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131 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 755325 4-Feb-2013 08:13
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I had a paid online Consumer membership last year. It was one of their conditions to autorenew, and there was no way to opt out of it. The only way to avoid it was to login just prior to the autorenew date and cancel the membership. A real hassle - although I did get an email 2 weeks before hand, it would have been nice if I'd gotten one 24/48 hrs prior to autorenew as well to remind me to cancel it.

The process is not really in the consumer's best interests.

522 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 755326 4-Feb-2013 08:14
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Thanks for this thread! I just logged in onto the consumer website and realised these mongrels auto renewed my subscription without asking me or even letting me know... Now I understand why they were having a special offer were you'd get 3 months for $3. Just hope customer will forget about it (like I did) and keep charging them now that you have their CC details...

I should contact some consumer-defense type organisation to complain about them!

Guillaume

 
 
 
 


2385 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 755332 4-Feb-2013 08:25
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I see when you signup it mentions that the subscription is auto renewing




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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 755333 4-Feb-2013 08:26
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Getting back to the OP's issue.... The magazine company auto renewed on an expired credit card !
Do you think the bank has somthing to do with this as well i.e. allowed the transaction manually in the backround?




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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 755334 4-Feb-2013 08:29
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"We will send you an email reminder". That either wasn't sent or didn't arrive. Their monthly email arrive fine, and there's nothing in my spam folder, but email is an unreliable way to communicate important information.

I expect them to refund the membership, but if not I'll contact my bank.




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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 755336 4-Feb-2013 08:37
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Here is an interesting article about this. Seems the expirary date is not needed.

http://www.abletech.co.nz/blog/recurring-billing-of-expired-credit-cards



Until now, the only real issue that we faced was the problem of expiring credit cards. Credit cards generally expire every two years (sometimes more frequently), primarily due to the fact that this is the life expectancy of the magnetic strip on the back of the card. When a customer’s credit card expired, they needed to provide us with the updated card details, otherwise when we tried to charge their card, we would receive a ‘card expired’ error back from DPS. Clearly this somewhat limits the convenience factor for our customers, in fact many customers told us so, pointing out that their card number hadn’t changed.

The solution, as it turns out, is a little known feature called the recurring billing flag. Essentially when a payment is sent through to the bank with the recurring billing flag set, they will (generally) ignore the expiry date when processing the transaction.


My thoughts: If the customer has accepted auto renew, then regardless if the credit card works or not, he/she is still reliable for that subscription. Just because the customer used a credit card it does not mean that he/she does not need to notify them about terminating the subscription (thinking oh well, the credit card is expiring, that will take care of it.)

If the card expired and they were not able to renew the subscription you would be liable for that money anyway. And should have actually updated your credit card details.




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  Reply # 755340 4-Feb-2013 08:39
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Interesting. I think the lack of notification is the key thing here. They'll probably claim notification was sent by an automated process, which doesn't help if it doesn't arrive.




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Stu

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  Reply # 755353 4-Feb-2013 09:03
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The lack of notification is what annoyed me. Especially from Consumer NZ.

796 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 755371 4-Feb-2013 09:41
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Regarding our Geekzone Subscriptions:

"Your subscription is automatically charged by Paypal on a recurring basis based on the cycle you chose."

No mention of an email reminder - though I guess we will get one. Isn't this the same as what Consumer's have done? Should we cancel or complain to Geekzone if we don't get an email reminder ;-)

1293 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 755387 4-Feb-2013 09:50
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Its not hard for unscrupulous business' to guess the new expiry date. As the post above alludes to, it is updated every 2 years for nearly everyone.

This is a good reason to use a debit card. Lets see them get your money if there is non on the card. You might even get a months 'free' (unpaid) premium subscription because their systems don't deal with debit cards well. (x-box live I'm looking at you)

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 755410 4-Feb-2013 10:13
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Dairyxox: Its not hard for unscrupulous business' to guess the new expiry date. As the post above alludes to, it is updated every 2 years for nearly everyone.


Hmm, my current credit card is valid for 3 years and 2 months. No idea why that happened. It always used to be two years.




 

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 755439 4-Feb-2013 10:57
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I had the same issue with Consumer subscriptions. My main complaint was they auto-renewed six weeks before the previous subscription was due to expire. I wasn't expecting this to happen so far in advance. After noticing the charge, I did some digging, and discovered they had sent an email which had ended up in my spam folder.

Six years ago I found that ANZ had actually processed a direct debit around 6 weeks after I had cancelled the credit card. I got back from holiday 4 months later to find letters from them threatening to cancel my credit card if I didn't pay! When I rang them, they said that even though it was already cancelled, they didn't have too much control over the merchants, and that their normal process was to contact the merchant to request them to stop. Seemed very bizarre to me. They didn't charge any penalties or account fees.

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  Reply # 755443 4-Feb-2013 11:09
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nova: I had the same issue with Consumer subscriptions. My main complaint was they auto-renewed six weeks before the previous subscription was due to expire. I wasn't expecting this to happen so far in advance. After noticing the charge, I did some digging, and discovered they had sent an email which had ended up in my spam folder.

Six years ago I found that ANZ had actually processed a direct debit around 6 weeks after I had cancelled the credit card. I got back from holiday 4 months later to find letters from them threatening to cancel my credit card if I didn't pay! When I rang them, they said that even though it was already cancelled, they didn't have too much control over the merchants, and that their normal process was to contact the merchant to request them to stop. Seemed very bizarre to me. They didn't charge any penalties or account fees.


Certain types of merchants can do something called a "hard" charge.  This basically forces the transaction no matter what the state of the card is, and no matter what the card limits are.  A merchant with the ability to do this can even successfully charge $10,000 to a card with a $500 limit.

This is normally limited to merchants who provide service prior to you paying (e.g. hotels, taxis, etc).

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 755451 4-Feb-2013 11:21
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Kyanar: 

Certain types of merchants can do something called a "hard" charge.  This basically forces the transaction no matter what the state of the card is, and no matter what the card limits are.  A merchant with the ability to do this can even successfully charge $10,000 to a card with a $500 limit.

This is normally limited to merchants who provide service prior to you paying (e.g. hotels, taxis, etc).


In my case it was life insurance, which is generally a case of if you don't pay they don't cover you, and I'm not even sure if they can legally chase you for unpaid premiums.


199 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 755618 4-Feb-2013 15:28
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Count me in as someone who hated the consumer Auto renewal. I was going to complain about them to fair Go, which would be funny if it wasn't so outrageous. I found an angry email to them resulted in me getting a refund and deleted from their database.

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