Editor's note: this article comes from a Small Matter subscriber who asked us to share her story. Although editorialized a bit for brevity, the article is based on her actual account and the details she asked us to share about her Regus experience. So, it's written to preserve both her first-person perspective and those key details she specifically asked us to share.
Houston, Texas—Two months ago, I had never even heard of Regus. Yet somehow, according to Regus's billing records, I had already, by that time, incurred late fees on a Regus account that did not yet even exist.
Here's my story.
A licensed beautician by training, I run a boutique cosmetology business in Texas to help working women look and feel their best. To that end, I can now add to my go-to list of recommendations that my clients not do business with Regus, although not a "beauty tip" per se 😉. (Trust me: you'll feel much better taking my advice on this.)
In early March 2015, I responded to a Craigslist advertisement for a commercial space available to rent. My aim was to find a place to house my cosmetology business. So, in that space, I would need to meet clients and perform certain beauty and cosmetology services.
The advertiser listed a space that appeared in the pictures to be a cosmetology space of some sort. So, it appeared based on the advertisement that this was exactly the kind of space I was looking for. So, I clicked the button to send an email inquiry.
Shortly thereafter, a man contacted me who introduced himself as a sales representative of a company called Regus. He told me that Regus actually had multiple spaces available that would fit my particular needs. So, he suggested that I schedule a time to tour a few of them as part of my evaluation process. I agreed, and we scheduled the tours.
After visiting several of the spaces in person, I narrowed my consideration down to just one of the spaces the man had shown me. The man presented me with a pre-drafted "agreement" to rent that space, and I signed that agreement on 3/14/2015.
Importantly, the term of that agreement was stated to begin on 6/1/2015, some two and a half months away. For this reason--and, as would also seem intuitive anyway--Regus's sales representative told me that first payment under that 3/14/2015 agreement would not be due until 6/1/2015. In fact, the sales rep had told me this before I signed the 3/14/2015 agreement, because it was essentially his response to my objection to signing an agreement in March even though I did not need the space until June. So, naturally, I relied on what the sales rep had told me about the first payment's due date, because...
I figured that there was no harm in signing the agreement earlier than needed, as long as I wasn't being charged earlier than needed.
That turned out to have been a mistake on my part--trusting what this man had told me about the first payment's due date, because, on 3/15/2015, Regus charged my credit card more than $1,200 (by the way, note that my the monthly payment stated in the 3/14/2015 agreement was only $600 or so).
Assuming this $1,200 charge to have been a mistake, I contacted Regus to get the charge reversed. However, Regus told me that the charge was not a mistake, and that the $1,200 payment was in fact due on 3/15/2015.
This obviously contradicted what Regus's sales rep had told me before I signed the 3/14/2015 agreement. In addition, though, there was no indication on the 3/14/2015 agreement itself that the $1,200 payment was in fact due on 3/15/2015. Rather, there was only the stated "start date" of 6/1/205, the "total monthly price" of $600 or so. No part of the 3/14/2015 agreement stated that I would owe Regus any amount of money in March 2015, some two and a half months before the term of the agreement was even scheduled to begin. So, I contacted Regus again to try to resolve the discrepancy.
While that initial conversation was still ongoing, on 3/31/2015, Regus billed me for a $60 "late fee" which Regus stated I had incurred in February 2015--a month before I had any relationship with Regus whatsoever! Then, on 4/7/2015, Regus charged my credit card again--this time, for about $650.
By that time, I was telling myself that enough was enough. So, I decided to file a chargeback dispute against Regus, to recover the money Regus had fraudulently obtained from my credit card.
After some research into comparable issues other Regus had encountered, I settled upon the following talking points for asking my bank to refund to my account the fraudulent charges Regus had made to my credit card: