Post Reply Thinking about doing a "free" trial?
37709 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
45 / Seattle
Offline
Posted 1/25/16 , edited 1/25/16


"Cancel online anytime"... or not.

~~~~~~

Looking for information on another subject, I landed on Crunchyroll's complaints page at the Better Business Bureau site. After reading through it...

It’s extremely unlikely that someone who’s been incorrectly charged will persevere through all of the following barriers, just for a relatively small amount, on principle alone. At the most, the odds of anyone being this stubborn and knowledgeable can’t be more than 1 in 20:


Even so, the following is just one of a pile of complaints they've built up with a theme of “I cancelled my free trial, and trusted that CR actually cancelled it. Then I got charged. Eventually I got someone who told me I didn’t cancel it, and told me to prove it with the confirmation email they didn't send. Then they told me to smeg off.”

I don’t even know what to say about the above. It's like they're sticking their fingers in their ears and shouting "WHAT'S THAT? SPEAK UP, I CAN'T HEAR YOU! AND YOU'RE NOT GETTING YOUR MONEY BACK." (And they're still playing the game of "You can't cancel the free trial immediately because your billing info will take days to go through", despite advertising to the contrary.)

~~~~~

If one customer told me “I cancelled, but apparently it didn’t go through” but my system said there was no record of them canceling, I probably wouldn't believe them either. If a handful did, I would probably still have trouble believing them. But if a dozen or more did, I’d start to wonder and probably do at least a few tests to see if it happened to me on different browsers and/or devices.

And if I were the "customer support manager" (there are several) in charge of responding to BBB complaints and I knew that 1) hundreds of customers have been contacting my company for years with close to the same story every time, 2) the site has more bugs than your average acre of rainforest, and 3) management refused to let me refund them (or look into getting it fixed) because "policy"? Maybe it's just me, but I would be looking for a new job.

One last note, to the CR upper management/owners... really? Is the money you get from shaking down someone for a month or two, even hundreds of times over, really worth ruining the company's reputation and thus jeopardizing your main revenue stream?

~~~~~

* - "Answered" is the BBB's euphemism for "CR sent one or more responses to the BBB, but the customer kept refusing to accept that it was "Resolved". And even "Resolved" is often a euphemism, for situations like

Okay, I give up (10/14/2015)

CR finally gave the person their $24 back, over a year later - a few days after the California District Attorney followed up on multiple complaints. (8/4/2015).
58678 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
30 / M / Dallas, TX
Online
Posted 1/25/16

arimareiji wrote:

CR finally gave the person their $24 back, over a year later - a few days after the California District Attorney followed up on multiple complaints. (8/4/2015).


I remember reading that complaint. I still don't understand why the customer tried to send the manga volumes as well, when the problem was just with the DVDs.
37709 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
45 / Seattle
Offline
Posted 1/27/16

eyeofpain wrote:


arimareiji wrote:

CR finally gave the person their $24 back, over a year later - a few days after the California District Attorney followed up on multiple complaints. (8/4/2015).


I remember reading that complaint. I still don't understand why the customer tried to send the manga volumes as well, when the problem was just with the DVDs.


Three things come to mind as very possible, just right off - accidentally choosing the wrong generic template response, a single generic template response that the author didn't realize might be used for partial returns, or accidental ambiguity in a human response. (An example of the last might be "Carefully repackage all materials in the box they came in, if available".) It's pretty hard to say without access to the original correspondence... I know that at my workplace, I've sometimes been surprised by how ambiguous text-chat conversations can be in retrospect.

I'm almost afraid to ask, but I am curious: Are you saying that you were the one who handled this complaint on CR's behalf, that you stumbled across the same page before I did and remembered this complaint, or some other possibility? "Nunyuh" is always a fine response, if you prefer.
58678 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
30 / M / Dallas, TX
Online
Posted 1/27/16

arimareiji wrote:





I suppose those are possibilities, but if they had spent so long trying to resolve the problem, it seems like that would occur to them at some point.


I'm almost afraid to ask, but I am curious: Are you saying that you were the one who handled this complaint on CR's behalf, that you stumbled across the same page before I did and remembered this complaint, or some other possibility? "Nunyuh" is always a fine response, if you prefer.


I had browsed CR's file on BBB when I saw another user (just a private user myself) threaten to file a report with the Bureau. CR hasn't registered with the BBB, the BBB has no authority to formally reprimand CR for their action or inaction, and is actually kind of a sleazy company that uses poor ratings to blackmail other business into paying for BBB accreditation.

I was bored one day, and got to learn about a crummy organization that manages a rating system that people really shouldn't be trusting at face value.
37709 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
45 / Seattle
Offline
Posted 1/27/16

eyeofpain wrote:


arimareiji wrote:
I'm almost afraid to ask, but I am curious: Are you saying that you were the one who handled this complaint on CR's behalf, that you stumbled across the same page before I did and remembered this complaint, or some other possibility? "Nunyuh" is always a fine response, if you prefer.


I had browsed CR's file on BBB when I saw another user (just a private user myself) threaten to file a report with the Bureau. CR hasn't registered with the BBB, the BBB has no authority to formally reprimand CR for their action or inaction, and is actually kind of a sleazy company that uses poor ratings to blackmail other business into paying for BBB accreditation.

I was bored one day, and got to learn about a crummy organization that manages a rating system that people really shouldn't be trusting at face value.


Wow. That's an interesting interpretation of the Better Business Bureau, which at least in the past used to be a respected organization and a last resort for people who had no other recourse (before chargebacks and stronger consumer protection laws).

This person "threatened" to file a report if they didn't get what sounds like a deserved refund for over a year (although reading it, it sounds like they actually just wanted an exchange)? I'd be curious to see where that's posted on the 'Net, and I'm not sure how you would have seen their correspondence otherwise. And to be blunt: If it took the intervention of the California Attorney General to do a simple return, that doesn't speak well of customer service.
58678 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
30 / M / Dallas, TX
Online
Posted 1/28/16 , edited 1/28/16

arimareiji wrote:


eyeofpain wrote:


arimareiji wrote:
I'm almost afraid to ask, but I am curious: Are you saying that you were the one who handled this complaint on CR's behalf, that you stumbled across the same page before I did and remembered this complaint, or some other possibility? "Nunyuh" is always a fine response, if you prefer.


I had browsed CR's file on BBB when I saw another user (just a private user myself) threaten to file a report with the Bureau. CR hasn't registered with the BBB, the BBB has no authority to formally reprimand CR for their action or inaction, and is actually kind of a sleazy company that uses poor ratings to blackmail other business into paying for BBB accreditation.

I was bored one day, and got to learn about a crummy organization that manages a rating system that people really shouldn't be trusting at face value.


Wow. That's an interesting interpretation of the Better Business Bureau, which at least in the past used to be a respected organization and a last resort for people who had no other recourse (before chargebacks and stronger consumer protection laws).

This person "threatened" to file a report if they didn't get what sounds like a deserved refund for over a year (although reading it, it sounds like they actually just wanted an exchange)? I'd be curious to see where that's posted on the 'Net, and I'm not sure how you would have seen their correspondence otherwise. And to be blunt: If it took the intervention of the California Attorney General to do a simple return, that doesn't speak well of customer service.


It was another case on these forums, I just happened to come across that exchange complaint at the time.

http://money.cnn.com/2015/09/30/news/better-business-bureau/index.html
37709 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
45 / Seattle
Offline
Posted 1/28/16

eyeofpain wrote:
It was another case on these forums, I just happened to come across that exchange complaint at the time.


After a bit of digging, I think I understand a bit better... my apologies, sometimes I'm slow to catch on to what people are trying to convey. The threat to complain to BBB wasn't from the person who couldn't get CR to respond for a year about a DVD exchange, it was from the 1638th forum user to complain about lag, freezing, stuttering, etc. (Details in spoiler.)





I think our relative frames of reference may be getting in the way. (Again, details in spoiler).



I still say, and I don't believe I've heard a cogent contradiction for: The pattern and type of complaints (found on a separate page from the "grade") on the BBB site about getting billed after cancelling / trying to cancel... are pretty disturbing. Let alone CR''s track record of promises and responses.

"Cancel any time!... But not too soon, because we have to make sure we can bill you for the free trial. And not too late either, because we might have jumped the gun and the charge is already "Pending'. And sure, maybe our system incorrectly told you that it had registered your cancellation... but you don't have the email we didn't send you to prove it, so smeg off."
58678 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
30 / M / Dallas, TX
Online
Posted 1/28/16 , edited 1/28/16

arimareiji wrote:


eyeofpain wrote:
It was another case on these forums, I just happened to come across that exchange complaint at the time.


After a bit of digging, I think I understand a bit better... my apologies, sometimes I'm slow to catch on to what people are trying to convey. The threat to complain to BBB wasn't from the person who couldn't get CR to respond for a year about a DVD exchange, it was from the 1638th forum user to complain about lag, freezing, stuttering, etc. (Details in spoiler.)



I can't recall exactly who is was, but yes, I should have been clearer about who was "threatening" to file a complaint.




I think our relative frames of reference may be getting in the way. (Again, details in spoiler).



I still say, and I don't believe I've heard a cogent contradiction for: The pattern and type of complaints (found on a separate page from the "grade") on the BBB site about getting billed after cancelling / trying to cancel... are pretty disturbing. Let alone CR''s track record of promises and responses.

"Cancel any time!... But not too soon, because we have to make sure we can bill you for the free trial. And not too late either, because we might have jumped the gun and the charge is already "Pending'. And sure, maybe our system incorrectly told you that it had registered your cancellation... but you don't have the email we didn't send you to prove it, so smeg off."


I'm not trying to say the fault was solely with the customer in that case. And you're right, there is a pattern at CR of bad business practices that are not helping customers. I think most of the people who browse the Help forums regularly, and many of the customer service representatives like shinryou, see that as well. It's very unfortunate that they haven't taken any visible steps to improve their security or other aspects of the membership experience.

What I do see is a lot of users who post complaints while being emotional, and feeling like CR has harmed them personally, either having trouble with a trial membership, or because an app was discontinued. I do try to help other users see a more rational side to a situation, because it's not healthy to stay upset, and too often end up sticking my nose where it doesn't belong, which is one of the reasons why I don't post as much here as I used to.*

What I don't like is companies that act as if they exist to help individuals, and yet don't adequately warn consumers about issues like shoddy workmanship or putting elderly residents' lives a risk. While the issues may be logged as "complaints" most people who don't understand how the BBB operates are just going to look at the grade and take it at face value. And it's not about inspectors, as lawyers supplied court documents related to the cases against such businesses. But really, I think that's an ancillary matter not directly related to this thread.

I don't think we disagree, I think we just have different perspectives that make it hard to come to an understanding.

* - I meant to include something about helping make people more informed consumers, but I think I forgot with everything else.
37709 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
45 / Seattle
Offline
Posted 1/31/16 , edited 2/15/16

eyeofpain wrote:

The point I had raised was that there's a pattern of "Answered"* complaints listed on the BBB website about Crunchyroll, specifically a pattern of apparently-valid complaints about getting charged after cancellation, and they sound very similar to each other and to the ones we hear on the forums. Given the very low odds of anyone being stubborn enough to keep fighting a small but unfair charge long enough to reach that point just on principle, it's a reasonable assumption that CR knows that at least hundreds of people having been saying the same thing - "Your system is broken, and it falsely told me that the trial was cancelled". For at least a couple of years. And their response to this day remains "No it didn't, and you can't prove it since the system didn't send you an email** (just a confirmation screen). Now smeg off."

Lying about letting people cancel at any time*** is bad enough, because CR knows full well the system does no such thing. Pretending the system works to let them actually cancel at any time (as opposed to falsely telling them it's cancelled) is far worse. Knowing it doesn't work, charging people anyway, ignoring them****, and (if they're lucky) reversing the charges only after they publicly embarrass CR about it?

That's not a sustainable business model for anyone, let alone a company whose success was built on word of mouth in a close-knit community.


Footnotes, and an aside:


~~~~~


Editing in a postscript to concede a point to eyeofpain:
You must be logged in to post.