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San Diego, Orange and Imperial Counties

BBB Accredited Business since

Realtytrac.com

Phone: (877) 888-8722 View Additional Phone Numbers 1 Venture #300, Irvine, CA 92618 http://www.realtytrac.com View Additional Web Addresses

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Description

This company offers real estate information services about foreclosures, and a directory of real estate agents and brokers.

BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since

BBB has determined that Realtytrac.com meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.

Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 16 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that raised the rating for Realtytrac.com include:

  • Length of time business has been operating.
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size.
  • Response to 44 complaint(s) filed against business.
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business.
  • BBB has sufficient background information on this business.


Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

44 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 24 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 10
Billing/Collection Issues 20
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 0
Problems with Product/Service 14
Total Closed Complaints 44

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

2 Customer Reviews on Realtytrac.com
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 0
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 2
Total Customer Reviews 2

Additional Information

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BBB file opened: May 11, 2009 Business started: 02/09/1995 in CA Business incorporated: 02/09/1995 in NV
Type of Entity

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

Business Management
Mr. Jamie Moyle, CEO Mr. Matthew Jaronik, Customer Service Supervisor
Contact Information
Customer Contact: Mr. Matthew Jaronik, Customer Service Supervisor
Principal: Mr. Jamie Moyle, CEO
Number of Employees

75

Business Category

Real Estate Consultants

Alternate Business Names
Foreclosure News Report RealtyTrac Information Systems LLC Renwood Realtytrac LLC RTI Publishing

Additional Locations

  • 1 Venture #300

    Irvine, CA 92618 (877) 888-8722 (949) 502-8300 (800) 550-4896

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Additional Phone Numbers

  • (800) 306-9886(Phone)
  • (800) 550-4896(Phone)
  • (888) 444-3336(Phone)
  • (949) 502-8300(Phone)
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Additional Web Addresses

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Complaint Detail(s)

11/17/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I signed up for the "free trial". When I on day one realized that they were selling information that is available free of charge on other sites, I didn't bother using them. When I saw they had started charging my credit card I called and complained and they refunded the first charge. Then they charged me again and refused to refund the second charge.

Business Response:

The Member registered for a 7-day free trial of RealtyTrac on 9/10/2014. The terms of the trial are clearly stated on the registration page prior to submitting a form of payment for the monthly subscription fee. The terms state that if the trial account is not cancelled during the trial period, the account automatically converts to a monthly subscription and the monthly fee of $49.95 will be charged to the account information supplied by the new member. This account was not cancelled within the 7 day trial period, and the account was charged the monthly subscription fee beginning on 9/17/2014.
 
The Member called in and requested cancellation 10/20/2014, after the trial period had expired. The representative advised the member of the charges and that they would have access until 11/17/2014. The member inquired about a refund and the representative advised the member of the Terms of Use agreed to upon registering the account including that the membership fees are nonrefundable unless the billing was in error. The last charge to the account occurred within a 72 hour grace period and as such RealtyTrac issued a refund for the October payment on 10/20/2014.
 
The Member called in on 10/23/2014 claiming to have been charged after cancelling the membership. The Representative explained the Terms of Use and the charges to the account and offered to submit a refund request on the September charge for further review. The second refund request was initially denied due to the terms of use. There were no previous attempts to cancel the membership during the trial and therefore the account was charged correctly. During this conversation the member located the email sent by RealtyTrac on 9/10/2014 welcoming them to the service and explaining when the trial would convert into a paid monthly membership as well as the directions to cancel the membership should they choose not to continue.
 
Although no further refund was due, RealtyTrac issued an additional credit of $49.95 on 10/24/2014 as a one-time courtesy. 
 

11/5/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: RealtyTrac baited people in with a 7-day trial period then does not let customers cancel membership

Desired Settlement: Prorated refund for unwanted service.

Business Response:

Member registered for a 7-day free trial of RealtyTrac on 10/1/2014. The terms of the trial are clearly stated on the registration page prior to submitting a form of payment for the monthly subscription fee. The terms state that if the trial account is not cancelled during the trial period, the account automatically converts to a monthly subscription and the monthly fee of $49.95 will be charged to the account information supplied by the new member. These terms must be agreed to by the registrant prior to continuing with registration. The member’s account was not cancelled within the 7 day trial period, and the account was charged the monthly subscription fee on 10/8/2014.
 
All members agree to call during business hours (Monday - Friday 7:00am - 6:30pm Pacific Time and Saturday - Sunday 8:00am - 4:00pm Pacific Time) should they choose not to continue the service.  The member called to request cancellation on 10/14/2014, well after the trial period had ended. The representative processed her cancellation and advised she would have access to the service until 11/8/2014 at which point the account would terminate. The representative explained the terms that were agreed to upon signup, which states that charges on accounts are non-refundable. 
 
The account is not eligible for a refund due to the Terms of Use agreed to by the member. However, we can accommodate the member with complimentary exclusive website access for up to 2 months. This offer has been noted on the account; please contact our customer service department at 800-550-4802 or support@realtytrac.com to take advantage of this offer. 
 

11/3/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: When I submit a Credit Card to a vendor for a 7 day free trial, I expect that vendor to ask if it is appropriate to process the CC charge because I am willing to pay for their services. This company did not notify me that my CC was being charged, and they were going to process monthly payments without my knowledge. This is not a request that I validated and I have not officially requested to be a paying customer at anytime. I trust that all businesses that display the BBB logo follow a code of ethics, and not exploit verbiage in some extensive and wordy "Terms of Use" link hidden below a HUGE SUBMIT & CONTINUE box. If it is truly considered a business of value by a customer they should consult the customer of their intention to make a CC charge.

Desired Settlement: I request that my first payment on 9-04-2014 of $49.95 be refunded in full.

Business Response:

The member registered for a 7-day free trial of RealtyTrac on 8/27/2014. The terms of the trial are clearly stated on the registration page prior to submitting a form of payment for the monthly subscription fee. The terms state that if the trial account is not cancelled during the trial period, the account automatically converts to a monthly subscription and the monthly fee of $49.95 will be charged to the account information supplied by the new member. All members receive an email welcoming them to the service and explain the date the trial will convert to a monthly subscription as well as cancellation directions should the member choose not to continue past the 7 day trial period. This account was not cancelled within the 7 day trial period, and the account was charged the monthly subscription fee beginning on 9/3/2014. 
 
The member spoke to a representative on 10/3/2014 to inquire about the charges. The representative explained the terms of use that were agreed to upon signup, which states that charges on accounts are non-refundable. The representative explained to the member that the account had been accessed and property information viewed as recently as 9/28/2014. The representative submitted a refund request for the last charge to the account dated 10/3/2014 on the member’s behalf as a courtesy. 
 
Although no refund was due, RealtyTrac issued a refund of $49.95 on 10/6/2014 as a one-time courtesy. We regret that we are unable to process any additional credits to the account. However, we can accommodate the member with complimentary exclusive website access for up to 2 months. This offer has been noted on the account; please contact our customer service department at 800-550-4802 or support@realtytrac.com to take advantage of this offer. 
 

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

At no time did I acknowledge that it is OK to debit my credit card nor did I agree to any terms of use to a direct debt to my credit card on a monthly basis. A Credit Card charge on 10-3-14 was refunded however I was not notified of  a submittal of charges for the first month and did not agree to a charge on my credit card. I still have not been refunded the first $49.95.

Regards,
**** *****

Business Response:

During the RealtyTrac signup, members must read the terms of use before entering their credit card information. The terms state:

Member agrees that if Member applies for a seven (7) day free trial membership ("Trial Membership") and does not cancel such Trial Membership, Member authorizes RealtyTrac to convert the Member's Trial Membership into a regular paid membership for the term selected, effective seven (7) days, or one hundred sixty-eight (168) hours following Member's initiation of the Trial Membership. Member hereby authorizes RealtyTrac to charge Member's credit card, debit card or bank account, in advance, for the amount of Member's regular membership fee for each agreed term of the Member's selected membership term… The membership fee, when paid, is non-refundable and accrues on the first day of each term or successive renewal term until canceled, regardless of whether or not the Member actually uses the Site, the Services or the Content.”

The terms of the trial are also summarized on the signup page: You will not be charged if you cancel before your trial ends. Your price after the trial period is $49.95 per month until you cancel.”

It is unfortunate that the member chose not to cancel the trial membership in a timely manner. The member has been issued a refund for the charge dated 10/3/2014. As our initial response indicated, this account is not eligible for any additional credits due to the Terms of Use agreed upon and continuing to access the service following the free trial period. 

