Patients perturbed by extra credit card fees
Published Thursday, April 20, 2017 8:19PM EDT
A service that informs users of wait times at medical clinics has been the target of over 80 complaints from users saying their credit cards were charged multiple times after signing up.
Clients of the Queen Elizabeth walk-in clinic said they signed up to get text messages from Patient In Line to know when how long the wait would be so they could leave the building and still see a doctor.
"I chose the option of the text message and you just enter your credit card information," said Jenn Hulleman.
She was charged $4.59 for the service, but was surprised to see another fee the month after that.
"I called my credit card company and asked them what it was and they told me that I had used the service a month before and it was showing up again and because when I signed up it never said anything about a monthly subscription," said Hulleman.
She has since filed a complaint with Quebec's Consumer Protection Office, saying the business practices of Patient In Line are misleading.
"It's pretty sad, especially for people who won't notice it. I didn't hear it when I signed up for the service and I'm sure most other people didn't hear it either," she said. "It seems a little ill-willed to sign people up for a monthly subscription to a walk-in clinic."
At least 90 others have filed similar complaints since January, and the watchdog sent Patient In Line a warning on April 10 for not explaining the terms of service.
Charles Tanguay said the company was breaking other rules.
"The merchant have also to send a copy of the contract within 15 days, which was not done in that specific case, so most people find out charges of $3.99 or $3.49 a month a few months after when they receive their second credit card statement, and that is illegal," he said.
Tanguay could not say if every complaint came from people using Patient In Line at the same clinic.
Patient In Line did not respond to CTV's requests for an interview.
The clinic's medical director, Dr. Mark Roper, told CTV he was not aware that any of Patient In Line's billing practices had changed. He said the clinic will continue to use the srvice only if the company follows several requirements including resolving all the complaints.