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Letter to the Editor: Problems and Complaints

I would also like to complain about

I have signed up for paid subscriptions to Yahoo! Personals, and for varying periods of time. I have never had any problem like this. Like everyone else, the huge obnoxious ads with scantily clad women lured me in. I signed up for the free trial, I put my CC information in not even thinking twice that once the 'free trial' was over they would ask me to sign up. I looked on the site like everyone else to cancel my membership. I mean, it's an online service, right?

So after figuring out you had to call in, I called in to find out that I was a day late and that my card had already been charged. Not too bummed out, they offered me a free month, and told me to call in to cancel on a certain date. I figure, "okay well it's not too bad and it wasn't my fault for not calling in." But of course, what happens? You don't have the date imprinted on your head anywhere, and nor do you get any email reminders of any sort that your membership is about to expire. So after forgetting a few times, I finally decided to call in and cancel, thinking I got it in time. Nope, missed it again. When they offered me the 'time compensation' again, I knew something was up. I figured, "wait a minute, I must be a sucker if this is what they do to all customers who call in." So I called back, wanting a refund. I didn't want "time compensation" and I figured since I agreed to it and hung up, that was all the compensation they needed to give.

When I called back, they told me the bad news that they couldn't give me one. I asked for a manager, they told me it wasn't a 'Administrative' issue, and it's part of the Terms and Conditions Agreement signing up for the site. I was immediately enraged because I felt it was a deceptive practice. So I asked to cancel, but I was warned that if I did, I'd have to cancel and lose the month that I just paid for. They couldn't set a certain date or cancel it after my month was over, like I had requested. So they cancelled my account, my card was still charged for the month, and I was an unhappy camper.

I researched on the web about, cause I could not believe how indignant the CSR was, and how they were prepared for customers like me. They must have 1,000 calls a day for people that missed the deadline, got no notification, and the only avenue to cancel was to call them. I also was not happy with the 'wink' system. There were women who winked at me who did not have a slight CLUE or interest in me. I thought that was completely insane. Not to mention right after I canceled (and thank god I read up on the net about this), winks were sent to my email box, along with a member who 'emailed' me, and that I had to sign up to see it again.

Also, on the Website when you can check the link, "Since we have your credit card information on file, why don't you re-subscribe?". Keep in mind that the 'email' that was sent was also automated as well, there was no difference between the emails and / or the winks. I read on a Website that the customer filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, and so with nothing to lose, I filed a complaint. I got a response, detailing their policy that I had to call and cancel. But the surprise at the end of the letter was, " works diligently to promote quality customer service. Therefore, we have already issued (me) a refund of $49.99. " Customer Service? YEAH RIGHT.

I know that millions of other people are signed up on the site and there are success stories to be told, but I honestly believe that they rely on uninformed consumers for their customer base; not to mention keeping them in the dark about their subscription and blaming the consumer for irresponsibility. Every other site has monthly, non-recurring subscriptions, free trials that END before charging, notifications for billing (I mean you might need a receipt) and also a method online to know when the next time they will be charged. does not provide any of this information and while many consumers would have taken their lumps with the time compensation and try harder to use the site, I took it to the next level and got what I wanted. I hope the details of my experience helps the next person out, and for myself? I'm going to try fast dating parties in REAL life. At least I know what I'm paying for there.
~ William English

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