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Topic # 113982 3-Feb-2013 21:16 Send private message

I just checked my credit card statement, I was quite surprised to find Consumer Magazine NZ had renewed my online and print membership for $217 without either asking or notifying me by either mail or email. What's even more interesting is they used an expired credit card, the same 16 digits but with an old expiry date. I didn't even know that was possible.

I don't recall authorizing them to renew every time my subscription runs out, though maybe it was in the fine print somewhere. It was two years ago so I couldn't say for sure.

Anyway, I find this behavior from a company that's meant to be a consumer advocate to be quite inappropriate and unacceptable. They have my email address and phone number, they could easily confirm or at least notify me. I would probably have renewed, but I've emailed them asking them to cancel my membership and refund it either in full or pro rata. They may have lost a subscriber through their practices.




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  Reply # 755227 3-Feb-2013 21:21 Send private message

That's the very reason I cancelled my subscription a number of years ago.




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  Reply # 755230 3-Feb-2013 21:31 Send private message

Mine is set to auto renew, and I always get a reminder (and chance to bail) at least a month beforehand.




 

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  Reply # 755238 3-Feb-2013 21:55

The Consumer mag is dodgy. I was talking to a wholesaler. The consumer magazine approaches them and will 'recommend' their product if a fee is paid. In this case it was to recommend last years top of the test brand. It is interesting to note that it's not the top score that gets the recommendation in tests always. ..

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  Reply # 755241 3-Feb-2013 22:02 Send private message

1eStar: The Consumer mag is dodgy. I was talking to a wholesaler. The consumer magazine approaches them and will 'recommend' their product if a fee is paid. In this case it was to recommend last years top of the test brand. It is interesting to note that it's not the top score that gets the recommendation in tests always. ..


I don't think that is correct. It think you are talking about a different part of it. The recommended part is always based on a proper review by them.  The top score may not always get recommended if something is cheaper, and better value/ a better buy in their opinon.

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  Reply # 755242 3-Feb-2013 22:04 Send private message

I think you will find when you signed up, that in the terms it will say that it will autorenew. That is the same with many subscription services. 

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  Reply # 755244 3-Feb-2013 22:06 Send private message

Isn't it ironic that an organisation that claims to champion the rights of the consumer, actually carries out such a dodgy financial transaction!

They've done this to me several times over the years!

I've even turned off the auto renew subscription option and have still had them automatically charge my credit card! Dodgy, dodgy, dodgy! ETA - they did reverse the charge for this when I took them to task over it.

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  Reply # 755246 3-Feb-2013 22:07 Send private message

Same reason I will never install / recommend Norton products. Same bad auto renewal practices.




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  Reply # 755250 3-Feb-2013 22:09 Send private message

coffeebaron: Same reason I will never install / recommend Norton products. Same bad auto renewal practices.


McAfee did this to me also, not sure if they still do. I took them to task over it when they first did it and they admitted it wasn't a good practice and they changed it. Shame Consumer can't do the same and fix it.

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  Reply # 755255 3-Feb-2013 22:20 Send private message

keewee01: Isn't it ironic that an organisation that claims to champion the rights of the consumer, actually carries out such a dodgy financial transaction!


I don't think it is, as many people would be more annoyed that they had been unsubscribed, and had stopped receiving magazines. But you would possibly think they may contact you prior to the subscription rolling over.
But I would have thought you could opt out of the autorenewal.

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  Reply # 755263 3-Feb-2013 22:33 Send private message

mattwnz:
keewee01: Isn't it ironic that an organisation that claims to champion the rights of the consumer, actually carries out such a dodgy financial transaction!


I don't think it is, as many people would be more annoyed that they had been unsubscribed, and had stopped receiving magazines. But you would possibly think they may contact you prior to the subscription rolling over.
But I would have thought you could opt out of the autorenewal.


I'm sure there use to be some sort of option, but I could be wrong.

I've just used the Cancel Subscription option to cancel my subscription.

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  Reply # 755278 3-Feb-2013 23:06 Send private message

mattwnz:
keewee01: Isn't it ironic that an organisation that claims to champion the rights of the consumer, actually carries out such a dodgy financial transaction!


I don't think it is, as many people would be more annoyed that they had been unsubscribed, and had stopped receiving magazines. But you would possibly think they may contact you prior to the subscription rolling over.
But I would have thought you could opt out of the autorenewal.


Many (maybe most?) respectable magazines will continue a subscription for a while after the subscription has expired in order to not annoy the customer if they have just forgotten to pay, or to maximise the chance of keeping a leaving customer by giving them a chance to reflect. But if the customer decides they are not re-subscribing, they, of course, are not expected to pay for the post subscription copies.

We stopped getting the Consumer Magazine decades ago because of its poor quality and their regarding themselves as being on higher moral ground than everyone else - an attitude that has only gotten many times worse since the current crazy woman took over.

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  Reply # 755280 3-Feb-2013 23:19 Send private message

John2010: 

Many (maybe most?) respectable magazines will continue a subscription for a while after the subscription has expired in order to not annoy the customer if they have just forgotten to pay, or to maximise the chance of keeping a leaving customer by giving them a chance to reflect. But if the customer decides they are not re-subscribing, they, of course, are not expected to pay for the post subscription copies.


Personally I haven't come across that , but I don't subscribe to too many mags these days. Maybe it is a new thing. I have however come across several mag companies sending out a lot of free ones to companies in industries, which I suspect is to keep their circulation rates high, as they  need this for advertisers.

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  Reply # 755304 4-Feb-2013 06:56 Send private message

It is actually possible for organisations with whom you have a subscription to obtain your new expiry date if your card expires and they have the old one.  I've never seen a NZ company do it before, but it is quite common for US companies to simply "update" the expiry for you when you get a new card.

No, I don't know how they do this.



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  Reply # 755316 4-Feb-2013 07:42 Send private message

Even if auto renewal was in their fine print two years ago, I really expect an email to say "hey we're going to renew your subscription". The only reason not to do that is money, but as we've seen people get upset at that. The amount of money isn't significant to me, it's the principle.




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  Reply # 755318 4-Feb-2013 07:45 Send private message

I've had Microsoft (Xbox Live) renew my subscription using an expired card too. I was shocked to find that it was possible (site still listed the old expiry date).

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