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RBC Visa overcharged refuses to dispute

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  • Feb 26th, 2011 10:51 am
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[OP]
Newbie
Apr 29, 2009
20 posts
7 upvotes

RBC Visa overcharged refuses to dispute

Hi Guys,

I'm looking for some expert advice on a nightmare transaction I had made in haste about a month ago. I bough a DSLR online from www.dailydealdigital.com because they advertised it for a fairly nice price (not anything crazy so had I known what I know now I would have gone with the 10 others on Nextag that had it for the same price). I ordered the camera, the total for which was about $3200 and assumed that that is what I'll be charged since shipping was advertised as free. Two days later and no invoice/receipt from Daily Deal Digital my RBC Visa card gets charged around $3700. I called them up to complain and the same guy that answers all the phone lines there told me that the total was more because of shipping and tax, yelling I requested an itemized bill which he immediately emailed while we were on the phone. Apparently they charged me $200 for shipping and $214 for tax the funny thing is that the sub total + S&H + tax didn't even add up. I freaked out on the guy and was told that everything will be sorted out. The next morning I got an email saying that my total has been adjusted and the credit was issued. I waited a week for the credit + my camera and received neither. Called RBC VISA, who said that in order for me to challenge the charge I have to wait a month to not receive the goods. Literally 29 days later I got the camera but still no credit for the tax, S&H and bad math. The merchant is not replying to my emails and puts me on hourly holds or even hangs up on me so I called VISA again to see if I can challenge the charge and they told me that so long as the merchant sent me a bill saying that they were going to charge me these amounts, Visa cannot do anything for me.

I am now completely lost, how is it possible that these guys completely went to town on me and VISA cannot do anything about it. Do I have any options or maneuvers? Has anyone been in a similar situation before and walked away victorious?

Sorry about the super long post, but it's been a super long saga.

Thanks in advance for your input.
23 replies
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 5, 2009
3657 posts
1133 upvotes
Montreal
If it is an online order, you are supposed to see the total amount before you put your credit card information.

Do you have proof for the total amount you are supposed to pay? Do you have the proof for FREE Shipping the day you ordered?

If you don't, visa can't help you.

The only challenge visa mentioned here will be - you don't receive your products within reasonable time - like a month, and they do a charge back (not your dispute amount unless you have anything to prove)
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 29, 2009
20 posts
7 upvotes
emmafb wrote:
Apr 19th, 2010 8:15 pm
If it is an online order, you are supposed to see the total amount before you put your credit card information.

Do you have proof for the total amount you are supposed to pay? Do you have the proof for FREE Shipping the day you ordered?

If you don't, visa can't help you.

The only challenge visa mentioned here will be - you don't receive your products within reasonable time - like a month, and they do a charge back (not your dispute amount unless you have anything to prove)
Thanks for getting the conversation going.

That's exactly my point. At the time that I put in my card my total was completely different. They didn't send me any receipts/invoices/statements until after my card was charged with the higher amount. I saved the item page the day I ordered but their site says free shipping even now. So as you can see I've got plenty to prove, especially them charging US tax and the ridiculously absurd difference between (subtotal+tax+s&h) and the total. However, Visa is refusing to do anything saying that since they have sent me a statement after the fact that indicates them charging me $3720 I'm on my own. This just doesn't make sense.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 5, 2009
3657 posts
1133 upvotes
Montreal
04deveni wrote:
Apr 19th, 2010 8:58 pm
Thanks for getting the conversation going.

That's exactly my point. At the time that I put in my card my total was completely different. They didn't send me any receipts/invoices/statements until after my card was charged with the higher amount. I saved the item page the day I ordered but their site says free shipping even now. So as you can see I've got plenty to prove, especially them charging US tax and the ridiculously absurd difference between (subtotal+tax+s&h) and the total. However, Visa is refusing to do anything saying that since they have sent me a statement after the fact that indicates them charging me $3720 I'm on my own. This just doesn't make sense.
I did go look in the site. If you go to FAQ or shipping info, you will see they only mentioned FREE ground shipping within USA.
I wonder if they charge you shipping as "international" order.

But you did print that page of total online charged on your card, right?
Deal Fanatic
Mar 21, 2002
6219 posts
873 upvotes
Most US sites offer free shipping only within the US. It is extremely rare that anyone offers free International shipping. Just because a site has a big flashing neon sign saying free shipping doesn't mean you can assume anything. You have to look at the details which can include US only, minimum order size, on certain items only, etc. No where do I specifically see free shipping to Canada. You should have queried them on this before placing the order. Frankly it sounds to me like you were in such a rush to place this order that you weren't paying attention to much of anything.