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

I did not accept the offer at the time I was billed. At the time this vendor bills a customer they must get a "Confirm" from the customer verifying the purchase. 

 
This 7 day bait, wait, and secretly charge a credit card without getting a "confirm" at the time of purchase is suspect and should be scrutinized by the Attorney General. I will continue to demand that this vendor must offer consumers an honest transaction. 

Regards,
**** *****

10/8/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I subscribed to Realty Trac's foreclosure location service approximately one year ago. In June of 2014, I called to cancel my subscription, which is $49.95/month. The woman who handled the call was courteous and helpful and ensured me she would handle closing my account. The following month I noticed I was billed again, so I called and was told a mistake had been made and a refund would be granted. This did not happen. In Sep I noticed I was charged again, so I called to complain. My call was directed to ***** who asked me for a cancellation #. I informed ***** that I did not have one, having deleted the email months prior. ***** was unable to locate ANY calls made by me to them, even though I informed him I had done so several times. I requested ***** look up my web site usage/login to support my claim, and he stated he could not do so. I feel there is a pattern of questionable billing practice here and I, and only I must prove that I cancelled my subscription by providing a cancellation #. My repeated attempts to convince ***** that I had already gone through the cancellation process fell on deaf ears.

Desired Settlement: A refund of three months of charges($149.85) made by Realty Trac to my credit card.

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID********, and find that this resolution would be satisfactory to me.  I will wait for the business to perform this action and, if it does, will consider this complaint resolved.

Regards,

**** ********

10/8/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I have been charged $49.95 since February 2014 for services that I cancelled by telephone after the first day of the free trial. I spoke with the company recently and advised them of this and they were not even sure when I joined to receive their services and am requesting a refund for the following months of March 26, 2014, April 26, 2014, May 26, 2014, June 26, 2014, July 26, 2014, August 26, 2014. I did not use this service except for one day and made a same day cancellation. I received an email confirmation for stopping the service after I spoke to someone in person. When I cancelled by telephone it was an automated service and did not receive an email confirmation. These were all unauthorized debit charges to my Visa/US bank account. I am a very busy professional and am preparing to move, additional charges and statements are unavailable to me at this time for any other charges made by Realty Trac

Desired Settlement: $299.70 refunded by check immediately and mailed to: ** **** ***** ***** **** ******* ********* *** **********

Business Response:

The member registered for a 7-day free trial of RealtyTrac on 1/19/2014. The terms of the trial are clearly stated on the registration page prior to submitting a form of payment for the monthly subscription fee. The terms state that if the trial account is not cancelled during the trial period, the account automatically converts to a monthly subscription and the monthly fee of $49.95 will be charged to the account information supplied by the new member. This account was not cancelled within the 7 day trial period, and the account was charged the monthly subscription fee beginning on 1/26/2014.
The member spoke to a representative on 8/28/2014 to inquire about the charge. The representative explained the terms of use that were agreed to upon signup, which states that charges on accounts are non-refundable. There was no previous record of cancellation or phone calls from the member prior to 8/28/2014. There is no automated method of cancellation as the member claims in the complaint. All members are required to call in and speak to a representative to cancel the service. The representative processed the member’s cancellation request and provided a confirmation number for her records both verbally and automatically via email as all members receive upon requesting cancellation. 
The member called again on 9/22/2014, this time demanding a full refund. The representative explained there had been no calls or emails from the member prior to 8/28/2014 when they requested. The representative explained that although the monthly membership fee is considered nonrefundable, a refund request would be submitted for further review.  The member disconnected the call before the representative could explain the refund request process.
Although no refund was due, RealtyTrac issued a refund of $49.95 on 9/22/2014 as a one-time courtesy. 
 

9/8/2014 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I signed up with Realtytrac for their trial offer. I was not happy with the service and I cancel the service before the 7 days were up. The company had already charged me the full amount before the trial period and I did receive a refund a couple days later. I called and email customer service with a request that they remove my personal credit card information from their website as I did not want my personal credit card left on file. After numerous request Realtytrac has refused to remove my credit card information. Realtytrac refer me to their terms and condition and privacy policy as the reason they had the right to retain my credit card information on file. Neither the terms and condition or privacy policy spells out that Realtyrac will retain your credit card information on file forever. The privacy policy indicates that they will collect that data but no where does they spell out the conditions that in order to do business with them, they will keep your credit card information on file. I do not do business with companies that keep my credit information on file without my permission. When I read the terms and conditions before signing up, there was no mention of your credit card would remain on file. When I cancel the subscription, I should be allow to remove my credit card information.

Desired Settlement: I want Realtytrac to remove my personal credit card information from their website as I am not doing business with them. The technology is such that they can use email address, mailing address and other ways of identify me without keeping my credit card information on file. Bottom line, I do not trust this company nor do I want this company to keep my credit card information on file especially when I am not doing business with them and their business practice of keeping credit card information on file of customers who are not subscribing to their services.

Business Response: Member registered for a 7-day free trial of RealtyTrac on 6/14/2014. The terms of the trial are clearly stated on the registration page prior to submitting a form of payment for the monthly subscription fee. The terms state that if the trial account is not cancelled during the trial period, the account automatically converts to a monthly subscription and the monthly fee of $49.95 will be charged to the account information supplied by the new member. These terms must be agreed to by the registrant prior to continuing with registration.

The member’s account was cancelled 6/23/2014, after the 7 day trial period, and the account was charged the monthly subscription. The member was issued a refund of $49.95 as a one-time courtesy on 6/23/2014.  

There are no items available to purchase on the site and the user will not be charged unless they choose to reactivate a paid subscription.

The information entered by the member at the time of registration is considered a business record and may not be removed from the system. The free trial is intended as a one-time offer and we want to prevent people abusing that and signing up for the free trial multiple times with different names and e-mail addresses. The information is stored in an encrypted server as RealtyTrac meets the encryption requirements set by the P.C.I. council. 

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.


Member registered for a 7-day free trial of RealtyTrac on 6/14/2014. The terms of the trial are clearly stated on the registration page prior to submitting a form of payment for the monthly subscription fee. The terms state that if the trial account is not cancelled during the trial period, the account automatically converts to a monthly subscription and the monthly fee of $49.95 will be charged to the account information supplied by the new member. These terms must be agreed to by the registrant prior to continuing with registration.

The member’s account was cancelled 6/23/2014, after the 7 day trial period, and the account was charged the monthly subscription. The member was issued a refund of $49.95 as a one-time courtesy on 6/23/2014.  

There are no items available to purchase on the site and the user will not be charged unless they choose to reactivate a paid subscription.

The information entered by the member at the time of registration is considered a business record and may not be removed from the system. The free trial is intended as a one-time offer and we want to prevent people abusing that and signing up for the free trial multiple times with different names and e-mail addresses. The information is stored in an encrypted server as RealtyTrac meets the encryption requirements set by the P.C.I. council.





****** ***** states:

I want my personal credit card information removed from the site.  Realty Trac did not get my permission to keep my personal credit card on file.  It is my personal information and I do not want my information left on file regardless how secure the site may be. Target, Sony, Global Payment Systems, Zappos . Adobe Systems, Neiman Marcus,  and Yahoo just to name a few companies,  all those companies thought they had secure encrypted sites that protected their customers' information.  Yet they were hacked and their customers personal information compromise.  Most security breaches come from with the company.

There is no verbiage in the terms and conditions or privacy policy that states that my credit card information will be kept forever in their files. I was careful to look for that specific verbiage about whether  my credit card  would be kept on file. Businesses that require auto renewal or keep  a credit card on file do not get my business at all.  The seven day trial did not provide me accurate information and found the service of no value to me.  I signed up for the service on the 14th of June, my credit card was charged the full amount of $49.95 on the 15th of June ( credit hold for the whole amount) and I called and cancel on Friday the 20th June at 10:00 am CST one day before the 7 day trial was up.  The agent confirmed that I had been already charged and I would received a refund.  Because Realty Trac did not honor it's word in regarding how you would be charged you can understand why I do not want my credit card on file. Even though I cancel via telephone at 10:00 am on the 20th of June my credit card was already charged and I was provided a refund on June 23, 2014 because I cancel before the trial was up on June 20, 2014.  Other than verify the legitimacy of my credit card I should not have been charged until the 21st of June at the earliest.  I would not have needed a refund if you had honored your word from the beginning as I cancelled in time and all you need to do was release the hold.  You choose to charge me anyway to leverage the credit for a couple days before you refunded my money.  Realty Trac does not need my credit card information to prevent abuse, as I will never do business with them again or recommend their service there is no reason to keep my information on file and I ask them respectfully to remove my credit card information from their website.
 ****** *****

Business Response:

Our apologies that RealtyTrac is unable to remove the information from the system as it is considered a business record and may not be modified. RealtyTrac follows Payment Card Industry standards and maintains PCI compliance. The membership is cancelled and the user will not be charged unless they choose to reactivate a paid subscription. 

