IMPORTANT! This is MoneySavingExpert's open forum - anyone can post

Please exercise caution & report any spam, illegal, offensive, racist, libellous post to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com

  • Be nice to all MoneySavers
  • All the best tips go in the MoneySavingExpert weekly email

    Plus all the new guides, deals & loopholes

  • No spam/referral links
or Login with Facebook
Esta application for USA rip off!
Reply
Views: 8,786
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
# 1
WOW Factor 0
cobra44
Old 04-04-2012, 9:57 PM
MoneySaving Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7
Default Esta application for USA rip off!

I have just been charged EUR 59.00 for the pleasure of processing an ESTA application. I realised I was not on the official site to late and had already authorised my Mastercard.

I had an online chat with one of their representatives and complained about the amount they had charged. I asked them to cancel it and refund my card.

She said "I have verified our system and your application (PIN# 14086211) has been processed and approved.Your authorization number is RW9RR986R9AQH4Q2 and is valid for two years, expiring on April 4, 2014.
As stated in the terms and conditions that you had agreed to when you submitted your application, once it is processed and approved by DHS we cannot issue you a refund.
It is stated on our site in more than one area that our charge per application is 59,00 euros.
Before you started the application the disclaimer clearly states that we charge 59 euros per application and that we are not the official Government site.
I cannot cancel something that has already been processed and approved by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Keep in mind there is only one system that processes applications. You already have a valid ESTA on file with DHS.
If you decide to reapply you will have not only paid our cost but also an additional amount to process yet another application."


I said I thought this was a complete rip off and that Mastercard would be happy to retrieve the payment.


The reply was "Our no refund policy is stated in more than one place on the site where you applied. It is stated in the disclaimer, certification statement and on the payment page.
If you wish MasterCard to cancel and reverse the payment, that is fine."


Can I cancel this and re-apply through the official site and will it likely hurt my credit rating.


Thanks for your help.
cobra44 is offline
Reply With Quote Report Post
# 2
OWT_FOR_NOWT
Old 04-04-2012, 10:27 PM
MoneySaving Convert
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 135
Default

I bought an Esta 2 weeks ago at a cost of 9.09 from the official site, it was in dollars but on my credit card statement it converted to 9.09.

I too was baffled when I first googled "ESTA" but after shopping around realised there were non official sites over charging for the same thing.

Personally I don't think you will get a refund but I hope you do. Good luck.
OWT_FOR_NOWT is offline
Reply With Quote Report Post
# 3
ferf1223
Old 04-04-2012, 11:02 PM
Fantastically Fervent MoneySaving Super Fan
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 8,355
Default

I'm not sure on what basis your credit card would issue a refund if you accepted the T&Cs?

and maybe delete your ESTA application number from your post?
Does remembering a time that a certain degree of personal responsibility was more or less standard means that I am officially old?
ferf1223 is offline
Reply With Quote Report Post
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to ferf1223 For This Useful Post: Show me >>
# 4
malkie76
Old 04-04-2012, 11:06 PM
Fantastically Fervent MoneySaving Super Fan
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,614
Default

You haven't been ripped off. You paid a third party to complete the application for you.
No different to the 'check and send' service offered by the post office.
malkie76 is offline
Reply With Quote Report Post
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to malkie76 For This Useful Post: Show me >>
# 5
scottishperson2
Old 05-04-2012, 9:45 AM
MoneySaving Stalwart
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 310
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ferf1223 View Post
and maybe delete your ESTA application number from your post?
I reported it.
scottishperson2 is offline
Reply With Quote Report Post
# 6
George Michael
Old 05-04-2012, 10:35 AM
Serious MoneySaving Fan
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,705
Default

I'm afraid that Mastercard will probably agree with the company concerned.
The fee of €59 was clearly shown on the first page of the website, and you ticked in the box to state that you had read and understood the T&C's.

Quote:
The cost of this application is EUR 59 fully inclusive of both the US Government charges (currently USD 14.00) and our service fee.
Yes, I have read and understand the information and agree to these terms.
No, I need additional clarification or I decline to provide acknowledgement.
The same info appears on the next page as well, and again, you must confirm that you've read and understood their terms

Quote:
Certification *: I, the applicant, hereby certify that I have read, or have had read to me, all the questions and statements on this application and understand all the questions and statements on this application. The answers and information furnished in this application are true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief. By clicking Submit Application, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to the USA eServices Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. All sales are final.