In fairness you do have a valid argument over the tax issue, which should not have been charged although it sounds like you've pissed them off enough that you may have trouble resolving this.

One thing that does bother me in this incidence and others is the increasing reliance on a credit card company to bail out the buyer. To me that encourages buyer complacency. "Oh well I'll just place the order with this strange company I know nothing about and if there's a problem VISA will take care of me." Well, you got the goods and they presumably are as described, so it's not surprising Visa's not interested in getting involved.
Deal Addict
Feb 26, 2003
4096 posts
105 upvotes
Tahsis
I think all you could do is return it, but their refund policy may make that uneconomical.

If you don't have a printout or screenshot of the price you agreed to pay I think you're up a creek without a paddle on this one.
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 29, 2009
20 posts
7 upvotes
For the sake of argument lets assume that I should be charged shipping , despite the fact that if you actually add something to a cart and try to complete an order, changing the shipping country to Canada does not change your total amount to be billed. And the fact that this company has already told me that they will credit me for the items I mentioned but never did.

There is still the issue of tax and a completely mind boggling math error that are at hand. Both of these amounts cannot possibly be valid and unchallengeable.

To be completely clear, I am not trying to put the burden on VISA to do my work for me and will happily explore alternative channels (are there any?). Nonetheless, if they let someone debit my account by amount X, even though I agreed to pay Y, on the sole condition that the merchant send me what appears to be a typed email stating they have charged me X, that sound like an unreasonable process. Merely because the difference between X and Y can be of any proportion and there is no protection on the side of the buyer.

But the purpose of this thread was not to complain it was to explore the avenues through which I can get back what is truly been overcharged. Be that Visa or something else. Does anyone know any alternative methods to try and get a refund/credit?
Newbie
Apr 18, 2010
66 posts
13 upvotes
Toronto
04deveni wrote:
Apr 20th, 2010 6:51 pm
For the sake of argument lets assume that I should be charged shipping , despite the fact that if you actually add something to a cart and try to complete an order, changing the shipping country to Canada does not change your total amount to be billed. And the fact that this company has already told me that they will credit me for the items I mentioned but never did.

There is still the issue of tax and a completely mind boggling math error that are at hand. Both of these amounts cannot possibly be valid and unchallengeable.
The company is based in Florida
http://www.dailydealdigital.com/about.cfm
and sales tax in Florida is 6%
http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/taxes/sales_tax.html
and $214 is 6% of about $3200 (you didn't post the exact total)

Did you tell them you are in Canada when you called and complained? If you didn't tell them, they may have assumed you are in the USA.

Which explains why they told you they would refund your shipping but then realized the shipping was correct.
04deveni wrote:
Apr 20th, 2010 6:51 pm

To be completely clear, I am not trying to put the burden on VISA to do my work for me and will happily explore alternative channels (are there any?). Nonetheless, if they let someone debit my account by amount X, even though I agreed to pay Y, on the sole condition that the merchant send me what appears to be a typed email stating they have charged me X, that sound like an unreasonable process. Merely because the difference between X and Y can be of any proportion and there is no protection on the side of the buyer.
But the purpose of this thread was not to complain it was to explore the avenues through which I can get back what is truly been overcharged. Be that Visa or something else. Does anyone know any alternative methods to try and get a refund/credit?
Return policies are posted here
http://www.dailydealdigital.com/policies.cfm
Newbie
Oct 13, 2009
15 posts
3 upvotes
Hi there,

I know that this isn't something that anyone wants to hear, but taxes charged at the point of purchase (in this case FL state taxes) are actually part of the transaction value of the purchase for Canada Customs purposes, and are supposed to be included in any such sale. Where do I get my info? 8 years as a Customs Inspector, 3 years as a licensed Customs Broker, and 2 years teaching in International Trade. It's found through a culmination of various Customs Directives (d-memos).

The only taxes that can be excluded in considering the transaction value for duty and tax purposes are CDN taxes that they charged you in advance of the sale for export, which I doubt that they did here. They were within their rights to charge you the state tax knowing that they were selling to a Canadian - sorry though. Many companies don't do this, but you can't get it back if they do, as it was by rights.