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

All I have asked is that  Realty Trac to remove my credit card information from the website which you can access from the internet.  First of all and I reiterate there is nothing in the privacy policy or terms and conditions that states that my credit card would be kept on file permanently.   Even if there was a policy then surely you can keep the business record without it showing up on the internet.   Once I again I am asking Realty to remove or allow me to remove my credit card information from their online website.  If Realty trac provided a good service they would not have to resort to these schemes to get and keep customers.  Your 7 day trial did not meet my needs and I see no reason you should keep my credit card information permanently on file as I will not be doing business with your company or affiliates in the future.

This is not a complicate issue to resolve and I am not going to go away.   Until my credit card information is removed from the internet, I will continue to make these request.

Regards,

****** *****

8/29/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: Company quietly charges your credit card monthly without a single notification. The only way to tell is by closely watching your bank account. I called them and explained that I had not been using their service for the last 8 months but they refused to refund any money. They've now stolen $400+ from me thanks to their unethical practices. It would have been nice to have received anything from them via email or mail stating they had charged my account, but nothing... Not only did they charge us unfairly, but they didn't provide any helpful or very accurate real estate info. Their website is also difficult to use and buggy (searches are inaccurate).

Desired Settlement: A refund of the last 8 months of charges. This is excluding the first 2 months of charges since we did use their service during that time (very minimally I might add).

Business Response:

Member registered for a 7-day free trial of RealtyTrac on 10/17/2013. The terms of the trial are clearly stated on the registration page prior to submitting a form of payment for the monthly subscription fee. The terms state that if the trial account is not cancelled during the trial period, the account automatically converts to a monthly subscription and the monthly fee of $49.95 will be charged to the account information supplied by the new member. These terms must be agreed to by the registrant prior to continuing with registration. The member’s account was not cancelled within the 7 day trial period, and the account was charged the first monthly subscription fee on 10/24/2013.

Our Terms of Use are clearly visible on the page and summarized as:

Your credit card will not be billed for the 7-day free trial. Cancel before your trial ends and you will not be billed. If you want to keep your account after the trial, do nothing and we will enroll you in a monthly subscription for just $49.95 per month until you cancel.

Our records indicate the member last logged into the service and viewed property information on 8/11/2014 at 12:09AM Pacific Time. The member then proceeded to cancel the membership online a few minutes later at 12:15AM Pacific Time. The member called to inquire about the account on 8/11/2014 at 12:01PM Pacific Time, nearly 12 hours after cancelling online claiming the account had been cancelled several months beforehand. The customer was unable to provide confirmation from any previous cancellation but indicated they would check their records and call back with proof of a previous cancellation. The representative explained the account was billed the monthly charges according to the Terms of Use agreed upon at the time of registration including that the membership fees are nonrefundable unless the billing was in error. 

We regret that we are unable to process any credits to the account due to the Terms of Use agreed upon by the member and the recent activity on the account. However, we can accommodate the member with complimentary exclusive website access for up to 2 months. This offer has been noted on the account; we invite the member to contact our customer service department at 800-550-4802 or support@realtytrac.com if they wish to take advantage of this offer. 

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

First of all, realtytrac is clearly trying to make you (the BBB) think I have been and am still actively using their membership services.  And they have only told you pieces of the story to try and support this false claim.  Let me feel you in on a few details they failed to mention or emphasize.  I would like realty trac to provide you and me a complete history of the times I logged in to their site since I signed up and for how long.  You will see the last time I logged in to their site (besides August 11th, was sometime back in 2013.  Knowing that, it makes sense why I suddenly logged on to their website 8 months later to verify my membership.  It was on Aug 11 2014 that I realized they had charged my CC.  And look at the time I logged in - midnight!  Of course I had to wait 12 hours - or at least 8 hours until they were open before I could contact them.  I waited until my lunch break to call them the very next day because I work from 8am-5pm and take my lunch break at noon.  Again, the only reason I logged on to their site on Aug 11th was to verify I did or did not have membership with them still.  

 
And the reason I did not call them back like I said I would is because I asked the representative this question: "What if I find that you guys have been charging my CC $50 for the last 8 months?  Will you still refund me even though I have not used your membership those 8 months?"  And his response was NO.  If they want me to call back and complain - I will gladly do so if it means getting my $400 refund.
 
And one more thing I will point out.  Realtytrac is so consistent in sending me daily advertisements via email, but refuse and will not and have not sent me a monthly email stating something like "We have just billed your CC for $50.  Thank you for your membership" - like any honest business would do.  It is obvious this is how they make their money by silently withdrawing $50 from someone's bank account without a single peep about the transaction.  In my opinion, this should be illegal for any business to do.  Any periodic automatic withdrawal from a persons bank account should immediately result in an email or letter to the person regarding the transaction.  Any honest and customer friendly business would do this.
 
So no, I will not accept their offer of 2 free months membership - that's the last thing I want from them.
 
Please have them refund me the $400 that they know and I know they owe me as an honest business would do.  I will also note, that I'm not requesting the full refund which would amount to about $500 if my calculations are correct.  I am willing to give them $100 even though I didn't really use or benefit from their services at all.  We did not find one home or property on their website that we were interested in or used in any way.  When realtytrac gives us the log history of every time I logged on to their site and for how long as well as every search I performed - this will prove just how "useful" and how often I used their services  - which I didn't use over the last 8 months. 

Regards,

**** *

Business Response:

The member created an account with RealtyTrac and agreed to the Terms of Use. The account was not cancelled until 8/11/2014 when the member logged into RealtyTrac, viewed property information and then requested cancellation online. These accounts are user created and as such it is the responsibility of the member to cancel their memberships in a timely fashion should they choose to discontinue the service. Usage does not affect the cost of the service and is the same regardless of how much or how little the service is accessed. The Terms of Use state: The membership fee, when paid, is non-refundable and accrues on the first day of each term or successive renewal term until canceled, regardless of whether or not the Member actually uses the Site, the Services or the Content.

It is unfortunate that several months’ time had elapsed before the charges to the account were disputed, and we were notified of the member’s desire to cancel. The time frame for credit card disputes is limited, and it is the cardholder’s responsibility to investigate charges that are unfamiliar to them in a timely fashion. The subscription charges appear on users’ credit card statements as RealtyTrac Subscription followed by the phone number of 877-888-8722 to assist cardholders in contacting RealtyTrac.

Although no refund is due and the service was accessed after the last monthly billing, RealtyTrac processed for a refund for charges dating back 90 days as a one-time courtesy on 8/19/2014 to resolve this complaint. This is the maximum credit provided for in the terms of use agreed upon. Our terms state:

“…In no event may Member dispute any charge or account billing here under later than ninety (90) days after such questionable account billing or other discrepancy should have been or could have been reasonably discovered by Member. Otherwise, except as required by applicable law, any and all such Member complaints are waived by Member.”

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and find that this resolution would be PARTIALLY satisfactory to me.  The business has already refunded me 1/3rd of what I paid them.  Had RealtyTrac simply sent me a billing statement every month I would not be writing this email now.  Whatever influence you have over business practices I encourage you to make every effort to make it a law that businesses notify the consumer via email or mail every time the business withdraws from the consumers account - the consumers bank account statement does not qualify for notifications.  If realty trac refunds me $400 total then I will consider this completely resolved.  As of now, it's only partial.

Regards,

**** *

8/12/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: Realty Trac offered a product they did not supply.

Desired Settlement: Realty Trac should refund our $50 charge because the homes they list are not updated for months on their site. We paid for data on foreclosed properties that had been sold months before. We consulted 3 realtors & a broker in our metropolitan area & they all agreed the info we paid for was inaccurate. This website listed homes as foreclosures that had not been available for purchase as a REO for months! We wasted time, effort & money on RealtyTrac.com & it did not provide the service it promised. It is fraudulent. It is inaccurate. The costumer service manager **** (007) hung up on us twice when we called to voice our complaints on 6/27/14. They record the calls so there should be no question of our courtesy. We simply want a refund & were rebuffed, refused a refund & hung up on . This is an unacceptable business practice layered upon an unacceptable business model...selling the addresses & info of outdated property data.

Business Response: Member registered for a 7-day free trial of RealtyTrac on 6/15/2014. The terms of the trial are clearly stated on the registration page prior to submitting a form of payment for the monthly subscription fee. The terms state that if the trial account is not cancelled during the trial period, the account automatically converts to a monthly subscription and the monthly fee of $49.95 will be charged to the account information supplied by the new member. These terms must be agreed to by the registrant prior to continuing with registration. The member’s account was not cancelled within the 7 day trial period, and the account was charged the first monthly subscription fee on 6/22/2014.

Our records indicate the member called on 6/27/2014 to request cancellation. The caller was verbally abusive towards the representative and refused to allow the representative to address the account or respond to their issues. The caller demanded further escalation and was promptly transferred to Customer Service. The next representative attempted to explain the account, the service provided, and the customer’s usage of the service after converting to a paid member but was quickly interrupted by the caller and subjected to profanity and abuse from the caller. RealtyTrac has a zero tolerance policy for abusive behavior and therefore the representative was authorized to disconnect the call after confirming the membership had been terminated.  

RealtyTrac is a foreclosure listing service, and as such, we do not take part in the sale or purchase of foreclosure property. The lists of distressed properties that are on the website are intended to be leads on homes that may be available for purchase, either from the current owner, or from the foreclosing lender who has repossessed the property. However, the posting of a property on RealtyTrac’s website is not a guarantee of availability. 

It is important to be aware that many of these foreclosure properties are not “on the market”, posted on the MLS or being advertised as for sale. However, many investors successfully purchase foreclosure property by contacting the current owners directly, and making an offer on the property. RealtyTrac provides access to foreclosure information and leaves the following disclaimer on all properties: The information at this site is provided solely for informational purposes and does not constitute an offer to sell, rent, or advertise real estate outside the state in which the owner of the site is licensed. The owner is not making any warranties or representations concerning any of these properties including their availability. Information at this site and its property ratings are deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be independently verified.

We regret that we are unable to process any credits to the account. However, we can accommodate the member with complimentary exclusive website access for up to 2 months. This offer has been noted on the account; please contact our customer service department at ###-###-#### or support@realtytrac.com to take advantage of this offer. 

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

I did not curse or use abusive language toward any representatives & take offense that they have made this claim. I was frustrated with their lack of knowledge, inability to provide assistance & the abruptness with how they handled our concern. The manager, **** 007 was very rude to my husband & hung up on him without any provocation other than an unsatisfied customer looking for a resolution. I understand that I chose to pay for a service after the 7 day trial. That is not the complaint. The complaint is that multiple pieces information provided by RealtyTrac was out of date as confirmed by a foreclosure real estate agent in Austin, TX. Out of date by a month or more. After the slander of my character by this company, I will gladly tell all to avoid using their website. If BBB cannot help, then I will take this matter elsewhere. There are many people who have had negative experiences with this company & I am amazed you would still choose to be an advocate them.

Regards,

****** *****

Business Response:

RealtyTrac does not always know immediately when a property is no longer available because we are not directly involved in the sale. RealtyTrac obtains its data from public records.  We have abstractors, or data aggregators collecting this information for us from the counties, publications, postings, and sheriffs sites.  The preforeclosure information is generally either recorded or posted, and the properties go from the earliest notification to the next notification, if applicable, and eventually end up as REO’s on our site, if the aggregators find record of a Trustees or Sheriffs Deed.  We then append our information with sales files and information we gather directly from Trustees, in an effort to remove aged data from our site. 

As properties move through the various stages of foreclosure, the aggregators pick up the information from the applicable instrument, whether it is a Lis Pendens, a Notice of Default, Notice of Trustee’s Sale, Notice of Sheriff’s Sale or the like.  In some counties these instruments are filed of record, but in many they are simply posted or published.  Because we rely on public record for our data, it is impossible to know the outcome of, say, a sale that happened in Brazos County, Texas.  The preforeclosure notification is posted, not recorded, and there are no postponements or cancellations to follow up on, as they are not put in writing.  We are at the mercy of public record, unless those records can be appended later from a sales file or an REO.

For that reason, we do have some data on the website that might not be very current.  Even in those cases when a property becomes an REO, some banks do not record the Trustee’s Deed until they have sold the property to a third party, long after the auction.  We are unable to age this property from a Notice of Trustee Sale to an REO.  This happens more frequently in some areas than others.

RealtyTrac provides access to foreclosure information and leaves the following disclaimer on all properties: The information at this site is provided solely for informational purposes and does not constitute an offer to sell, rent, or advertise real estate outside the state in which the owner of the site is licensed. The owner is not making any warranties or representations concerning any of these properties including their availability. Information at this site and its property ratings are deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be independently verified.

Although we are unable to process a refund to the account, we do want you to get value from the service you paid for. Please contact Customer Service at ###-###-#### Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm Pacific Time and our team would be happy to provide you with a walk through of the service, the aforementioned complimentary time and a complimentary guide to buying foreclosures. 

8/12/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I signed up for a free 7 day trial. the realtrac.com website indicated they needed my credit card info only to verify that i'm a "real person" and that I hadn't taken advantage of their "free" trial before. After the 7 day trial, they charged my card $49.95 a month without my permission. When I caught it I spoke to a representative and they wouldn't refund the unauthorized charges even though they verified I never used the service after the 7 day free trial. This companies billing practices are deceptive and fraudulent.

Desired Settlement: Refund my credit card for all the fraudulent membership charges that I did not authorize.

Business Response: Member registered for a 7-day free trial of RealtyTrac on 3/30/2014. The terms of the trial are clearly stated on the registration page prior to submitting a form of payment for the monthly subscription fee. The terms state that if the trial account is not cancelled during the trial period, the account automatically converts to a monthly subscription and the monthly fee of $49.95 will be charged to the account information supplied by the new member. These terms must be agreed to by the registrant prior to continuing with registration. The member’s account was not cancelled within the 7 day trial period, and the account was charged the first monthly subscription fee on 4/6/2014.  

The member called to inquire about the charges to their account on 7/19/2014, well after the trial period had ended. The representative explained there was no record of cancellation and the account was billed on a monthly basis according to the terms agreed to upon registration. The representative explained the terms that were agreed to upon signup, which states that charges on accounts are non-refundable. The representative processed his cancellation and advised he would submit a request of refund for the last transaction as a courtesy.

Although no refund was due, we processed a credit of $49.95 on 7/21/2014 in an attempt to resolve this complaint. 

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:

 
RealtyTrac.com is fraudulent at worst and deceptive at best with their billing practices. Judging by the other numerous complaints here, I'm not the only user to feel this way. 
 
When you visit their site, they advertise to you that there is a risk free 7 day trial in a few easy steps. When you begin filling out your info they ask for a credit card. In clear, bold language and state it's only to ensure "you're a real person and to prevent abuse of their free offer". 
 
To add insult to injury, the customer service reps I've spoken to have all verified that I never used their service outside of the 7 day trial. In fact, I didn't use their service after the first day as I found their content useless. 
 
I've already filed a fraud complaint with my credit card company but I hope I can get resolution here with a full refund. 
I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

Regards,

****** *******



Business Response: RealtyTrac clearly displays the terms of use on the registration page before allowing members to create an account. The terms are summarized as: Your credit card will not be billed for the 7-day free trial. Cancel before your trial ends and you will not be billed. If you want to keep your account after the trial, do nothing and we will enroll you in a monthly subscription for just $49.95 per month until you cancel. Members are also sent an email welcoming them to the service along with the date the account must be cancelled if they do wish to continue past the trial period as a courtesy. 


Unfortunately we are unable to process additional refunds to the account because the member has already disputed the charges with his bank citing fraud. 

8/7/2014 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I have a house in Inverness Fl. that was listed for sale on a foreclosure that is not up for foreclosure. I now have people trespassing on my property looking in my windows unlocking gate and entering back yard. There are no trespassing signs in plain view. I called them and they said sorry, we are a little behind on listings. My property was purchased by me back in January 2011. I was told it was listed on several websites. I am very uncomfortable now with the trespassing issue since I do only live there seasonally.

Desired Settlement: All listings taken off all websites, and no future listing of this property.