The cost of this application is EUR 59 fully inclusive of both the US Government charges (currently USD 14.00) and our service fee. Please note, all sales are final.

Last edited by George Michael; 05-04-2012 at 1:29 PM.
George Michael is offline
Reply With Quote Report Post
The Following User Says Thank You to George Michael For This Useful Post: Show me >>
# 7
stoneman
Old 05-04-2012, 1:12 PM
Fantastically Fervent MoneySaving Super Fan
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Las Vegas board
Posts: 3,677
Default

I wish I had thought of this business plan myself, could have made a nice tidy some from people that seem unable to read
The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better.
stoneman is offline
Reply With Quote Report Post
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to stoneman For This Useful Post: Show me >>
# 8
shaun from Africa
Old 05-04-2012, 1:32 PM
Fantastically Fervent MoneySaving Super Fan
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 6,149
Default

I would be more worried about many of my personal details and credit card information being given to a 3rd party.

Who knows where they are actually located, how they handle and secure the information that they collect and how trustworthy their employees are.
shaun from Africa is offline
Reply With Quote Report Post
# 9
mgdavid
Old 05-04-2012, 1:41 PM
Fantastically Fervent MoneySaving Super Fan
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,319
Default

lesson learned I trust !
mgdavid is offline
Reply With Quote Report Post
# 10
scottishperson2
Old 05-04-2012, 2:27 PM
MoneySaving Stalwart
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 310
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by shaun from Africa View Post
I would be more worried about many of my personal details and credit card information being given to a 3rd party.

Who knows where they are actually located, how they handle and secure the information that they collect and how trustworthy their employees are.
I'd be more worried that he stuck his esta number/application number up on an open forum that appears on google searches that links to his passport number/credit card details/d-o-b and address. (although for legal reasons I haven't checked that info)

Last edited by scottishperson2; 05-04-2012 at 2:29 PM.
scottishperson2 is offline
Reply With Quote Report Post
The Following User Says Thank You to scottishperson2 For This Useful Post: Show me >>
# 11
photome
Old 05-04-2012, 2:43 PM
Deliciously Dedicated Diehard MoneySaving Devotee
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: norwich
Posts: 10,243
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by scottishperson2 View Post
I'd be more worried that he stuck his esta number/application number up on an open forum that appears on google searches that links to his passport number/credit card details/d-o-b and address. (although for legal reasons I haven't checked that info)

I dont think the esta number is enough on its own to obtain any details. I would still remove it though

I dont understand why anyone would pay extra though as if you do a search fro ESTA the number one result (after the sponsored ones) is the official US gvt site
photome is offline
Reply With Quote Report Post
The Following User Says Thank You to photome For This Useful Post: Show me >>
# 12
blacksta
Old 05-04-2012, 3:10 PM
Serious MoneySaving Fan
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Essex
Posts: 897
Default

it is no brainer
I owe 3233 @ 0%
blacksta is offline
Reply With Quote Report Post
# 13
shaun from Africa
Old 05-04-2012, 4:50 PM
Fantastically Fervent MoneySaving Super Fan
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 6,149
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by scottishperson2 View Post
I'd be more worried that he stuck his esta number/application number up on an open forum that appears on google searches that links to his passport number/credit card details/d-o-b and address. (although for legal reasons I haven't checked that info)
As photome stated, the ESTA number on its own is totally worthless and can't be used to access any further info.
You can check the status of an ESTA on the US government website, but to do this you still need the passport number and date of birth of the applicant.
Even if you had all of these details, you still could only find out when the ESTA is due to expire.
shaun from Africa is offline
Reply With Quote Report Post
# 14
scottishperson2
Old 05-04-2012, 5:19 PM
MoneySaving Stalwart
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 310
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by photome View Post
I dont think the esta number is enough on its own to obtain any details
correct, however

Quote:
Originally Posted by scottishperson2 View Post
esta number/application number.............(although for legal reasons I haven't checked that info)
I don't know what info is on the "application" website if he were to retrieve his information.
scottishperson2 is offline
Reply With Quote Report Post
# 15
photome
Old 05-04-2012, 6:54 PM
Deliciously Dedicated Diehard MoneySaving Devotee
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: norwich
Posts: 10,243
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by scottishperson2 View Post
correct, however



I don't know what info is on the "application" website if he were to retrieve his information.

