What a little persistence can get you. Okay so initially I was pissed off. Really MAD at the fact that there were 4, count it four $1.00 charges on my account from some company called UMG Services, I had no idea who they were or what they were trying to sell. Then to top it off I had a $2.97 charge from Dermitage (Wrinkle Cream, I later found out, I'm 31... I'm not wrinkling yet!!!).
I called my bank. Luckily I check my bank account enough to catch these charges and so much in debt that it matters. LOL!! So my bank lets me know that the charges have not posted to my account, however if/when they do I can make a complaint. They also cancelled the current card and are resending a new one. Thank goodness it was with a card and not my bank account, that would have been hell.
So I looked online for UMG's number and found it on here. Yay!! So I kindly called UMG (1-866-424-5255) and asked them to take me off their list and kindly remove and refund my charges. Okay... so my initial call wasn't so pleasant. It was more like "Who the hell are you people and how did you get my credit card info to charge my card, take me off now - give me my money back or I'm suing." Hahaha! Well... it worked, right?
Well.. the 800 number on my bank statement for Dermitage was Blue Cross Blue Shield in Michigan (I'm in Maryland, how in two hells...). Well back to the internet search I got a number from a posting about TriClear on here (I love this site :})... So then I call Dermitage (1-800-494-7260). I had to play 20 questions and 3rd degree with the rep before she finally told me that Dermitage was TriClear's sister company, she gave me the above number after that.
Well... after all was said and done I got out of them that I "allegedly" agreed to test the item for the cost of S&H (the $2.97), from a phone conversation on September 4th. Uh uh, big mistake there. I NEVER give my credit card info over the phone. So they removed me, refunded me the charges and sent the confirmation via email.
Problem solved right? Wrong. I asked how did they get my contact info and credit card information. Apparently they retrieved it through UMG Services. So back to calling UMG again... this time a much nicer tone (since it worked so well with Dermitage) and I started to get progress. Well UMG first confirmed my info... again and confirmed that I cancelled and was to receive a refund (woohoo!) AND even told me how they got my contact information... from VICI marketing and a 1-877 number.
**Just a note, remember to ask the agent's name and operator/agent number. You never know when you may need it. Also don't be afraid to ask for a supervisor if you feel like you're going nowhere with the customer service rep. Also try to find the "parent" company, they usually hold the main lists.**
Now on to VICI Marketing LLC, the (duh duh duhhhh) Granddaddy telemarketing company in this story of "How To Ruin A Bank Account." The number is supposedly a "customer service" number, that just rings and rings, then the voicemail. "Leave a message and we'll get back to you if we feel you are important enough to call however if you are asking to be taken off a telemarketing list then expect to NEVER receive a call back." HAHAH!! I'm kidding but it's something similar.
So back to the internet search... I'm starting to see a pattern here and found them VICI Marketing LLC Largo, FL 727-533-8730. So I figured I would really have to put on the icing THICK with these guys. The mother company. So I get the receptionist who transfers me to a very nice lady who is patient as I explain the WHOLE story to her. (Which I don't recommend doing, summarize it to the important points... I would have... but I'm pretty darn long-winded, as you can see.)
Well she looks up my name, found it and starts off by explaining that "from some internet transaction where in the fine print it states that your information may be given to other companies affiliated with blah blah yada yada." Yeah that includes your credit card info and everything. But wait... only your last four are viewed by the baby companies until you verify who you are and where you live the CC is decoded and they can charge whatever they want to.
Wait... but I never authorized anything. Anytime someone calls I say "I'm not interested, I choose to decline your offer, please remove me from the list". So how? They have recordings!! Ask to listen to a recording, everything is recorded!! If they didn't record it they have no validity.
So here I am... listening to a recording of MY HUSBAND verifying our home address and the last four of my bank card (he didn't even know why he was verifying it, he later confesses, he thought it was something I had already ordered!!). I never said yes or anything of the sort AND I asked to hear the recording also. It was a recording of my husband saying that yes "name" lives at this residence and yes my the last four of my credit card are "blah blah blah blah" but not me saying yes or no to whatever they were offering. They were quite embarrassed.
I had to call all of their companies and sub-companies to get them to refund my money. Which they did! I had to have my bank send me a new card and now they are on the look out for all Buyers Edge, UMG and Dermitage charges (same company FYI). They are scam artist and REALLY people need to file Class Action Suits against them. ONLY PEOPLE WITH VALID CLAIMS THOUGH!! If you said yes to the company and forgot or just don't want the product anymore... no one can really help you.
Well she nicely placed me on the "BIG" company, Do-Not-Solicit list and assured me that I shouldn't be receiving any more calls and that the cancellations and refunds are valid. Phew!! Men are so naive... poor thing he felt so bad, I got a strawberry cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory (The Best!).
