Complaint / review text:
I heard about Stamps.com in a variety of podcasts that I trust, so I signed up for their service on March 25th, 2013 thinking I may use them for my eBay transactions. I ended up never using the service as I found eBay's built-in mailing tools to be sufficient. On April 24th, 2015, I received an email stating that Stamps.com failed to charge my account $15.99. As I had just received an email from my credit card company stating that my card was showing fraudulent behavior, I sent an email to Stamps.com for clarification via their website the same day. I received no response.
On April 28th, 2015, I received another email stating that Stamps.com failed to charge my account $15.99. This led to my own more in-depth investigation, and I found that I had been signed up for a recurring $15.99 charge every month (after the first month) when I signed up back on March 25th, 2013. Over the last two years, they had charged me, without my intent or knowledge: $383.76.
The issue here isn't that they have a monthly fee, it is that Stamps.com takes strides to hide it from you and keep you paying. Here are the reasons I find this approach particularly predatory: Nowhere in the podcast adverts do they reference a monthly fee. Nowhere on their website during signing up did I see a reference to a monthly fee. I never received any receipt of any charge from Stamps.com. You cannot even sign up for email notifications of charges from Stamps.com. I never received any email from Stamps.com that suggested I was using a monthly service. You can sign up for this service on their website, but you cannot cancel the service. You must call them and be placed through a long hold line in order to do so. You cannot remove a credit card from your account online, only put in one with invalid information.
The one place I have found any reference to this monthly fee is deep within a "welcome email" I received from them on March 25th, 2013. This is the only thing that transforms their behavior into deception instead of straight-up theft. I called the support line, and after talking with supervisor "", I had my account closed. And he offered to refund $31.98 of the $383.76, which is how I got to the total of $351.78. They were not willing to refund any additional amount of the disputed charges. The refund of $31.98 proves that they acknowledge their nefarious behavior. If I was entitled for 2 months of a refund, what makes the other 1 year and 10 months sacrosanct?
This behavior is akin to Apple charging not just for downloads in iTunes, but for access to those downloads via a monthly fee. Now picture that the reference to this monthly charge is hidden in their massive Terms & Services agreement, and then Apple never sends you a receipt about the monthly charges. It is up to you to notice this small charge on your credit card statement every month. Stamps.com tries very hard to come across as a pay-per-usage service instead of a subscription service so they can silently charge monthly fees. If they wish to regain any trust, they should be upfront with their charges and attempt to actually help their customers with their deliveries. Until they improve this experience, they should refund the money they have taken from those who have gained no value from their service in order to garner trust from the market.