But as said you cant access anything without more details, ie passport number DOB etc
photome is offline
Reply With Quote Report Post
# 16
scottishperson2
Old 05-04-2012, 7:39 PM
MoneySaving Stalwart
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 310
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by photome View Post
But as said you cant access anything without more details, ie passport number DOB etc
I couldn't even find the website he applied from, theres so many.

This one is a good clone on the front page.

FAKE WEBSITE THIS IS NOT THE PROPER WEBSITE
http://www.guaranteedestavisa.com/
FAKE WEBSITE THIS IS NOT THE PROPER WEBSITE

they even guarantee it by filling in all the questions

Last edited by scottishperson2; 05-04-2012 at 7:59 PM.
scottishperson2 is offline
Reply With Quote Report Post
# 17
hamsterholly
Old 05-04-2012, 9:41 PM
MoneySaving Stalwart
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 311
Default

This also happened to someone I know. They just googled it and they went with the top company on there. I must admit I would have been alerted with the fact they asked for payment in euros and not dollars
hamsterholly is offline
Reply With Quote Report Post
# 18
Sidecarjohn
Old 23-05-2012, 8:55 PM
MoneySaving Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1
Default

I too have recently been ripped off by this company, and after a series of emails don't expect to gain any satisfaction.
However, what frustrates as well are responses that suggest USA eservices are somehow righteous and "it's your own fault". Disclaimers, etc may well exist, but this company along with others is exploiting a situation of innocence on the part of folk.
Top of the heap when Googled doesn't help, as doesn't website presentation that catches the unwary. I last applied for an ESTA visa when it was free, and although I had learned there was now a charge, had no familiarity with how the process would operate, so it is easy to be duped because that is exactly what is happening.
The suggestions that it's down to you poor sucker is akin to when you're told it's your fault when someone breaks into your house because you hadn't created a second Fort Knox.
The bottom line is that USA eservices and their kin are exploiting a degree of innocence and misplaced trust. Legal it may be, but it ain't right.
After all, how many of those involved with USA eservices would utilise their facility to obtain an ESTA visa ? I think I know that particular answer. Another legal rip off.
Sidecarjohn is offline
Reply With Quote Report Post
# 19
mgdavid
Old 23-05-2012, 9:21 PM
Fantastically Fervent MoneySaving Super Fan
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,319
Default

Most people are gullible when small children.
Most people grow out of it through learning and experience.


I refer you to McNeff's tagline:
why is it always somebody else's fault? <sigh>
A salary slave no more...
mgdavid is offline
Reply With Quote Report Post
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to mgdavid For This Useful Post: Show me >>
# 20
scottishperson2
Old 23-05-2012, 10:12 PM
MoneySaving Stalwart
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 310
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sidecarjohn View Post
it ain't right.
I would agree with that. Unfortunately the rules in the UK allow it.
scottishperson2 is offline
Reply With Quote Report Post
Reply

Bookmarks
 
 




Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

 Forum Jump  

Contact Us - MoneySavingExpert.com - Archive - Privacy Statement - Top

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 3:31 AM.

 Forum Jump  

Free MoneySaving Email

Top deals: Week of 01 October 2014

Get all this & more in MoneySavingExpert's weekly email full of guides, vouchers and Deals

GET THIS FREE WEEKLY EMAIL Full of deals, guides & it's spam free

Latest News & Blogs

Martin's Twitter Feed

profile

Cheap Travel Money

Find the best online rate for holiday cash with MSE's TravelMoneyMax.

Find the best online rate for your holiday cash with MoneySavingExpert's TravelMoneyMax.

TuneChecker Top Albums

  • ED SHEERANX (DELUXE EDITION)
  • ALT-JTHIS IS ALL YOURS
  • SAM SMITHIN THE LONELY HOUR (DELUXE EDITION)

MSE's Twitter Feed

profile
Always remember anyone can post on the MSE forums, so it can be very different from our opinion.
We use Skimlinks and other affiliated links in some of our boards, for some of our users.