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Author Topic: BEWARE OF THE BEARCAT WAREHOUSE  (Read 20875 times)
N6EKF
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« on: August 17, 2010, 07:26:44 PM »

Like most HAMS I wanted to hear what is happening around my area and with the up coming Fire Season in sight I decided that I would purchase an APCO 25 scanner. After becoming a pest about questions and research I decided to purchase the Uniden BCD396XT. I began the search for the right price, it is not a cheap purchase $500.00 +/- and you can't talk on it. Well the Problem began with THE BEARCAT WAREHOUSE
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N6EKF
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« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2010, 07:45:39 PM »

Well I hit the wrong key....  cont: The company has a website and standard order page. I ordered the unit and that is when the FRAUD and DECEPTIVE BUSINESS PRACTICE  started. I filled in the form, placed the Credit card number in the blanks and their system told me that my bank "declined" the purchase. Well I felt maybe I put in a number wrong, not the case. I re-did the order checked carefully the numbers and hit send. Once again their system stated "declined by bank". Well I knew that was not the case. I immediately went to my bank to see if there was a problem. THE MONEY HAD BEEN TAKEN OUT BY BEARCAT WAREHOUSE. They did not give me a invoice, purchase order or any confirmation of the sale. I tried to call them, no answer only a message machine which states "its is better to email us and we will respond shortly". That did not happen either. In the morning I was contacted by my bank's FRAUD unit over this attempted purchase, they called twice. Well Bearcat TOOK MY MONEY AND DENIED ANY KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRANSACTION, blaming my bank for the problem. The Bank contacted them and they denied all of it. In this economy one would think that the next sale is as important as the last. Bearcat refused to cooperate with the refund, cancellation of the order [that did not exist according to them] they just were completely unwilling to help. Well my bank will re-post my money in 72 hours. Since the HAM community is a small group even nation wide, people that operate like this DO NOT deserve our money for any reason. I am suggesting a boycott of this company. If you try to purchase from them you have been warned.   73  Bob
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KD8HMO
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« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2010, 09:22:06 AM »

Are they going to send you the scanner now? You can dispute this with your credit card company. We need more info please.

P.S. Digital trunk tracking scanners are EXPENSIVE. All Ohio law enforcement, EMA and Fire/EMS are now on the Ohio MARCS trunking system. My old scanners are now basically paperweights.
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N6EKF
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« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2010, 10:48:15 AM »

My credit card company is going to give me back my money and FLAG this company. The CC company will not authorize any more charges to those people. I have Chase Bank. That should help put them out of business as they are the 4th or 5th largest bank.  I disputed the charge and it takes them, [according to them] about 3 days to refund the money to my account. All I can say is that it is a good thing they are in MD and I am in Ca. at this time.
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N6EKF
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« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2010, 10:53:09 AM »

Just after my call to Bearcat the manufacturer, about their vendor, my bank called me from their FRAUD unit. It seems according to the bank that it is not the first complaint against them. That is all they would say. BTY, I got a call this morning telling me that the bank, not Bearcat wh. canceled the transaction and my money would be returned on or before Thursday this week.
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KE4DRN
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« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2010, 04:09:47 PM »

hi

Good to know that your ban k card issuer is on top of things.

A reminder to anyone that uses the web or brick and mortar stores
to avoid using a Debit card, you do not have the same protections
that using a credit card for the transaction.

73 james
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KI4SDY
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« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2010, 01:56:35 AM »

If Bearcat Warehouse is a rip off (and it sounds like they are) why are they allowed to advertise on eHam.net?Sad N6EKF should contact the administrators and ask (based on his direct knowledge and experience) that this advertiser be removed from the site before there are more victims (who might not get their money back).Cry
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WA8MEA
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« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2010, 06:07:32 PM »

Obviously some "moderator" from this website doesn't understand sarcasm when they see it and deleted my satirical post.

My point: You are going to have duplicate charges whether you like it or not.  We live in a digital age where not everything works 100%.  It can be as simple as a double transaction at McDonald's, to a PROCEDURAL double whammy when ordering a radio or parts.

