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Fake drugs - can I do a chargeback


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Hi. I used my credit card to buy some drugs (not Viagra, cheeky!) from an online pharmacy. I know it sounds shady but it's perfectly legal to import drugs for personal use without a prescription, so please don't close this thread because of that. I bought the drugs on the 1st of February and I received them around the 18th.

 

Anyway, I'm pretty sure that the drugs are fake. I've used about 40 tablets and all the signs point to them being fake. There are even formatting errors on the box. Having had a lot of experience with this drug in the past, I'm about 97% sure that they're fake.

 

I contacted the vendor (who maintain that they're NOT an online pharmacy, but rather an " escrow" service) and they insisted that the drugs weren't fake and started spouting all kinds of rubbish about "maybe it's because it's a different brand", "differences in composition", "different tolerances for the same drug", etc. I pointed-out that he was talking a load of nonsense (I'm a practising biochemist) and I even drew their attention to the formatting errors on the box. But they refused to budge. Wouldn't let me return it. No refund.

 

Now, I know that I probably won't get a lot of sympathy for this post. Buyer beware and all that. But I've bought from the website in question plenty of times over the years - I wasn't just foolishly entering my credit card details into dodgy Viagra-spam websites. And the drugs cost me about £180 including delivery (about £150 without delivery). That's a lot of money!!! So I was wondering, could I perform a credit card chargeback? How important is it to *prove* that the drugs are fake? Anyone have an idea how much the tests will cost? I can't seem to find any practical information on the subject. What are the time limits involved in performing a chargeback?

Edited by parallaxerror
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Guest Old_andrew2018

You will be certainly asked to provide evidence that the drugs are counterfeit, and may well be asked if you took reasonable care to ensure that the supplier was reputable.

UK on-line pharmacies are licensed, however those abroad are not, can you name them as a warning to others.

I not sure if this link will be of any help, Risks of buying medicines over the internet : MHRA

 

Andy

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The only thing that would work in your favour is actually PROVING that the supplied tablets were not legitimate. The easy way to do this is to return a box to the manufacturer and ask them to provide verification.

 

It is not an easy task, many pharmacists have been caught out and prescribed what they thought were the kosher product (or valid generics in the case of sort supply). With this in mind, you can see that having an opinion is one thing, but expecting to reject goods on this basis won't fly if the professionals who work with the products daily, cannot spot the non-obvious fakes.

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Thanks for the replies. I never considered sending them back to the manufacturer to be checked. They say that they're an "escrow" service, like an intermediary between the pharmacy and the customer. Would this affect my rights?

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ESCROW rings alarm bell to start with, the only chance you have is with your credit card company doing a charge back , but its going to be hard , they will try anything to not do it

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No. Your rights are based on who you pay. Unless this is a cash handling service (like paypal) in which case it would be the 'seller'. It does sound rather fishy, as an escrow service is really only used by foreign companies.

 

You can cause them greater grief, as by contacting the original manufacturer, and subsequently providing them with all the contact details if the item IS confirmed as fake, will drop the 'escrow' service in deep trouble. (And a very useful threat), but await the outcome of the legitimacy enquiry.

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Thanks for the replies guys. I'm not sure where they're based - they've got a UK postal address but an American/Canadian phone number. HERE

 

It's annoying because I thought they were a legit company. I've been using them for years with absolutely no problems, and then this happens and they refuse to put it right. I've just emailed the supposed manufacturer to ask them if they'll examine the drugs, but no reply as of yet. Thanks for the tip about threatening them. I never considered that. ;-)

Edited by parallaxerror
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Perhaps 'threat' was too strong a word for me to use - I meant that you were making sure the firm were alerted to the possible fraudulent drugs, giving them an opportunity to take it up with THEIR supplier. :) The more reasonable you are, and the potential to be a real PITA, often works wonders!

 

Good luck, and keep the thread updated so we know how you got on!

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Jimmy's correct - the address is actually British Monomarks, who rent out this address if you pay them enough. They then forward the postal mail to the intended recipient.

 

Because the company is actually outwith the EU, your 'rights' are very much diminished (not existent, actually), so your packaging may well be different because it is manufactured overseas at a licensed facility, or a fake knock off. Only the actual manufacturer will be able to tell.

 

Further, were you not suspicious at their Visa Merchant processor?

 

http://www.veripayment.com/

 

Your transaction will be processed in US dollars through our registered company Border Enterprise Limited, Fort House at Old Hartley, Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear, NE26 4RL, United Kingdom.

 

The card processing service is through an intermediary, and as such your bank can easily reject a cashback claim as they completed their task of crediting the processor, who is their customer - NOT the fact they pass the funds on to an unconnected third party. This Withley Bay company has a US Telephone Number too....

Edited by buzby
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This is just one page of who has a business at the same address:

 

Query: RegisteredAddress for 27 OLD GLOUCESTER STREET

 

 

 

And here is them:

http://www.britishmonomarks.co.uk/services/london-street-addresses/

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Oh god, this doesn't look good. I thought Veripayment were a reputable company. Although it would explain the 2 fraudulent transactions on my account. God, I must look like a right wally!

 

It's just that I've used them for years and they've always been good to me. Loads of other people, too. There are tons of customer reviews on them. And not just spam-bot reviews. Video reviews, too. There are loads of them on Metacafe. I've even written some glowing reviews for them myself, talking about the quick delivery and the genuine medicines and the great service. I feel so cheated. Maybe the recession has driven them to radically re-evaluate their business model...

Edited by parallaxerror
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Your bank will only get involved with chargeback under cirtain circumstances. Some of which would be, unauthorised payment (not the case), goods not sent (not the case), wrong goods sent, returned and no refund received (not the case). They will also get involved if there is fraud.

 

Your primary problem is PROOF. As advised above, send the packaging, leaflet and 1 lot of tablets(asuming they are tablets) to the manufacturer. keep the rest. If they are genuine, you have still got some. If they are fake you still have evidence plus the report from the manufacturer would be enough to get a refund.

 

So, starting point is to contact the genuine manufaturer. Have the box/packet to hand. they will ask you questions about batch codes etc. They MAY ask you to send them in which case do the above.

 

Until that is established, it is simply your opinion.

 

Nothing wrong with running a business form an accvommodation address by the way. It just means you need not waste a journey going there as they will not actually be there.

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I'm almost certain that those 2 fraudulent transactions on my credit card were because of this website. It's a card that I hardly ever use. I'd only had it a few months and the only other transactions on the card were from Play.com, Paypal (eBay) and ASDA. And obviously those places aren't going to steal my card details.

 

And I have fully-updated antivirus and firewall software, as well as NoScript, SiteAdvisor, etc. (And despite all the evidence to the contrary in this thread, I am a little bit savvy!) So it's nothing to do with a keylogger or phishing or whatever.

 

Also, after speaking to their customer service people the other day, I got this weird email from them:

 

subject: CREDIT CARD FAILED

[email protected] to me

 

Dear (my name),

 

Thank you for placing your escrow with PharmacyEscrow.com. This email is to let you know that your escrow DID NOT go through because the credit card failed for one or more reasons. Typically this will happen when your bank does not recognize the transaction that we try trying to place on your card, or, when information you submitted while placing your escrow is incorrect such as a wrong expiry date or CVV number. If we do not hear from you we will try to process your card again over the next few days. As we wish to fulfill your escrow without delay, please be sure to reply to this email or call us at 1-877-888-3562 and provide us with updated credit card information. Have a great day!

 

Sincerely,

 

Customer Service,

PharmacyEscrow.com

27 Old Gloucester Street,

London, WC1N 3XX,

United Kingdom

Phone: 1-877-888-3562

Fax: 1-866-848-1611

 

But I didn't even order anything, or give them my card details! It sounds like they've stored my card details from last time without telling me. Thank god my credit card company gave me a new card number when they discovered the fraudulent transactions!

