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Unauthorized 'fines' charged to my credit card without notice.

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What is the name of your state? - Florida

Well... actually, I'm in Canada, but my problem regards a contract which was entered into with a company in Florida, and one of the terms of the contract was that Florida law would be applied to any disputes which may arise.

I procured hosting services from an ISP. The agreed upon price was $100.00 USD per month. Within a few weeks of service, I was contact by my credit card company and told that this company had attempted to charge over $1,000.00 to my card without any prior notification to me. My CC company put through the first charge in the amount of $260.00 (above the agreed upon $100.00) but refused to process any further charge until they first contacted me. I of course refused these charges and lodged a dispute with my CC company against the first charge of $260.00

I then contacted the company which had made the charges via e-mail, and in nothing but the most professional and amicable tone, requested information regarding why these charges were attempted.

The company responded that I had violated the terms of their useragreement and as was stated in the agreement was responsible for fines regarding these violations.

I then wrote back to the company and again, in nothing but the most professional and amicable tone, clearly showed how none of the terms of service were violated in the manner in which they claimed, or in fact, in any manner. I very politely asked them for a refund of the $260.00 and informed them that I would not pay the added 'fines' which did not go through on my credit card.

They responded to this e-mail with a response which included foul language, personal insults and outright lies. They ended the correspondence with an order not to contact them gain, "wasting their time" and to send payment in full in order to avoid interest and to avoid having my account turned over to a collection agency.

They also then, without any notice at all, cut-off my services -which had the effect of costing my business thousands of dollars in lost revenue.

I immediately filed a formal complaint with the Florida office of the Better Business Bureau and waited for a response. About a week later I received another e-mail from the company informing me that with interest I now owed them over $3000.00

Now, here is what is going on - They are claiming I have violated their user agreement, when in fact, I clearly have not. They are actually attempting to verbally 'amend' their agreement after the fact in order to make it apply to my actions.

I am also in possession, as are they, of a written agreement which specifically states the amount of money they are authorized to charge my credit card on a monthly basis. This agreement actually says - direct quote:

"I hereby Authorize (company name) to charge my credit card for up to $100.00 USD per month"

They have told me now that they will not correspond with me further in any form other than by phone. No e-mail, no fax, no written letters. I believe this is because every time I correspond with them their messages invariably contain blatant contradictions and sometimes even close to outright admittals that they are not entitled to these funds, and they are not comfortable with the fact that I have hard copies of these statements.

Now my question is this: They continue to badger me for payment. They refuse to listen to my explanations and seem completely uninterested in any sort of resolution. Their attitude is quite simply: "We're right, You're wrong, shut-up and pay us!"

I am afraid of the repercussions against my credit rating if they do in fact turn the matter over to a collection agency.

What are my options here? I'm sure I really could not afford a lawsuit, especially an international one (I'm in Canada, the company is in Florida) Is it the Better Business Bureau or bust? Is there some other agency which might serve better in getting these people off my back?

Any help or advice anyone has to give would be greatly, greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance!




Do not correspond with these people via phone. Continue to correspond by certified mail only. In short, let them know that the only way they are going to get a dime from you is to sue. If your case is as strong as it sounds you have nothing to fear from a lawsuit. Keep copies of all correspondence.

I don't know what your rights are regarding accurate reporting of information on your credit reports, but again, if your argument and documentation is as strong as you claim, you should have no problem getting inaccurate information removed from your report.

A lawsuit may not cost you very much at all, and may in fact be the best thing that could happen in this case. However, based on the information you provided, it is doubtful that this company would ever want to pursue this in court.


Senior Member
I would like to add that you can and should sue them in your country. They have a presence by offering their services, they can also be sued there too. From you post, they will probably try to find a way to weasel out of that too. Go get em.

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