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Show ALL Forums  > Plentyoffish Site/Suggestions/Help  > Unethical Membership Auto Renewal      Home login  
 AUTHOR
 unknownperspective
Joined: 10/26/2014
Msg: 1
Unethical Membership Auto RenewalPage 1 of 1    
I signed up for an upgraded membership a while back. It was a waste of money and really offers very few benefits compared to a free membership. Yesterday, I found out that I was billed 38.70 for another 3 months of a premium POF membership. I wasn't even aware that POF automatically renewed upgraded memberships. I never got any notifications telling me that my membership would soon expire and be automatically renewed.

Automatically renewing people's membership WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT is an unethical business practice. Taking people's money without their consent is stealing. You did not have my consent to renew my upgraded membership. I would like my 38.70 back. I stopped using POF a month ago.
 import_from_uk
Joined: 5/12/2015
Msg: 2
Unethical Membership Auto Renewal
Posted: 7/11/2015 5:33:21 PM
But you did give your consent. It's right there in the Terms of Service and it tells you what to do, if you want to opt out of automatic renewal.
 import_from_uk
Joined: 5/12/2015
Msg: 3
Unethical Membership Auto Renewal
Posted: 7/11/2015 5:35:08 PM
Terms of Service http://www.pof.com/terms.aspx


Automatic Renewal
Paid Memberships are subscriptions. After Your initial subscription commitment period, and again after any subsequent subscription period, Your subscription will automatically continue for an additional equivalent period, at the price You agreed to when subscribing. [u]You agree that Your account will be subject to this automatic renewal feature. If You do not wish Your account to renew automatically, or if You want to change or terminate Your subscription, please log in and go to Your Account page and opt out of automatic renewal of Your purchase.[/u] If You opt out of automatic renewal after Your purchase, You may use Your subscription until the end of Your then-current subscription term; Your subscription will not be renewed after Your then-current term expires. You won’t be eligible for a prorated refund of any portion of the subscription fee paid for the then-current subscription period. Paid Memberships cannot be transferred to any other account. By subscribing to the Paid Membership, You authorize Plentyoffish to bill the credit card You provided now and again at the beginning of any subsequent subscription period. You also authorize Plentyoffish to charge You for any sales or similar taxes that may be imposed on Your subscription payments.
 import_from_uk
Joined: 5/12/2015
Msg: 4
Unethical Membership Auto Renewal
Posted: 7/11/2015 5:37:39 PM
Also


Reaffirmation of Authorization
Your non-termination or continued use of the Paid Memberships reaffirms that Plentyoffish is authorized to charge the credit card information provided. Plentyoffish may submit those charges for payment and You will be responsible for such charges. This does not waive Plentyoffish’s right to seek payment directly from You. Your charges may be payable in advance, in arrears, per usage, or as otherwise described when You initially subscribed to the Paid Memberships.
 unknownperspective
Joined: 10/26/2014
Msg: 5
Unethical Membership Auto Renewal
Posted: 7/11/2015 8:35:22 PM
I would like to point out that there are strict regulations regarding Auto Renewal in the United States. I understand that POF is a Canadian company however to do business in the US, they must follow US law. Colorado has an Unsolicited Goods Statute. Under Colorado law, POF is not authorized to charge my credit card. They never sent me an email saying that my membership would end soon and that it would automatically renew. Most states require companies to send a notification before the auto renewal. In addition, The Colorado Consumer Protection Act gives me the right to cancel a membership based consumer contract within 1 day. Also it allows me cancel any consumer contract within any amount of time if they are deemed to be using "deceptive trade practices". In my case, I'd like to cancel my renewed subscription to POF.

When I contacted the bank, they gave me POF's phone number which turned out to be a bogus phone number for a chemical company. This is the phone number that POF is using 1-800-763-5060 to bill people. It's not even their number. It belongs to another company. That's how shady these people are. Why would you give false information to the bank if you aren't doing anything illegal? POF is intentially giving false information to banks and scamming people. I have filed a claim with my credit card company and I am confident they will rule in my favor.
 gcdeb
Joined: 4/1/2015
Msg: 6
view profile
History
Unethical Membership Auto Renewal
Posted: 7/12/2015 1:23:57 AM
Please post back here and tell us the outcome. Credit card companies often act in favour of the credit card holder.

That doesn't mean that you aren't in the wrong here. The Terms and Conditions that YOU agreed to are very clear on this issue.
 import_from_uk
Joined: 5/12/2015
Msg: 7
Unethical Membership Auto Renewal
Posted: 7/12/2015 7:37:11 AM

I would like to point out that there are strict regulations regarding Auto Renewal in the United States.

