Below is information on companies marketing to local Pennsylvanians received at your BBB. Information is based on our research as of October 25, 2010. Click on their name for an updated BBB report. Please take into consideration the importance of the practice and the total performance of the company. To access over four million companies nationwide, visit www.bbb.org.
1. Vacations Direct USA, Inc – guaranteeing resale of timeshares
This company is in the business of advertising and marketing timeshares for sale in a "for sale by owner" format. With 96 complaints since July 2008, 51 have gone unanswered and 32 have been classified as serious. Thus, it has an F rating. Many of the complaints are dealing with the company’s money back guarantee and the failure to honor it.
2. Caribbean Cruise Line – offering “Free” cruises in our area
Of the total of 494 complaints, 371 of those were closed within the last year. Sales practices, advertising issues and refunds/exchanges had the highest frequency of complaints. Creative marketing can make sales pitches seem too good to be true. Complaints allege difficulty in redeeming cruise vacations, not obtaining refunds, and misleading sales tactics. Research a company’s background with the BBB before making a time sensitive decision to purchase.
3. Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC – loan servicing with customer service issues 564 complaints filed against business, 33 were classified as serious. Consumers allege inability to reach the same person at the company in order to discuss their problems and excessive add-on fees. Other concerns include not processing payments in a timely fashion and failure to respond to requests for loan modifications in a timely manner. The company states that fees associated with each loan are agreed to as part of the loan servicing agreement.
4. Lower your credit card interest rates – tells callers to call BBB it’s a scam!
Your BBB has had many calls within the last few weeks with the same message from consumers. They get a call from an unknown company in the 714 area code from California and when they try to return the call, they receive an automated message saying, “This company is a scam, report it to the Better Business Bureau.” The BBB is unable to find out who the company is or why it has that message on their phones.
5. Consumerinfo.com / Freecreditreport.com – read the fine print when ordering a “free” credit report
With 11,700 complaints people generally allege that they ordered a free credit report but were later charged by the company for credit monitoring services. Customers are informed that when ordering the free credit report they are enrolled in a trial membership for credit monitoring and will be billed if they do not cancel. When customers were charged immediately, the company contends that the customer did not participate in the free trial offer but rather ordered a ‘different product’ which includes several credit bureau reports and a credit score. The charges and services are disclosed during the ordering process. The company generally responds to complaints by issuing full or partial refunds and by stating that they disclose the terms of their agreements clearly and conspicuously on their website. Read all the terms and conditions to obtain free things.
6. Capital Debt Relief – running commercials on television
The most frequent issue complained about was sales practice issues: complaints regarded alleged sales presentations made over the telephone that contain misrepresentations of the product or service, involves high pressure sales tactics, failure to disclose key conditions of the offer, or verbal representations were not consistent with written or actual terms or agreements.
7. New law regarding debt relief companies - takes effect October 27, 2010 Amendments to telemarketing sales rules will prohibit for-profit companies that sell debt relief services over the phone from charging a fee until after they have 1) successfully negotiated, settled, reduced, or otherwise changed the terms of at least one of the consumer’s debts 2) until there is a written settlement agreement between the consumer and the debtor 3) the consumer had made at least one payment to the creditor as a result of the agreement negotiated by the debt relief company.
BBB HOT TOPICS ARCHIVE
March & April 2009