Today I added Amazon.com on the list of companies I will never do business with again. Last week I attempted to purchase a Haynes service manual for Amy’s car. Amazon directed me to the reseller discountbooks.com. This is a site run by the Xacti corporation out of Boca Raton Florida. It is a front for the phishing scam site SmartSavingsCenter.com. Whenever you buy from discountbooks.com you are invisibly agreeing to a “trial membership” for SmartSavingsCenter.com. If you don’t cancel this intentionally obscured trial within 7 days they hit your card with a $29.95 fee. You will never see it coming.
This scam put forth by the immoral and ethically corrupt Xacti corporation is well documented in any Google search for SmartSavingsCenter. The Editor of Ripoffreport.com even has a site informing “how to get your money back into your bank account” if you are a victim of Xacti’s deception. He makes it sound like it could be difficult for your bank to agree to the refund. In fact when I called Bank of America this morning the scam is so well known that they didn’t resist one bit. Other Xacti websites that are a front for the SmartSavingsCenter.com scam are HotMovieSale.com and Rushmore Towing and Locksmiths. There are probably others.
If you’re a victim of the Xacti corporations immoral internet trade practices you can contact them directly using the information at the bottom of this post. Personally I wouldn’t bother as I understand they won’t cancel the “subscription” over the phone.
Instead try to locate the welcome email sent by these fraudsters when they initiated their malicious activity against you (mine was in the spam filter), retrieve the password for your account, go to SmartSavingsCenter.com and cancel the account. There is even a selection in the “Reason for Canceling” that says “I believe SmartSavingsCenter is a fraudulent service”. Pick this one. Then call your bank, dispute their fraudulent charges and place a fraud alert on your account against this company. The Attorney General of Florida should move to shut these crooks down ASAP. Here’s where the dishonest cowards hide…
Xacti 999 West Yamato Road Suite 100 Boca Raton, FL 33431-4478 Telephone: 561-989-7400 Fax: 561-989-7401
Since posting this article I received a letter from the Florida Attorney Generals office informing me, as one of many complainants, that they are beginning an investigation of the company. Hopefully they’ll be shut down soon and anyone who requires additional reimbursement from their fraud will get some money back. If you’ve been affected by this scam file your complaint on-line with the Florida Attorney General. Here is a link.
After filing complaints with the Texas Attorney General’s office, the FBI, and the Florida Attorney General’s office, I just got a letter from the latter saying that their Economic Crimes Division is investigating SSC. Get in touch with them to voice your concerns about SSC and its practices.
I also complained to Amazon.com and got nowhere. I cancelled my account with them.
today 02-22-09 they charge 29.95 with out my permission.. idont even know whom they are so i had to cancel my check car and filed i complain….
YES YES HOTMOVIESALE.COM AND SMARTSAVINGSCENTER.COM ARE SCAM ARTISTS-I WAS NAILED WITH THE 29.95 MEMBERSHIP FEE FOR THE MEMBERSHIP I DID NOT SIGN UP FOR-I CALLED THE BANK NOT MUCH THEY WOULD DO-I CONTACTED THE BBB AND THEY ASSURED ME ALTHOUGH THERE WERE MANY COMPLAINTS THEY COULD NOT REACH THE COMPANY OR ANYONE THAT WORKED FOR THE CO. THEY CLOSED MY CASE BUT THANKED ME FOR THE INFO. TODAY-I REALIZE THAT ALONG WITH LAST MONTH I WAS ENROLLED IN ANOTHER MEMEBERSHIP WITHOUT MY KNOWLEDGE- ONE DOLLAR HAD BEEN DEBITED FOR TWO MONTHS IN A ROW-THE ONLY THING MY BANK OFFERS IS TO “HOTCARD” MY CREDIT CARD AND ISSUE ANOTHER ONE! SO WHEN I CALLED THE OPERATOR CLAIMS THEY WILL REFUND MY $2 AND I WILL NOT EVER HEAR FROM THEM AGAIN. WE’LL SEE
I am a priest who is caregiver to a disabled person. She called me today to get my help with some bank charges she didn’t understand – I was horrified to discover THREE YEARS of charges – COMPLETE FRAUD. Smart Savings Center target folks in financial difficulties. I’m happy to support any class action law suit.
I got scammed by smartsavingscenter.com.
I ordered a book from smartsavingscenter.com. I waited and waited to receive the book. Finally, they sent an e-mail stating that they did not carry that book. Meanwhile, they had been deducting $29.95 plus a separate $1.00 charge from my credit card each month I waited for the book.
When I called today to complain about the $29.95 + $1.00 charges on my credit card, they told me that I’d joined some kind of service. They refused to return more than the current $29.95 charge. We’ll see if they actually return anything.