Business Response: RealtyTrac had received a document indicating that the property in question had undergone foreclosure proceedings. The information was published as it was provided to us by our data sources prior to the complainant’s purchase in January 2011. The record was clearly marked with the date the document had been recorded with the county as well as the date the record was entered into RealtyTrac's database.  RealtyTrac does not always know immediately when a property is no longer available because we are not directly involved in the sale. However, we are checking this information on a regular basis, and once we know that a property is no longer available, we will list it as Sold on the Property Details page. The property record was promptly removed from the website on 7/7/2014, within 24 hours of notice by the homeowner. The information at this site is provided solely for informational purposes and does not constitute an offer to sell, rent, or advertise real estate outside the state in which the owner of the site is licensed. RealtyTrac is not making any warranties or representations concerning any of these properties, including their availability. Information at this site is deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be independently verified.  

8/7/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: On 6/19/14 I was charged $49.95 for a free trial! After I was charged by a debit card transaction, I looked back at the terms,(which were in a very light color and very hard to read in very small print). I called the number to cancel, and they are only available for phone calls when I am unavailable because of work. Their hours are 8:00AM-5:00PM Pacific Time only! This makes it impossible to cancel under their terms. This is NOT acceptable! I am demanding a refund of the $49.95 in full and complete cancellation of any future charges. They are not a professional or reputable company at all.

Desired Settlement: Full refund of the $49.95 to my account ASAP and complete cancellation of any future charges.

Business Response:

The member registered for a 7-day free trial of RealtyTrac on 6/12/2014. The terms of the trial are clearly stated on the registration page prior to submitting a form of payment for the monthly subscription fee. The terms state that if the trial account is not cancelled during the trial period, the account automatically converts to a monthly subscription and the monthly fee of $49.95 will be charged to the account information supplied by the new member. This account was not cancelled within the 7 day trial period, and the account was charged the monthly subscription fee beginning on 6/19/2014.

The member spoke to a representative on 6/27/2014, after filing this dispute, to inquire about the charge. The representative explained the terms of use that were agreed to upon signup, which states that charges on accounts are non-refundable. The member indicated that they understood the terms of use and why the account was charged prior to disconnecting the call.

RealtyTrac posts our business hours (http://www.realtytrac.com/pages/contact-us ) as Monday – Friday, 7am – 6:30pm, Pacific Time and Saturday – Sunday, 8am – 4pm, Pacific Time providing members with ample opportunity to request cancellation during the 7 day trial period. Members may also send an email to support@realtytrac.com for assistance with their memberships.

We regret that we are unable to process any credits to the account. However, we can accommodate the member with complimentary exclusive website access for up to 2 months. This offer has been noted on the account; please contact our customer service department at ###-###-#### or support@realtytrac.com to take advantage of this offer. 

6/24/2014 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: After reviewing information on website regarding free trial/membership, I was unaware that the $49 fee was a monthly fee. I was under the impression that it was a $49 yearly fee. Perhaps it was due to the fact that it was in such small print I didn't read it. None the less, it was obscure information. I went back to website to find it after I realized I had been charged 2 months in a row, and still cannot find where it states that fact. After using internet service for a month, there was NO information that I received from them that I could not get for free on other available websites.

Desired Settlement: I am willing to pay the $49.95 for 1 months service (charged on 4/17/2014) even though I thought it was for 12 months. However, I would like to be refunded for the 5/17/2014 charge that I was not aware would be charged. I feel that this was deceitful advertising, particularly due to the fact I could not find information when going back scouring for it once realized.

Business Response:

Member registered for a 7-day free trial of RealtyTrac on 4/10/2014. The terms of the trial are clearly stated on the registration page prior to submitting a form of payment for the monthly subscription fee. The terms state that if the trial account is not cancelled during the trial period, the account automatically converts to a monthly subscription and the monthly fee of $49.95 will be charged to the account information supplied by the new member. These terms must be agreed to by the registrant prior to continuing with registration. The member’s account was not cancelled within the 7 day trial period, and the account was charged the first monthly subscription fee on 4/17/2014.

Our Terms of Use are clearly visible on the page and summarized as:

Your credit card will not be billed for the 7-day free trial. Cancel before your trial ends and you will not be billed. If you want to keep your account after the trial, do nothing and we will enroll you in a monthly subscription for just $49.95 per month until you cancel.

 

The member was also sent an email welcoming them to the service which included the following reminder:

 

About Your 7-Day Free Trial

During your trial period you will have complete access to our premium plan at no cost. You may cancel your trial by calling us at 800-913-0902 during the business hours of 7am to 6:30pm Pacific Time, Monday – Friday and 8am to 4pm Saturday and Sunday. Cancel before 4/17/2014 and you will not be billed. If you choose not to cancel your account before 4/17/2014, you will be billed $49.95 for uninterrupted access to your membership. This subscription recurs every month at $49.95 until you cancel.

The member called to request cancellation and inquire about the charge on 6/2/2014. The representative explained the account was billed the monthly charge according to the Terms of Use agreed upon at the time of registration including that the membership fees are nonrefundable unless the billing was in error.

We regret that we are unable to process any credits to the account. However, we can accommodate the member with complimentary exclusive website access for up to 2 months. This offer has been noted on the account; we invite the member to contact our customer service department at 800-550-4802 or support@realtytrac.com if they wish to take advantage of this offer.

4/9/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: The company does not make it clear that I would be charged $50 after a 7 day trial period. They put it in fine print. I found the site provided useless and old information so I tried to cancel but couldn't find anywhere online to cancel it. I found out that I had to call to cancel. I called, was put on hold, and was hung up on several times. Their customer service was rude and horrible. They make it very hard to cancel. Even though I canceled two days after the trial, they still charged me $50 and said I couldn't get a prorated refund for the remaining period. $50 is a lot of money for a service that I didn't use. The company is no less than a scam.

Desired Settlement: I would like a prorated refund from the time that I canceled.

Business Response:

Member registered for a 7-day free trial of RealtyTrac on 2/22/2014. The terms of the trial are clearly stated on the registration page prior to submitting a form of payment for the monthly subscription fee. The terms state that if the trial account is not cancelled during the trial period, the account automatically converts to a monthly subscription and the monthly fee of $49.95 will be charged to the account information supplied by the new member. These terms must be agreed to by the registrant prior to continuing with registration. The member’s account was not cancelled within the 7 day trial period, and the account was charged the first monthly subscription fee on 3/1/2014.

The member called to request cancellation on 3/7/2014, well after the trial period had ended. The representative processed her cancellation and advised she would have access to the service until 4/1/2014 at which point the account would terminate. The caller was unable to provide any confirmation as proof of a previous cancellation at the time of their call. The representative explained the terms that were agreed to upon signup, which states that charges on accounts are non-refundable.

Her account manager ******* attempted to reach the member several times to resolve her complaint but she would not return any calls or messages that were left.

Although no refund was due, we have processed a credit of $49.95 in an attempt to resolve this complaint.

3/25/2014 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: The advertising of this company is VERY MISLEADING. Save yourself the trouble and do not sign up with them!!! I am livid over my experience and hope to save you the burden.When one clicks on the link for a free trial they are taken to a page that leads them to fill out information that says "get access to foreclosures FREE for 7 days!". So one thinks they are signing up for a yearly membership for $49.95 and then they get a free foreclosure report with it. It is not stated anywhere in the Terms of Use that you will be charged two to three times per month - once for the report and once for the membership!! I was charged three times in one month for $49.95 each time and am appalled that the customer service team seems to think that it was my misunderstanding. When I noticed I had been charged three times (in December), I called to cancel my account and got a cancellation email, so I thought all was going to be okay...but NO...I still was charged once per month. So I just called again several days ago and am still trying to get my name and account cleared for good. The customer service team told me I had only cancelled the foreclosure report, not my membership AND that I wasn't warranted a refund of any kind...I am sorry but this system is completly rigged to rob you of your money. I THOUGHT I WAS GETTING ONE MEMBERSHIP!!! Even in the fine print of the Terms of Use this isn't clear. There is no mention of a foreclosure report or it's conditions in there. All it says is that if you don't cancel your trial membership it converts into a regular paid membership - no mention of having to pay twice a month!! (And why did I get charged three????)I am very disappointed with RealtyTrac and hope to never have to deal with them again.

Desired Settlement: I would like to be refunded the amount of $149.85, of which I believe I am rightfully owed. I also want my account information cleared from their system and do not authorize any payments to them.

