GREAT FALLS, MONTANTA -- I want to share my experience with others so if you decide to use the Benefits Program of your VISA credit card, you will be prepared for the process. I bought a new kitchen appliance in the summer of '09 of the same brand as the previous appliance I'd used for 18 years. After 18 months of use, something inside the door broke render it useless. The warranty is only 1 year. Then I remember this benefit feature from VISA that gives consumers double the warranty protection period.
So, I called with the hope that VISA might pay for getting it fixed. I've never used the benefits that come with my credit cards in the 30 years that I've credit cards. The first time I did, it was quite a trial. Like any companies, they lose money by paying for your repair or replacement so they won't make it easy, as you can imagine. First of all, the VISA benefits program is not administered by the bank that issues the card; I don't think it's even administered by the VISA corporation but handled by some third-party company with a contract with VISA. To summarize what I've learned:
Before you call, check with your credit card or find the booklet that describes the benefits to verify what benefits your card entitles you. Benefits like purchase protection, price protection, extended protection, return protection, etc. are pretty much standard for most cards nowadays, and not limited to "premium" cards anymore.
Afterward, call the benefit admin number and discuss the situation with them. When I called the number, I was immediately told my card didn't come with extended protection although I'd the benefit booklet right in front of me that says I do. They told me to call the issuing bank to sort it out instead. Don't waste your time like I did. Call back in a little while and another agent probably will be more competent and can start the process rolling. I don't know if they did it on purpose or it was just a fluke but my experience already didn't start out well. The first step is for them to send (snail mail) or fax you the forms to fill out. No emails exchange.
Don't expect to get an answer or find out how much they'll compensate you right away. The rules are that if your purchase is less than $100, they'll reimburse you for the purchase of a new item (up to your original purchase price, naturally.) Anything over $100 is more problematic. They'll either pay for the repair or a replacement depending which cost less. Totally understandable and makes perfect business sense.
Get your item to an authorized service provider and have them give you an estimate in writing, you'll need that despite what they might tell you. It makes sense since they need an estimate to see if that's cheaper than reimbursing you for a new one. But for some reasons, they told me I SHOULD NOT go to get an estimate, just send back the paperwork and they'll decide if I get a repair or replacement.
When I question how they could make a decision without a repair estimate to compare, they kept saying that they're trying to make it easier for me. Well, don't believe them, get that estimate from an authorized service center right away or you're just delaying the process!
Every time you mail or fax anything over to them, it will take 1 day to log the information into the system and then "up to" 5 business days to make a decision and get back to you. Don't expect to be called in less than 5 days. Count yourself lucky if it's less than 5 days because they'll wait until the fifth days to call. And if you don't have call waiting and they call when your phone is busy, they'll consider their job done and unlikely to call back unless you call them.
The very day they promised to call, I used the phone once in the afternoon and that just happened to be the time the benefit manager called. When I didn't get a call at the end of that day, I called to inquire and was told she called earlier and the phone was busy. That's all the agent said and no apology, no offer to patch me to the benefit manager. Now, I've to say the agents are polite and business-like, but there's an indifference attitude when we communicated. When I asked to speak to the benefit manager, the agent said she was not available. So I asked if she'd call me back. The agent said yes but she had up to 72 hours to do so.
To their credit, she called in 2 hours. She said the paperwork was in order but they needed the repair estimate in order to decide how much to reimburse me. I asked her why then was I told not to bring it to the repair shop for an estimate when I first called, the process could've been sped up, she said the agents shouldn't have told me that, blah, blah, blah. She assured me that after they got the estimate, she would be able to make a decision "right away." Well, there is no such thing as "right away" because it would still take another 5 business days before contacting me.
Let me give you an idea the length of time to put the whole process in perspective. Using fax will speed things up a little. Took 4 days from calling to receiving the forms by postal mail. Returned the forms the same day via postal mail and they logged the forms into the system. That took a total of 5 days including weekends. A benefit manager called 5 business days after the forms were logged in. (7 days including weekends.) Went to the repair shop the next day, got the estimate in 2 days and faxed it back. (3 days.) 1 day to log in the info, then another 5 business days to call back. (10 days including weekends.)
I was approved to purchase a new appliance. I faxed them the receipt on the same day. It took another day to log in the fax and 5 business days to let me know if my receipt was accepted. (8 days including weekends.) I was notified that the amount on the receipt was approved and I would received a check in 7 to 10 business days. The check arrived in 4 days. The whole process took 41 days, almost 6 weeks.
Using fax and getting your estimate ready should shave off 2 weeks. In my case, every single decision took all 5 business days to attain and every time I send something over, it took 1 day to log in the info and another 5 business days to advance to the next step. So, if you do want to take advantage of your VISA benefits program, brace yourself for the process and the wait, you'll get what you're entitled but you'll have to be patient.
