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Bianoic
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I really like The Athletic for its content. Always very interesting articles and the guy who follows Rams is really good, Ryan Conway I think

But you get the impression that there is this huge chasm between the very knowledgeable journalists and ‘ Head Office’ back in the States, I presume.

Unfortunately, once again, the good done by the people at the sharp end, the journalists, is being completely undermined by the sharp practices of those responsible for generating sales, and those who willingly allow them to, at Head Office back in USA

I was astonished to find that my bank account had been charged £60 this week for ‘subscription renewal ‘ :

  • I had never asked for my subscription to be on automatic renewal
  • I received no advance warning that my subscription was going to be renewed
  • The charge was made at the same rate I subscribed for last time, £60. The Athletic is currently offering new subscribers an annual cost of £30, plus a free introductory offer
  • When I contacted them to say that I would be taking them to the small claims court if my money wasnt returned within 48 hours, I received the usual, gushing, USA type holding reply. They then had the temerity to e mail me the day after to ask if their virtual assistant had been successful in resolving my problem ! 

Strangely enough they reimbursed me the money before the 48 hours deadline expired

This kind of behaviour is totally unacceptable to me. 
 

Everybody loses . On principle I will never deal with these people again.
 

Just wanted to let everyone out there aware of what practices The Athletic’s sales people employ  and to ask : “why on earth do they do this kind of thing ? “

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I had the exact same thing after a trial period.

I sent some very grumpy emails and got refunded. I felt it was a bit "sharp practice" and it was £60 i couldn't afford at the time.

I keep thinking about getting it again because the content is good and I like Conway, but it is a bit of a luxury, especially as most of the infomation goes around online so you're paying more for opinion pieces, write ups, interviews etc.

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I feel your pain @Bianoic, but pretty much all these subscription websites operate along similar lines, including things like PSN and Microsoft.

Tempt you with a cheap offer, and then set your account to auto-renew at full whack and hope you either don't notice, or enjoy the content enough to let it slide. 

The very first thing you should do upon buying any subscription is cancel the auto renew, in particular anything bought through a 3rd party like Google Play or App Store. To cancel those you probably will have to go to my subscriptions on the App Store site, adding another layer of can't be arsed-ness which they rely on for revenue.

At least you got your money back, and are forewarned in future.

I'm still paying for my Friends Reunited account!

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, Rev said:

I feel your pain @Bianoic, but pretty much all these subscription websites operate along similar lines, including things like PSN and Microsoft.

Tempt you with a cheap offer, and then set your account to auto-renew at full whack and hope you either don't notice, or enjoy the content enough to let it slide. 

The very first thing you should do upon buying any subscription is cancel the auto renew, in particular anything bought through a 3rd party like Google Play or App Store. To cancel those you probably will have to go to my subscriptions on the App Store site, adding another layer of can't be arsed-ness which they rely on for revenue.

At least you got your money back, and are forewarned in future.

I'm still paying for my Friends Reunited account!

 

 

 

There’s a section in your iPhone settings for subscriptions, you can see everything that’s due to renew and at what cost. Just swipe down from the Home Screen and type subscriptions. 

with any free trials I always set a reminder for when the trial will end and cancel it then.

I wouldn’t really call this a sharp sales tactic. Almost everything I’ve signed up to on a free trial recently will state as you sign up, this will auto renew unless cancelled. You do opt in to auto renew, it’s the price you pay for getting a free trial or introductory offer. 

they may be offering it cheaper to new subscribers, but that is also standard practice. Insurance, for example, you constantly have to switch, cos the new deals are always cheaper than your renewal. Guess what, they’re trying to entice you in by giving it you cheaper at first. Just be happy you didn’t have to pay full price for the first year, and set a reminder to unsubscribe if you don’t want to pay the full price.

to be honest, it’s the OP taking the piss (as do we all), take advantage of the introductory offer, then get rid before you she to pay the advertised price.

saas (service as a subscription, I think) is the future though. Everything you could once buy outright, you now have to pay a subscription for. Microsoft Office 365, I was really reluctant to sign up to, but now I’ve jumped in, and it’s just another bill to pay every year, I’ve even got an annual bill for my door bell!

imagine, if you could get everyone on the planet signed up for a 50p subscription. So small that no one could be bothered to call their bank to cancel, but worth £3.5bn a month to you. That’s the Jeff Bezos dream.

 

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I had a free trial but didn't read enough to make it worthwhile tbh. I'm not the biggest fan of Ryan Conway's journalism so I don't feel like I'm missing out much there and for the rest of the outlet I just didn't read it enough for it to make financial sense. They do have some good writers such as Tony Jameson who also plays games such as football manager that I like but it's one of those things I can live without. 

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45 minutes ago, 86 Hair Islands said:

Ahem....

image.thumb.png.c2a0ab6dd49185710fb7fc0f643f7505.png

Love this. 

people moan. Small claims court my arse. But it’s right there. 

it’s like all this PPI baalocks that was going on. People calling me if I’ve got PPI to claim back. No, cos I wasn’t stupid enough to sign up to it. 

it’s been a big thing cos it was ‘mis sold’, but it’s not. If you just read what you’re signing up for, it’ll be in there somewhere. Banks got spanked because they didn’t take into account the fact that they were dealing with idiots, and apparently ‘I’m an idiot, and they should have known that’ is a valid compliant. 

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This is such a common occurrence.    Love the fact too they draw you in with a nice red £2.49/month option but billed annually.  Maybe me but that's £29.88 however the small print says £29.99 for the first year, so they're already charging £0.11 over their offer. 

Just had a very same conversation with Bitdefender, who I use for my laptop security.  Great product but I had an email to say my auto-renewal was coming up at £49.99 for the year.  I looked at my account online and saw a number of offers for renewal, all cheaper, including an upgraded package for £5 less.  I queried it and received the following:

"As for the price difference, the renewal is always performed at full price due to the fact that our billing and payment processor does not have a record of available offers. That is why we inform you about them via emails and product notifications.".

On a positive they did inform me so I had the opportunity to check but how many people won't?  I have now amended this so it's no longer auto-renewal (which was my bad in the first place).  Never auto-renew!

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I've never known a subscription to not have auto renew on by default, it's just standard behaviour.

Netflix, Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Premium, PlayStation+ even your SkyTV and Virgin don't just stop your services after the initial 12/18/24 months.

Athletic haven't done anything wrong here and unless it's in the t&c's that you have a cool off period in which you can request a refund, it would be thrown out a small claims court.

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I cancelled my Athletic subscription just before the auto-renew, as I had emailed them asking for a discount, which they refused.

Anyway, about a fortnight after that, they emailed me with a special offer to get me to sign up again. Thank you very much. 

Now just got to remember to do the same next year! 

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You were lucky to get a refund which would be considered as a pure goodwill gesture by them as it would have been in their Terms and Conditions that the subscription would autorenew. 

Put it down to experience, as with a lot of service providers the devil's in the contract detail and as soon as you sign up to receive their services you've entered into a legally binding contract with them. 

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