I never signed up for eFax services from j2 Global, but noticed a charge on my debit card from the company—which, again, I’d never used nor heard of before—for $16.95. I alerted my bank to potential fraud, and they pursued the case on my behalf. In the meantime, I spoke with an eFax rep on the phone who wouldn’t provide any information without me giving him my credit card number, which is, at best, sketchy and makes the company look suspect. I chatted with three different online reps, RPhillips, wpeterson, and SJones, who disconnected from me as soon as I told them what the problem was. A rep under the name Mac Simmons actually took the time to look up the account as being registered under the email address “firstname.lastname@example.org.”
That is not my email address, and frankly, I’m surprised that in itself wasn’t a red flag to eFax that something was amiss. However, perhaps the company’s common sense is as reliable as its honesty.
I spoke with a gentleman on the phone and recorded the call with his consent. He said I was only eligible for up to four months service refunded, which is ridiculous, because I never signed up for any of this. The account was opened fraudulently with neither my knowledge nor consent, and it speaks volumes for eFax’s business ethics that I had to jump through hoops to deal with this issue.
I filed a report with the Better Business Bureau (you can view it here), in which I affirmed that I would talk to press about the issue, because, well, I am press. After nearly a month without a response, j2 Global issued a BBB response saying they’d refund me all of my money, but also victim-blaming me for not noticing the charges sooner. While I admit I should have paid closer attention to my bank statements, they also should maybe not attempt to steal from people: Someone mysteriously stole my credit card information and used it to only make unauthorized charges to j2 Global and eFax’s service. Wouldn’t they buy a flatscreen? Or make an iTunes purchase? For legal reasons, I can’t say that they actually attempted to actively steal my money, but I can say that the charges are even more suspicious in that context.
If you too are or were a victim of j2 Global or eFax’s shady practices—and based on my research, many people are—here’s how to get your hard-earned money back. Seriously guys, I have a scanner. What the eff do I need eFax for?