Visa just announced that it is no longer doing business with over 100 merchants who are allegedly scamming consumers. As we have all read on this site, consumers think they are getting a free trial offer of some product (teeth whitening, dietary supplements etc) then these merchants charge the consumers credit cards, sometimes hundreds of dollars. Here is a description from the article on how the scam works:
"Consumers click on an ad for a free trial offer of supplements or a free 'information kit' that will explain how to apply for government grants or use the Internet to make big money effortlessly from home. They think they're entering a credit card number to pay for shipping and handling. But in a few clicks, they've unwittingly authorized ongoing charges that can rack up fast. When consumers see their statements and try to question the charges, they are often unable to track anyone down to make them stop. Often, clicking through can result in more than one monthly charge on a card.
"The game here is to get people hooked, keep them on the hook for monthly charges as long as you can, and only stop making those charges when you're forced to," said Stephen Salter, vice president of BBB Online. BBB has received thousands of complaints about the problem, with multiple companies to blame. "The product is irrelevant to getting the charges on the card."
The trick is a marketing technique called "negative option," where customers must say they don't want to join a so-called club or receive additional materials in the future. The details of the ongoing charges are often in small print or can only be found by following a hyperlink. There's frequently a series of pre-checked boxes that most consumers zoom past as they order. Skipping those boxes is key, because leaving them checked ostensibly giving the companies permission to keep charging the card." It is refreshing to see a major corporation take this action.
OAKS, PENNSYLVANIA -- I had gotten a card in the mail that I never ordered, I opened it to see what it was and it was the card asking me to activate it and add money to it? I called the company and told them I never asked for the card and sent it back to them? Now they are charging my card with interest and the fees and late charges that I do not have? I have never used this card or did I have one, just sent it back after I called them?
So please beware of this card, if you have one please check it out first, they are screwing everyone over and sending them to the collection companies of Jefferson Capital Systems, LLC and also First National Collection Bureau, INC. Not sure why but this needs to stop.
CLASS ACTION AGAINST VISA USA AND COOPERATING BANKS - We represent holders of VISA Gift Cards from Pennsylvania and California. We are about to commence a Class Action on behalf of all victims of the sellers/issuers of these cards who have not gotten their full value. If you have information about your experiences with VISA Gift Cards that you wish to have included in the Complaint, please do not hesitate to contact me. It is not necessary to make any reference to your name or address in the Complaint. If you contact me by email and provide a phone number, someone from our firm will call you. Otherwise, you will receive a response by return email.
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- A little background. I have been a Chase Visa Customer for the past 7 years. My wife and I actually run out entire household budget out of this card, which we promptly pay off every month. We do this mainly for hotel reward points, and typically run a fairly large bill each month. That has never been paid a moment late. I would hazard to guess that we have one of the best payment records of 98% of all or their card members.
Today during the annual Black Friday shopping event my wife had our card declined 3 times for 200.00 in purchases. The customer service folks told us it was for security. Our available credit is in the tens of thousands of dollars. She worked with customer service for over an hour to get out small transaction approved and Customer service actually hung up on her once. Not to mention that this delay caused her to miss several of the prized and time sensitive doorbusters.
Customer service seemed powerless to make thing happen and when I call they put me on hold and eventually disconnect me. This card is definitely cancelled - I can't believe in these days where everyone defaults this company treats a first class customer like me to this complete debacle. I will never have a Visa card again..
LOVELAND, COLORADO -- I can not believe how greed has set into poisoning your Visa Gift cards. First you pay $4.00 or more for the card, then $2.95 a month after 6 months. Then .50 fee to check on your balance. What greedy snakes you have become..
I really thought it was a wonderful idea and did not mind paying the fee to buy the card, but now when all is known it is one of the biggest rip offs I have ever gotten involved in. But the surprising part is that it is legal for you greed mongers to do. It is so sad that corporations have to stoop that low to make 50 cents. You even have the gift card money in advance of the spending, WOW what a sweet deal for you.
Needless to say you will get no more from me or my grand children, we will just use green currency from now on. Hope you enjoyed the money you made off of the cards and spent it wisely - there will be no more. When you give a young child a gift card to teach them about handling money you have to explain to them about the big thieves that take it from them, I guess in today's world they can not learn that too young. "Way to go Visa."
FLORIDA -- We have been defrauded twice by VISA on purchases we made under the VISA logo. It appears VISA supports their high-dollar merchants, rather than honor their claims of secure purchases to the public. We are a small company that deals with Fortune 500 companies, law enforcement, and government entities. A recent purchase was charged back 3 times to our account by merchant "Array Solutions." They sold us equipment to be delivered from Germany. We never received it, and called VISA customer service. The sale was credited back to our account.