Business Response:

Member registered for a 7-day free trial of RealtyTrac on 11/22/2013. The terms of the trial are clearly stated on the registration page prior to submitting a form of payment, and must be accepted by the member in order to continue with the registration. The terms state that if the trial account is not cancelled during the trial period, the account automatically converts to a monthly subscription and the monthly fee of $49.95 will be charged to the account until canceled. This account was not cancelled within the 7 day trial period, and the member was charged the recurring monthly subscription fee per the terms she agreed to upon signup. At the time of registration the member also signed up for a 30 day trial with the Foreclosure News Report. This offer involves a 30-day trial subscription to the Foreclosure News Report, an investor magazine. The offer page for the Foreclosure News Report clearly states “By clicking CONTINUE you authorize RTI Publishing, Inc. to send you a FREE issue of The Foreclosure News Report. If you do not cancel within 30 days of ordering this issue, you authorize RTI Publishing, Inc. to charge your credit card $49.95 for a one year subscription to The Foreclosure News Report”. Members must click “Yes, Continue”, or “No thanks, complete my registration” in order to complete the signup process. The Member accepted the terms and was subscribed to the Foreclosure News Report free trial offer.

On 1/4/2014 the member requested a cancellation and refund with the Foreclosure News Report by leaving a voicemail for RTI publishing but did not mention her RealtyTrac membership. Our records indicate the member was also sent an email offering promotional discounts on their RealtyTrac subscription on 1/4/2014.

The member contacted us via email on 3/1/2014 claiming they had previously cancelled the membership and to inquire about the charges. Our response advised the member that we were unable to locate a record of cancellation with RealtyTrac and provided the member with her confirmation number as proof of their cancellation dated 3/2/2014. The member forwarded a copy of a cancellation email from the Foreclosure News Report, which is a separate service, demanding a refund. The member was then advised to call Customer Service for further assistance.

The member next contacted us by phone on 3/5/2014 to inquire about the charges. An account representative explained the charges and the terms of use that she agreed to upon signup, including the agreement that charges are non-refundable. However, in an effort to resolve this issue to the member’s satisfaction, RealtyTrac issued a refund of $99.90 for the monthly fees as a one-time courtesy before the filing of this complaint.

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

[I do not accept the response b/c the terms of conditions are not clear.  They do not state clearly what this response says.  Seems like this is a lost cause.  I still believe I am owed money and hope that they will not charge my card ever again.]

Regards,

***** *********



Business Response:

The member requested that RealtyTrac issue a refund of $149.85 in their original complaint. On 1/2/2014 RTI publishing issued a refund of $49.95 for the annual Foreclosure News Report subscription when the member called to request cancellation of their service. RealtyTrac separately issued a refund of $99.90 on 3/5/2014 for the monthly charges of $49.95 dated 1/29/2014 and 2/28/2014 as a courtesy. The member's account has been issued credits totaling $149.85 as requested.

3/20/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I am unable to logon using my account and password information provided by Realtytrac. I've tried several times, via email, to explain this to them and providing them with the error message and their reply is always the same "You do have an active subscription with RealtyTrac! Below is your login information". Meanwhile, they are charging me $49.95, for using their service which I can't access.

Desired Settlement: Refund of 2 months charges.

Business Response:

Member registered for a 7-day free trial of RealtyTrac on 9/7/2013. The terms of the trial are clearly stated on the registration page prior to submitting a form of payment for the monthly subscription fee. The terms state that if the trial account is not cancelled during the trial period, the account automatically converts to a monthly subscription and the monthly fee of $49.95 will be charged to the account information supplied by the new member. These terms must be agreed to by the registrant prior to continuing with registration. The member’s account was not cancelled within the 7 day trial period, and the account was charged the first monthly subscription fee on 9/14/2013.

The member sent an email to support@realtytrac.com from the member on 2/28/2014 requesting assistance with accessing the account. The member was sent a response with the username and password that were created by the user at the time of registration as well as suggested some additional troubleshooting steps should they encounter any issues that could prevent them from successfully logging in. This email also instructed the user to call Customer Service should they experience any further difficulties.

The member sent another email to support@realtytrac.com on 3/8/2014 advising us that she was receiving an error message during login indicating she was using an invalid username. The representative answering the support ticket noticed the email address entered by the user had been misspelled during their registration as they had left off the second “T” in *******. Our representative corrected the email address and responded to the member with the new login credentials for her account.

Because this was a created by the user online, it was the responsibility of the member to ensure they are entering correct information at the time of registration. Although the member is not eligible for a refund, we can offer up to 6 months of complimentary service as we do want the member to get value from the time they paid for. We invite the member to contact Customer Service at support@realtytrac.com or ###-###-#### to take advantage of this offer which has been notated on the account.

3/10/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I signed up for the 7-day free trial on Realtytrac.com, and then canceled my subscription online the same day. I noticed, however, that there was no way to delete my account, or, more importantly, remove my credit card information from the account. I called their 800 number, only to be told that they cannot remove my credit card information because keeping that information is how they "prevent people from abusing the 7-day free trial." This seems egregious - keeping personal financial information in perpetuity just to prevent someone from signing up for another free trial, which, by my calculations, has a value of about $7. Customer service assured me there is nothing to "purchase" on their website, so I shouldn't worry about being charged for anything, but that is no excuse to keep this information for all individuals who sign up for their free trial. Not to mention the fact that, as we know, having one's financial information found and exploited by a third party is not an unusual occurrence online. Realtytrac's privacy practices are not safe and frankly appalling.

Desired Settlement: I would like Realtytrac to delete my account information, including all credit card information. If they must keep my account open to be sure I don't "abuse their free trial", they can use my name and email as identifiers only.

Business Response:

Member registered for a 7-day free trial of RealtyTrac on 2/26/2014. The terms of the trial are clearly stated on the registration page prior to submitting a form of payment for the monthly subscription fee. The terms state that if the trial account is not cancelled during the trial period, the account automatically converts to a monthly subscription and the monthly fee of $49.95 will be charged to the account information supplied by the new member. These terms must be agreed to by the registrant prior to continuing with registration. The member’s account was cancelled within the 7 day trial period, and the account was not charged the monthly subscription.

There are no items available to purchase on the site and the user will not be charged unless they choose to reactivate a paid subscription.

The information entered by the member at the time of registration is considered a business record and may not be removed from the system. The free trial is intended as a one-time offer and we want to prevent people abusing that and signing up for the free trial multiple times with different names and e-mail addresses. The information is stored in an encrypted server as RealtyTrac meets the encryption requirements set by the P.C.I. council.

3/6/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I used Reality service on line on 01/17/2014 to look for a foreclosure property. The advertisement promised it was free in 7 days trial. However, when I forwarded the information to my real state agent and wanted to look into the property, I was told that the property was sold already. Yet on their website it was listed as active. This company used the false information to lurk customers signing into there website then charging customers monthly fee!!I tried to call the company back to cancel but the phone line was busy so I didnot pursue further due to my busy work schedule. I never agree to subscribe any of their service. I wanted to get full refund. However, only able to get partial refund because this company wanted the money into their own pocket! I can see I am not the only one to file a complain about this company's service/charge!! I hope BBB will look into this matter and protect the customers' interest. I strongly believe that this company need to offer an effective service in order to charge customers. Using a false data/information to lurk customers to pay is unlawful! This company's practice does not deserve BBB rating!! I am looking forward to your answer.

Desired Settlement: I want to have full refund for the subscription I never agree to pay. The false information was provided.

Business Response:

Member registered for a 7-day free trial of RealtyTrac on 1/17/2014. The terms of the trial are clearly stated on the registration page prior to submitting a form of payment for the monthly subscription fee. The terms state that if the trial account is not cancelled during the trial period, the account automatically converts to a monthly subscription and the monthly fee of $49.95 will be charged to the account information supplied by the new member. These terms must be agreed to by the registrant prior to continuing with registration. The Member’s account was not cancelled within the 7 day trial period, and the account was charged the first monthly subscription fee on 1/24/2014.

The Member called in with their bank on the line and requested cancellation 2/20/2014, well after the trial period had expired. The representative advised the member of the charge and that they would have access until 2/24/2014. The member inquired about a refund and the representative advised the member of the Terms of Use agreed to upon registering the account including that the membership fees are nonrefundable unless the billing was in error. The representative offered to switch the member to a discounted membership plan retroactively. The member agreed to a prorated refund of $24.95 after the bank advised her that the charge was in fact valid. RealtyTrac issued a prorated refund of $25.00 on 2/20/2014 as agreed to by the member during the phone conversation and the account’s premium access will expire on 2/24/2014.

