Esta

Hi, can anyone help me please? I don't know if I've come onto the right page or not. I have ordered an ESTA (visa waiver form) and the charge shold have been $14 but it has come up as showing €59. I have been in touch with my credit card company and they have said that it has nothing to do with them unless I don't receive the goods. You don't receive anything anyway as it is all computerised. Would anyone know where I stand on this?
Thanks in advance
Lisa
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Comments

  • Eydon
    Eydon Posts: 599
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    Where did you order it from? From the proper ESTA site or from somewhere offering to do the ESTA application for you?

    See here for the MSE guide.
  • I thought I had gone onto the us website as it said esta at the top of the page......but it wasn't, I've since found out. The embassy said to get in touch with credit card company and they said they can't help.
  • Sorry for taking long to get back to you as well. Thanks.
  • Eydon
    Eydon Posts: 599
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    so which website did you use?

    It may be that they have actually done the ESTA application for you and just charged you over the odds for the service. In which case it's a lesson learned.

    Alternatively they could be a total scam merchant in which case you will need to apply for the ESTA again yourself (using the correct website) and then look to get your money back for the original application via your credit card company.
  • It was usa e service website. I made the mistake of clicking onto the first one at the top of google page and because it had esta at the top I just filled the form out! They aren't a scam merchant as the application has been approved. I have emailed them for a refund but don't hold out much hope! I just thought that it was the correct website, so as you say....a lesson learned. Thanks for your help.
  • thenudeone
    thenudeone Posts: 4,462
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    Unfortunately there are many similar scams including applications for driving test slots, European Health Insurance cards (which are actually free) and so on.

    Google COULD act as a responsible corporate citizen and refuse to accept paid adverts for these key words unless they had checked that the advertisers were offering a genuine extra service; but they don't.

    Every time you click the link from a google search, it will cost the scam / "Service" company anywhere up to £1 or more, so If you want to feel better about it, just repeatedly search on google, then click on their advert. This will cost the company £££s if you do so every day:)
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  • thenudeone wrote: »
    Every time you click the link from a google search, it will cost the scam / "Service" company anywhere up to £1 or more, so If you want to feel better about it, just repeatedly search on google, then click on their advert. This will cost the company £££s if you do so every day:)
    I wanted to check this out so I clicked on the links. Unfortunately there's no indication of what it costs the advertisers so I'll probably try again tomorrow in case it has changed. :D
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  • pvt
    pvt Posts: 1,433 Forumite
    thenudeone wrote: »
    Unfortunately there are many similar scams

    To be fair they do state at the very top that they are an application service. They point out that you can get the ESTA for $14 from the official website, and rather helpfully even give the URL for that site.

    They offer a number of additional services such as multilingual chat lines, free reapplication, free updating, and renewal when you change your passport.

    I wouldn't use one of these, but some people might wish to, so I don't see that it makes them scammers.
    Optimists see a glass half full :)
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  • pvt
    pvt Posts: 1,433 Forumite
    edited 21 April 2012 at 8:15PM
    I just filled in a dummy application and it clearly says before you click go to the payment page that cost is 59 Euros, and then again in big bold characters at the top of the secure payment page.

    Given that they appear to have provided the service they said they would, and charged you what they clearly said they would, then I don't think your bank will be interested in refunding you any time soon.
    Optimists see a glass half full :)
    Pessimists see a glass half empty :(
    Engineers just see a glass twice the size it needed to be :D
  • thenudeone
    thenudeone Posts: 4,462
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    I wanted to check this out so I clicked on the links. Unfortunately there's no indication of what it costs the advertisers so I'll probably try again tomorrow in case it has changed. :D

    Every google advertising slot is auctioned and automatically allocated to the advertiser who has offered the highest price per click-through for the relevant keywords. This price could be up to a dollar or more for an area like this where such a huge profit margin can be made by the advertiser if the clicker follows through with a purchase.

    Only google and the advertiser will know what clicking the adverts has cost.
    We need the earth for food, water, and shelter.
    The earth needs us for nothing.
    The earth does not belong to us.
    We belong to the Earth
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