Common Problems FAQ
Below are some of the most frequently asked consumer questions I get in email:
There is a charge appearing on my bill and I don't know what it's for. Help!
First, take a good look at your bill. There SHOULD be a phone number next to the name on the bill. First resort is calling and clearing it up. If for some reason there is no phone number there, or the one provided didn't work, try finding it by typing the exact name, in quotes, that is appearing on your bill into a search engine such as Google. You should be able to find the site this way.
I have been trying to cancel my membership to a site, but they are ignoring my email. What do I do?
First, go to the site and make sure they don't have an online cancellation form that you can use. Not every site will send an email receipt of cancellation confirmation, so you may want to either take a screenshot of the response screen when you fill out the form, or else note the date and time you cancelled in case of a later dispute. If there is no online form, email is being ignored and there is no phone number you can find to call, you may end up having to dispute the charges through your bank.
I've tried everything suggested above and STILL I'm being billed. How do I dispute a charge?
- Document your cancellation requests - This is the first rule. CC yourself on the email you send. If you're using an online cancellation request form, write down the time and date you used it.
- Write to your bank - When you write to your bank, include copies of your attempted cancellations - copies of the email you've sent, copies of any replies you've gotten back, and also print out a copy of the terms and conditions at the site so they can see you've abided by them.
- Send it Registered Mail - Be sure to send any correspondence via registered mail. Yes, it costs more.. $2.70 to be exact - but you'll get a receipt that shows it was picked up. Save it.
- Complain - If you've been unable to get a cancellation and you are being billed fraudulently, your credit card company should be able to make the charges stop, but you also should fill out the Federal Trade Commission's online complaint form. They DO check these daily, and they do care about companies who are ripping people off online. I urge you to take this extra step.
- The Blacklist - Keep in mind that soon as you dispute a billing, your card will probably be put on a blacklist and you won't be able to use it on adult sites in the future. Most of the larger adult billing companies buy lists of anyone who makes a chargeback, whether it was a legitimate one or not. If you do buy adult services again, you'll more than likely have to use a different card.
We urge you to only dispute billing ethically. If you joined a site and simply forgot to cancel it in time, but they didn't fraudulently bill you, chalk it up to experience - don't charge back. Don't join a site with the intention of using the services and then disputing the billing. We've found that it's a vicious circle of mistrust - merchants don't trust consumers online, and vice versa, and every instance on either side of someone doing things wrong only adds fuel to the fire. Take the high road, huh?
I was on (on a vacation/in the hospital/my computer died, etc) and couldn't visit the site that I had joined. I've since cancelled, but can I get my money back for the time that I couldn't use the site?
The short answer here is 'No'. Think of it this way, an adult subscription is no different really than any other. If you're on vacation for 2 months and can't cancel your HBO on cable television, do they give you a refund? Not a chance. With that in mind, when you do join a site be sure to note somewhere you'll remember when it is that you need to cancel to avoid a recurring charge. It's never fun paying for something you aren't using.