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Topic # 190896 15-Jan-2016 14:07
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Like many Spark customers who got this free promotion, I signed up for the 12 month, or 1 year promotion. I setup a calender notification a few days prior to the roll over date, to give me plenty of time to cancel prior to it rolling over. That time has now come, however I noticed that it rolled over today, rather than in 5 days time when the promotion period should have ended (eg after 1 full year). I also noticed on their website, that is says that billing is every 30 days, which for 12 terms, equals 360 days. So the promotion appears to have been for only 360 days and not for 12 full months or 1 year (365 days)as was advertised. There was no warning email to say that the promotional period was about to end, and it was about to roll over, either like there should have been. The problem is that part of the condition of signing up is that they want your credit card, so instead of the service ending, it appears that it then charges your credit card. I was wondering if anyone else has been caught out by this? I suspect many people thought it was full a proper year, and not 5 days short of a full year.


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  Reply # 1471960 15-Jan-2016 14:25
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Am I right in thinking that Lightbox bills on a monthly basis? given that I would have thought the promotion was for free 12 monthly installments.




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  Reply # 1471968 15-Jan-2016 14:38
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MikeB4: Am I right in thinking that Lightbox bills on a monthly basis? given that I would have thought the promotion was for free 12 monthly installments.


It appears their months are actually 30 days, so 12 terms are actually 360 days, and not a full year. But the promtion was for a year, which is 365 days. It does make it very confusing. My control panel shows that my subscription was due to end today, and I cancelled it, and it shows a balance of $12.99. Not sure if I have been charged or not, but but didn't get my full year from the promotion due to it appearing to be only 360 days, not 365 days. Lightbox have PMed me asking for my details so they can look into it. The problem though is that their control panel doesn't actually show the promotion and the end date for the free credit. It does show hire important it is to put a calendar reminder a good few days prior to the scheduled end date.

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  Reply # 1472037 15-Jan-2016 16:08
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Pretty sure the promotion was for 12 periods of Lightbox (e.g. 12x30). In any case, I got an email a few weeks ago saying my free offer had been extended for Summer so you might be ok anyway.

Have you tried looking in the Subscription area in 'My Account'? Mine shows how many 30 day periods are still covered by the Spark voucher.




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  Reply # 1472050 15-Jan-2016 16:17
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staticnz: Pretty sure the promotion was for 12 periods of Lightbox (e.g. 12x30). In any case, I got an email a few weeks ago saying my free offer had been extended for Summer so you might be ok anyway.

Have you tried looking in the Subscription area in 'My Account'? Mine shows how many 30 day periods are still covered by the Spark voucher.



No I didn't get that email with the extra 2 months. Mine didn't have the Spark line, or the discounts remaining, just that it's renewal date was the 15/1. So I cancelled it, as I signed up on the 20th Jan 2015, so that is 360 days, not the 365 as advertised.

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  Reply # 1472055 15-Jan-2016 16:21
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staticnz: Pretty sure the promotion was for 12 periods of Lightbox (e.g. 12x30). In any case, I got an email a few weeks ago saying my free offer had been extended for Summer so you might be ok anyway.

Have you tried looking in the Subscription area in 'My Account'? Mine shows how many 30 day periods are still covered by the Spark voucher.



I don't recall getting the extended email, but my subscription shows something similar to the above.  Hopefully Spark makes it permanent :)

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  Reply # 1472059 15-Jan-2016 16:24
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Original Spark email of 20/01/2015 states 360 days in subject.




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  Reply # 1472131 15-Jan-2016 18:00
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Spyware: Original Spark email of 20/01/2015 states 360 days in subject.


Don't think I ever had an email advertising it. But the press release says 12 months, and nothing about 360 days as shown at http://www.sparknz.co.nz/news/lightbox-on-the-house/ . The press release on Geekzone was the same and mentioned a year and 12 months. 30 day billing period isn't a month, it is 30 days, so they should have either advertised it as a 360 days, or a 12 billing period offer when they advertised it. It is vital to know when scheduling a calendar to know the exact date it is due to roll over. 1 year is easy, 360 days isn't so easy to work out the exact day.



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  Reply # 1472133 15-Jan-2016 18:09
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With help from lightbox I have reactivated it, and the 2 extra discounts are now showing.I wasn't showing like that prior to today, as I would have noticed that. After cancellation the screen looked like below, showing that there wasn't any discount being applied to the January total, but after reactivating, there now is and my screen looks like Staticnz's. Odd that some of us got emails and some didn't, as normally you have to manually apply the coupons.


