Hello all. I've been tracking down hosting forums and rating sites, because thats how I picked ABN Hosting. I just want to share my experiences, in case anybody else is thinking of using them...
I'm not going to accuse anybody of anything in a public forum, but you can read what happened to me and judge for yourself. And yes, I know I opened myself up to fraud by being trusting. I guess I learned a lesson. Here is my story;
On 6/13/2005 I purchased web hosting from www.abnhosting.com
. ABN experienced a server crash while doing maintenance to their system shortly after. As a result, all of my files were lost. I decided on 6/24/2005 to cancel their service. I received a message from ABN hosting and another email that I believed to be a refund from PayPal. Between 6/25/2005 and 8/13/2005, I received no other correspondence from PayPal to indicated that I was being billed.
About two weeks back, I changed my email password. On 8/14/2005 I received a receipt for payment of $4 to ABN. I promptly logged into PayPal and found that I had been billed three times (4UH79442VN529781G, 4VV27271LS7527801, and 2M1619453S961574H). I also discovered that PayPal had NOT refunded my original payment, as I had been spoofed to believe.
I'm one of those wierd people that never deletes emails. But, to my chagrin and surprise, the spoof email had also been deleted from my inbox.
Here are the facts:
1) I did a dumb thing; I used the same password for my ABN hosting account as for my email acct.
2) Someone was deleting the PayPal Receipts for payment to ABN Hosting from my account to conceal the monthly billings for as long as possible. As far as I can tell, only emails regarding ABN have been deleted from my email account.
3) Someone spoofed me with a fake refund email from PayPal.
4) The fake PayPal refund was deleted from my inbox. I know for certain that I would not have deleted it.
5) Someone from ABN claims I agreed to their service. As the posting here shows - http://abnhosting.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=255
- I was not in agreement with the service. Back on 6/24/05, someone sent me what appeared to be an appology from ABN and a fake refund from PayPal. It is plausable that a 3rd party did this, but there would be no possible monetary gain from doing this. The money was going to a PayPal account owned by ABN. The owner of the ABN account claims that I agreed to service, despite the rather obvious post to the contrary.
6) I spoke with an investigator at PayPal. He said that very few "virtual service" complaints are resolved in favor of the buyer. This means that once a payment has been "extracted" from your account for a virtual service, there is almost no way to recover that money. The buyer has 45 days to file a complaint, so if the billing goes unnoticed for more than that time, then the PayPal user can't even initiate a process. I was lucky because only one of the three payments were beyond the 45 day limit.
7) Yes, PayPal did eat the cost and refund my money based on sufficient evidence of fraud.
Whether or not ABN Hosting committed fraud (I'm not saying they did!!!), I am curious why ABN would lie to PayPal and say that I had agreed to a service when there are public postings that contradict this claim.