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  • FIRST POST
    cobra44
    0 WOW
    Esta application for USA rip off!
    • #1
    • 4th Apr 12, 9:57 PM
    0 WOW
    Esta application for USA rip off! 4th Apr 12 at 9:57 PM
    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.
Page 1
    • OWT_FOR_NOWT
    • By OWT_FOR_NOWT 4th Apr 12, 10:27 PM
    • 154 Posts
    • 106 Thanks
    OWT_FOR_NOWT
    • #2
    • 4th Apr 12, 10:27 PM
    • #2
    • 4th Apr 12, 10:27 PM
    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.
    • ferf1223
    • By ferf1223 4th Apr 12, 11:02 PM
    • 8,849 Posts
    • 7,557 Thanks
    ferf1223
    • #3
    • 4th Apr 12, 11:02 PM
    • #3
    • 4th Apr 12, 11:02 PM
    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?
    • malkie76
    • By malkie76 4th Apr 12, 11:06 PM
    • 5,106 Posts
    • 5,754 Thanks
    malkie76
    • #4
    • 4th Apr 12, 11:06 PM
    • #4
    • 4th Apr 12, 11:06 PM
    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.
  • scottishperson2
    • #5
    • 5th Apr 12, 9:45 AM
    • #5
    • 5th Apr 12, 9:45 AM
    and maybe delete your ESTA application number from your post?
    Originally posted by ferf1223
    I reported it.
    • George Michael
    • By George Michael 5th Apr 12, 10:35 AM
    • 2,520 Posts
    • 3,382 Thanks
    George Michael
    • #6
    • 5th Apr 12, 10:35 AM
    • #6
    • 5th Apr 12, 10:35 AM
    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.

    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

    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.
    • stoneman
    • By stoneman 5th Apr 12, 1:12 PM
    • 4,021 Posts
    • 3,004 Thanks
    stoneman
    • #7
    • 5th Apr 12, 1:12 PM
    • #7
    • 5th Apr 12, 1:12 PM
    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.
    • shaun from Africa
    • By shaun from Africa 5th Apr 12, 1:32 PM
    • 8,465 Posts
    • 9,504 Thanks
    shaun from Africa
    • #8
    • 5th Apr 12, 1:32 PM
    • #8
    • 5th Apr 12, 1:32 PM
    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.
    • mgdavid
    • By mgdavid 5th Apr 12, 1:41 PM
    • 4,745 Posts
    • 3,912 Thanks
    mgdavid
    • #9
    • 5th Apr 12, 1:41 PM
    • #9
    • 5th Apr 12, 1:41 PM
    lesson learned I trust !
  • scottishperson2
    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.
    Originally posted by shaun from Africa
    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.
    • photome
    • By photome 5th Apr 12, 2:43 PM
    • 11,865 Posts
    • 7,388 Thanks
    photome
    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)
    Originally posted by scottishperson2

    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
    • blacksta
    • By blacksta 5th Apr 12, 3:10 PM
    • 909 Posts
    • 447 Thanks
    blacksta
    it is no brainer
    I owe £3233 @ 0%
    • shaun from Africa
    • By shaun from Africa 5th Apr 12, 4:50 PM
    • 8,465 Posts
    • 9,504 Thanks
    shaun from Africa
    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)
    Originally posted by scottishperson2
    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.
  • scottishperson2
    I dont think the esta number is enough on its own to obtain any details
    Originally posted by photome
    correct, however

    esta number/application number.............(although for legal reasons I haven't checked that info)
    Originally posted by scottishperson2
    I don't know what info is on the "application" website if he were to retrieve his information.
    • photome
    • By photome 5th Apr 12, 6:54 PM
    • 11,865 Posts
    • 7,388 Thanks
    photome
    correct, however



    I don't know what info is on the "application" website if he were to retrieve his information.
    Originally posted by scottishperson2

    But as said you cant access anything without more details, ie passport number DOB etc
  • scottishperson2
    But as said you cant access anything without more details, ie passport number DOB etc
    Originally posted by photome
    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.
    • hamsterholly
    • By hamsterholly 5th Apr 12, 9:41 PM
    • 314 Posts
    • 119 Thanks
    hamsterholly
    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
  • Sidecarjohn
    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.
    • mgdavid
    • By mgdavid 23rd May 12, 9:21 PM
    • 4,745 Posts
    • 3,912 Thanks
    mgdavid
    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.....
  • scottishperson2
    it ain't right.
    Originally posted by Sidecarjohn
    I would agree with that. Unfortunately the rules in the UK allow it.
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