Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Civil Matter or Cyber-Crime?

On Monday morning I was just taking a look at our checking account when I noticed a charge I didn't make for Leapfrog Enterprises. I called Jason right away to ask him if he made it, and he didn't.

I called my credit union and explained the situation. They hotlisted my debit card and said I should call Leapfrog. They used some language that really rubbed me the wrong way, like "IF" I didn't make the charge... But maybe I'm being too sensitive.

I called Leapfrog and went through the menu of choices, none of which seemed exactly right for this situation. I got through to customer service. I explained that there was a charge on my debit card and I hadn't ordered anything. It took a few times before they stopped asking me what the problem was with my order. After a while they were able to pull up the order. They repeated my name, my billing address, but when they got to the email, it wasn't my email, and when they said who and where it was shipping to, of course I had no idea who it was. Eventually he said he was putting it through to the "home office" and that they would be emailing me after a period of 24 hours. I told him I would prefer a call much sooner than that and he said he would make a note of it.

I didn't feel great about that interaction. I called the bank again and told them about it, and the woman I spoke with said I should wait for Leapfrog to contact me if they said they would. I told her I had serious doubts about whether they would contact me or do anything about this. She told me I should forward the email to her if they emailed, and send any more information to her if I spoke with them on the phone again. I asked if they could do a chargeback and she said they couldn't because it was with a debit card.

24 hours passed and I called Leapfrog again. I was sort of alarmed that it sounded like the same person I spoke with yesterday, and he was saying a lot of the same things he'd said yesterday. Between everything he said, it was silent, and when he spoke there was background noise. I suspect I was dealing with a very intelligent computer and not a live person. "Alex" was his name. He had no record of the phone call from yesterday and couldn't pull up the order. I told him he could pull up the order YESTERDAY... He put me on hold about fifty times before he said he'd pulled up the order. First he said it was shipped, then no wait, it was ready to be shipped. I asked him to cancel the order then, and he put me on hold fifty more times, saying, "Thank you for patiently staying on the line, I'm just" dead air "um" dead air" processing that information"... Finally he said he was so sorry but that it had already been shipped. I asked for the name and address and had him spell it out for me several times.

The order was shipped to a "Lisa Toothman" at:
514 N. Lemon St. Apt. B
Ontario, California

He told me he could not reverse the charge until he received the returned item and I felt like I was really going to lose it. "You won't receive it because I don't have it because I didn't order it and I want to know what you are going to do about it" or something like that... He said he was going to put it through to the home office. I asked what home office. I asked for a phone number of this home office. He couldn't give me one. I asked for any phone number and he could not provide one. I asked if he was a computer. He assured me he was a live person. That's when I asked his name and he said it was Alex. I asked to speak to his supervisor and he put me on hold fifty more times, in between telling me "Thank you for patiently staying on the line," dead air, "Um," dead air, "Hilary," dead air, "Please stay on the line,"... Then he told me what he was going to do is put it through to the home office... and you see, it all went around and around like this and I was on the phone with this garbage for about 45 minutes, during which time Cullen woke from his nap and was crying at the door, and I was trying to keep the girls busy in their rooms. He said I could email leapfrog at leap(crackle)com. "What was that?" Then he said "Oh so sorry, that's leapfrog, " dead air, "uh," dead air, "" and I said, "That's not an email address, it is a website..." then he said some more "I understand" and "You're right" and then told me to write a letter and gave me the address. I told him this was an urgent matter and I wanted to talk to someone about it right away and writing a letter from Wisconsin wasn't a very efficient way of doing things.

Well anyway, you get the idea.

I got the following email:

Recently you requested personal assistance from our on-line support center. Below is a summary of your request and our response.

order inquiry
Discussion Thread
Response (Dave Gregory A.)12/22/2009 03:20 PM
Try to contact your bank and try to verify if you indeed charged by Leapfrog on an order you did not placed.

Should you need further assistance, feel free to let us know.

Thanks, Dave Gregory A! Really.

I told him that I did, then asked why they shipped the product today when I told them YESTERDAY that it was a fraudulent charge... Of course I haven't heard back.

I was really upset about it when Jason came home. He decided to call the Ontario, California police department to tell them about it since we had the address the package was sent to. They told him to call his own police department. Well, he knew this was kind of silly but he did anyway, and they said it was a civil matter and not a criminal matter. Then Jason said he could see why I was so upset!


I'm just so disappointed. I am disappointed in Leapfrog, I'm disappointed in people, and my Christmas spirit is shaken. I'm not too thrilled with my Credit Union, either. And now I'm scared to death to use a debit card for anything since if I'd used a credit card this matter would be resolved by now.


Zip n Tizzy said...

That is incredibly infuriating and scary!

yermomma said...

What is Leapfrog? Is it a real company? Lisa Toothman? Really? Sounds like a fake name and address. The whole ordeal sounded fraudulent. I am very sorry that you went through this, You NEED to call your MOTHER when this stuff happens. I've been through this A LOT! It's very common. You should probably change your bank to something local. You can still have your loan at the credit union.
love you!

Anonymous said...

I am sorry. This is totally bogus. TOTALLY BOGUS!!!!!!! I think you should forward this entire entry to whatever Madison tv news channel likes to scare people. Even the title is good. Seriously... maybe with that bad PR, Leapfrog will give you back your money. I just can't believe how shitty this is from start to ending. Make them pay!! And, you know, it's worth calling a consumer protection agency, or the Wisconsin Department of Justice, or I don't know... I don't know who to call, but I think these people need to pay. All of them!

Anonymous said... reverse lookup shows neighbors for that address -- Lisa and Paul Burris at Apt. A. This would imply that there is actually an Apt. B in the building, at least.

I wonder if it was an honest debit card number entry mistake? Keep us updated.


Hilary said...

They had my billing address so I don't think it was an honest mistake. I'll keep you posted!