I searched on line and found that many others have been throught the same thing. What a ripoff!
BTW, I didn’t get my book originally ordered either. These people probably don’t have any of the items they list on Amazon or their sites. It’s a bait and switch scam in addition to phishing.
I too was scammed by Discount Book Sale after being directed there from Amazon.com. The people at Amazon told me that in the future I should never purchase anything after being redirected. A lot of help that was, and why do they let those sellers list if you’re not supposed to buy from them? I have filed complaints with the Florida Attorney General as well. I don’t know if anyone would be able to do anything with this information but I found a post on Complaintsboard.com that said Skip Middleton is the Executive VP of Xacti. Somebody with the know how needs to compile a list of all Xacti employees and publish it with as many addresses and phone numbers as they can find. Thanks for creating a place to discuss this issue Todd.
I just completed a compliant against Smart Savings Center/HMS Movies for the same kind of fraud with a movie purchase. I will not shop through Amazon.com again.
Today I received a Affidavit Form from the office of the Florida Attorney General Economic Crimes Division to provide all documentation and evidence I can gather to aide in their investigation against Smart Savings Center, LLC.
If you’ve been scammed by these people and want retribution file your complaint with the Florida Attorney General ASAP. There’s a link at the end of my original post.
I just ordered a movie as a Christams gift last week. I Check my Credit Card statement online every other week. I saw a charge for $9.95 and thought it was a partial charge for the movie or something. I then get my movie in a few days later and realize that they charged me the correct price for the movie but the $9.95 charge was for a “membership” I didn’t even sign up for. I called the Smart Savings Center and got put on hold for over a half hour. Then when I got an agent on the phone, they couldn’t hear me and hung up. So I called back and was on hold, this time for over 40 minutes. Then another agent answered and she also acted like she couldn’t here me. I was absolutely furious. I was yelling “don’t you hang up on me”. Of course, she did. I tried closing the membership by phone as well without success. STAY AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY!
Just discovered 15 months of charges of almost $300. I originally ordered books for my grandson and my husband thought this charge was for me and didn’t question it until recently. They would not cancel the membership and he cancelled the credit card and the cc company credited $36. I reported them to the FTC today by phone. I am reporting to the Florida AG’s office now. How can this continue to happen legally?
I just figured this scam out. The listing on the card was very similar to a local retail store where my wife shops so i assumed it was the same store – and the amounts changed every few months (increased of course- so it blended into the credit card statement). Somehow I just figures this out today and after checking the internet the scam is now very obvious. I will join the class action and am willing to help and support as i just totaled the amount to over $600!! i will file the complaint with the attorney General.
you all are ignorants that dont read I actually buy stuff from them and if you don want the membership there is a way to reject it. You just DO NOT READ thats why you get so mad if you read everything you would not be saing this shit.
Josh must work for the Xacti Corporation. Regardless Josh admits to being a lame piece of shit who buys stuff from Smart Saving Center or some other scam front.
By the way Josh, ask your boss where my book is that I was charged for and never received.
I use to work for Xacti. It didn’t take long to realize my employers were crooks. I will say that I took the liberty of issuing refunds to any and all customers who called furious after learning what had happened to them. I know first hand the owner makes his riches tricking people who don’t take the time to read the fine print. Because of them I rarely shop online, and if I do I double check everything. I urge everyone to do the same.
They are truly crooks, who use poor people to get over on others.
Here’s Xacti founders Linked In profile (Robert Oesterlund, the negative option scam artist of record and proud founder of XACTI) …
His companies are rated an F by the better business bureau and a lot of government action has been taken against him. The Florida Attorney Generals Office obtained settlements against him. He had to give back $135K in Iowa too. Likely a drop in the bucket verses what his scam netted.
Truth is Robert Oesterlund deserves to be flat broke and destitute. Fooling no one. He’s a scam artist and should be prosecuted, his assets seized and not allowed to buy his way out of anything else.
Robert Oesterlund, if you read this look at the other comments. You stole from a priest trying to buy a book. That makes you lower than a snake hiding under a pile of cow shit. Be proud. If your name ever comes up in this stuff again, I’m posting all the details I can find to draw public attention to your sorry ass.
Here’s some more. Check out the whacky bitch with bad hair and a law degree, Jennifer Miller, trying to justify the negative option scam for her paycheck: http://www.wptv.com/news/local-news/investigations/florida-ag-investigating-smart-savings-center-llc-and-best-brand-values-customers-say-deceiving.
Hey Jennifer Miller, those comments did nothing but make you a complicit sell out. You know what Robert the ass clown was up to. Shame rain upon you. And guess what you nutcase – WE CAN READ. We just don’t struggle to read tiny fonts you pretentious dingbat.