Huel Identity Fraud?

I was on the huel subscription but got a new debt card. The person who gave me the new card told me that I would need to put in my new card info if I wanted my subscriptions to continue. I did not need more powder so I did not update my card info for huel. They even sent me emails saying that my order would not be processed unless I updated my card information. Then a few days later they somehow gained access to my new card info without my authorization and charged me $60. As a result my bank account has been over drafted twice because of this. Pretty sure what they did is illegal?

It’s actually not illegal at all, even if it is frustrating. The card networks themselves (re: Visa, Mastercard, etc.) offer to merchants what is colloquially called “account updating” – it’s a service merchants can pay to opt into – and by virtue of that service, your card network is updating your card information with merchants who have elected that service.

It’s not a service that is offered as a means to hustle you as a consumer, either, though on its face it can certainly feel that way. Instead, as we find ourselves in a society that is increasingly plagued with security and privacy concerns, card numbers are changed with such frequency that this ‘service’ is offered as a means to keep the whole system running as smoothly as possible.

When you sign up for any subscription service, you essentially elect to have that service or that merchant auto-debit that card’s account. Simply changing that card number does not, in fact, change the account off of which that card’s charges are drawn. Further, if the bank chooses to update the account number with the merchant, they are certainly able to do so unless you notified the bank and/or the merchant to inform either/or that you’d like to stop all future charges. (If you did inform the bank and/or the merchant of your intention to stop all charges, you should have no issue disputing the charge with your bank and getting those insufficient fund fees reversed.)

You’d be best served by actually canceling your subscription with Huel (or with any service for that matter) rather than relying on merchants and services to attempt a payment and fail. I should also mention that banks will almost always prefer that you attempt to handle disputes like this with the merchant first before you have the banks intervene and reverse the charges themselves. (In fact, most banks will not accept a dispute resolution until or unless you’ve at least attempted to reconcile the issue with the offending merchant first.)

All that said, sorry this happened to you. Here’s to hoping this shakes out in your best interests. :slight_smile:

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Thank you for taking the time to respond and I respect the pun :joy:. My thing is, why would huel even send me the email saying to update my info or my order wouldn’t go through if that’s not what was gonna happen. A honest email would have said “we see you’ve changed your card info, either cancel your account if you do not wish to continue service or we will just get your new card info and continue your service ourselves.” I have numerous subscriptions but this is the only one that auto updated my new card info. It’s the fact that they never informed me on what they were gonna do or ask for permission. From my understanding on both sides (merchant and bank) it would be impossible for my order to go through as it has been for my other subscriptions. I still think it’s extremely shady and somewhat on the edge of illegal. I hate to use the word consent but I feel as though Huel … you get the point.

I do get the point – and I, personally, detest the “account updating” service offered by card networks (I’ve been burned a few times in the past, too). I guess my somewhat glib albeit respectful response is to learn from this experience?

I agree that the email from Huel was perhaps incredibly misleading, and lulled you into a false sense of security. Perhaps this thread will serve some point in correcting how Huel’s automated emails are worded going forward. But in general, the best practice when wanting to avoid subscription charges going forward is to actually, deliberately cancel the subscription and/or inform your bank that you’d prefer certain merchant charges be declined.

As I said, I hope this resolves to your satisfaction somehow.