Having read the TOS from LiveVoip many times, I can almost assure you it
was written by the LiveVoip staff and not a lawyer. Due to that, I
cannot imagine them slithering out of this entirely.
[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Marie
Sent: Sunday, June 26, 2005 6:44 PM
To: snacktime; Asterisk Users Mailing List - Non-Commercial Discussion
Subject: Re: [Asterisk-Users] LiveVoip is Bankrupt
It depends on how the actual purchase was worded whether or not you
should be able to get a chargeback. I didn't buy from them, so I don't
With some clever legal wording, it is possible to sell something that
the end user considers "prepay/future use" (like calling card
minutes), but as far as the credit card company etc. are concerned it
was a final sale over and done with like a normal purchase.
This is not to say that the issuing bank is going to give one and they
will just as likely process a chargeback as normal (and later reverse
it as long as someone is still at the other end shooting back the
boilerplate rebuttal). I'd suggest people wait as long as they can
before filing a chargeback -- merchants only get so many days (10 on
my account) to respond before it's automatically settled in the
customer's favor. If you wait as long as you can, there's a better
chance someone won't be sitting there replying.
I used to work for a shady company that sold calling cards
online/phone by credit card. It was a big thing to make sure that the
sales material/call-scripts were worded to make sure that once the
customer took posession of the pin code the transaction was
"completed" in terms of the credit card company. They often "lost
accounts" or "discontinued programs" that customers still had minutes
in, and they were able to escape from chargebacks by sending the fine
print to their bank as their rebuttal to the customer's complaint.
I didn't stay long after finding this out, the pay wasn't worth having
a company like that on my CV.
If you read up on the rumors around Dr. Phil, supposedly it's quite
common (and in some isolated areas still legal) to do a similar thing
with health clubs. Sell one year membership contracts, factor the
contract to someone else, close. The customer is still responsible for
completing their payments to the factor. The customer can't chargeback
payments they already made via credit card because the way the
contract is worded it doesn't matter if the health club is still open
With lawyers a dime a dozen these days, I can't imagine that LiveVOIP
didn't make sure to put every protection they could in their terms of
service or what have you. Most people don't even read them, or just
don't care what it says. I know nothing about LiveVOIP, so I'm not
trying to suggest that they were indeed shady -- just letting people
know that chargeback rules aren't a fix-all.
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