve always won. Visa, on the other hand, makes it as painful as possible for me which is why I only use it where Amex is not accepted.

    Also, complaining to the authorities can work. About 8 years ago, I was sent an obviously used (and broken) printer by Buy.com. After attempting to resolve this via several emails (they simply refused to accept a return), I contacted the BBB in CA (their home) and NY (my home) as well as the FTC and the attorneys general in CA and NY. I forwarded Buy.com all these complaints. I received a refund the next day.

  43. Anonymous says:

    I’m so ticked about this. I used to visit FYE many times. And like the first post they asked if I wanted to sign up for the VIP pass. Sure I said thinking I’ll just go home and throw it away. I didn’t put my card number down or anything. Hearing all these complaints I will call tomorrow and keep calling untill I recive my 46 dollars back. I will never shop at FYE again!

  44. donniebnyc says:

    I also wanted to send a message to FYE: Business practices like this mean you cannot be trusted. There are lots of places to shop in person and online. You have lost this customer for life.

  45. Anonymous says:

    As others have said already: dispute the charge with your credit card company. Sometimes that’s easy, sometimes hard, depending on your bank.

    FYE will lose money on each chargeback (more than just the refund). A significant number of chargebacks will result in sanctions by the card providers, and they may lose their billing capabilities altogether if it turns out to be as widespread as it sounds.

  46. Fred H says:

    FYE is owned by Transworld. Sharkism all around. I used to work for them. Ask me why they used to make their gift certificates in coin form. Why, the easier for customers to lose them! There goes the $50 grandma paid for you to buy cds. Right down down the sewer grate. Hears it from the president at the time.

  47. Fred H says:

    Heard. This is why we proofread.

  48. Anonymous says:

    easy to stop charges: call your CC co and tell them you destroyed/made un-usable your card and need a new one. They will issue you a new card AND number. Charges to old number will no longer work.

    While you dispute, send letters via registered mail. Before talking with an agent on the phone, get their ID or name. These things indicate you are litigious and will speed your resolution.

  49. Roy Trumbull says:

    There are a number of these scams that jump you often when you make an on-line order. They represent themselves as providing discounts and are an opt in when you make a payment for a motel reservation or buy a product. After that they are a monthly drain on your credit card. I was able to cancel the one that leeched me. Generally anything tapped into your credit card is hard to cancel unless the other side of the transaction co-operates. Your bank or credit card company won’t do it on your say so.

  50. Anonymous says:

    As a former employee at F.Y.E. when they started the VIP program I have to say that I am appalled by this behavior with this store.
    Though it is nothing new.
    The same thing began happening when the company started that damn magazine subscriptions. Employees began signing customers up without their knowledge due to the demand to meet their numbers and “get customers back into the store”.
    In the end I fully agree that the VIP program is a rip-off, but the thing you have to do is not bitch at the bank, but demand to speak to the DM or RM. Just bitching to the bank, or some person who has no connection to the company when you call the number to cancel the VIPs. It is the DMs and the RMs that will make sure something happens, because as shady as the company can be, and many of the employees when the pressure is incredible, it is also not tolerated at all.

    While I left for reasons regarding numbers and getting customers when many people don’t want to spend the outrageous money that they charge some days, I still do go back occasionally. Please do not allow this store and this employee ruin your shopping experience.

  51. Strikex says:

    Now I realize that I can’t exactly quell the anger that all of you have posted about it. I’d like to say a few things as a current employee of FYE.

    First and foremost at the store I work at I know for a fact that every single employee I work with including myself asks every customer if they would like to save 10% of on their current purchase by signing up for the program free of charge for the FIRST MONTH. Then we inform them about the monthly charge. Heck there’s even something in that packet that we give you that says if you stick with it for two months you’ll get a free $20 gift card if you fill out the card.

    At this point many many people say no. I can understand this, especially if you don’t purchase movies and music from us frequently. However, what I do not understand is the people who willingly sign up, give us the required information, and then turn around and say we never signed up or we were never informed about the charge. Now I can’t speak for every FYE out there. However, it personally offends me when people call in angered because “I am screwing them out of their money.”

    When we finishing activating their card we even show them the phone number on the back of the card as well as the membership number on the back and I urge them not to destroy the card or lose it until they confirm that they canceled their subscription. For those that do get the packet of information with the card, even if you aren’t informed of the monthly cost, all you have to do is read the material that came with the card you just signed up for… It’s right there in front of you!

    I am truly sorry about those of you who may have been truly unfortunate enough to actually not agree to the card, but for everyone else come on just take some time read the stuff they give you. I understand that you are mad, but the next time your immediate response is to call the store, please take a deep breathe and calmly talk to us. It doesn’t help anyone when you are yelling at us on the phone.

  52. Anonymous says:

    This kind of “gotcha capitalism” is the direct result of our culture of deregulation and so many of the population convinced that lesser gubmint and the “free market” is always a good thing. These companies know damn well what they are doing and by the time they are warned of regulatory action (if ever), they have already raked in plenty of extra profit.

  53. Anonymous says:

    For anybody that has been hit by bad business practices, please submit a formal complaint (with evidence) to the FTC. They do listen. https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov

  54. Anonymous says:

    I moved into a new house in August of last year. My niece and I went to FYE to buy a few movie posters and things for my office/music room. The girl at the counter tried to sell me on the Backstage VIP Pass thing and I told her “No, not interested”. Well I get home threw the bag stuffers in a junk drawer in the kitchen (reading material for later. I used my bank Card for the purchase and I travel a lot for work so I never noticed that I have been getting charged $11.99 a month by TLG*FYE for the last 8 months.

    Calling my bank today to stop this crap.

  55. zyodei says:

    I like this peach from the terms and conditions:

    Can I just pay you the $25 and get the f.y.e. Backstage Pass Member Card?

    We request your personal information so that we can provide the best possible customer service and deliver your f.y.e. Backstage Pass Member benefits.

    Yeah, uhuh.

    The odd thing is that the web site says this program is $25 a year. Why is he being nicked for $10 a month?

  56. Anonymous says:

    FYE Should not be able to get away with this scam. I was told I was getting a free membership only to find they intend to charge my credit card (that I used to by a DVD) $11.99 PER MONTH. Of course when I called to cancel the person in the oversea’s call center gave me a hard sell on the benefits of membership.

    I am complaining to FTC and NY Attorney General and encourage others to do as well.

    This has got to stop!

  57. Anonymous says:

    It really is important that you contact your state Attorney General’s office. This is illegal and they can pursue legal action against the store and against individuals.

    This helps prevent stores from doing this to other people.

  58. Anonymous says:

    If you want to cancel the VIP membership and do not have the member number, they can look you up with the credit card number you used in the transaction in the store. If you need the phone number, call the store and they’ll give it to you. In many cases, if you’ve been charged only once, they refund that charge.

  59. Anonymous says:

    Here is how you get your money back from them:

    Tell them you will charge back the fees and speak with a manager!! After speaking with the manager and having canceled my account they told me they could refund me for 4 months. Since we called them 5 months ago and told them we wanted to cancel the account but promised it would be canceled after we “RECEIVED” a Gift Card for the amount owed to us!! If you talk to the Manager they will obviously have to give your money back because they know as well as I do if you charge back the money it will cost them more money!! This worked like a charm and should make it easier for others to do the same!!

  60. GMM3 says:

    That little “TLG*” means that this whole thing goes through Triligient. The grandaddy of all scam companies. A quick Google search will demonstrate the span of their agenda. A lot of elderly folks, including my 92 year old grandfather, have been hit by ridiculous monthly fees on everything from “member benefits programs” from banks like Wachovia and Citizens Bank, to auto assistance scams… you name it. They need to be shut down.

  61. CastanhasDoPara says:

    This is one very good reason to never ever have, use, or trust credit cards. One thing I learned form working in sales and then debt collections is that these people are all scum. Ultimately, if you don’t have the cash, you don’t need whatever it is you thing you want. There is a huge gulf between need and want. Credit is not a means to a better more efficient end. All credit is is a way to enslave people by making them work harder to pay more for shit they don’t really need. Cash and carry, that’s my philosophy, and it has worked great for ten years. No time wasted disputing charges, none of my hard earned money being siphoned off by greedy unscrupulous bastards, no hassles and no worries.

    • Astin says:

      Sure… or I can use my credit card to delay using the cash. That way, an extra month’s interest or gains can be seen on my money. Or I can make larger purchases without having to carry large sums of cash with me. Or I can accrue points at zero cost to me. Or get extended warranties, insurance, and other benefits that would otherwise cost me more if paid with cash.

      As long as you CAN pay for it with cash, credit cards are fine. Pay off the balance on time each month, and credit cards work for you. Make the minimum payments and you’re a debt slave.

      This isn’t a problem with using credit cards, this a problem with FYE being unscrupulous. I’ve walked into a FYE once on a trip to the States, took one look at their insane prices, and walked out, never to return. This is obviously a company that relies on ignorance or immediacy to survive. Savvy customers know where to find what they want cheaper. Patient customers can wait.

      • CastanhasDoPara says:

        I’m sorry you don’t really understand how the system works…”I can use my credit card to delay using the cash. That way, an extra month’s interest or gains can be seen on my money” Let’s start out simple, what is the most your bank pays out for simple interest, 4% maybe as high as 8%*MAYBE*)? What does the credit card company CHARGE you in interest? Anywhere from 12% to 40%? Give or take a half a point? You do the math. How much can you save in a given month? I don’t really know but I’ll bet a lot more than you could make in interest payments plus principle.. Do you really think that you are saving money by using credit? Do you really think that this is a service? Or do you now think that you are PAYING some company for the privilege of getting what you want NOW!

        “Or I can accrue points at zero cost to me.” Sure, sure, but nobody I know has ever told me, “I made all my millions from airline miles.” Think again buddy, credit is just a means of keeping the “poor” man down because he can’t wait.. Instant gratification is the name of the game. As long as you want to drive that new car or have that new suit or go on that awesome vacation and you can’t pay for it out of pocket then you are a slave.

        “Or get extended warranties, insurance, and other benefits that would otherwise cost me more if paid with cash.” Um, in what world do you live in that these things cost more just because you choose to use cash as opposed to credit? Money is money to my knowledge. Whether borrowed or not it’s all the same profit margin to the people selling, they get their money now no matter what, credit or cash.

        “As long as you CAN pay for it with cash, credit cards are fine. Pay off the balance on time each month, and credit cards work for you. Make the minimum payments and you’re a debt slave.” Not so fast there friend. In no way do credit cards “WORK” for you, do they pay you for not using them or for using them? NO! Do you pay them, even if you maintain a zero balance, or pay them off in time? NO! Because you have to worry about it, and wonder if the payment went through, or if you have to pay off somebody at all.

        You are right about one thing, if you make just the minimum payment you are completely enslaved and beholden to the creditor. For me though, I have no credit, want no credit and am a completely free and happy to do as I want within my means. Which since I don’t owe anybody else a dime is a fairly good situation and I have lots saved up to do anything and go anywhere I want.

        Can you or anybody else here say the same? I hope so, but also have my doubts.

  62. Stephen says:

    Reporting the fraud to your credit card company has an added advantage; when enough people do it, the credit card company starts treating the charges as criminal and stops accepting charges from that vendor.

  63. Anonymous says:

    You can contact the company and complain. I got two credits due to these hidden fees. The associate at the store didn’t even tell us about the fees or give us a card. You can fax this number 1-800-964-8115 and tell them your member number and let them know you didn’t know about these nice hidden fees.

  64. Anonymous says:

    I called FYE, They gave me a number. Asked the rep. to cancel membership, then asked to speak to a supervisor. She came on after I claimed I knew nothing about the undisclosed charges and she refunded all 3 of $11.99…Bingo Bango.

  65. Anonymous says:

    I had the same $11.99 charge. go to the FTC and BBB websites and fill out a complaint online. It’s free, and it only takes about 15 minutes to do both.

  66. Anonymous says:

    your reciept from the signup purchase says that by signing below you agree to the 11.99 a month fee. It was the first month free,I know because after a yr I still had the reciept in my records and checked. Also the membership number is after “TLG FYE” on your bank statement or credit statement. I did ask the cashier if there was a charge for the program and was told “No , its free” not free for the first month and im willing to bet there is a perk for employees who sign people up. With the first month free there is no immediate charge so no one looks at thier reciept and says whoa no i didnt want this. But later your card is charged. No one asks if thats the card you want a monthly fee to come off of. Im totally to blame that I let it get to a year(tax time) before I noticed a repeating charge. After calling the phone number I was helped by Jerry, who got permission to refund 2 months & will TRY to reverse the pending payment (it was 2/28) for march and after I ASKED told me that to refund the rest of the charges I had to write a snail mail letter to Membership support.(PO 6100, westerview, OH 43086)with my name address and member number and request a refund(state my case) Since I signed the reciept authorizing and didnt dispute the first charges this is the best I can hope for. Let that make us ALL more dilligent in the electronic world where a swipe of our card can do this. I still will NEVER hand FYE another dollar of my money and I will make an effort to tell the other companys that use the card that I will, if possible boycot thier products/services as well. Hope this will post and that it helps

  67. Anonymous says:

    my husband and i have been receiving charges for $11.99 bi-monthly from this fye vip pass and we never signed up for anything like that.

  68. Anonymous says:

    I am sorry so many people have had issues with the VIP program. I recently quit at FYE, but I will tell you we have got to hit our enormous goals. With that said, I do not think anyone should be signed up without being told of the program in its entirety. When you have to sign two reciepts that should flag something. We have to send the second reciept out to the company. Anyway, if you want to cancel at anytime you may, they say you can’t cancel without your membership number call the store they can look you up. I will say if you use the card at theme parks and theatres, getting eyewear, oil changes it does save you money but you have to use it and I know that most of the time this isn’t even explained to you. For all the people whom has had bad service or tricked into getting the card I sincerely apologize. I wish I could help you, but I was pushed out of the store because I didn’t make the numbers and it would have been a matter of time before I was fired for not making my numbers but I don’t lie. I quit before being fired but feel all stores are under enormous pressure thus they do not explain the program to you.

  69. proletariat says:

    It’s a great deal…

    So great, apparently, that this is the only comment you’ve ever posted on BB! Right.

  70. bja009 says:

    Spam detected.
    Also, @anon re “Gotcha capitalism”: You’re right. Clearly a dearth of regulation is the sole reason that fraud and criminal activity exist. /sarc

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