5 On Your Side

Five On Your Side Helps Customer Hooked By Misleading Telemarketing Call

Posted August 12, 2004 6:15 a.m. EDT

— Most people hang up on telemarketing calls, but every now and then one might catch your attention.

When that happened to a Fayetteville woman who ended up paying for something she was not expecting, she called Five on Your Side for help.

Tarosa Wright had some credit trouble, worked it out and wanted to re-establish her credit with a credit card.

"Every time I tried I'd just get denied," she said. "I was just getting tired, you know, and I was trying for a way to rebuild my credit."

Then she got a call from Commercial Healthcare Network.

"It just sounded so real. That's why I went along with it," she said.

Wright says a representative offered her a credit card with a $2,000 limit. To get it, Wright agreed to a $299 draft from her bank account. About a month later, Wright got a package in the mail.

"I ripped it open. I was like,'Oh, I got my credit card,'" she said. "It was a bunch of papers saying you've got insurance coverage and I'm like, 'OK, what is this?'"

The package also included a credit card application. It would cost another $69 to apply.

So Wright followed the written cancellation policy. She sent everything back to Commercial Healthcare Network and called the company.

"They were like, 'No. They didn't mean you could get a refund by sending that back. You had to cancel it before they draft it,'" she said.

That means Wright had to cancel before she got the package.

"I'm OK," she said. "I just lost $300."

Wright called Five on Your Side. After some checking we found the company is no stranger to complaints.

Commercial Healthcare Network has an unsatisfactory record with the Better Business Bureau and a number of entries in an online complaint forum.

The situations described are very similar to what Wright says she experienced.

A Commercial Healthcare Network representative played Five On Your Side a tape of Wright agreeing to the "package." The tape did not include the part about the credit card.

Wright and the others say that is because Commercial Healthcare Network does not start recording until after the credit card pitch and stops before the customer asks any questions about it.

After more calls, customer service manager Andrea Johnson agreed to put the money back in Wright's account.

"I'm getting my money back. I'm happy now," Wright said. "I'm on the road to rebuilding my credit the way I wanted it to be from the start and I did not have to pay out any money."

Wright also has good news in the credit card department -- she got one through a bank.