 

So isn't this proof enough that they're up to no good? Should I tell the card company about the website, or will they just figure it out for themselves?

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As the goods costs over £100, surely it's enough to show a breach of contract by the supplier for the bank to incurr equal liability? i.e. There is no need to prove fraud.

Post by me are intended as a discussion of the issues involved, as these are of general interest to me and others on the forum. Although it is hoped such discussion will be of use to readers, before exposing yourself to risk of loss you should not rely on any principles discussed without confirming the situation with a qualified person.

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As the goods costs over £100, surely it's enough to show a breach of contract by the supplier for the bank to incur equal liability? i.e. There is no need to prove fraud.

 

Already covered, the problems are (1) The goods have not been proved to be fake (yet). (2) Even if they are, it is not the supplier who was paid, but a funds processing service. As such, the bank can legitimately reject a call for refund as any liability applies to the principle (first) creditor, not who they may or may not pass the funds to. Some banks may (erroneously) authorise a chargeback, and you'll be quids in if they do so, but it cannot be insisted on under the rules currently in force.

 

As for this firm having the potential to mis-handle numbers provided, I think it unlikely, as it would be easy in time to prove such a causual connection and bring the entire enterprise down. Looking at their website (the funds processor) it is a pretty slick operation and not cheap, either. $600 sign up and $60pm fees, followed by 3% commission on all funds processed.

 

What I did think interesting, was their information of their internal 'Blacklist' that flags card numbers based on whether there have been cashback amounts claimed by the cardholder - to give the vendor warning of the potential of chargebacks. Whilst this may seem to be contrary to the information proved earlier (no chargebacks) I should point out that as a US company, claiming chargebacks from card processors IS permitted, but only for US registered/issued cards.

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Oh I'm sorry, I don't really understand very much of that at all. You may as well be speaking German. Are you saying that the website didn't store my card details? How else would you explain that strange "CREDIT CARD FAILED" email? And honestly, I'd only had the card a few months and the only other transactions on it were by perfectly reputable high-street companies. There's zero chance that my card's been cloned and (almost) zero chance that my card details were stolen by a virus or a false website.

 

I suppose what I really want to know is: will I ever get my money back???:(

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In simple terms - you did not 'pay' the escrow service, you paid these people VeriPayment.com.

 

They claimed the money from your card, and passed it on to the escrow outfit. Since you have no proof the goods were fake, until you can you have to rights to any refund. Once you establish it IS fake, then you ask escrow to refund your money, but if they reject this your only recourse is to take them to court in the US, which will not be practical.

 

As a final stab, once you have the 'fake goods' email confirmed, forward it to your bank and ask for a refund. You might get it, if Veripayment don't challenge the reversal.

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do a chargeback anyway

it cant hurt.

 

i had exactly the same with fake battery packs for a laptop i brought.

the website/ retailer name address etc was in the UK with a .co.uk webaddress and site.

 

turned out to be fake hong kong rubbish. and this was through Veripayment

 

i got the lot back because the company refused to enter into dispute talks with my card issuer.

 

dx

 

 

did a chargeback, got the money back

at the end

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Thanks dx100uk, I didn't see your post before.

 

I'm a bit worried, though. I don't want to get in trouble for performing chargebacks all the time, especially considering the 2 earlier fraudulent transactions. Then again, it doesn't really seem fair that I should be put-off performing a chargeback because the website that sent me fake goods also stole my card details.

 

I'm wondering, though - if I have to enter into talks with the PharmacyEscrow/Veripayment/Border Enterprise Ltd, then isn't there a chance that the burden of proof could be put on whoever it was that I bought the drugs from to prove that they're legitimate? Wouldn't they be asked to provide some kind of certification?

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