Disputing A Bogus Charge Is A Violation Of Terms Of Service?

from the how-does-that-work? dept

Consumerist has the story of how a guy who’s account on some pay porn site got hacked, with $450 charged to his account. When he threatened to have his credit card company dispute the charge, the site warned him that doing so was a “serious violation of our terms of service.” They also refused to return the money (though they said he could get credit at the site). Of course, he still had his credit card company dispute the charges and got his money back. Still, it takes quite an amazing sense of entitlement to (a) claim that you’re not giving a guy whose account was hacked his money back and then (b) threaten him with a TOS violation for disputing the charge.

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Comments on “Disputing A Bogus Charge Is A Violation Of Terms Of Service?”

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Anshar (profile) says:

Re: Re: Twisted Logic

1. Yup, I’m gonna be that guy.

2. Learn to read; “LOL” puntuates a statement referring to the porn site’s ToS and the absurd clauses therein.

3. The post has nothing at all to do with Lori Drew’s actions (whatever you may think of them); it has to do with her trial and more specifically the labarynthine route taken by prosecutors in that trial to find something (anything) with which to charge her.

4. All of the above notwithstanding, I’m still gonna be that guy. Grow up and deal with it; political correctness has gotten way out of hand.

YouAreWrong says:

online meds are similar

A lot of the online med sites don’t actually sell you the meds. They just sell you “membership access” to a list of foreign doctors and “recommended rates.” Virtually none of the doctors will ship into the US, so you’ve paid anywhere from $20-50 just to find out that you can’t buy anything. Of course, these med site will continue to charge you monthly, and that’s assuming you can even get through to customer service to cancel. And, most of them will include a term in the ToS such that if you even request a charge back from your credit card company, you agree to pay the site $10,000 in liquidated damages.

A lot of newspapers online and off have done exposes on this, and they all come to the same conclusion — online med sites are mostly scams.

NullOp says:


I’m really not surprised the site had some enormously bogus language in their TOS agreement. I generally don’t read the TOS but only because I don’t sign up for many pay-for-content sites. Those that I do subscribe to I read the TOS! I was glad to hear the guy got his money back after having the CC company dispute the charge. I suspect we’ll see this type of shady marketing growing in the future. Remember, when in doubt, litigate!

JustMe says:

Not a redhead, but...

I can honestly say that I don’t chuckle when I hear the phrase “beat you like a red-headed step child”, and I do find it quite offensive.
Claiming you can simply “take the power away” from an offensive comment doesn’t make it ok in a civilized society. I certainly hope never to live in a place where that sort of comment is acceptable in everyday language and can honestly say I have never heard it before to the best of my knowledge.

There’s little question as to why that may be since most of the people I associate with would never be so bigoted.

As for the article – come on. It’s a porn site. Might have been note worthy if they actually tried to go after him for the ToS violation but a simply claim??

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Not a redhead, but...

So long as you remember that you don’t have a right to not be offended by someone exercising their first amendment rights, we’re all good. Preach political correctness all you want (which is well within your rights), just don’t try to force people to conform to what you want to hear.

The phrase “beat you like a red-headed step child” is a widely used phrase. You probably have heard it but just don’t remember.

JustMe says:


Who’s forcing anything? The comment is bigoted (which IS illegal by the way – advocating violence based on someones hair colour is a hate crime in many places).
I didn’t say “You can’t say that”. Just that that is not appropriate and IS offensive, for good reason.

So long as people can’t respect each other enough not to make such off-colour humour people will continue to think it’s ok to hate someone based on their race, hair colour, sexual orientation, whatever.
That’s not cool.

All I’m saying.

BTR1701 says:

Re: Force?

> The comment is bigoted (which IS illegal
> by the way – advocating violence based on
> someones hair colour is a hate crime in
> many places).

Not in the USA it isn’t. Any such law would be a bright line violation of the Constitution and the 200+ years of 1st Amendment jurisprudence that illuminates it.

BTR1701 says:

Re: Force?

