Beware the Scam - and Warn Your Friends
As if things are not bad enough, I just came across a site, http://ticketbust.com, that I feel is nothing but another scam taking advantage of people who are already victims of the tickets for revenue scam.
For $249 they will help you beat your ticket. And they offer a money back guarantee. How can this possibly be a scam?
Read the fine print.
What do they do to help you beat your ticket? They have you fill out a TR-205 form and mail it to them, in triplicate, along with:
- A signed "engagement letter,"
- A check to the Superior Court for the bail,
- A check to Ticket Busters for $100 for their service fee,
- A check to Ticket Busters for $149 for their document processing fee.
They then mail your TR-205 and bail check to the court.
So, you just paid them $249 to mail a document to the court that you could have mailed yourself; and you only need to send the court a single copy (although you should keep one copy for your records).
But they do have a money back guarantee, don’t they?
Have you read the fine print? How much do you really get back if you lose? You sent three checks.
- The court keeps the bail if you lose.
- Ticket Busters keeps the $149 document processing fee.
- You get back the $100 service fee.
In other words, you "only" pay Ticket Busters $149 to mail a letter for you if you lose compared to the $249 you pay them if you win.
But, there is even more fine print. To even get the $100 back, according to the "engagement letter" (i.e., contract) that you signed, you have to:
notify Ticketbust.com in writing within 10 days of the courts denying your Trial by Declaration and finding you guilty by sending Ticketbust.com a copy of the court decision notice and an original signed copy of form TR-220, Request For New Trial. If Ticketbust.com does not receive a copy of your court decision notice and an original signed form TR-220, Request For New Trial, within 10 days of the courts denying your Trial by Written Declaration and finding you guilty, you will be disqualified from our money-back guarantee.
Then there are a few more conditions found in the "engagement letter":
- When you submit a Request For New Trial, the court will set a court date for your new trial, where you will be able to present your case to the court in person. You will need to attend this court date as this is an in-court trial. Ticketbust.com does not go to court with you as we are only a document filing service. If you do not attend this court date and/or you request traffic school without presenting your case to the court; you will be disqualified from our money-back guarantee. Failure to proceed with all requirements above, including showing up in court, if required, and presenting your case to the court, will disqualify you from our money-back guarantee.
- If your ticket requires a Mandatory Court Appearance, The Ticketbust.com can still prepare you for your appearance using the Trial by Declaration; however you will not qualify for our money-back guarantee.
- If you have already paid your bail directly to the court without requesting a Trial By Declaration and/or the court has otherwise closed your case because you did not request a Trial by Written Declaration from the court when paying your bail, Ticketbust.com can request the court to reopen your case and file a Trial By Written Declaration, however you will not qualify for our money-back guarantee.
- If you have already paid your bail directly to the court without requesting a Trial By Written Declaration and the court has otherwise set a court date because you did not request a Trial by Declaration from the court when paying your bail, Ticketbust.com can request the court to allow you to file a Trial By Written Declaration and apply your bail payment to your Trial by Written Declaration, however you will not qualify for our money-back guarantee.
So, if you jump through all of the hoops, you can get your $100 back, which will just about cover the court fee and cost of traffic school.
Is Ticketbust.com doing anything illegal? Probably not. But there is a very fine line between illegal and unconscionable.