Consumer Alerts for March 2009

March 16, 2009
Vertrue is calling consumers.  The pre-recorded message mentioned the name Credit Card Services, rates as low a 6.9%, and to press 6 if interested.  When 6 was pressed an actual person came on.  Company rep, “Are you holding for lower rates?”  BBB, “Yes, but first I have a couple questions.  Is Credit Card Services the name of your company?”  There was a chuckle on the other end, and then he hung up without a word.  Consumers are complaining about unauthorized charges.  The company states the consumer agreed to the annual membership charge and they have this on tape.  Vertrue usually gives unconditional refunds for unauthorized charges, while denying the charges were not authorized.  Doing business as at least forty different names, over 2,500 complaints have been filed against this Omaha business.  They have the BBB’s lowest rating.      

The Internet Speedway offers a business opportunity via television commercials.  They promote selling products on the Internet.  Products include health and beauty items, ladies and men’s apparel, jewelry, designer sunglasses, cookware, customer luggage equipment and sports apparel.  One consumer paid the initial $9.95 fee for the software and was then charged additional “hidden fees.”  Other complainants have alleged unauthorized withdrawals up to $347.75.  Over 340 complaints have been filed against this Arizona business, and they have the BBB’s lowest rating.

Advancement Solutions offers employment opportunities as body guards (earning $35-$75 an hour), special agents (earning $114,300-$143,544 a year), and prisoner transporters ($16.50-$18.53 an hour).  The BBB has requested substantiation.  The company replied by stating, “We are not a hiring company, only a headhunter service that provides consumers help in getting a position.”   Complainants are alleging advertising problems, guarantee issues, sales practices and refund-exchange issues.  Most of the complaints filed through the BBB are unresolved.  This Tennessee business has the BBB’s lowest rating.

Talent 6 is advertised as “Be A Star” and “Live Your Dream.”  They offer jobs for extras, models, and actors in movies, music videos and reality TV.  All looks and ages wanted – no experience needed!  Complainants are dissatisfied with job opportunities posted on the business’s website and cite difficulty in obtaining refunds.  At first, consumers are told they can cancel during the first two weeks. Then they are told they can only cancel after 90 days, and only if they haven’t been contacted by a director.  One consumer was informed she had to pay $4,500 for the subscription.  Over 125 complaints have been filed against this Hollywood, CA business, and they have the BBB’s lowest rating.

New Hope Modifications advertises loan modifications.  When a consumer saw the ad online and called the business, the company asked for an up-front fee of $1,500 and guaranteed the loan modification would go through.  They’ve been known to charge up to $3,000.  This New Jersey has over 55 complaints and the BBB’s lowest rating.

Accelerated Debt Relief called a consumer and offered to pool all of his accounts with accounts from other consumers.  The business claimed that doing so would allow the business to negotiate a better interest rate for all of the consumers involved.  There would be an up-front fee of $795.  With 8 unanswered complaints, this Texas company has the BBB’s lowest rating.

Debt Relief USA is advertising on television.  At least one consumer is glad he checked with the BBB.  Complainants allege misrepresentation, services not reducing debt but instead increasing debt, additional interest and negative credit reports.  This Texas business has over 130 complaints, government action and the BBB’s lowest rating.