The merchant then fraudulently claimed we were in possession of the goods. Our account was debited $2,099.00 again. We then traced and gave VISA the US CUSTOMS information that the merchant had picked up the merchandise from American Airlines BOND. Our account was then credited again.
The merchant, still in possession of the goods, made a third claim just before VISA's 6 month cutoff dispute limit. Even though VISA knew the merchant was in possession of the goods, and even though VISA knew that the merchant committed fraud by stating that our company was in possession of the same goods, VISA charged our account another $2,099.00, and promptly closed the matter stating "It's too late for any further dispute."
A similar situation happened with a VISA purchase from a merchant called "CORPORATE RAIDER." I should have known that their company name had something to do with their business practices. WARNING TO ALL WHO DEAL WITH VISA: If you have a high-dollar dispute with a merchant and receive a credit back, CANCEL YOUR ACCOUNT.
This has been sent to me and I wanted to pass it along to as many people as I can reach...
WARNING...New Credit Card Scam.
Note, the callers do not ask for your card number; they already have it. By understanding how the VISA & MasterCard Telephone Credit Card Scam works, you'll be better prepared to protect yourself. My husband was called on Wednesday from "VISA", and I was called on Thursday from "MasterCard". The scam works like this: Person calling says, "This is (name), and I'm calling from the Security and Fraud Department at VISA. My badge number is 12460 Your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern, and I'm calling to verify. This would be on your VISA card which was issued by (name of bank). Did you purchase an Anti-Telemarketing Device for $497.99 from a Marketing company based in Arizona?"
When you say "No", the caller continues with, "Then we will be issuing a credit to your account. This is a company we have been watching and the charges range from $297 to $497, just under the $500 purchase pattern that flags most cards. Before your next statement, the credit will be sent to(gives you your address), is that correct?" You say "yes". The caller continues - "I will be starting a Fraud investigation.If you have any questions, you should call the 1-800 number listed on the back of your card (1-800-VISA) and You will need to refer to this Control Number. The caller then gives you a 6 digit number. "Do you need me to read it again?" Here's the IMPORTANT part on how the scam works. The caller then says, "I need to verify you are in possession of your card". He'll ask you to "turn your card over and look for some numbers". There are 7 numbers; the first 4 are part of your card number, the next 3 are the Security Numbers' that verify you are the possessor of the card. These are the numbers you sometimes used to make Internet purchases to prove you have the card. The caller will ask you to read the 3 numbers to him.
After you tell the caller the 3 numbers, he'll say, "That is correct, I just needed to verify that the card has not been lost or stolen, and that you still have your card. Do you have any other questions?" After you say No, the caller then thanks you and states, "Don't hesitate to call back if you do", and hangs up. You actually say very little, and they never ask for or tell you the Card number. But after we were called on Wednesday, we called back within 20 minutes to ask a question. Are we glad we did! The REAL VISA Security Department told us it was a scam and in the last 15 minutes a new purchase of $497.99 was charged to our card. Long story made short - we made a real fraud report and closed the VISA account. VISA is reissuing us a new number. What the scammers want is the 3-digit PIN number on the back of the card.
Don't give it to them. Instead, tell them you'll call VISA or Master card directly for verification of their conversation.The real VISA told us that they will never ask for anything on the card as they already know the information since they issued the card! If you give the scammers your 3 Digit PIN Number, you think you're receiving a credit. However, by the time you get your statement you'll see charges for purchases you didn't make, and by then it's almost to late and/or more difficult to actually file a fraud report. What makes this more remarkable is that on Thursday, I got a call from a "Jason Richardson of MasterCard" with a word-for-word repeat of the VISA scam. This time I didn't let him finish. I hung up!
We filed a police report, as instructed by VISA. The police said they are taking several of these reports daily! They also urged us to tell everybody we know that this scam is happening. Please pass this on to all your family and friends. By informing each other, we protect each other.
Please remember, Debtorbasher is not the original writer of this information, but it was sent to me through an E-mail...Is it true? I don't know, but it's best to be informed, just in case this is going on out there.
TEXAS -- I would like to file a complaint on Visa Signature commercial on TV. I consider it to be very, very Racist..! They show a small white man, being confronted by a large black man. Being intimidated by the large black man. You making fun of the white Race, showing the black race being inferior to the white race. I think you should pull this as soon as possible! Also believe you be very Racist in your advertising. I would appreciate a written reply...!
Informative. As I was logging in to my bank there was a notice about Visa: "Visa's 'Pay At The Pump' pre-authorization hold has increased to $125 and may take up to 72 hours to release from your account." I called Visa and this information was confirmed. They did indicate that retail locations have the option to request a lower limit, but if not requested the $125.00 hold is now the general policy. Personally I never pay at the pump with a credit card, but thought this information may be helpful to those that do.