OT... I got HOSED

Good Grief, I got hosed by an internet company.
In this day of trying to find bargains because of money is tight, I got taken.
I was looking for restaurant coupons on the net, I came across a company called Restaurant.Com http://www.restaurant.com/index.asp?prtiB52&raid 50&s_kwcid=restaurant.com|2647596287
Looks to be legit, right?
So, I printed off a couple of coupons, one of them cost me $10.00 for a $25 coupon, and one for a pizza shop near me cost $3.00 for a $15.00 coupon.
It's a month later, and I notice on my Discover card, a charge of $14.95. After the wife,daughter, & I could only see it had to be an internet company, since the charge was from a different state, we started a search on Google for the company.
Well, whatcha know, the company comes up in droves from Ripoff Report. It appears somewhere in fine print, even after boasting they don't sell, give, etc. your information away, they end up billing you by the month @ $14.95 per month for using restaurant coupons. I suppose this would be a deal, if you go out to eat often. Being on a tight budget, we go out to eat, maybe once a month, and it's not at an expensive place.
So now, I have to file a dispute, and will contact our State Attorney General.
Anyways, just wanted to warn anyone buying off the internet, it's not always what it appears to be.
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http://www.restaurant.com/index.asp?prtiB52&raid 50&s_kwcid=restaurant.com|2647596287
I've been using their coupons for several years, and have saved quite a bit doing so. I have never been billed for any monthly charges whatsoever. I am surprised that your experience is so very different from mine. Many very fine restaurants in my area have been participants for at least the last 3 years, so I would highly doubt that your experience is at all typical. Are you certain they are the ones who have started billing you?
Smarty
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It's absolutely Restaurant.Com.
After reading articles from Google, the scam comes into play when they send you an email survey. Hidden in the survey somewhere, is where they say they will bill you $14.95 per month. I did fill out a survey sent to me after about 3 weeks after I purchased the coupons. I did not give out CC information in the survey, nor my name or address. http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=ap9+shopping+essentials&btnG=Search
The billing is from : AP9*Shoppingessential.
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Thanks Loren. I confirmed your experience at RipOff Reports and apparently, exactly as you said, many people have also been hosed. The survey is something I have not completed, which is why I apparently have been spared from all the grief!
Thanks for the warning. I have forwarded to others I know who also use their coupons.
Smarty
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Smarty wrote:

Interesting, thanks to both of you.
Lou
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Why don't you use virtual card numbers with any Internet transactions? The card number generated can only be used once by anyone - exception is a credit to the card number. I ALWAYS use them with Discover.
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http://www.restaurant.com/index.asp?prtiB52&raid 50&s_kwcid=restaurant.com|2647596287
I had a similar experience when I purchased wallpaper online. I saw a charge labeled "Entertainment" for $9.99. I called my credit card company and they took one look at it and knew immediately that it was a scam, because it had happened to a bunch of other people that month. They were able to determine that it was the wallpaper site which triggered the charge, since the scam works by automatically signing you up for this "entertainment" membership which supposedly entitles you do discounts on movies, etc., although they never sent any info about this membership. The charge that appears just before the bogus "entertainment" charge is the site which boosted your credit card info. The scam works because there are lots of people who don't review their credit card bill or who just don't notice a recurring charge of $9.99. Interesting that the wallpaper site is gone now, although it was legit. The wallpaper I got was great quality and a great price.
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..

Actually, the whole thing doesn't pass my smell test, even without getting billed a monthly fee that you didn't know about. Paying $10 for a $25 off coupon, which amounts to a whopping $15 off IF you remember and manage to use it, doesn't sound like a good deal to me. Plenty of local restaurants have their own deals that are just as good or better and advertised locally in the newspaper that you don't have to pay anything up front for.
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wrote:

Discover will help protect your purchases from fraud. Also, Discover has a OPC utility you can download and use to generate a one-time use internet purchase. There are several websites that give customer ratings about a specific vendor. One such site is www.resellerratings.com but there are others. Your warning would be more useful if posted to these sites where customers are actively looking for comments. Be aware that there are plenty Internet companies that use alternate company names to hide their fraudulant practices.
Buying coupons is just not my cup of tea, but you have to be extra careful about making online purchases.
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http://www.restaurant.com/index.asp?prtiB52&raid 50&s_kwcid=restaurant.com|2647596287
Don't forget the Federal Trade Commission.
Steve
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