Political Donation Cost Stamford Woman More Than Expected - NBC Connecticut

Political Donation Cost Stamford Woman More Than Expected



    Political Donation Cost Stamford Woman More Than Expected

    A Stamford woman who donated $15 to a site raising money for the Democratic National Committee two years ago, recently learned that she had been charged that amount every month since then.

    (Published Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018)

    A Stamford retiree learned a hard lesson when she tried to make a political donation.

    When Carol Ragsdale is not substitute teaching, she’s spending time on the internet. Two years ago, she donated $15 to the Democratic National Committee in honor of former President Barack Obama’s birthday.

    “I can afford that. So, that’s what I did,” Ragsdale said.

    Ragsdale said she made a one-time donation with her credit card to a website called ActBlue, a non-profit that builds fundraising software for Democratic campaigns, committees, and organizations. Ragsdale said she received an email from the organization letting her know she had been charged the $15 a month which added up to $375 over the two year period.

    “I was really angry,” said Ragsdale.

    Ragsdale said she contacted a representative with the Actblue team to complain about the charges and they responded. But she disputed the charge.

    “I said this is a mistake,” added Ragsdale.

    Ragsdale insisted that she had no intention of making a monthly contribution and told us she glances at her credit card statements periodically and didn’t notice the recurring charges until recently. That’s when she contacted ActBlue who she said that while they would stop future charges, they couldn’t issue a refund beyond 60 days.

    “I said wait a minute, you don’t understand what I’m saying. I said you charged me and I want my money back,” said Ragsdale.

    When her efforts failed to work, Ragsdale reached out to NBC Connecticut Responds. After we got in touch with Actblue, the company not only canceled future payments, but refunded Ragsdale entire $375 donation.

    In a statement, Caleb Cade with ActBlue tells Responds:

    "ActBlue prides itself on its commitment to empowering small-dollar donors and ensuring that donating to Democrats and progressive organizations is as smooth and easy as possible. Our customer service team works around the clock to make sure that donors like Ms. Ragsdale have a good experience using our platform and move swiftly to address any issues. We are glad that this issue was resolved quickly and are excited to be helping millions of small-dollar donors make their voices heard this year."

    While Ragsdale is pleased with the outcome, she said there’s a lesson learned for her.

    “I’ll never do it again,” said Ragsdale. “I’ll pay closer attention to my accounts, my charges.”

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