> people will continue to think it’s ok to
> hate someone based on their race, hair
> colour, sexual orientation, whatever

I have no idea what you actually mean by “think it’s okay”, but in terms of the law, it *is* perfectly okay to hate people for any reason at all. The government can’t punish you for your thoughts and emotions. Anyone can hate anyone else for whatever reason they choose.

anymouse says:

Won't somebody think of the children??

Obviously the porn site is in the process of patenting their new revolutionary ‘business model’ and they are still in the experimentation stages to see how far they can push things.

Business Plan (patent pending)
1. Setup online porn site, charge minimal subscription to generic material with extensive ‘additional cost’ specialty material available.
2. Get users with free 1 month subscription
3. Once enough users are signed up, change TOS so disputing charges results in all disputed purchases being made entirely public, including all material purchased being provided to ‘law enforcement’ for investigation purposes.
4. ‘Hack’ users accounts (by providing 3rd party with user ID’s and passwords) and charge ridiculous amounts to usres accounts for access to pictures of disgusting and generally disapproved type material (beastiality, goatsee, etc)
5. Sit back and wait for disgusted and frustrated users to complain (when they do provide them with the relevant portion of the TOS and see what happens) or dispute the charges, if they do dispute the charges send copies of the pictures to their e-mail and post the information on a public access forum.
6. Profit and laugh……

Anyone making use of this business model without paying the $1 million dollar licensing fee is required to provide me with their first born child (see I’m thinking of the children, anyone who would do something this despicable doesn’t deserve to be a parent). The terms of this agreement can be changed at any time, solely at my discretion without any prior notice.

Man, my tinfoil hat is really giving me helmet hair today….

JustMe says:


“Hate crimes (also known as bias-motivated crimes) occur when a perpetrator targets a victim because of his or her membership in a certain social group, usually defined by racial group, religion, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, nationality, age, gender, gender identity, or political affiliation.”

If you want to say “I hate you because you have red hair” no one cares, you’re just an a$$.
If you hit someone = assault
If you hit someone BECAUSE they have red hair = Hate Crime
…even in the entire US of A.

Dustin (profile) says:

Re: Hate

In the age of “any-color you want” hair dyes please define, exactly, which protected class you claim someone with red hair belongs to.

Race? Nope, not with red-hair being an elective hair color.
Religion? Certainly not.
Sexual Orientation? Not applicable.
Disability? Debatable, but ultimately no.
Ethnicity? See Race.
Nationality? Nope.
Gender? Again, no.
Gender identity? Same as gender.
Political affiliation? Not even related.

So… none of them apply to your definition and I’ll repeat the question: which protected class is a “red-headed step child” a part of, exactly?

Also: Get off the soap box and pull the 2×4 out, nobody cares.

BTR1701 says:

Re: Hate

> If you hit someone BECAUSE they have red
> hair = Hate Crime …even in the entire
> US of A.

Nope. Hate crimes only encompass certain statutorily defined groups and hair color is not one of them.

Kill someone because he’s Hispanic, that’s punishable as a hate crime.

Kill someone because he’s a Dallas Cowboys fan, that’s not punishable as a hate crime.

Rekrul says:

This is why you should only subscribe to sites that have a single monthly price for access to all their content. Nobody can run up charges if there’s nothing extra to charge for. I’d also add that people should always look into any site that they plan to give money to. Despite the comments above, there are many porn sites that are completely trustworthy.

Anonymous Coward says:

funny story but again a failure to read closely leads to a misunderstanding. it is clear that the username password combination were used from one location. that location is where this guy is. he ran up the charges. asking the credit card company for a chargeback is exactly a violation of TOS that terminates his account with the live site. $450 isnt a single transaction either that site runs about $3 per minute so 150 minutes of live chat.

some loser attempting to avoid paying for his porn. probably his wife found the item on his credit card bill.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Close review means you actually reads this correct? The account was not accessed from his location, but he was actively on the site while another user used credits purchased with the credit information the site stored. What you and some of the consumerist folks seem to not understand is that the charges were not authorized. The account information was stored and used from there. All someone has to do is bruteforce a name and a password, trust me it’s not that hard and they used his information. This could easily be verified by checking the incoming ips logged to the account. If there are two distinct ips then there was a hacker. If there is only one then he is lying or the hacker was…inside the house!!!

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