VattenÃ© wrote:That sounds like a good idea to me. Of course I wouldn't advocate trying to stiff someone with it, but if you're interested in something but can't trust the seller it sounds like a good way to prevent them from passing unauthorized charges through down the road.
The first time I got screwed around by a recurring charge was years ago ... Vonage. But it wasn't just the recurring charge. I'd been with them for 18 months, satisfying a 12-month initial contract. I informed them I was switching to 8x8 at the end of the billing period. But at the same time (sneaky me), I went online and changed the expiration date of my card on record. They tried to charge me beyond the end of the billing period - but the charge was declined. Later, they tried to charge me for not returning the equipment - equipment I'd actually "bought" earlier to avoid monthly fees. They kept asking me to update my card info. I kept saying no. And then I told them I would report them to the FCC because their promised e911 service was non-functional (at least 2 state attorneys general took them to court over that). After a few days of silence, I finally got an email from them - saying my account was closed on the day I'd requested it closed - and that they considered my account paid in full.
The 2nd time, I actually did get screwed out of one month of charges - by PBS. I was a "sustaining" member and decided to drop my support for them. I informed them that effective the end of the next month, I wanted my recurring charges to stop - that I'd decided, instead, to support a local listener-supported classical music FM station. But, they charged me once after that date. I reported the card as compromised and got a new one with a new number. And the very NEXT month, they contacted me to tell my my card was declined - that I needed to update my card info. I reminded them of my decision to stop support for PBS (and "when" I decided to stop support) and told them I'd not be updating anything. They never contacted me after that.
I've had other recurring-charge vendors who honored my requests to withdraw support. So, not all recurring-charge vendors are bad - and I don't distrust all recurring-charge vendors. I'm still a sustaining member of the classical station (AllClassical.org) and their charges are recurring. But while I don't distrust all such vendors, well - it's like the old Islamic proverb - "Trust in Allah but tie up your camel." If I ever decide to drop my support for another entity, and if I still have that prepaid card, I'll make sure I switch their charges over to it before I leave - and to only load it with what I "want" to donate.