|While studying for math final, my 10th gr. child had late night Alg.IIH question. Had heard about TutorVista from fellow student. Registered online for the $19.95 one week subscription (only had one question). During Registration, checked box marked "Not interested in auto monthly renewal". (There were other boxes with various fees for auto monthly renewal.) Read the Terms & Conditions Section prior to providing credit card info and accepting. |
The first session lasted less than 18 minutes and had to be discontinued as there was a communication difficulty. Specifically, the tutor did not understand English. The second session, while a bit better lasted 10 minutes and again, because of the communication issue, the question was never resolved. Never used TutorVista again within the week (or any time since).
Received email notification from TutorVista that they had charged my credit card and were paid $99.99 for "Auto Monthly Renewal". I immediately tried to contact TutorVista at the ph. # listed on their webpage. Msg. . . "Mailbox full". Emailed TutorVista at their customer care department. Called my credit card company to dispute charge. My credit card company was familiar with TutorVista. In fact, they are so familiar that they were able to provide me with a number they had found to contact TutorVista (not listed on their webpage). My credit card company also advised that it would be difficult for me to get TutorVista to stop the monthly charges and I should stay on top of my account to monitor future activity from TutorVista.
Called TutorVista at ph.# given by credit card company. Was put on hold (actually the phone was put down) and after some time "Ryan - Supervisor" advised me that it was the company's policy and I agreed to the terms and conditions that if I use the site, regardless of whether it was for just one week, I was actually agreeing to a monthly charge. Bologna! I told Ryan that I had specifically checked the box marked "Not interested in auto monthly renewal" and verified same with the on-line assistant that "helps" you through registration. I told Ryan that I had actually read the terms and conditions and no where was what he stated listed. Unfortunately, Ryan was not going to refund my $99.99 and maybe I would like to reconsider their service. Nope. Want my money back and oh, by the way, I advised my credit card company about the fraudulent charge and it was in dispute. Ryan then agreed to refund my credit card the $99.99 charged and stated it would be 3 days before the refund appeared. After three times of asking Ryan to verify that he would cancel the auto monthly renewal charges and close the account, he finally agreed that he would do same.
I received an email confirmation that my card would be refunded $99.99 in 3 days.
I am anxiously awaiting my refund. I say this because I Googled Consumer Complaints against TutorVista and this is just one of many sites that contain numerous complaints against TutorVista and fraudulent charges. Some more aggregious than my own (my issue is in the infancy stage). Some of these consumers have actually had to cancel their credit card, change banks after months of TutorVista fraudulent charges. All complaints have the same message, fraudulent/unauthorized continuous charges and communication issues.
I am told by my credit card company that once you authorize an on-line service provider to charge your account (any amount), they have the ability to continue making charges, regardless of whether or not you authorized additional charges. What???
In any event, while I initially didn't think much of spending $19.99 at TutorVista (despite the non-performance of their Master Degree holding Tutors) I am now rethinking the whole process as it appears I will spend more than $19.99 in time and effort trying to stop $99.99 charges to my credit card.
Heck, TutorVista was touted by CNN, Fox, Oprah & others. Who would have thought they would turn out to be consumate scam artists from India who apparently have used their Master Degrees to successfully scam parents here in the U.S.
Sadly, what could be an invaluable on-line tool for students of all ages across the U.S. is nothing more than a money making scam!!
My suggestion, if your child needs a Tutor, visit Kumon or ask your child's teacher for a reference. . . a live body that comes to your home.
Keep you posted.