ALWAYS have TWICE the amount of your purchase price on your credit/debit card balance.  Here's why:

I order wire from a Chicago firm.  The first thing that happens IMMEDIATELY after I place the order is that the system makes sure my debit account is legit by charging $1.  After that is verified, they then place a HOLD for the purchase amount....let's say for $75.

Now, if they are speedy about deliveries, they will ship immediately and then CHARGE my account for $75 upon shipping.  Yes, on many banking accounts this will appear as two charges totaling $150.  HOWEVER, the first $75 hold and the $1 test will come off in five business days.

I recently ordered $100 worth of parts from another company and the company waited five business days, letting the HOLD drop off and then submitting the charge upon shipment.  That way, I didn't get the double whammy.

If you use a PayPal debit card you never have to worry about overdraft fees.  I always use it with those companies that have a double whammy charge system.

Before ordering from a unfamiliar company, find out what their debit/credit withdraw practice is.

I can guarantee you that just from looking around Bearcat Warehouse's website, they aren't crooks, con artists, frauds or rip-offs.  You just got caught up in the wonderful world of credit/debit card technology.  And most likely it was the fault of the merchant bank.  Many times the merchant has no control over their merchant bank's procedures.

Remember!  Many banks are now profiting off of fees because loans have gone belly-up.  The more overdrafts they can create, the better the profit margin.  And debit cards are ripe for producing overdrafts.

73, Bill - WA8MEA

« Last Edit: August 21, 2010, 07:02:40 PM by Bill Lauterbach » Logged
KA1MDA
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« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2010, 03:20:19 AM »

"The first thing that happens IMMEDIATELY after I place the order is that the system makes sure my debit account is legit by charging $1.  After that is verified, they then place a HOLD for the purchase amount....let's say for $75."

That sounds like a fly-by-night operation! In the 20+ years I have ordered things via phone and internet using credit/debit cards, I have never had a vendor place a "test charge" on my account.

There was one time a $1 charge appeared on my credit card- and the card issuer called me on the phone within 10 minutes of that charge being made. When I told them I did not charge anything for $1- they immediately froze the account and issued me a new card. According to the CC company, the only time they see $1 charges on cards is when someone steals a credit card number, and places a test charge on it to make sure its good before selling the credit card account information on the black market.

I would be very cautious any time such a charge appears!

Tom, KA1MDA
www.ka1mda.org
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WA8MEA
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« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2010, 11:01:29 AM »

That sounds like a fly-by-night operation! In the 20+ years I have ordered things via phone and internet using credit/debit cards, I have never had a vendor place a "test charge" on my account.
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OK.  By your definition, Netflix is "fly-by-night".  Oh!  Shocked  PayPal is also "fly-by-night"!

Look!  Shocked  Here's an entire article on the topic!


Alternatives to the $1.00 Authorization
One ($1.00) Authorizations vs. Zero ($0.00) Account Verification / AVS Only

Many online merchants and merchants with recurring billing programs have long used $1.00 Authorizations to test account validity. When an issuing bank places an authorization on a cardholder’s credit card or debit card the merchant and the acquiring bank lose control of the transaction. An issuing bank can leave an authorization on a cardholder’s account for an extended period of time: sometimes up to 7 days and the merchant and acquiring bank have no say on when it comes off the cardholder’s account. Sometimes the authorization amount may be subtracted from the cardholder’s available balance and an online statement may show the held funds as an actual charge. In the case of a debit card can these authorization can be held against the available balance in the cardholder’s checking account. One dollar authorizations followed by the full amount of the sale can appear to a cardholder to be a double billing or extra charge and can generate disputes and chargebacks. If a merchant charges a low sign up fee and a higher monthly membership and authorizes the card for the membership amount and settles for the sign up fee amount it can appear to the cardholder as a double billing for twice the membership fee. With a debit card this can result in double the amount the cardholder expected being held against their available balance and their bank’s online statements can make it appear that the funds are already out of the account. These “ghost authorizations” can cause anxiety among cardholders and result in chargebacks, disputes, and cancellations.

Visa has responded to cardholder complaints and confusion over $1.00 ghost authorizations with two new mandates designed to discourage merchants from performing $1.00 authorizations to test account validity:

Effective July 1, 2009, Visa implemented an Account Verification Fee for each account verification ($0 authorization or AVS Only) request transaction. This Account Verification program provides an alternative to the $1.00 authorization: merchants will be able to do a Zero Dollar Value authorization request which can include Address Verification (AVS) and CVV verification. MasterCard has a similar verification process.

Effective October 1, 2009, Visa implemented a Misuse of the Authorization System Fee ($1 Authorization) which will be applied to any authorization transaction that is not followed by a matching clearing transaction (delay capture), or in the case of a cancelled or timed out transaction, any transaction not properly reversed (voided). These fees apply only to transactions processed by U.S.-based merchants and does not apply to partial or full authorization reversal requests.  These fees are billed by Visa directly to the merchant account provider/acquirer, who may pass it on to the merchant. These mandates apply only to U.S.-based merchants whose Merchant Account is provided by a financial institution that is a U.S. Visa member.

Differences between a $1.00 Authorization and $0.00 Account Verification.
$1.00 Authorization

Merchants submit an authorization transaction for one dollar, never intending to settle this authorization. An approved authorization response shows the merchant that the cardholder’s account, address and CVV2 value are valid, and that it is generally OK to proceed with the transaction. The authorization only decreases the cardholders spending limit by $1, with this decrease eventually expires or “falls off” of the cardholders account within 7-30 days. These “ghost authorizations” can appear to cardholders on online statements as extra charges or double billings and cause anxiety among cardholders and result in chargebacks, disputes, and cancellations.

$0.00 Account Verification (AVS Only)

Also referred to as an “AVS-only” transaction. It is also used to test account validity. The difference is that with a $0.00 authorization, $1.00 ghost authorizations no longer appear in the cardholders billing statement, eliminating confusion.  Visa’s new Zero Dollar or Zero Dollar Floor Limit Account Verification program will includes Address Verification (AVS) and CVV verification. Visa would prefer to see merchants using the $0.00 Account Verification Program, for which they will charge a transaction fee, and discontinuing $1.00 Authorizations. Visa is encouraging merchants to change to this new practice through the second mandate:

Misuse of Authorization System Fee

Visa requires all authorization transactions to be followed by a clearing (delay capture or settlement) transaction or, in the case of a cancelled order, for the transaction to be fully reversed (voided). Visa is charging a fee for each authorization request transaction that is not followed by a delay capture transaction or which is – in the case of a cancelled order – not voided within 72 hours. This fee applies only to U.S.-based merchants and does not apply to partial or full authorization reversal request messages.The fee is billed by Visa directly to the merchant account provider/acquirer, who may pass it onto the merchant.

To avoid the fee, merchants must either perform a delay capture within 10 calendar days of the original authorization request or void the authorization within 72 hours of the original authorization request.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2010, 11:06:33 AM by Bill Lauterbach » Logged
KA1MDA
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« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2010, 11:52:08 AM »

OK.  By your definition, Netflix is "fly-by-night".  Oh!    PayPal is also "fly-by-night"!

Probably why I don't do business with either one of those...
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WA8MEA
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« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2010, 04:35:10 PM »

Probably why I don't do business with either one of those...
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Please address the rest of the issue.

Or do you need more evidence that the $1 verify is more common than you think?


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Authorization hold (also card authorisation, preauthorization, or preauth) is the practice within the banking industry of authorizing electronic transactions done with a debit card or credit card and holding this balance as unavailable either until the merchant clears the transaction (also called settlement), or the hold "falls off." In the case of debit cards, authorization holds can fall off the account (thus rendering the balance available again) anywhere from 1–5 days after the transaction date depending on the bank's policy; in the case of credit cards, holds may last as long as 30 days, depending on the issuing bank.

Signature-based (non-PIN-based) credit and debit card transactions are a two-step process, consisting of an authorization and a settlement.

When a merchant swipes a customer's credit card, the credit card terminal connects to the merchant's acquirer, or credit card processor, which verifies that the customer's account is valid and that sufficient funds are available to cover the transaction's cost. At this step, the funds are "held" and deducted from the customer's credit limit (or bank balance, in the case of a debit card) but are not yet transferred to the merchant. At the end of the day, the merchant instructs the credit card machine to submit the finalized transactions to the acquirer in a "batch transfer," which begins the settlement process, where the funds are transferred from the customer's accounts to the merchant's accounts. Contrary to popular belief, this process is not instantaneous: the transaction may not appear on the customer's statement or online account activity for one to two days, and it can take up to three days for funds to be deposited in the merchant's account.

For example, if an individual has a credit limit of $100 and uses a credit card to make a purchase at a retail store for $30, then his available credit will immediately decrease to $70. This is because the merchant has obtained an authorization from the individual's bank by swiping the card through its credit card terminal. If the billing statement was sent out at that point, the actual charges would still be $0, because the merchant has not actually collected the funds in question. The actual charge is not put through until the merchant submits their batch of transactions and the banking system transfers the funds.

A debit card works slightly differently. Similar to the previous example, if one has a balance of $100 in the bank and used a debit card to make a purchase at a retail store for $30, then his available balance will immediately decrease to $70 as a hold on the $30 is enacted. This is because the merchant has obtained an authorization from the individual's bank by swiping the card through its credit card terminal. However, the actual balance with the bank is still $100, because the merchant has not actually collected the funds in question. However, unless this authorization hold expires without being finalized the user cannot access that part of their account. The actual balance will not be reduced until the merchant submits their batch of transactions and the banking system transfers the funds.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Why do I see a $1 charge from RSA on my credit or debit card statement?

When using a Visa or MasterCard credit or debit card for online purchases, some merchants will offer card holders the opportunity to participate in Visa’s Verified by Visa or MasterCard’s MasterCard SecureCode services at no cost to the cardholder.  This additional level of security is used to ensure that the proper cardholder is conducting the online transaction.

As part of the Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode services, some credit and debit card issuing banks may choose to validate the card using a process called a “$1 preauthorization.”  This preauthorization is used only to verify transaction and credit card information.  The $1 preauthorization shown on a credit or debit card statement involves no transfer of funds and will be dropped from the account within 1-5 days (depending on the card issuing institution).

RSA is the leading provider of Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode services to financial institutions worldwide.  As such, card issuing banks will sometimes show the RSA name associated with the preauthorization charge on a customer’s statement.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From yet another "fly-by-night"....Amazon.com....

I received a $20 Visa gift card from AT&T as a rebate. I tried to use it yesterday to buy a $20 Itunes gift certificate for myself, and I just now tried to use it to make a $19.18 Amazon purchase. Both times it was denied.

Turns out from calling Amazon customer service, a $1.00 charge is made to check the card's validity, then the transaction is applied. So, not enough was left for either transaction. So, $20 was there, then $1 was provisionally subtracted, leaving $19, so $19.18 didn't clear.

So, how exactly do I get the full $20?

It is a $1 hold, not a $1 charge. It will expire. To get the maximum value out of a prepaid visa card, you need to add it to your amazon account as a payment method and then wait a few weeks for the test hold to expire. Then make your $20 purchase.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2010, 04:48:44 AM by Bill Lauterbach » Logged
WA8MEA
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« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2010, 05:04:04 PM »

Oh, BTW.  The first company KA1MDA unknowingly, unfairly and irresponsibly called a "fly-by-night' is far from that.  Here is their corporate profile:

http://www.happ.com/images/pdf/corprofile.pdf

They've been around since 1955....

73 ya'll,

Bill - WA8MEA
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WA8MEA
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« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2010, 08:33:32 AM »

Just placed two online orders this morning.

I see a $1 verify deducted from my account.  It is either from AES for a balun or Lights-101 for a marker light assembly for my Buick.

Again, VERY common place in today's mail order world....

73, Bill - WA8MEA
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W3LK
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« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2010, 10:00:26 AM »

Bill:

Is it a fair assumption that the folks who seem to be confused are those who do banking on line and check their transactions on a daily basis, rather than using a paper statement at the end of the billing period?

I never noticed any of these little verifying changes until my wife discovered on line banking. Smiley
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A smoking section in a restaurant makes as much sense as a peeing section in a swimming pool.
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