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.