Referring back to the battle with Visa, my sole similar experience was when I ordered flowers online for delivery in another city, and was charged more than the agreed upon amount. I disputed the charge and provided MC with the invoice showing the sale amount. I had neglected to notice that the florist's small print indicated that they charge PST after the fact (goodness knows why), and MC denied my request. So, all you can do is try supplying them with what you have, and see which way it goes. All the best to you.
Newbie
Apr 18, 2010
66 posts
13 upvotes
Toronto
Nice Sass wrote:
Apr 20th, 2010 8:40 pm
Hi there,

I know that this isn't something that anyone wants to hear, but taxes charged at the point of purchase (in this case FL state taxes) are actually part of the transaction value of the purchase for Canada Customs purposes, and are supposed to be included in any such sale. Where do I get my info? 8 years as a Customs Inspector, 3 years as a licensed Customs Broker, and 2 years teaching in International Trade. It's found through a culmination of various Customs Directives (d-memos).

The only taxes that can be excluded in considering the transaction value for duty and tax purposes are CDN taxes that they charged you in advance of the sale for export, which I doubt that they did here. They were within their rights to charge you the state tax knowing that they were selling to a Canadian - sorry though. Many companies don't do this, but you can't get it back if they do, as it was by rights.

Referring back to the battle with Visa, my sole similar experience was when I ordered flowers online for delivery in another city, and was charged more than the agreed upon amount. I disputed the charge and provided MC with the invoice showing the sale amount. I had neglected to notice that the florist's small print indicated that they charge PST after the fact (goodness knows why), and MC denied my request. So, all you can do is try supplying them with what you have, and see which way it goes. All the best to you.
This is very helpful information and good for all of us to know.
Thanks for posting.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Dec 23, 2003
13213 posts
1869 upvotes
Toronto
What I always do is screen capture the costs and then check the email to make sure. If you don't have documents, it is your word against theirs and if the seller has the docs to prove it, then you are SOL.
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Newbie
Apr 18, 2007
59 posts
2 upvotes
Too late now, obviously, but given that you clearly had a significant dispute with them well before the camera actually arrived, I wonder if the smart move might have been to refuse the shipment. It would be hard for them not to give a full refund if you never took possession of the camera, and even if they didn't Visa would probably back you up.

I've never had to do something like that, but if the amount I had been charged was different from what I expected, this is probably what I would do.
Newbie
Mar 3, 2010
36 posts
Winnipeg
I'm pretty sure what you did was change your shipping country to Canada and forgot to refresh your cart, which would've brought up your new total (with shipping charges + appropriate tax)

Pay more attention next time. :|
Deal Fanatic
Mar 21, 2002
6219 posts
873 upvotes
Nice Sass wrote:
Apr 20th, 2010 8:40 pm
They were within their rights to charge you the state tax knowing that they were selling to a Canadian - sorry though. Many companies don't do this, but you can't get it back if they do, as it was by rights.
Actually you're wrong about this. So called "sales taxes" are actually "consumption" or "use" taxes and states and provinces have the legal authority only to apply such taxes to products consumed or used within their borders. They do not have the legal authority to apply such taxes to items which are consumed outside of their borders. Thus items which are directly exported such as in this case should not in any way whatsoever had the tax applied to them. You should pursue this matter directly with the company and then if unresolved with the Florida Better Business Bureau, etc.

Theoretically if you are a tourist visiting another state or province you should only be charged local tax on the items you buy for consumption while in that jurisdiction but not on items you will be taking home with you. This is impossible to administer so you're required to pay tax on everything at the time of sale. Some states do have rebate processes whereby after you return home you can file for the return of the tax by submitting your receipts but this is increasingly rare. The tax grab is irresistible and jurisdictions simply put no process in place so that they can just (illegally) keep the money.

Again though, in this case because it was a direct mail order export there was no justification, legal or otherwise that I am aware of for applying the tax on the order.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Oct 7, 2007
6078 posts
821 upvotes
Mississauga, ON
When you go to "checkout" right at the top it says:
[QUOTE]You are now in STEP 1 of CHECKOUT

Please complete the following information. After submitting this page you will be able to review your order including shipping pricing before confirming your order for processing.[/QUOTE]

Did OP not see this when ordering? Or did OP confirm the order without checking the actual cost?

I would have been very wary of ordering $3000 worth of stuff without checking every fine detail in the order.
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