Now I'm not saying that everyone's case can be as easily fixed as mine. But ask questions like "what is your agent id/operator number", "when did I sign up for this product and who was the rep that signed me up", "how did you get my credit card/bank account information", "when did I authorize this", "do you have a recording of our conversation", "can you reverse/refund the charges", "who is your parent company", and last but not least always state "Put me onto your DO NOT SOLICIT list IMMEDIATELY."
Research, Research, Research!!! And be patient! Most of the time if you remain calm... so will they. You attract more bees with Honey! BUT REALLY SOMEONE START UP A CLASS ACTION SUIT OR SOME SORT OF CLAIM - I'D HATE TO SEE THIS HAPPENING TO OUR ELDERLY.
UNITED MARKETING GROUP Buyer's Edge Inc. UMG - United Marketing Group Address: 929 N Plum Grove Road Schaumburg Illinois 60173. Phone:847-240-2005. Fax: 847-240-2117. Email: email@example.com
http://www.unitedmarket.com/ Dermitage (1-800-494-7260). THE PARENT COMPANY Vici Marketing LLC 11515 66th St. N. Largo, FL 33773. Phone: 727-533-8730. Fax: 727-535-9720. http://www.vicimarketing.com/index.htm firstname.lastname@example.org
MY STORY. They are defrauding consumers out of money by probing their bank accounts with $1.00 charges. Then, if not noticed, they begin charging your account with higher amounts. They are a bogus company and make claims that they have signatures or recordings of your voice. My personal experience was I noticed the charges $1 from UMG Buyers Edge, UMG My Advisor and $2.97 Dermitage charge on my account in September 2007. I called the companies, with the numbers they had listed on my bank statement. One number was for BCBS in Michigan!
I tried several times to reach them and eventually found their numbers by Googling away and Dermitage/Triclear on My3cents.com, where there were several other individuals with complaints against these companies. After reaching them, they falsely accused me of accepting the products and even giving a false date of when I had accepted. After being put through the wringer, I eventually started finding information to include who their parent company is "VICI Marketing" and the answers to some questions.
For one, the supposed signature that they claimed they had for me; well they never received a signature from me and weren't able to produce. Then there was the issue of the recorded approval of my voice for the product. When I listened to the recording they "supposedly" had, It was a recording of my fiance (who is not on my bank account neither does he have a bankcard on my account).
They recorded him saying that yes, "my name" does live at such and such residence and yes that is the last 4 digits of my credit card information. They took a third party as validation to charge my debit card. Telemarketing companies CANNOT accept third party authorizations. This has happened to several other people who either sign up for another product and then UMG is provided their credit card information and harassingly calls consumers all day long or who never signed up for anything and doesn't know how UMG got their credit card information. It's Time for CLASS ACTION!!
**Update*** Not only did I report them to my Bank and file unauthorized charges against them which my bank reversed the charges for... but I also received a refund from them UMG. And to ensure that they no longer could get to my account, I closed out my debit card linked to the account and requested a new one. You couldn't prove it to me and you couldn't prove it to my bank. You all are the scum of all telemarketers. You're liars and you have bogus practices. No More UMG!
ILLINOIS -- INFORMATION FROM THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU
Check it out for yourself at the following web address:
United Marketing Group, LLC
929 N. Plum Grove Road
Schaumburg, IL 60173
Telephone: (847) 240-2005
Fax: (847) 240-2156
Additional DBA Names
Hi-Tech Group, Inc.-The
M C Club Services, Inc.
Money Ahead Discount Club
Mr. Alan Portelli, President/CEO
Additional company management personnel include:
Mr. Norman J. Patinkin
Mr. Richard J. Sales - VP-Controller
R. Sales - CFO
Ms. Linda Divins - VP, Operations
Additional DBAs, Addresses and Telephone Numbers
Additional DBA Names
Roy Thomas Inc
Texaco Marketing Center
Plum Grove Collectibles
Buyers Edge-Travel & Entertainment
1900 Sycamore Rd.
Dekalb, IL 60115
467 W. Fullerton Ave.
Elmhurst, IL 60126
238 Oakwood Drive
Lake Zurich, IL 60047
238 Oakwood Dr.
Lake Zurich, IL 60047
929 N. Plum Grove Rd.
Schaumburg, IL 60173
Additional Phone Numbers
Additional Fax Numbers
The Bureau processed a total of 30 complaints about this company in the last 36 months, our standard reporting period. Of the total of 30 complaints closed in 36 months, 19 were closed in the last year.
These complaints concerned:
1 Advertising Issues,
8 Selling Practices,
1 Refund Promised,
6 Customer Service, and
14 Credit or Billing Issues.
They were closed as:
15 Assumed Resolved, and
1 Administratively Judged Resolved.