2/24/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: Hello. I signed up on January 27th for a one week free trail with Reality Trac. We were in the process of moving and were looking for homes in the area. I requested information on a foreclosure that was in our budget. I was supposed to hear something within 48 hours, but honestly we moved and I just forgot about it. I finally heard from the realtor on February 7th, well past the one week trail date. She called with the information that the house listed on RealtyTrac had actually sold 2 years previous and was no longer available. I felt mislead by the company, listing houses not actually available for sale. When I called to complain and terminate my contract, the representative was not very helpful nor did he express concern over my complaints. I asked where I could review the company and he replied, "on the internet." Also, the monthly price is not listed on the website but it's 49.99 a month. I was astonished when I saw that on my monthly statement. I called and asked if I could be refunded for the year where I was told that was the monthly price, I asked to be pro-rated for the rest of the month since I was canceling today and I was told they didn't do that. I think the business needs to list their monthly price on the website and I think it would be nice if they didn't list homes for sale that aren't actually available just to get more business. It's deceptive and I won't be doing further business with them.

Desired Settlement: I would like a refund, but based on how unhelpful the representative on the phone was, I honestly don't see that happening. I would just like to be able to let other people know about their deceptive practices and I could not find a place to leave a review but I remembered the BBB and decided to contact y'all.

Business Response:

Member registered for a 7-day free trial of RealtyTrac on 1/27/2014. The terms of the trial are clearly stated on the registration page prior to submitting a form of payment for the monthly subscription fee. The terms state that if the trial account is not cancelled during the trial period, the account automatically converts to a monthly subscription and the monthly fee of $49.95 will be charged to the account information supplied by the new member. These terms must be agreed to by the registrant prior to continuing with registration. The Terms of Use are summarized on the registration page as follows, “Cancel before your trial ends and you will not be billed. If you want to keep your account after the trial, do nothing and we will enroll you in a monthly subscription for just $49.95 per month until you cancel.” The Member’s account was not cancelled within the 7 day trial period, and the account was charged the monthly subscription fee on 2/3/2014.

The Member called in and requested cancellation 2/12/2014, after the trial period had expired. The representative advised the member of the charge and that they would have access until 3/3/2014. The member claimed to not understand why she was charged and the representative advised the member of the Terms of Use agreed to upon registering the account including:

Member acknowledges and agrees that NO refund, offset or credit will be given for any cancellation of a special introductory promotional offer membership or for subscription downgrades. If Member registers for a free Trial Membership, Member agrees to be enrolled into a pre-paid month-to-month membership at the end of the free trial period if Member has not canceled the Trial Membership prior to the expiration thereof.

The foreclosure properties listed on our website are not necessarily "on the market", as RealtyTrac is providing access to the foreclosure information filed against these properties. RealtyTrac does not always know immediately when a property is no longer available because we are not directly involved in the sale. However, we are checking this information on a regular basis, and once we know that a property is no longer available, we will list it as Sold on the Property Details page. To have the best results in pursuing the properties on RealtyTrac, we recommend you focus on the most recently listed properties. Each property has the date it was recorded at the county and the date it was entered into RealtyTrac’s database.

RealtyTrac provides access to foreclosure information and leaves the following disclaimer on all properties: The information at this site is provided solely for informational purposes and does not constitute an offer to sell, rent, or advertise real estate outside the state in which the owner of the site is licensed. The owner is not making any warranties or representations concerning any of these properties including their availability. Information at this site and its property ratings are deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be independently verified.

We invite the Member to contact our Customer Support Team at ###-###-#### for assistance in utilizing the service she paid for. We also provide Guides, Videos and answers to our frequently asked questions for our members at support.realtytrac.com for those that prefer a self-service option.

2/14/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I tried to cancel but nobody answered the phone and instead I was put on hold for ever. I was billed for something I don't want signed up for a 7 day trail on 7/10/14 and tried to cancel that free trail period on 7/17/14 over the phone but got no answer and was billed 49.95 anyways. I do not want the service because other companies like Zillow offer the same thing for free. I the credit card company also called realtytrac to tell them that I was filling a dispute against them and they could not get them to answer the phone either. The computer system said it was because they were experiencing a high volume of calls. They are making it difficult/impossible to cancel and then charging people when the trail period ends.

Desired Settlement: refund my credit card

Business Response:

Member registered for a 7-day free trial of RealtyTrac on 1/10/2014. The terms of the trial are clearly stated on the registration page prior to submitting a form of payment for the monthly subscription fee. The terms state that if the trial account is not cancelled during the trial period, the account automatically converts to a monthly subscription and the monthly fee of $49.95 will be charged to the account information supplied by the new member. These terms must be agreed to by the registrant prior to continuing with registration. The member’s account was not cancelled within the 7 day trial period, and the account was charged the monthly subscription fee on 1/17/2014.

Our records show the member attempted to call in from the phone number he entered during the registration process on 1/17/2014 at 6:49pm PST and once more on 1/24/2014 at 6:46am PST. Both of these calls were outside our posted hours of operation and an after-hours message was played for the caller advising him of the correct business hours. The account remained active until 2/5/2014 when RealtyTrac received this complaint from the BBB expressing his intention to cancel.

Unfortunately we are unable to process a refund on the account because the member has already disputed the charge with his bank.

2/13/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I started a trial (free 7-day) with RealtyTrac online. After having logged in twice and seeing that it is not what I am currently looking for (this can be verified - I barely used the service for a few minutes), I went online and submitted a request to cancel my subscription, to avoid being billed for 50 dollars. That did not work, and my bank account was charged. I then called RealtyTrac's customer service to request the refund. This has been a horrible experience: phone reps told me to write to support@realtytrac.com, which I did, explaining the situation and exemplifying how I requested the cancellation. Then the e-mail said to CALL the customer service team!! Then, I called AGAIN, was walked around different reps, and the walk ended with a person's voice mail. Obviously, my voice mail message was NEVER followed up with a return call. I then called AGAIN for the 4th time to have the refund issued and nothing, the same treatment was applied. I am extremely disappointed in the lack of quality of customer service at RealtyTrac.

Desired Settlement: To end this headache, please issue the full refund to my account. Cancellation confirmation #: *********-******. Thanks in advance.

Business Response:

Member registered for a 7-day free trial of RealtyTrac on 10/7/2013. The terms of the trial are clearly stated on the registration page prior to submitting a form of payment for the monthly subscription fee. The terms state that if the trial account is not cancelled during the trial period, the account automatically converts to a monthly subscription and the monthly fee of $49.95 will be charged to the account information supplied by the new member. These terms must be agreed to by the registrant prior to continuing with registration. The member’s account was not cancelled within the 7 day trial period, and the account was charged the first monthly subscription fee on 10/14/2013.

The Member called in and requested cancellation 10/17/2013, after the trial period had expired. The representative advised the member of the charge and that they would have access until 11/14/2013. The Member claimed to have sent an email requesting cancellation. Although all members agree to call in to cancel, RealtyTrac will process emails requesting cancellation as a courtesy. The first email received from the member was 10/25/2013 which was sent well after his trial period. Although a refund was not due on this account, in an effort to resolve this issue to the member’s satisfaction RealtyTrac issued a full refund on 2/3/2014 of $49.95 for the monthly fees.

2/13/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I am looking to buy a foreclosed house, and decided to sign up with RealtyTrac. I signed up on 11/26/13 @ 10:57am. I called some of the companies that there site said were the owners of the properties that were for sale. And none of the properties were available, all ready been sold, a couple several month ago. I then call RealtyTrac to cancle my subscription at 1:30pm witch they did but would not credit my account back for the $49.95. I was only on the site for and hour and came to the conclusion it is not up to date. The rep. at RealtyTrac said I agreed to no refunds. I understand that if I used it for a few days that they wouldn't refund my money but an hour or so give me a break. Very unsatisfied with RealtyTrac and would recommend people to stay away from signing up with them.

Desired Settlement: Refund my Credit Card back in the amount of $49.95

Business Response:

On 11/26/2013, Mr. ******** logged into RealtyTrac website with the accountholder’s username and password. He was advised via an online prompt that his account had expired, and that in order to view RealtyTrac’s foreclosure listings, he would be required to subscribe to the monthly membership, and be billed $49.95 upon reactivation.

As he chose to reactivate the membership at that time by clicking “Reactivate”, he was billed $49.95 and given 1 month of access to RealtyTrac’s website. Our records indicate that the reactivation was not erroneous, as shortly thereafter the member accessed the website and viewed several properties. Mr. ******** cancelled the membership on 11/26/2013 after accessing the property details, and was given access to the website through 12/26/2013. During his cancellation request he was informed of the terms of reactivation, and the terms of use agreed to, which state that charges are non-refundable.

