MWI Essentials Review
I have successfully recovered from being ripped off by: MWI Essentials9500 West Dodge RoadOmaha Nebraska 68114Fax: 402-661-2189Tel:800-568-2386 800-313-3540 According the MWI Essentials, I was solicited by AT&T Universal Card and offered two free airline tickets back in November, 2000. It never happened. I was “Slammed”. I never knew anything about this bogus coupon membership until I accidently found some junk email that I accidently read and saw the fine print saying something about “Renewal”. This was their so called “Membership Kit”, the only mailing they send and is designed to look like junk with nothing on the outside to tell you it is a membership renewal. So, Here’s what I did:1) Registered web based complaints to all authories (BBB, Fraud.org, State Attorney General’s Office for Nebraska and my home state, Virginia. 2) Called and complained directly to MWI Essentials. They agreed only to refund the current charge that I had discovered. I did not know until I followed up more aggressively and cornered a supervisor to give me a history of the charges that they had been sneeking the “Membership Fees” for the past four years. They put this on my AT&T Universal Card with the innocuous item “Essentials” right after Christmas so as to mingle it in with other christmas shopping bills causing me to assume it was something my wife bought. Knowing what the charges were helped. They refuse to send you a statement, and the credit card company would have you produce all of the bills challenging the charges and then would tell you it was too late to stop payment. 3) Aggressively complained to Citibank which owns AT&T Universal Card. I believe it was either pressure from BBB or a State Attourney’s office or pressure from the credit card company that led to a sudden and unexplained credit on my current credit card bill that Customer Service at AT&T Universal Card has not explained in spite of written and verbal requests. I was refunded $69.95 for 2/1/00, $79.95 for 12/28/00, $89.95 for 12/28/01 and $89.95 for 12/28/02. Total refund $329.80. AT&T apparently also refunded $0.04 in interest! The upshot is, if you make enough stink you can get ALL of your money back. The process took me about two weeks. Here is the letter I sent to Citibank Customer Service: Citibank Customer ServiceP.O. Box 6500Souix Falls, SD 57117 Dear Sir/Madam, I am writing to register a complaint and to dispute all charges with respect to MWI Essentials on my AT&T Universal card since 12/99. On January 2, 2003 I mailed a First Class letter asking you to investigate charges to my AT&T credit card from MWI Essentials. Attached is a copy of that letter. I have called several times and it would seem that you have not received or processed my letter. All information over the phone with AT&T Universal Card Customer Support about these charges has been inconsistent and misleading. At that time I did not know the extent of the illicit charges made against my account. I am disappointed with Citibank/AT&T Universal Card for being in a partnership with MWI Essentials and taking advantage of me by either fraudulently signing me up with a membership program without my knowledge or consent or deliberately deceiving me if I actually did sign up as a result of your telephone solicitation, and for conspiring with MWI Essentials to allow continued access to my account through passive renewal subscription charges without my approval. In view of their reputation of fraud and deceptive marketing practices and the various lawsuits and judgments against them it is obvious that Citibank/AT&T Universal Card is completely aware of their practices and is a co-conspirator in a scheme to defraud its customers. I am finding hundreds of complaints on websites all over the internet about this. Here are some examples of internet website URLs that make clear that MWI Essentials and its partners, including AT&T Universal Card are perpetrating deceptive and fraudulent practices with hundreds if not thousands of complaints about them all over the country: I spoke to AT&T Universal Card Customer Support on 1/14/02, concerned that my account information was now compromised, may be being traded between other unscrupulous parties and that further charges to my account might be likely. The Customer Support Representative I spoke to tried to explain that this will make no difference because my new account can be charged membership fees as if I never changed the account. I had him change the account anyway. I was transferred to the Dispute Department. They told me that they can not refund or dispute any charges on the account longer than 3 months. Because of the nature of these charges I do not accept this as an answer and am writing to challenge that. I was then transferred to the MWI Essentials Department and then spoke to an MWI Essentials Customer Support Representative in Canada who then transferred me to a supervisor at MWI Essentials in Omaha, NB that I was finally able to pin down with a verbal accounting of the charges. I asked for a statement and was told that they do not furnish this to their members. Nor would she pass me to her supervisor or give me the telephone number or address of where her supervisor was located, but that the supervisor was at their Corporate Office in Houston, TX. Up to this point I had received misleading and incomplete information from AT&T Universal Card Customer Support and MWI Essentials as to the history of charges to my account. I kept getting different answers. AT&T Universal Card Customer Support told me that the membership had started last year and that the charge was being removed, implying that I had received a full refund. This was a misleading if not a deliberately false answer. According to the MWI Essentials Supervisor in Omaha, NB, Willona, badge 44104, my membership began on 12/18/99 as a result of an AT&T Universal Card solicitation that offered me two free airline tickets that I theoretically accepted. I am requesting from you a copy of anything I signed or a transcript or recording of the telephone solicitation from you to establish if I was solicited and if I agreed to anything in this solicitation. According to this MWI Essentials Supervisor I was charged $69.95 on 2/1/00, $79.95 on 12/28/00, $89.95 on 12/28/01 and $89.95 on 12/27/02. Therefore I have been charged $329.80 total (plus accrued high credit card interest on my account). They will only refund $89.95 charged 12/23/02. I received a letter from your Customer Service Department (signed S.Larson) saying that I have been refunded $89.95 charged 12/23/02.(for the new membership thru 12/03) implying that the matter is closed. For me to continue to be a Citibank IRA, savings and checking account as well as credit cards customer, I require a full refund of all these membership fees including accrued interest charges fraudulently charged against my account. BrianLeesburg, Virginia U.S.A.