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Thread: MLB Radio, MLB TV and MLB Advanced Media Are Bad, Bad, Bad!!!

  1. #1
    post hype sleeper cincinnati chili's Avatar
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    MLB Radio, MLB TV and MLB Advanced Media Are Bad, Bad, Bad!!!

    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:

    http://www.adpulp.com/archives/2006/...trong_arms.php

    http://www.consumerist.com/consumer/...com-166386.php

    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.

    To summarize:

    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.
    Last edited by cincinnati chili; 06-11-2006 at 11:15 PM.
    ". . . acquiring J. Blanton from Oakland for, apparently, Bailey/Cueto, Votto and a lesser prospect. I do it in a second . . . The Reds' equation this year is simple: Make Matt Belisle your #3 starter . . . trade for Blanton, win 85 or more, be in the mix all summer." - Paul Daugherty, Feb. 8, 2008

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  3. #2
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    Re: MLB Radio, MLB TV and MLB Advanced Media Are Bad, Bad, Bad!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by cincinnati chili
    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:

    http://www.adpulp.com/archives/2006/...trong_arms.php

    http://www.consumerist.com/consumer/...com-166386.php

    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 acument to realize the degree to which this will alienate consumers. Maybe I shouldn't be surprised. But I'm surprised.

    To summarize:

    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.
    Yeah. I subscribe to NO internet media sources. Far too much opportunity for scamming.

  4. #3
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    Re: MLB Radio, MLB TV and MLB Advanced Media Are Bad, Bad, Bad!!!

    My guess is, when you electronically "signed" all those statements of use in there, one of them said... unless cancelled, you will be automatically charged on your credit card for the next season.

    You ever get a free credit report? They are only free the first month, and they bank off of people like me who forgot to cancel and charged me $10 the next month. Thankfully I caught it and cancelled it after only that charge.

  5. #4
    post hype sleeper cincinnati chili's Avatar
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    Re: MLB Radio, MLB TV and MLB Advanced Media Are Bad, Bad, Bad!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by AvesIce51
    My guess is, when you electronically "signed" all those statements of use in there, one of them said... unless cancelled, you will be automatically charged on your credit card for the next season.
    Possibly. But:

    1. My understanding is that even in jurisdictions where clickwrap agreements are legal, a court is unlikely to uphold a "perpetual renewal clause" unless it's very, very obviously presented to the consumer.

    2. This doesn't apply to me, but some of the consumers in the links I posted are claiming that they did cancel, but MLB still charged their credit cards.
    ". . . acquiring J. Blanton from Oakland for, apparently, Bailey/Cueto, Votto and a lesser prospect. I do it in a second . . . The Reds' equation this year is simple: Make Matt Belisle your #3 starter . . . trade for Blanton, win 85 or more, be in the mix all summer." - Paul Daugherty, Feb. 8, 2008

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    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    Re: MLB Radio, MLB TV and MLB Advanced Media Are Bad, Bad, Bad!!!

    I know of what you speak, chili, for I have had my own encounter with the screwed-up billing operation at MLB Advanced Media.

    When I signed up for MLB.TV last year, I knew that I was signing up for automatic renewal. So I wasn't surprised by the email message I received a few days before the season started letting me know that when the season started, MLB would be charging my credit card to renew my subscription. I wanted the subscription again, so I was happy for the opportunity to sit back and let them take care of renewing it.

    Reds opening day arrives and I want to see the game on TV. I go to log on to MLB.TV and it won't let me in to the game broadcast. "That's funny." I say to myself. I try a few more times and remember that my credit card's expiration date changed during the off-season. I figure out that MLB likely never attempted to make the charge with the old expiration date having been before the season started. So I log in to my account, and sign up for a new subscription. I am able to watch the game and everything seems fine.

    A few weeks later, my credit card statement arrives with 2 charges from MLB. They charged me twice for the MLB.TV subscription: once on opening day and a second time 3 days later. I call MLB. It takes 45 minutes of sitting on hold to speak to a person. He makes me sit another 10 minutes while he investigates before concluding that MLB did indeed charge me twice. Then he tells me that their accounting department was "very backed up" and it would take them 3-4 weeks to issue a credit to my card for the double charge. I was not impressed, but there was no choice but to accept it.