I would like to point out that POF is a CANADIAN company which you opted to use. When you do so, you opt to follow the regulations of the hosting Country, not your Country of residence. If you seriously believe that a company based outside America is going to amend policy for each of the 50 states in America, and then the various laws in the UK, Australia, each Province and Territory within Canada, etc then you might realize that's a very naive expectation. The Terms of Service are really clear. If you failed to read or understand them, then that's on you because you did authorize this auto-renewal when you signed up for ungraded membership. Or did you just click the box to agree and continue on without reading/understanding?


They never sent me an email saying that my membership would end soon and that it would automatically renew.
As the ToS state, it's a subscription, not a renewal of membership and unless you were specifically told they would be sending an e-mail as a reminded, that's merely a step you were expecting/hoping for based on presumption.


In addition, The Colorado Consumer Protection Act gives me the right to cancel a membership based consumer contract within 1 day.
As said, you aren't dealing with a Colorado based company but for the sake of devilment, where does the Colorado Consumer Protection Act state what you claim it does?

http://www.coloradoattorneygeneral.gov/sites/default/files/uploads/CP/CCPA%20-%202013%20Update.pdf


Also it allows me cancel any consumer contract within any amount of time if they are deemed to be using "deceptive trade practices". In my case, I'd like to cancel my renewed subscription to POF.
And you can cancel your agreement with POF as laid out in the ToS.

You access your account, you opt out of the renewal of your subscription, there are no refunds for the remaining term and you are free to either use your upgraded account until the current subscription expires or to not use it. Either way, it's clear that no refunds are given.

You'd be hard pressed to make a case based on "deceptive trade practices" when the practices are clearly laid out in the Terms of Service and you agreed to them by making an account. You can't move past these ToS without agreeing and so you would have done so.


When I contacted the bank, they gave me POF's phone number which turned out to be a bogus phone number for a chemical company.
Then surely that's an error at the bank vs being POF's fault since they had no part in the bank providing you with an inaccurate phone number. To the best of my knowledge, there is no telephone number for POF, only an e-mail address for customer services. If you e-mail customer services, they might see it, but since their Terms of Service are clear that it's a subscription which is automatically renewed unless you opt out, and that no refunds are given for any unused part of current subscription period, I think it's highly unlikely you'll be successful (or even answered).


This is the phone number that POF is using 1-800-763-5060 to bill people. It's not even their number. It belongs to another company.
LOL It's not some conspiracy to dupe you out of less than $40. More likely, the telephone number could have historically been used by POF, and then the line was cancelled as people phoned about matters which are clearly documented and readily found, so they got rid of the phone lines, and it's been allocated to someone else.


I have filed a claim with my credit card company and I am confident they will rule in my favor.
I'm not.
 import_from_uk
Joined: 5/12/2015
Msg: 8
Unethical Membership Auto Renewal
Posted: 7/12/2015 7:59:55 AM
With regards to your view that you may invoke the Colorado Consumer Protection Act, please refer to this section of the Terms of Service.


MISCELLANEOUS
This Agreement represents the entire agreement between You and Plentyoffish regarding the use of our Services and supersedes any other agreement or understanding on the subject matter. This Agreement, Your rights and obligations, and all actions contemplated by this Agreement shall be governed by the laws of the Province of British Columbia, Canada. As a condition of using the Services, each user agrees that any and all disputes and causes of action arising out of or connected with Plentyoffish, shall be resolved through arbitration, with such arbitration to be held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.



PAID MEMBERSHIPS AND PAID FEATURES
In addition to the free services provided on the Website, Paid Memberships (for example, the Plentyoffish Membership) and Paid Features are offered that require payment. Where payment is required, the following additional terms and conditions will apply.

Billing and Payment
Plentyoffish will use the credit card information You provide to bill You for goods and services. By registering for the Paid Memberships or Paid Features and providing Your credit card details, You agree to be billed by us for Your for-fee service in advance. It is Your sole obligation to provide accurate and complete credit card information, and to timely update Your Account with any changes to such information.

Automatic Renewal
Paid Memberships are subscriptions. After Your initial subscription commitment period, and again after any subsequent subscription period, Your subscription will automatically continue for an additional equivalent period, at the price You agreed to when subscribing. You agree that Your account will be subject to this automatic renewal feature. If You do not wish Your account to renew automatically, or if You want to change or terminate Your subscription, please log in and go to Your Account page and opt out of automatic renewal of Your purchase. If You opt out of automatic renewal after Your purchase, You may use Your subscription until the end of Your then-current subscription term; Your subscription will not be renewed after Your then-current term expires. You won’t be eligible for a prorated refund of any portion of the subscription fee paid for the then-current subscription period. Paid Memberships cannot be transferred to any other account. By subscribing to the Paid Membership, You authorize Plentyoffish to bill the credit card You provided now and again at the beginning of any subsequent subscription period. You also authorize Plentyoffish to charge You for any sales or similar taxes that may be imposed on Your subscription payments.

Reaffirmation of Authorization
Your non-termination or continued use of the Paid Memberships reaffirms that Plentyoffish is authorized to charge the credit card information provided. Plentyoffish may submit those charges for payment and You will be responsible for such charges. This does not waive Plentyoffish’s right to seek payment directly from You. Your charges may be payable in advance, in arrears, per usage, or as otherwise described when You initially subscribed to the Paid Memberships.


http://www.pof.com/terms.aspx

You have to go and read the Terms of Service you agreed to. Albeit a bit late now, at least you'll then understand what you agreed to.

So, you agreed to auto-renewal of your subscription.
You were told how to opt out of it but you didn't do that and so the renewal went ahead.
You agreed that your contract with POF would be governed by the laws of the Province of BC meaning your Consumer Act isn't valid for this transaction.
You have been told, via the ToS, that cancellation of any subscription will not garnish a refund for any unused term,
 import_from_uk
Joined: 5/12/2015
Msg: 9
Unethical Membership Auto Renewal
Posted: 7/12/2015 8:09:10 AM
Don't get me wrong. I totally understand that you didn't read the Tos/didn't understand the implications/didn't remember, however, it blows my mind that you are able to research your consumer rights and refer to them but fail to read the agreement you signed up to.

The bottom line is however much you want your $40 back, in this instance, the information that the regs in your state won't apply, the information about automatic renewal and how to opt out, was all made available to you. You didn't opt out and as such, the auto renewal went ahead. It's clearly stated too that if this happens, there are no refunds.

Sure, you can appeal to both POF and your credit card company, and hope they will agree to your wishes but statements about deceptive practices are clearly inaccurate.

The information was shown to you, left available for your reference, and it was you who failed to follow the terms you agreed to, not the other way around. Be thankful that it's just $40 and not an annual subscription term as that would have been a far more expensive lesson.
 CharminC
Joined: 2/19/2011
Msg: 10
Unethical Membership Auto Renewal
Posted: 7/12/2015 10:18:28 AM

I stopped using POF a month ago.


That's when you should have checked with this site, see that you have automatic renewal and then CANCELLED YOUR MEMBERSHIP.
Stopping use of a site or service does not cancel a payment.
When dealing with money, you check and double check.


I understand that POF is a Canadian company however to do business in the US, they must follow US law


Nooooooooooooooooo..... you follow the law of the country the company is based in.


This is the phone number that POF is using 1-800-763-5060 to bill people.


Noooooooooooo, it's not. You recieved an incorrect number from your bank.
Not only YOU didn't check in with your membership to thereby cancel it, you also haven't bothered to look up the number yourself for the company you are complaining about.
And you have the gall to come on here and b*tch?
Dude... bend over and kick yourself.

Next time, take more responsibility for how you conduct business because you only have yourself to blame for this one.
 unknownperspective
Joined: 10/26/2014
Msg: 11
Unethical Membership Auto Renewal
Posted: 7/12/2015 8:52:39 PM
"Noooooooooooo, it's not. You recieved an incorrect number from your bank."

That's what I just said. *facepalm* If you had bothered to read my comment. You will see that POF has given the bank the wrong number. POF is using "1-800-763-5060" to bill people. That is a FACT and that is the number that shows on my bank statement. So please don't tell me what my bank statement says when you've never even seen it. Next time, read the entire comment, instead of trying to be a know it all smart*ss. Internet trolls are the bottom feeding rats of society.
 unknownperspective
Joined: 10/26/2014
Msg: 12
Unethical Membership Auto Renewal
Posted: 7/12/2015 9:05:44 PM
"I would like to point out that POF is a CANADIAN company which you opted to use."

I just said that POF is a Canadian Company. Why don't people ever bother to read my entire comment before posting a response? *Sigh* Last time I checked no private company's terms of service or company policies override the Federal and State Laws of any country. In case you are wondering, my credit card company is the one who gave me most of the information regarding consumer protection. I won a claim against Norton Internet Security about 5 years ago for the same unethical auto renewal practices. And no offense but 3 comments in a row. Not just 3 comments but 3 LONG comments. Dude, you got way too much free time on your hands. I'm just saying man. Power down bro.
 Mark_It_Up
Joined: 3/15/2011
Msg: 13
Unethical Membership Auto Renewal
Posted: 7/13/2015 4:33:49 AM
LOL.

Popcorn. Nom nom nom.
 gcdeb
Joined: 4/1/2015
Msg: 14
view profile
History
Unethical Membership Auto Renewal
Posted: 7/13/2015 8:00:46 AM

Dude, you got way too much free time on your hands. I'm just saying man. Power down bro.
Love the gender assumptions.
 CharminC
Joined: 2/19/2011
Msg: 15
Unethical Membership Auto Renewal
Posted: 7/13/2015 1:02:32 PM

That's what I just said. *facepalm* If you had bothered to read my comment. You will see that POF has given the bank the wrong number. POF is using "1-800-763-5060" to bill people. That is a FACT and that is the number that shows on my bank statement. So please don't tell me what my bank statement says when you've never even seen it. Next time, read the entire comment, instead of trying to be a know it all smart*ss. Internet trolls are the bottom feeding rats of society.



I'm a troll?
buahahhaaaaaaaaaaaa *wipes a tear*


It's not even their number. It belongs to another company. That's how shady these people are.


This is what YOU said. I'm trying to point out that the bank gave you an incorrect number. How can POF be shady if it's the damn banks fault for giving you the wrong number. It took me less than 3 mins to find POF's number online.



however to do business in the US, they must follow US law.


This is another thing YOU said. I'm agreeing with Import who stated;

When you do so, you opt to follow the regulations of the hosting Country, not your Country of residence.



and btw... Import ain't a dude, she's a lady. :)
 import_from_uk
Joined: 5/12/2015
Msg: 16
Unethical Membership Auto Renewal
Posted: 7/13/2015 1:32:08 PM


Next time, read the entire comment, instead of trying to be a know it all smart*ss.


Seriously? The guy who didn't read his ToS and comes quoting out of county credit laws.


Last time I checked no private company's terms of service or company policies override the Federal and State Laws of any country.


Well, check again because your research sucks.


In case you are wondering, my credit card company is the one who gave me most of the information regarding consumer protection. I won a claim against Norton Internet Security about 5 years ago for the same unethical auto renewal practices.


Wasn't wondering.


Dude, you got way too much free time on your hands. I'm just saying man. Power down bro.


Good luck with finding a solution to your self-inflicted problem. Please feel free to swing by for help again.
 import_from_uk
Joined: 5/12/2015
Msg: 17
Unethical Membership Auto Renewal
Posted: 7/13/2015 1:39:55 PM
Here's a second post - just because I can.
 import_from_uk
Joined: 5/12/2015
Msg: 18
Unethical Membership Auto Renewal
Posted: 7/13/2015 1:40:16 PM
And a third.
 import_from_uk
Joined: 5/12/2015
Msg: 19
Unethical Membership Auto Renewal
Posted: 7/13/2015 1:44:49 PM
Oops, accidental post. Man boobs got in the way.
 ItsNotAlwaysArt
Joined: 4/16/2015
Msg: 20
Unethical Membership Auto Renewal
Posted: 7/14/2015 1:32:25 PM
I just closed that checking account they were tapping......I emailed, said please stop...got another renewal....
not worth it really, the raw data they skim (terabytes of personal info for third party ap...wait, you read the whole EULA,yes?) they should be paying US, LOL
so, again...here we go.
 import_from_uk
Joined: 5/12/2015
Msg: 21
Unethical Membership Auto Renewal
Posted: 7/14/2015 1:54:51 PM
^^ Why not just opt out of the autonew? Couple clicks and done.
 ItsNotAlwaysArt
Joined: 4/16/2015
Msg: 22
Unethical Membership Auto Renewal
Posted: 7/14/2015 2:44:27 PM
sorry, thought my post was clear, I had opted out.
 Mr_J_Cash
Joined: 7/2/2015
Msg: 23
Unethical Membership Auto Renewal
Posted: 7/15/2015 6:14:27 AM
There is a difference between opting out and "...I emailed, said please stop." which is wat you stated you did.

There is an Opt Out process/procedure in place and it is not sending an email saying "please stop". The procedure is spelled out in the TOS that you agreed to when you gave your debit/credit card information for the upgraded membership. It is your responsibility to follow the spelled out procedures. If you had and you were then recharged and then you filed a supportable claim of unauthorized use/charges to your bank they should have reversed the charges. Your claim would have to have been supportable and or documentable that you did in deed follow the site TOS agreement you signed (clicked yes on). Had you done these things you would have gotten back your money and been able to keep the account open.

Yes, the POF automatic renewal process information is buried in the TOS and the opt out procedure is not spelled out in big bold text all over the site with easy links but rather it too is buried and difficult to find and execute. Yes, this is an intentional and often considered shady practice but again is YOUR responsibility to guard and protect your finances by knowing those pesky TOS agreements that so many blindly click the "agree" button when giving out financial information/identification on the internet.

If you did actually read and follow the proper opt out process in the TOS you agreed to, which one again is not a "please stop" email, been recharged, filed the proper notifications with your bank and the bank refused to help then your main complaint should be with the bank and not POF. POF clearly spells out in the same TOS that they do not issue refunds.

Hopefully you will read and understand those long, boring, and confusing TOS agreements from now on before blindly giving out your card numbers.

Just saying.
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