 Our records indicate the member continued using the service for the duration his 30 day term. We regret that we are unable to process any credits to the account. However, we can accommodate the member with complimentary exclusive website access for up to 2 months. This offer has been noted on the account; we invite the member to contact our customer service department at ###-###-#### or support@realtytrac.com to take advantage of this offer.

2/7/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I checked my bank statement on 1/6/14 and noticed a charge for $49.95 for a company known as Realty Trac. Upon further review, it was discovered these charges date back to 4/5/13. I never contacted this company and I never authorized this transaction. I contacted the Realty Trac billing dept. on 1/6/14 and they advised they will cancel the account effective immediately, but they could only refund the prior 60 days. When I advised that I never signed up for this membership, Realty Trac disputed this and advised they would not provided a full refund.

Desired Settlement: Since I never signed up for any membership with this organization, I would like a full refund of $449.55 ($49.95 x 9 months). For reference, the Realty Trac cancelation confirmation # is **************. Realty Trac billing reps. **** (operator # ***) and ***** (operator ***) were contacted.

Business Response:

The member registered for a 7-day free trial of RealtyTrac on 3/28/2013. The terms of the trial are clearly stated on the registration page prior to submitting a form of payment for the monthly subscription fee. The terms state that if the trial account is not cancelled during the trial period, the account automatically converts to a monthly subscription and the monthly fee of $49.95 will be charged to the account information supplied by the new member. This account was not cancelled within the 7 day trial period, and the account was charged the monthly subscription fee beginning on 4/4/2013.

The member’s husband spoke to a representative on 1/6/2014 to inquire about the charges. A representative explained that the account was active, and RealtyTrac had no record of any cancellation request from the member. The caller was unable to provide any confirmation as proof of a previous cancellation at the time of their call. The representative explained the terms that were agreed to upon signup, which states that charges on accounts are non-refundable. The caller verified the email address and information on the account was his wife’s information. The representative advised the caller a refund request would be submitted for further review. As a courtesy, the refund request was approved on 1/6/2014 for the last charge of $49.95.

Although no additional refunds were due, we have processed an additional credit of $99.90, for a total credit of $149.85. This is the maximum credit provided for in the terms of use agreed upon. Our terms state:

“…In no event may Member dispute any charge or account billing hereunder later than ninety (90) days after such questionable account billing or other discrepancy should have been or could have been reasonably discovered by Member. Otherwise, except as required by applicable law, any and all such Member complaints are waived by Member.”

We regret that we are unable to process any further credits to the account. However, we can accommodate the member with complimentary exclusive website access for up to 6 months. This offer has been noted on the account; please contact our customer service department at ###-###-#### or support@realtytrac.com to take advantage of this offer.

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

My wife never registered for any trail offer and she should not be deemed a "member." Her e-mail account was hacked and this was reported to Chase bank. In any event, RealtyTrac indicates that they automatically convert free trials to monthly subscriptions. If this was a reputable company, the customer would have to initiate an agreement. RealtyTrac's modus operandi is to create a contract via a person's lack of a response. Also, it is apparent that RealtyTrac does not notify their clients on a monthly basis or at any subsequent time that their credit/debit cards are being charged. My wife did not receive any periodic indication from RealtyTrac such as a statement or e-mail to confirm these monthly charges. RealtyTrac operates in a stealthlike manner by initiating  subscriptions by non-response and without any subsequent notification. I am requesting a full refund bacause this is an unfair business practice.

Regards,

****** *****

Business Response:

Records show that on 3/28/2013 we were provided with a valid credit card number and matching name and billing address. The membership was registered, and the terms of the trial were agreed to by the registrant. Due to the nature of online transactions, there is unfortunately no way for the biller (RealtyTrac) to determine whether or not the transaction was indeed fraudulent. If the provided credit card information is correct and matches a cardholder account, the charge will be processed. In the case of billing disputes, members must contact the billing department within 90 days of the disputed charge in order to receive consideration for a refund:

“…In no event may Member dispute any charge or account billing hereunder later than ninety (90) days after such questionable account billing or other discrepancy should have been or could have been reasonably discovered by Member. Otherwise, except as required by applicable law, any and all such Member complaints are waived by Member.”

It is unfortunate that several months time had elapsed before the charges to the account were disputed, and we were notified of your desire to cancel. The time frame for credit card disputes is limited, and it is the cardholder’s responsibility to investigate charges that are unfamiliar to them in a timely fashion. If you feel that your account information was fraudulently obtained and used, we do strongly encourage you to open a fraud investigation with your financial institution. We will be happy to assist them in their investigation.

2/5/2014 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: RealtyTrac's website has a 7-day free trial that requires a customer to create an account with credit card information. Because I didn't want to be charged for a free trial, I was concerned that they would require my credit card information. My concerns were allayed when I read the following prominently displayed in the upper left hand corner of the webpage:Have Questions?If its free, why do you need my credit card?We require a credit card to prevent fraud and abuse of our free trial offer. Providing a valid credit card helps us verify that you are a real person and that you havent previously signed up for a free trial.Will I be billed for the 7-day free trial?No, you will not be billed for the 7-day trial it is absolutely free.Because my credit card information would only be used to verify that I'm "a real person" and because the trial is "absolutely free", I went ahead and finished registration while being careful not to select any additional options that might create a credit card charge.The confirmation email that I received from RealtyTrac included the following:"Cancel before 1/25/2014 and you will not be billed. If you choose not to cancel your account before 1/25/2014, you will be billed $49.95 for uninterrupted access to your selected plan. This subscription recurs every Month at $49.95 until you cancel."I couldn't believe my eyes! RealtyTrac's question, "If its free, why do you need my credit card?" specifically calls out the apparent contradiction between the claimed "free" nature of the trial and yet the need for credit card information. RealtyTrac's answer, in full above, assures the questioner that there is no contradiction and gives reasons why credit card information is useful even in situations where a charge would never happenspecifically the credit card information is used as a form of authentication, not for charging the account. Except that a charge does happen every month unless the customer cancels the automatically created subscription.

Desired Settlement: RealtyTrac needs to modify their bait-and-switch tactics.They prominently advertise a 7-day free trial, but registration for the free trial sneakily enrolls the customer into a monthly subscription. RealtyTrac explains away the free trial's required credit card information as a form of authentication to prevent fraud against RealtyTrac, but this is a ruse; the credit card information is needed to set up the monthly subscription and they don't come out and say that.

Business Response:

Many consumers sign up directly for the subscription service via a link labeled “Subscribe” which is posted conspicuously within the site navigation bar appearing on all pages of the website.  For users that are unsure of their desire to pursue a distressed property transaction or who simply want an opportunity to review the data offered by RealtyTrac, we offer a 7 day free trial permitting them to make an educated purchase decision following their evaluation of the service.

The Trial Registration page advises users that by registering they are agreeing to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Our Terms of Use are clearly visible on the page and summarized as:

Your credit card will not be billed for the 7-day free trial. Cancel before your trial ends and you will not be billed. If you want to keep your account after the trial, do nothing and we will enroll you in a monthly subscription for just $49.95 per month until you cancel.

The free 7 day trial offer is free of charge for a period of 7 days.  Users who elect to utilize the trial offer are permitted premium access to the website for the entire 7 day period and may cancel during the trial period without incurring any charges to their account.  Users that elect to keep the service are enrolled for a thirty day recurring membership at the conclusion of the trial period.  The free 7 day trial period is not debited against the first 30 days of paid service; rather it is provided free of charge in addition to any paid period.

RealtyTrac is able to provide a positive experience for thousands of users and we will continue to work with the small number of unsatisfied customers on a case by case basis as concerns arise. 

12/10/2013 Problems with Product/Service
11/11/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues
11/7/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues
10/25/2013 Billing/Collection Issues
10/14/2013 Billing/Collection Issues
9/4/2013 Billing/Collection Issues
9/3/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues
8/13/2013 Problems with Product/Service
7/30/2013 Problems with Product/Service
7/25/2013 Problems with Product/Service
7/11/2013 Billing/Collection Issues
6/18/2013 Billing/Collection Issues
6/18/2013 Problems with Product/Service
6/11/2013 Billing/Collection Issues
6/5/2013 Billing/Collection Issues
6/5/2013 Billing/Collection Issues
6/3/2013 Billing/Collection Issues
6/3/2013 Problems with Product/Service
6/3/2013 Billing/Collection Issues
5/31/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues
5/20/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues