In 2005, I paid the $15 or so for the internet access to all of the MLB Radio broadcasts from MLB Adanced media.
I got XM for Christmas in 2005, eliminating the need to renew for 2006, otherwise, I certainly would have done so.
Unfortunately, when I looked at my credit card statement for May, I was charged $14.95 for an automatic renewal.
Apparently, MLB sent emails to all of its old subscribers saying (I paraphrase), speak now or we'll recharge your credit cards and renew you automatically for 2006. In my case, they sent the email to an old hotmail account that no longer exists.
So I spent 20 minutes on hold with MLB, asked them to charge it back, and was told that "I can't guarantee we can do that" since I'm past the "10 day cancellation period." When I retorted that I never authorized the chargeback in the first place, the person on the phone had no response.
I'm now fighting the battle with my credit card company. I know it's not a lot of money, and I imagine that my credit card company will eventually charge it back.
The problem is that I'm not alone. MLB is doing this to lots and lots of fans, and they're not happy. See these links:
What MLB is doing is probably illegal. There have not been any lawsuits initiated that I know of, but people are talking the possibility of class-action in the above links. People on these links also claimed to have filed complaints with state attorneys general and with the FTC.
But aside from the legal wrongs, I can't believe that MLB would lack the business acumen to realize the degree to which this will alienate consumers. Maybe I shouldn't be surprised. But I'm surprised.
1. If you can possibly live without MLB TV, MLB Audio, or any other MLB media product, do so until they prove they've cleaned up their act.
2. If you've been issued an unauthorized charge on your credit card, and you've made a good faith effort with MLB to resolve it, DO NOT PAY IT. Call your credit card company to contest the charge. Say it's unauthorized, then pay your balance EXCEPT the unauthorized charge. My understanding of the Truth in Lending Act is that once you pay the charge, your credit card company has no legal responsibility to charge it back to the merchant.