--POP--OPERA-- (pop_opera) wrote in bad_service,

NY Times

A year ago I had a subscription with the NY Times for one of my college classes that required it. When the school year ended and I was moving, I felt that I would rather cancel my subscription to the Times rather than have it follow me to a new location, as it was more money than I could afford as a poor college student and it wasn't required for my class anymore. I called the NY Times on June 23, 2008 to cancel my subscription. I stopped receiving newspapers and I stopped being billed.

Fast forward to several months ago. My bank card had expired and a new one had come in the mail. The NY Times gives me a call telling me my card is expired and they want the new information. I tell them "NO, I canceled my subscription months ago and have not been receiving the paper." The guy apologizes and hangs up.

Fast forward to yesterday. I go online and check my online banking. Nine dollars and some cents has been charged to the NY Times, for the subscription that has been canceled. I check the billing information, since I have since moved and changed my billing address with the bank and have obviously received that new card that I didn't give NY Times the information for. NY Times website has the expiration date for my card being 2010. The old expiration on the original card was 2008, the expiration date on my new card is 2012. They also have the old billing address, not an updated one. I clearly never gave them permission to charge my account (since someone apparently changed the expiration date to make the card work since the account numbers on the card are the same).

So yesterday I sent them the following
To whom this may concern:

In June of 2008 I canceled my subscription to the NY Times. I was surprised today when I viewed my bank account information that $7.33 had been deducted for my subscription that had been canceled for the last 6 months. Not only did my account become active again without my permission, but I don't even live at the address where the subscription is being sent anymore.

Beyond that, last month a representative from the NY Times called me to ask for my new debit card information, since my other card was expiring. I informed them that I had canceled my subscription months prior and would not be providing them with that information.

However, when I logged in to the NY Times website, it appears that without my knowledge a new expiration date (which was 2008) was changed to 2010 on the account so that the money could keep being deducted from my bank account, without my permission. On that note, my card DOES NOT have a 2010 expiration, so I do not know where this information was received from. Also, the billing address on the card is wrong on your website. Being that the expiration date of the card being billed and the billing address do not match up - you should not be able to deduct money from my account for a service I am not receiving.

I am extremely dissatisfied with this service. While I was receiving the paper all was well, however, I do NOT want to receive the paper anymore and would have to sincerely consider whether to renew a subscription through NY Times again after this incident.

I am asking that the last automatic transaction be returned to my account and that the subscription to NY Times be CANCELED as I requested June of 2008. If this cannot be done I will have my bank charge back for the amount of money deducted from my account on 2/9/2009 as a fraudulent charge. I hope it doesn't need to come to that.

Thank You,

Now a question: How long should I wait until I call them? They didn't respond today, so I'm wary about them responding at all. And if they don't reverse the charges since I never ordered the paper, does anyone know if it's possible to have the bank do a charge back when I used a debit card as opposed to a credit card?

EDIT AS OF 2/12: They got back to me rather quickly and I do think they dealt with the situation with good service.

Thank you for contacting us. In response to your inquiry, our records indicate that, on 6/18/08, you requested to have your subscription restart on 1/12/09. To cancel your account, please call customer care at 1-800-NYTIMES.

If there is anything else we can do to help you, please e-mail us at customercare@nytimes.com or call us at 1-800-NYTIMES (1-800-698-4637) from 5 a.m. to midnight Monday-Friday and 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday & Sunday (ET).

Your satisfaction is very important to us and we thank you for your feedback.

So I called them and they said for some reason whomever canceled my account originally only temporarily canceled it. This was bad_service in that, my class was over, I had no reason to want to restart the subscription and I clearly remember telling them I wanted to cancel it, not restart it or anything.

But the person I talked to today dealt with it responsibly and is crediting me back.
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