Welcome to the Better Business Bureau
About the BBB Complaints Company Reports Become a Member Become a Member Contact the BBB
BBB Logo
Alerts
Non-Responder List
Unsatisfactory Companies
Naming Names
Advertising Review
Information Services
Media Resources
Before you Donate
Consumer Tips
Business Tips
Locate a BBB
Useful Links
Members Section
New Members List
Benefit News
Dispute Resolution
Member Programs

QUESTIONABLE TELEMARKETERS USE GAS VOUCHERS TO RIP YOU OFF!
Date: June 24, 2004

QUESTIONABLE TELEMARKETING BY CONTINUITY PARTNERS, INC., WASHBALL, WELLNET AMERICA, UTALK UNLIMITED

USE GAS VOUCHERS AS INCENTIVE TO RIP YOU OFF!

 

HAS HIT THIS AREA, TOO: BE AWARE

TheLocalBBB has gotten word from area residents in the past about phone calls from UTALK UNLIMITED, or Continuity Partners, Inc., questionable telemarketing agencies offering vouchers for gasoline. For $3.95, the person on the phone offers gas vouchers worth $200, but also asks for bank account and routing numbers.

 

According to a news story from KSBW-TV 8 of Santa Cruz from June 24, 2004, investigators said two San Lorenzo Valley residents were recently contacted. One didn't fall for it, but the other did. His overdraft protection saved him from losing more than $100.

According to the Vegas BBB, Continuity Partners, Inc., 2753 Highland Dr. #1010, Las Vegas, NV 89109, phone (702) 839-0301, has failed to eliminate the source of consumer dissatisfaction. As of May, 2004, that Bureau has processed 24 consumer complaints on this company within the last three year reporting period. (Report at: www.vegasbbb.org)

Here's how they try to get you to fork over your personal info: According to victims, they are contacted by Continuity Partners, Inc. and/or UTALK UNLIMITED, BLITZ MEDIA, WASHBALL, or WELLNET AMERICA. They high pressure you into giving them your check number. You are instructed to write 'void' on the check, then give them the routing information on the bottom and send it to them.

According to the Iowa Attorney General's Office, who is also seeing problems with this company and its affiliates, victims also were encouraged to try so-called free trial offers for other services or goods, such as a long-distance calling card (UTALK UNLIMITED). But even if consumers explicitly rejected all other offers, unauthorized charges for hundreds of dollars showed up on their bank accounts. The Iowa Attorney General's Office has determined that the so-called $200 of "gas coupons" appear to be of little or no practical value.  

The Santa Cruz County District Attorney's Office consumer affairs unit has issued a warning and is reminding consumers never to give bank information over the phone to cold calling telemarketers such as these.

The Las Vegas Better Business Bureau has processed over 40 complaints on Continuity Partners business practices, and say there are several other names by which the company is know -- including Utalk Unlimited, Wellnet America (aka American Values) and Washballs (aka Blitz Media, Inc.) (all of which have unsatisfactory records with the bureau due to two or more unresolved or unanswered complaints and for failing to eliminate the basic cause of customer dissatisfaction.) For full reports on these fraudsters, go to: www.bbb.org

As of June, 2004, the BBB of Vegas has processed 850+ consumer complaints on Wellnet ALONE within the last three year reporting period.

Consumers allege that when filing a complaint against Wellnet America with the BBB, the company sends a refund check to the consumer, and that very check is returned to the consumer as "Insufficient Funds". This deception tries to dupe the BBB into reporting a "resolved complaint." The consumer's bank charges the consumer a fee for the "Insufficient Funds". The Bureau has tried to contact the company in regards to the bounced checks to no avail.

Wellnet America is using another pitch, as well: Contacting consumers stating that the consumer had been selected to receive grocery savings, gas coupons, and prescription discounts for a small fee of $4.95 because the consumer had made recent purchases at WalMart or Kmart. The consumers were then asked for a credit card number for the $4.95 charge.

The Bureau attempted to verify the promotion by contacting Kmart's Legal Department at (248) 463-1053. Kmart representatives denied any affiliation with American Values and/or WellNet America and the promotional offer.

This company is in no way associated with www.americanvalues.com (American Values Investments, Inc., 1321 Sunset Drive, Suite 23, Johnson City, TN  37604) who must be pretty angry that the company is piggybacking on their GOOD name.

PLEASE, CONSUMERS IN EASTERN WASHINGTON, NORTH IDAHO AND MONTANA, BE ON THE ALERT FOR THIS GROUP. THEY ARE A SCAM operating under many guises and locations. Only OUR COMMON SENSE AND WITS WILL STOP THEM!

TheLocalBBB has fielded calls reporting similar scenarios throughout our service area of Eastern Washington, North Idaho and Montana, and has an alert posted on UTALK UNLIMITED at: www.thelocalbbb.com under CURRENT ALERTS.

 





Better Business Bureau
Serving Eastern Washington, North Idaho & Montana

Hosted by Hurdman Communications