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The internet has made legal cheating easy

:-( Just found out that American Express billed me 60$ for 2 months. There was this button on their website which said "Pay  amount other than minimum due". I clicked it and paid around 100 dollars more than what i actually owed monthly to American  express.

Later i found that there was a finance charge that gets applied if you try to clear off your debt early!!!

Has anyone been legally cheated like this?. Please share your experiences.

I am not denying i am a idiot to have trusted them. But this is unethical business practice. They should have atleast warned me that there was a finance charge if i tried to clear off my debt fast !.

Friday, January 30, 2004

There ought to be a "Ethical guide to doign business on the internet". These should list practices like

1)Making you pay money without informing you
2)Some internet companies dont inform you when the trial perid ends. When you use it for one day more, you will find that you have been charged. The service should end after the trial period.

This is "Ethical usability" . I mean the user model expects that in the first case you will be informed and in the second case, you will not be able to use it beyond the trial period.

Friday, January 30, 2004

I'd call and cancel the card.  I've never understood the draw of AMEX anyhow.  Very few places take it over Visa or Discover.

Friday, January 30, 2004

There was an article in the New York Times about this.  Apparently there has been a rash of "accidental" overcharging by lots of major companies.  It is something they can do very easily, and most people are not paying enough attention to notice.  They can "accidentally" charge 1% of their customers 5% over, and maybe 10% of those will actually take the effort to call back.  They just say "oh I'm sorry" and give you your money back, but they have still made a killing on all the others.

For a lot of people it's not worth an hour on the phone to get back $20.  What a crock.

Friday, January 30, 2004

Are you telling me that some companies don't do this on non-Internet stuff?

It's an ugly situation, but many of us now expect major corporations to legally cheat their customers (us) as often and for as much as they can get away with, and are surprised when if they don't.

I'm not sure whether things have really got worse, or are merely perceived to got worse, but suspect the former.

S. Tanna
Friday, January 30, 2004

> They can "accidentally" charge 1% of their customers 5% over, and maybe 10% of those will actually take the effort to call back.

They'd have to be very careful, though; any organized plan to do this could leak, and the company would then be subject to lawsuits and even criminal prosecution.

I'm not saying they *wouldn't* or *couldn't*, only that there are some checks in place to discourage them.

Friday, January 30, 2004

yeah, th4 intrenet i5 3vil!!!!!111

Friday, January 30, 2004

I know they "reward" you if you're stupid enough to carry a balance, but I don't understand what you mean by a finance charge that applies if you try to clear your debt early.

Friday, January 30, 2004

I'd lay odds that if you call and threaten to cancel, that charge goes away.  I've seen my wife do this many times (I wouldn't cross her either :)

You're right though, it seems like a pretty shady practice.

Friday, January 30, 2004

Call them and have them explain the charge.  I'm pretty sure that if you paid only the minimum due, your finance charges would have been higher.  It just happens that you were charged more than you expected for some reason.

T. Norman
Friday, January 30, 2004

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