As some of my regular readers know, I’m a huge Red Sox fan (which hasn’t been easy this past week), living in Northern California. If I want to see Red Sox games, I have three choices… a $160 (or so) cable subscription, a Slingbox, or MLB.TV’s service to watch the games over the Internet. I’ve tried to get the Slingbox to work, but the cable wiring at my brother’s place currently allows me to nearly every channel except for the high numbered ones that the Red Sox are on. I didn’t want to invest heavily in the cable subscription – I would miss most of the games with most games starting at 4:30PM local time.
The MLB.TV service is different. At $20 a month, it’s a price that I could easily justify. I particularly liked that I could try it out and not be locked into a contract. Everything sounds good so I signed up for a month. In the signing process they defaulted the “automatically renew my subscription” option. I was particularly careful to uncheck that option as I wanted to test the service for a month. Sometimes you just don’t know how a streaming video is going to work.
It turns out that the service worked fairly well. It wasn’t quite like watching on TV, but it was pretty good. I was a little sad when in the middle of a game on the last day of the month, the video cut out. The Red Sox had a comfortable lead, so it wasn’t a big deal. With my wedding coming up the following month it made little sense to renew the subscription. I wouldn’t be around to take advantage of it.
Flash forward ahead to when we get back from the wedding and I’m looking over my credit card bill. There’s another charge from MLB.com for another month of service. Well this is a call for customer service. After getting a representative they confirm that I did indeed uncheck the “automatically renew my subscription” button. I started to get the satisfaction of justice being served, when the person explained that the button is to automatically renew the subscription each season, not each month. They said, I had to call up and cancel the because even if you don’t check the “automatically renew”, they assume that you want to each month. You have to call up and cancel specifically. They refused to refund my money.
I have a dispute in with my credit card to get them to intervene, but the representative said from the sounds of it, they’d have to take MLB’s side. I’m not very optimistic in the outcome. I think the Better Business Bureau might be a better option for my complaint.
That’s what you get for being a socks fan :D
Leroy Brown says
I can’t imagine the credit card company siding with MLB – the terms would seem to be very unclear. Unless the specifics were spelled out in the fine print that no one ever reads ( or could, without magnifying the font ). If they do, I say find a new credit card.
Lazy Man says
Chase says the burden of proof is on me to show the documentation of what I checked off in the buying process. I understand that they need evidence, but at the same time it’s not practically possible. I was thinking of going though the process again to see the exact copy. All that said, this was a case where I actually read most or all of the fine print.
Chris Kakaras says
I had the same problem last year. I called like 2 weeks into the 2nd month when I realized they had charged me again. I said I didn’t realize they automatically renewed the 2nd month and that I had not even been using it. They checked my “usage” and saw I did not log in or watch any games. They refunded my money (took another 2 weeks). But they did it.
Keep trying lazy man, it is worth $20.
The Financial Blogger says
Then, they wonder why so many people get a dish and a computer in order to steal all channels and get free TV !
I say scrap the TV altogether. My family and I did it a while back and it’s worked wonders. Immediate: you get your time back (seriously, how many of those 300+ channels do you really watch?) to de-clutter your mind and personal/biz affairs (not to mention the bennies of not being tempted to melt your kids’ brains). Long term: Cash. Think about how much $$ is spent on the tube (panel, display, pick your poison)itself, plus the power, etc. Scrap the brain drain!! Cheers.
Wow! I love baseball, but that is awful! I would keep trying, if only because of the principle of the matter. I would also contact the writers at SI.com. I think it is John Donovan who had a couple big articles about how MLB made their new contracts with Direct TV. I don’t know if he would write about it, but it sure would look horrible for MLB if he did!
Joe Fier says
That is a huge bummer. There are so many tricks these companies play now to squeeze every little cent out of you. More often than ever, now I see companies require you to hand over your credit card info when testing a software program. If you’re one to sign up for these trials, it is going to be nearly impossible to remember when to cancel before being charged up the whizoo. I don’t like it!
Joseph Sangl says
I am sure that MLB has hired craft credit card employees to help design their web site to extract the maximum cash from your pocket.
i totally agree.. They stole my 25.00 dollars for nothing. They offered me free trial & i cancelled it before the free trial expired but guess what they still charged me 23.95.
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