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Have suggestions, criticism or praise for the GreenCine community? Post them here. Please maintain a sense of decorum here.
1063

Card Charged For Supposedly 'Free' Trial?
Topic by: KMiller
Posted: December 15, 2002 - 6:42 PM PST
Last Reply: January 1, 2003 - 2:06 PM PST

author topic: Card Charged For Supposedly 'Free' Trial?
KMiller
post #1  on December 15, 2002 - 6:42 PM PST  
I'm not happy. I wanted to trial this service because Netflix did the same thing you just did to me. And thats fully charging my debit card IMMEDIATELY on account creation.

I now have $21.95 tied up that I would have otherwised used towards Christmas Gifts. Add to that the 2 times I got charged by Netflix and I'm not a happy camper. And I have nothing to show for it.

Most companies DO a test on the card in the amount of $1.00 to make sure its valid. I have no problem with that, in fact its what I expect. But to charge the full amount, dont you even trust your potential customers...?

I most likely will NOT be continuing my membership unless I get a sufficient explanation about this.. And to think I was recommended here by a very popular DVD Board...

Unhappy New Member
winky
post #2  on December 15, 2002 - 6:47 PM PST  
this MUST have been a billing error. the first two weeks of the trial are free, and unlike netflix, ours is not just the first two weeks free towards your first month, but rather our trial is just that -- a free trial. i'll be sure that customer support looks into this first thing on monday.

sorry for the understandable inconvenience.

andrew

managing partner, greencine
KMiller
post #3  on December 15, 2002 - 6:50 PM PST  
Thankyou for your quick reply, its nice to know someone is actually around to respond.

I hate to even compare you to Netflix, their movie selection is crappy at best. I'm an Australian now living in the US and you have more Aussie films than anyone else could even DREAM of.

I hope this get rectified ASAP. I also submitted a report to Customer Service

Thanks again
Eoliano
post #4  on December 15, 2002 - 6:51 PM PST  
Hey Winky, your GC mailbox is full and I haven't been able to send you a message in days!
winky
post #5  on December 15, 2002 - 10:56 PM PST  
eoliano,

i'm clearing room as i write..

> On December 15, 2002 - 6:51 PM PST Eoliano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Hey Winky, your GC mailbox is full and I haven't been able to send you a message in days!
> ---------------------------------

DLeonard
post #6  on December 16, 2002 - 10:39 AM PST  
KMiller - As a customer, I just want to express my satisfaction with this site. Like everything it's not perfect, but so far all problems have been handled quickly and with great customer service. My 2 week free trial period was just that, free. And I was sent a message telling me that the free period was almost up, and when I would start being charged.

Right now my biggest problem has been availablilty of titles, sometimes the wait is quite long. But that's a minor thing, since there's so much to choose from I always have something being sent to me.

Hope things get straightened out and you gives these guys a try.

Dwoodwoo
post #7  on December 16, 2002 - 12:17 PM PST  
dennis! here (managing partner at GreenCine) -- I can second what Andrew, my business partner said -- at GreenCine we do NOT run a funny money billing game as NF does. This must have been a billing error for which we apologize. If anybody else finds similar sorts of irregularities, please drop a line to support@greencine.com.

sorry! and best regards--

dennis!
managing partner, greencine


> On December 15, 2002 - 6:42 PM PST KMiller wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I'm not happy. I wanted to trial this service because Netflix did the same thing you just did to me. And thats fully charging my debit card IMMEDIATELY on account creation.
>
> I now have $21.95 tied up that I would have otherwised used towards Christmas Gifts. Add to that the 2 times I got charged by Netflix and I'm not a happy camper. And I have nothing to show for it.
>
> Most companies DO a test on the card in the amount of $1.00 to make sure its valid. I have no problem with that, in fact its what I expect. But to charge the full amount, dont you even trust your potential customers...?
>
> I most likely will NOT be continuing my membership unless I get a sufficient explanation about this.. And to think I was recommended here by a very popular DVD Board...
>
> Unhappy New Member
> ---------------------------------

pelikan
post #8  on December 17, 2002 - 10:39 AM PST  
Just to close this thread up, turns out there was not a billing error. When somebody signs up for a trial membership, we do in fact authorize their credit card (we'd be foolish not to). We do not charge anybody anything unless they stay on as a member. Depending on the credit card company, the authorization may or may not show up on online 'now' statements, but do not appear on actual billing statements (otherwise you'd be charged interest, etc..). The time for an authorizations to disappear varies, but generally most people never notice. How/if this authorization shows up on online 'now' statements depends on the company, and it may or may not distinguish itself from a charge, but in all cases it will go away.

The most common form of authorization that most people encounter is gas stations. When you enter in your card, they authorize for a small amount, you gas up and then they charge you for $X.XX (add another X for an SUV or residents of Nor Cal), but the authorization remains for a bit, then goes away.

--pelikan, general greencine monkey
KMiller
post #9  on December 17, 2002 - 10:00 PM PST  
I dont think I will be staying on as a member. I will be cancelling my account ASAP - I've lost over $70 to 'free' trials in the last few days, its unacceptable!
winky
post #10  on December 18, 2002 - 1:14 PM PST  
> On December 17, 2002 - 10:00 PM PST KMiller wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I dont think I will be staying on as a member. I will be cancelling my account ASAP - I've lost over $70 to 'free' trials in the last few days, its unacceptable!
> ---------------------------------


well, we always hate to see someone leave, but what else can we say other than what we've already said? we did not charge the card, but rather ran an authorization for that amount. we have collected no money for you account and, assuming you leave, will not collect any money from your account. our customer service team investigated this issue to ensure that a billing mistake was not made on our end, and we are certain that your account was handled as all others are, and that no fee was charged or collected.

andrew
KMiller
post #11  on December 18, 2002 - 3:29 PM PST  
Quote from Paypal

Merchants send the final amount to be charged about 10 days after the original purchase date. Because of this delay, your purchase is statused as "Pending" and funds are held to cover the expected final charge amount.

Occasionally, merchants place a hold on your funds but have no intention of actually charging you. If this is the case, you can contact the merchant directly ask them to cancel the hold on your funds.

If the merchant does not have the capability to cancel the hold on your funds, they can fax a statement to PayPal indicating that they have no intention of charging you.

The fax statement must include:

Your name
Your PayPal debit card number
The amount to be cancelled
The original purchase (authorization) date
The authorization number (if the merchant has it)
The name of the person at the merchant's organization requesting the cancellation
This statement should be on merchant letterhead and faxed to 402-537-5745






Dwoodwoo
post #12  on December 18, 2002 - 5:16 PM PST  
Hi KMiller--

Sorry about the trouble regarding this issue. For other customers and trial members of GreenCine, this has generally not been an issue but it's clearly one for you, so I will give you a call briefly to work it out, including any contact required with paypal...this sounds like something that is somewhat particular to paypal, but we'll check it out and see. Andrew (winky) has already corresponded with you offline about this, and I'll give you a call to be sure you're returned to happy GreenCine camper zone.

If other customers are having problems of this sort, please contact us at support@greencine.com. This hasn't been a problem with other customers and it is our standard policy to auth, but not to charge, unless the customer joins up.

You may contact me directly to follow up with this issue if you wish: dwoo@greencine.com. I'm dennis! (dennis woo), one of the managing partners along with Andrew (winky).

best regards--

Dennis Woo
Managing Partner, GreenCine


> On December 18, 2002 - 3:29 PM PST KMiller wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Quote from Paypal
>
> Merchants send the final amount to be charged about 10 days after the original purchase date. Because of this delay, your purchase is statused as "Pending" and funds are held to cover the expected final charge amount.
>
> Occasionally, merchants place a hold on your funds but have no intention of actually charging you. If this is the case, you can contact the merchant directly ask them to cancel the hold on your funds.
>
> If the merchant does not have the capability to cancel the hold on your funds, they can fax a statement to PayPal indicating that they have no intention of charging you.
>
> The fax statement must include:
>
> Your name
> Your PayPal debit card number
> The amount to be cancelled
> The original purchase (authorization) date
> The authorization number (if the merchant has it)
> The name of the person at the merchant's organization requesting the cancellation
> This statement should be on merchant letterhead and faxed to 402-537-5745
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> ---------------------------------

NeilCresswell
post #13  on December 30, 2002 - 5:10 PM PST  
I have the exact same problem.

I signed up for the 14 day free trial a couple of days ago.

If I click on My Account then click on View History (next to Billing Information) then I see the following message:

December 29th. 2002 - $41.95 - [cc#] - Monthly membership fee charged.

I thought "hmm... so much for the allegedly free trial. Maybe it's free in that you can cancel in the first two weeks and get a refund, but it's not really free."

So, I'd very much appreciate it if you could rectify that for me as I'd like to get what I agreed to. Feel free to post here or email.

I'm not thinking of cancelling my account by the way if this was just a glitch in your billing system because you guys are just what I was looking for and I'm otherwise very happy so far. If it is a glitch, you might want to look into fixing it so it doesn't happen in the first place because these kinds of things can lead to a bad rep. fairly quickly.

Best wishes.

Neil.
pelikan
post #14  on December 31, 2002 - 9:53 AM PST  
Neil,

I can't say for 100% what happened (because I wasn't there), but our free trial is only for 3 out at a time. It appears when you registered you chose the 8 out plan (hence the $41.95 charge).

When you enter in a valid promo code, the registration process does not give you a choice on plans, you can only do the 3 out for 2 weeks. If you don't enter in a code you can choose whatever you want, but you get charged since your membership is starting ASAP. Our record show you got 8 dvds sent out a couple days ago, which hopefullly you are enjoying now. So maybe the process just wasn't clean enough in this case? This is well tested, so I'm confident it wasn't a bug, and you did expect 8 not 3 out.

So, at this point, if want to you can contact our customer support at customerservice@GreenCine.com and see if they can work something out. They read these boards, but I'll mention the confusion and hopefuly we can make everything alright.

ps, please excuse the typos and grammer, I'm a programmer.

Cheers,
pelikan, General GC Monkey
NeilCresswell
post #15  on December 31, 2002 - 3:32 PM PST  
Hi.

Thanks for the quick reply.

I filled out the area that said "register for the first two weeks free" on the home page when I first came in. There was no need for a promo code and after registering one can only assume that one is on the two week free trial having followed all of the instructions.

I saw where I could select the different types of membership that would come into effect at the end of the existing period and selected 8 out, yes. However, at no point was I told that by doing so I'd be blowing out the free trial. I think you guys might want to consider placing some kind of a warning page in there with an option to back-out while someone is on a trial period. I would've been happy to stick to 3 movies with it upgrading automatically to 8 when the trial period ends.

I did email the link to this thread and pointer to my first message to customer service so hopefully will get some feedback soon.

Ok, little moan over. Now some good stuff:

1) I filled out my queue on Sunday (about 200 movies).
8 were shipped Monday.
8 arrived today (Tuesday!)
= one very happy bunny.

2) I emailed an icon yesterday and it's up today already.
= one very happy, drooling bunny.

3) You responded on this and other threads within 24 hours.
= one very happy, drooling, gaga bunny.

We're all human so mistakes do occur but given how wonderfully responsive and professional everyone is here, (not to mention open about problems,) I want to let you know that you've gained my loyalty and I'll be sure to tell everyone I know what a fantastic job you're doing.
NeilCresswell
post #16  on January 1, 2003 - 2:06 PM PST  
GC Customer Service got in touch and...
problem solved.

Thanks for everyone's consideration and sorting this out so quickly for me. :>

To quote from one of my favourite movies/books (am a sucky for lovey-dovey stuff)...

"Now that is what I call gentlemanly behaviour!"

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