    I guess the moral of the story is to make sure you cancel those subscriptions you don't want to renew in the off-season, when the accounting department is not "backed up."

    It's only too bad that MLB has a monopoly on this stuff. I'd gladly go spend my money somewhere else if I could buy it from an operation that didn't engage in poor billing practices.
    Last edited by Unassisted; 06-12-2006 at 11:31 AM.

  7. #6
    post hype sleeper cincinnati chili's Avatar
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    Re: MLB Radio, MLB TV and MLB Advanced Media Are Bad, Bad, Bad!!!

    Thanks for sharing, Unassisted.

    55 minutes? That's rough. My 20 minutes seemed like 2 weeks.

    Have hope on this one. There's enough pissed off people, that I'm cautiously optimistic MLB will get slammed. Like I said, what they're doing is probably illegal somewhere.

    I've contacted some friends and acquaintances in the media and legal community, and am hopefully that his will be outed beyond the blogs/message boards.
    ". . . acquiring J. Blanton from Oakland for, apparently, Bailey/Cueto, Votto and a lesser prospect. I do it in a second . . . The Reds' equation this year is simple: Make Matt Belisle your #3 starter . . . trade for Blanton, win 85 or more, be in the mix all summer." - Paul Daugherty, Feb. 8, 2008

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    Re: MLB Radio, MLB TV and MLB Advanced Media Are Bad, Bad, Bad!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by cincinnati chili
    Thanks for sharing, Unassisted.

    55 minutes? That's rough. My 20 minutes seemed like 2 weeks.

    Have hope on this one. There's enough pissed off people, that I'm cautiously optimistic MLB will get slammed. Like I said, what they're doing is probably illegal somewhere.

    I've contacted some friends and acquaintances in the media and legal community, and am hopefully that his will be outed beyond the blogs/message boards.
    I think that you are making a big deal out of nothing. If you didn't want the package, you should have cancelled before the season started. This is why you read the the fine print. There was nothing confusing about it. I have subscribed to MLB.tv for the past 3 years without a problem.

    Blackout rules? Now that's another story.
    "My mission is to be the ray of hope, the guy who stands out there on that beautiful field and owns up to his mistakes and lets people know it's never completely hopeless, no matter how bad it seems at the time. I have a platform and a message, and now I go to bed at night, sober and happy, praying I can be a good messenger." -Josh Hamilton

  9. #8
    Member The Baumer's Avatar
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    Re: MLB Radio, MLB TV and MLB Advanced Media Are Bad, Bad, Bad!!!

    You have the right to contest it and hope they have pity on you, but it is always the customer's responsibility to make sure their e-mail, credit card, and personal information are all up to date. But I've been there, so I know how much it stings to get charged. Hope it works out.

  10. #9
    post hype sleeper cincinnati chili's Avatar
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    Re: MLB Radio, MLB TV and MLB Advanced Media Are Bad, Bad, Bad!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jpup
    I think that you are making a big deal out of nothing. If you didn't want the package, you should have cancelled before the season started. This is why you read the the fine print. There was nothing confusing about it. I have subscribed to MLB.tv for the past 3 years without a problem.

    Blackout rules? Now that's another story.
    You've gotta be kidding me. And you're missing the point. Several people HAVE cancelled who did "read the fine print," but MLB ignored them and charged their credit cards anyway. Read the links I posted. If you're lucky you won't be one of them someday.

    And I disagree that there was nothing confusing about it.
    ". . . acquiring J. Blanton from Oakland for, apparently, Bailey/Cueto, Votto and a lesser prospect. I do it in a second . . . The Reds' equation this year is simple: Make Matt Belisle your #3 starter . . . trade for Blanton, win 85 or more, be in the mix all summer." - Paul Daugherty, Feb. 8, 2008


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