Grey charge: When you buy something with your credit card and you get charged for something you didn’t want. Often a merchant will tack on additional products and services to a legitimate purchase you make, and you “sorta” know about the charge…but not really.
For example, you might be in the process of purchasing something and a pop-up windowreading “Get 25 percent off your order NOW! CLICK HERE!” comes up. And in the fine print below “CLICK HERE!” it says, “By getting 25 percent off, you are agreeing to get a free month of a one-year membership to our discount clubfor which you will be charged$19.95 per month after the first month. You may cancel at any time, but you are required to give us 30 days’ notice in writing.”
Or something stupid like that.
Then, a couple of months go by and you get your credit card statement and see this charge for $19.95 and wonder what it’s for. You call the number on the statement and someone answers and puts you on hold for an hour. By the time you are done yelling and pulling all your hair out of your head, you will probably end up gettingcharged for two or three months for something you never wanted.
And that’s IF you even pay attention you your credit card statements, because nine out of 10 people don’t check their bills, or merely skim them quickly for large purchases. This is what the scammy merchant bets on when initiating a grey charge.
Is it legal? Well, it’s not illegal…but it IS sneaky and deceptive.
According to BillGuard’s internal research, one in four users has incurred some type of erroneous or deceptive charge in the last 12 months. And among those users who have been affected, the average of these charges is about $350 a year.
So pay attention to your statements and refute unauthorized or grey charges ASAP. And don’t forget: Read the fine print—and remember that any offer that sounds too good to be true is.
Robert Siciliano is a personal security expert & adviser to BillGuard and is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video. Disclosures.
ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. His "tell it like it is" style is sought after by major media outlets, executives in the C-Suite of leading corporations, meeting planners, and community leaders to get the straight talk they need to stay safe in a world in which physical and virtual crime is commonplace. Siciliano is accessible, real, professional, and ready to weigh in and comment at a moment's notice on breaking news.
- The Top 6 Sources of Grey Charges
Those out-of-the-blue credit card charges that sneak up on us and require our time, attention, persistence and aggravation to squelch are called grey charges. Thanks to these insidious leaks, millions of people lose billions of dollars. Sleazy, scheming merchants have perfected the art of the grey charge by capitalizing on the fact that we don’t payattention
- Grey Charges Are Upsetting—and Legal
Disclosure notices on websites, advertisements and in the terms of an agreement when making a product purchase are often complicated and confusing. Companies know this and take advantage of consumers, figuring potential purchasers don’t have the time, inclination or knowledge of the legalese that goes along with the fine print. Embedded deeply in the disclosure
- The Devil is in the Details
In unwanted credit card charges, the details are the fine print—and the fine print often results in devilish “grey charges.”Grey charges are those credit card charges that appear on your statement from out of the blue, charging us small or large fees—or sometimes a single charge—monthly or annually. The fine print can sometimes be expensive. And
- Monitoring Grey Charges Can Save You Hundreds
I use Grammarly’s online english grammar check because Grammarly watches writers backs like a bodyguard. Anyway….. Grey charges—deceptive and unwanted credit and debit card charges that occur as a result of misleading sales and billing practices—total more than US$14 billion per year among US debit and credit cardholders. The prevalence of grey charges among a randomly selected surveyed set of
- Avoid Unwanted Credit Card Charges
I think it’s safe to say that all credit card charges are unwanted, but today I’m talking about so-called “grey charges”—those out-of-the-blue credit card charges that sneak up on us and require our time, attention, persistence and aggravation to get rid of. A study by BillGuard shows the average dollar amount lost by grey charges
One Response to “BillGuard: Grey Charges Equal Legal Fraud”
[...] Grey charge: When you buy something with your credit card and you get charged for something you didnât want. Often a merchant will tack on additional products and services to a legitimate purchase you make, and you âsortaâ know about the chargeâ¦but not really. http://robertsiciliano.com/blog/2013/02/28/billguard-grey-charges-equal-legal-fraud/ [...]
Leave a Comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.