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Valued Social Butterfly
Posts: 8,054
Registered: ‎08-18-2008

Re: Ancestry.com changes your credit card information to make unauthorized charges

Message 11 of 22 (3,646 Views)

Just askin -

but how many of you actually read those terms of service which you agree to when signing up for various services which you are paying for on an automatic basis?

 

Posts: 1,406
Topics: 51
Kudos: 1,576
Registered: ‎10-15-2013

Re: Ancestry.com changes your credit card information to make unauthorized charges

Message 12 of 22 (3,059 Views)

Better check on your card auto-renewing as well.  I just had a skirmish with Bank of America regarding a VISA card that was in my late husband's name.  As I was trying to clear up the estate, there were certain credit cards with a balance (we had let our college-aged kids use them) and I just paid them off, sent a copy of the death certificate and instructed them to cancel.  All but Bank of America did so.  In the case of BOA, when the anniversary date rolled around, they had renewed the card and sent me a bill for the annual fee.  Since I hadn't had mail from them except requests to open a VISA account, I assumed the bill was another marketing attempt and tore it up without opening it.  They continued to bill me for the annual fee ($20) and later they reported me to the credit score companies.  You know the rest of the story...I didn't know about this until there was a reason to have my credit score checked.  I was in shock!  I'd never had any poor marks on my credit score.  Coincidently, I had occasion a couple of months before to have my score checked and the result was so wonderful the company I was working with couldn't do enough for me!  (It took quite a while for the BOA complaint to make it to the point it affected my score.)

 

I called all of the appropriate people, raised "cain" to everyone and told them they were going to remove any negative reporting from my credit score.  I filed a complaint of consumer fraud to everyone I could...BBB, Federal Trade Commision, etc. and let BOA know it was done.  It took approximately 21 days to get all of that removed from my record.  I paid the $20 as a gesture of good will and demanded that they send proof that the account was closed...it was delivered in that 21-day window.

 

Ancestry can be pretty sneaky about making charges.  You have to be right on the ball and make it absolutely clear that you do not want an automatic "roll-over" or "evergreen" contract.   I have been doing genealogy research since I was 20.  Back then, most of the resources were free of charge except for FamilyTreeMaker software, FTM renewals, copies of original records or special situations.  When Ancestry.com was formed and Rootsweb & listservs were a part of the deal, that's when the charges started and they've been growing ever since!  I told another AARP poster elsewhere on this site that it was a "license to print money!"  

 

I use AMEX to pay because they are very good about removing charges and investigating complaints.  I encourage anyone who thinks they've been scammed to notify the FTC.  They move at a glacial pace, but the more complaints, the tighter the case against companies who are engaing in consumer "rip-offs."       https://www.ftc.gov/

 

Kudoes to your mom for researching ancestry on the computer at 86 years old!  You go, Girl!!!

"Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness." ~ Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Trusted Social Butterfly
Posts: 6,794
Registered: ‎02-14-2008

Re: Ancestry.com changes your credit card information to make unauthorized charges

Message 13 of 22 (3,587 Views)

sinkcar wrote:

I would make sure I changed things in the past, but with an expired card, who would have thought it necessary?


  I  posted a link in my previous posting. Most of the cc companies have this agreement available to companies (the renewal of membership even though card is expired). The companies can sign on, or not. But, of course, the company should be notifying you that they are doing this (not obligated, but should be). But, Ancestry has a litany of appaling reviews about lack of customer assistance.


“The world is a book. Those who do not travel read only one page.”
Conversationalist
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-30-2009

Re: Ancestry.com changes your credit card information to make unauthorized charges

Message 14 of 22 (3,588 Views)

Wow, I hadn't realized this went back so far. We need to get that outlawed

Conversationalist
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-30-2009

Re: Ancestry.com changes your credit card information to make unauthorized charges

Message 15 of 22 (3,591 Views)

I would make sure I changed things in the past, but with an expired card, who would have thought it necessary?

Conversationalist
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-30-2009

Re: Ancestry.com changes your credit card information to make unauthorized charges

Message 16 of 22 (3,593 Views)

Thanks. I have contacted the bank/cc company and they are filing a dispute claim. But the very helpful person said that there was no guarantee that it would be accepted.  We will see....

 

Meanwhile, Ancestry is very sorry for my trouble, but otherwise, they don't care.

 

Treasured Social Butterfly
Posts: 19,145
Registered: ‎12-25-2011

Re: Ancestry.com changes your credit card information to make unauthorized charges

Message 17 of 22 (3,597 Views)

@retiredtraveler - Not to mention incredibly overpriced! I only sign up when they have a freebie trial month, or something like that. They usually ask for a credit card, but I make a note on my to-do list, to cancel 2 days before the free period is up, before they can charge me! Smiley Happy


Registered on Online Community since 2007!
Trusted Social Butterfly
Posts: 6,794
Registered: ‎02-14-2008

Re: Ancestry.com changes your credit card information to make unauthorized charges

[ Edited ]
Message 18 of 22 (3,597 Views)

I looked them up, just for grins. I found nothing but hundreds of complaints, going back 5 years or so, explaining this practice. Nothing new, apparently, for this website. Based on overwhelming negative reviews, I don't know why anyone would use them.

   They are not the only company that does this...................... 

 

Here is info allowing this practice:

 

Visa Account Updater For Merchants


“The world is a book. Those who do not travel read only one page.”
Treasured Social Butterfly
Posts: 19,145
Registered: ‎12-25-2011

Re: Ancestry.com changes your credit card information to make unauthorized charges

Message 19 of 22 (3,593 Views)

@sinkcar - If that's the response you got from Ancestry, I would go to Visa & get their side of the story .. because it may not match! If you don't want the renewal, I would make clear to both Ancestry & Visa, that you knew the card was set to expire X date, you were sure the auto-renewal would require your approval .. and you didn't intend to give it, and you want the charge reversed!


Registered on Online Community since 2007!
Conversationalist
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-30-2009

Re: Ancestry.com changes your credit card information to make unauthorized charges

Message 20 of 22 (3,590 Views)
We used a regular VISA card. I have never had that luck with Ancestry, but have always renewed online.  
 
And yes, absolutely, I am saying they changed the expiration date on my credit card. They don't deny it. I was told on the phone by Ancestry, that they are a 'trusted' merchant with the bank and can therefore change the expiration date. This is becoming a fairly common occurrence and not just by Ancestry.  See http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/subscription-auto-renew-guess-expiration-date-1585.php 
 
As many Ancestry members, I am a senior citizen (age 65) and my mother is 86. Although this change of expiration dates does not directly target senior citizens, I can see where we might fall prey to this practice far more often than others. 
 
This is very frightening.