Update: Online Fishing License Scam We Fell For, Gets Worse
It was the Friday before the 4th of July weekend and we jumped on the computer to buy our Minnesota fishing license. We fell for a scam which I blogged about previously. We called, complained and were promised our money back. We thought we had avoided the issue, but it gets worse.
PREVIOUSLY: My husband was in a hurry, so when he searched and saw fishinglicense.org at the top of the search page, he clicked on it. It not only said Minnesota Fishing License on the top but it offered boxes to check if you were applying for a new license or a renewal. Because we were renewing he clicked that box and proceeded through the prompts to make what he thought was the purchase of our Minnesota fishing license. Instead, a box popped up and said that he could now download a PDF of "How To Purchase A Fishing License". That was a purchase that cost over $19.00. He knew immediately that he had made an error and it was his verbal remarks that had me running upstairs to find out what the problem was.
We found a phone number to call at the bottom of the page and actually got a live person on the other end. After explaining our situation that person said "customer service is their top priority and that they would refund our money, minus $3.99 for a restocking fee. WHAT restocking fee, we were offered a downloadable PDF!!! We asked why they even offer a box that says "renew your license" if you were selling a book on how to purchase a fishing license in the first place? After we made a big stink about it, the gentleman said again "customer service is our top priority" and said he would also refund the $3.99. Which I'm sure they do whenever someone complains. My thought is, how many people take the time or do the research on who to complain to? Or, just let them have the $3.99, silly restocking fee? Another thing that we found after visiting that site again was that if you scrolled down to the bottom of the page, they talked about dealing with commercial fishing licenses, not individuals. Very misleading.
Since it's fishinglicense.org and doesn't designate a specific state until you get to the page, one wonders if they go based on the location of where your computer is and that this could be happening across the US. Just think how much money they could be making!
Bottom line is, make sure you are on the MN or WI DNR websites when you are renewing online. If you should get yourself into a pickle like we did, don't be afraid to call and demand your money back. I'm not saying that we weren't without fault, we should have been more careful, but please be aware of what you're purchasing and avoid unnecessary charges, I know that we will be more careful from now on.
UPDATE: It's been a couple weeks now and I had completely forgotten the incident. My husband, who was the one that had called for the refund had not and checked our bank account statement that came in the mail. Not only did they NOT refund the $19.99 for the book we didn't want or the additional $3.99. They charged us more, a total of $$37.08!!! They had been so apologetic on the phone and said "customer service was their top priority." They said "refunding our money was no problem." Lies!! How do we deal with such a dishonest company? We just want our money, now more than they said we would originally be charged, back and be done with them.