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  Reply # 1472135 15-Jan-2016 18:15
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If @lightbox were to provide me a free year of service, I can solemnly promise no matter what I won't complain about any billing or service issues at the completion of the term :)

I'll also note here in advance that if it works out I get 360 days, I also won't complain, or EVEN if they give me 350 days!





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  Reply # 1472139 15-Jan-2016 18:22
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networkn: If @lightbox were to provide me a free year of service, I can solemnly promise no matter what I won't complain about any billing or service issues at the completion of the term :)

I'll also note here in advance that if it works out I get 360 days, I also won't complain, or EVEN if they give me 350 days!




Yes that's the point, as long as you know the exact number of days you are getting so you can schedule it in your diary. I am sure you would be a bit annoyed though, if you got billed for a month, when you thought you had scheduled the correct date to cancel it. It doesn't appear as though I have been billed, although the screenshot I posted suggests otherwise. Then you learn that customers have 2 extra months that they weren't aware of, as no email was received and you have cancelled it without being aware of that. The extra 2 months should give some access to Suits when it starts up again. But to Lightboxes credit they were responsive and resolved it, so thanks to Lightbox. But hopefully they can see that I have identified a few issues with the way things are displayed in the accounts page, including after an account was been canceled, where it implies there is an amount owing on the account.



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  Reply # 1472178 15-Jan-2016 19:50
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I did notice in the initial email they did send when we signed up to the 1 year offer, the email did say "We'll get back in touch to remind you when your trial's about to expire"  The problem is this wasn't done. It looks like at some stage they extended it, but it doesn't appear all customers received that email, and it wasn't communicated anywhere else as far as I am aware.

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  Reply # 1472179 15-Jan-2016 19:50
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Five days? Knowing that sometimes life gets on the way of things I usually put reminders for ten days.

People got 360 days of free streaming service? Should be happy.







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  Reply # 1472186 15-Jan-2016 20:04
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freitasm: Five days? Knowing that sometimes life gets on the way of things I usually put reminders for ten days.

People got 360 days of free streaming service? Should be happy.



The free service for their Spark ISP customers, does keep their customer numbers up, similar to many magazines who send out free magazines to professionals to keep their readership numbers up. Plus it keeps people using Spark, and creates a point of difference for them as an ISP. I wonder if that is why I didn't get any notice of the additional 2 months, because I did change my plan I was on...hmmm  
These SaaS models often have to do this sort of thing with free offers for the initial first years, to gain traction as a service. 

The thing is that on their website it was advertised as 1 year (eg presume 365 days is 1 year), and they were supposed to send out an email warning when the 1 years was up, which wasn't sent. So if it was shorter, it was going to catch people out who hadn't noticed that it was only 360 days. So those people caught out, it likely wouldn't have all been free. But in fact, it now appears that it is now 420 days free. It is difficult still to know the exact day it is due to expire as it isn't shown in their control panel, so a 10 day reminder buffer is a good idea

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  Reply # 1472190 15-Jan-2016 20:09
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mattwnz: But hopefully they can see that I have identified a few issues with the way things are displayed in the accounts page, including after an account was been canceled, where it implies there is an amount owing on the account.

Yeah hopefully these issues are not marked as resolved by 'give credit if anyone notices'..

Edit: did not read properly seems trial continued gratis for longer by default without asking.

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  Reply # 1472217 15-Jan-2016 20:56
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mattwnz:
networkn: If @lightbox were to provide me a free year of service, I can solemnly promise no matter what I won't complain about any billing or service issues at the completion of the term :)

I'll also note here in advance that if it works out I get 360 days, I also won't complain, or EVEN if they give me 350 days!




Yes that's the point, as long as you know the exact number of days you are getting so you can schedule it in your diary. I am sure you would be a bit annoyed though, if you got billed for a month, when you thought you had scheduled the correct date to cancel it. It doesn't appear as though I have been billed, although the screenshot I posted suggests otherwise. Then you learn that customers have 2 extra months that they weren't aware of, as no email was received and you have cancelled it without being aware of that. The extra 2 months should give some access to Suits when it starts up again. But to Lightboxes credit they were responsive and resolved it, so thanks to Lightbox. But hopefully they can see that I have identified a few issues with the way things are displayed in the accounts page, including after an account was been canceled, where it implies there is an amount owing on the account.


Well whilst I understand your point, if @lightbox were to give me a free year, and then they charged me for 1 month, I'd consider that excellent value and probably wouldn't begrudge them that. Seems though that @lightbox did sort your issue which is outstanding. @lightbox seem like a wonderful company and very generous to give away a free year to some FORTUNATE people who I hope would be just as GRATEFUL as I would be :) 

 

(In case it's not been worked out yet, I just worked out that @ lets the involved party know you mentioned them) 



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