I recently became a potential victim of a company known as music-crawler.com . The circumstances are as follows: I was looking for a way to download music ringtones to my cellphone. I performed a google search and decided to follow a link to music crawler's web site with the understanding that I could download music to my phone directly from their site. I signed up for the 3 day trial subscription and immediatelly linked to the service. Much to my dismay, I found that I COULD NOT download items to my phone (NOTE: I'm not a techy, so please ignore my ignorance); also, I was not terribly impressed with the content available from the service. I then fooled around and missed the cutoff of the 3-day trial, and was (as stated in the terms and conditions) charged $69.95 for a "lifetime membership". I was not terribly worried about this since I had read in the companies same published terms and conditions that I may cancel the contract and receive a full refund of the purchase price of $69.95 within 27 days of the conversion from trial to lifetime membership. On the fourth day, after noticing the charge on my bank statement, I immediatelly started the process of cancelling the contract (so I thought).
Upon making that decision, I tried to find the link to cancel the product...guess what...none exists...at least not on the music crawler site or interface. I then opened the email from Plimus Sales (who is apparently a billing site for numerous online companies). I followed the links from Plimus and finally found that you have to enter a "dispute" to cancel the membership, so I did just that. In the meantime, I did an online search of music crawler and saw numerous horror stories by others who beleived they were scammed by music (belly) crawler. I then modified my complaint with a demand that I receive a full refund as stated in the terms. The following is the exchange I had with music crawlers lousy excuse for customer service. Note that this is a cut/paste of the acutal dispute form itself:
Dispute Correspondence Dispute Status: Resolved
Date created (PST) User Comments
05/20/2011 11:50 Vendor Full refund ( USD 4.95 ) - Your $40 has been refunded. Please allow few days until that will appear on your bank statement. Please feel free to get in touch with me if you decide you’d like additional help.
05/20/2011 11:05 Customer Reply to the software vendor - Apparently you have not read your own printed terms and conditions. I suggest you read them as I am going to forward your response to the Oklahoma Attorney Generals office as soon as I finish this response (I am also going to immediatelly file a complaint with the BBB). Your actions constitute wire fraud. You will refund my full purchase price as the published terms and conditions explicitly state. You are attempting to change the terms and conditions post sale. That IS illegal.
05/20/2011 10:13 Vendor Resolve (without a refund) - I see that you want to get this cleared up as quickly as possible. Since you want to get this done fast, lets get to it. When you signed up, did you read Terms of Service? (You were to accept that to activate your account and get your trial.) I believe you did. And I can only suggest that you have missed the passage Payments & Membership where trial period is defined as 3 days only, during trial period you could download 5 songs within each 24 hours (max 15 songs in total). Thus, if you haven’t cancelled your 3 days trial, a full charge for the lifetime unlimited access should be taken, as far as it is presumed that you liked service and willing to continue using it. To keep your account active, we need analyze system capacity and provide a guaranteed access to remote web resources for you to get audio files, this is time and resources consuming. And that is also a part of your lifetime unlimited access charge. As far as the auto-upgrade policy is communicated to the customer in our Terms and Conditions, that you agreed to when you purchased the software, I can offer you a partial refund of $40, calculated as $69.95(unlimited lifetime access) minus $29.95 (including these transactions billing handling and its ‘ processing fees, affiliates and service maintenance fees.) Of course it is up to you what you want to do, yet you may get your partial refund for this short period of service use, or you may stay with an unlimited, as for the number of song downloads, lifetime access without any further charges at all. You have a two options that I can help you with. If you tell me which you’d prefer, I would be able to process that for you.
05/20/2011 08:34 Customer Reply to the software vendor - According to the published Innovative Media Solution Ltd. terms and conditions, I may request at my option to receive a full refund within 27 days of the conversion from trial period to lifetime membership. I have (in writing) notified you of that option, and demand that you comply as per the legally binding terms and conditions you (Innovative Media Solution Ltd.) set forth. I hereby DEMAND you provide a full refund at once.
05/20/2011 05:04 Vendor Resolve (without a refund) - Thank you for contacting us regarding your concern. Please note that this order was placed as an automatic upgrade as far as this option was enabled during your first purchase from http://www.music-crawler.com website. You have signed up for 3-day trial period during which you are to decide whether to upgrade to full unlimited access. If you dont want to, you are to write us about your decision (either using support form or support e-mail) during this 3-days trial. After that you souldnt be billed for one time fee of $69.95 for the full unlimited access. The auto-upgrade policy is communicated to the customer in our Terms and Conditions, that you agreed to when you purchased the software. To keep your account active, we need analyze system capacity and provide a guaranteed access to remote web resources for you to get audio files, this is time and resources consuming. And that is also a part of your lifetime unlimited access charge. By taking advantage of the auto-upgrade feature, you benefit from product service without interruption, you save your time and efforts by avoiding a manual upgrade and above all, you are entitled to upgrade absolutely free of charge to the upcoming versions. As your account got a full unlimited access, you will get no further charges, since its a one time payment with no additional fees per each download. We understand that running software can sometimes cause different issues, this is why our Customer Care Teams are available 24/7 for you. We will be more than willing to sort out any unpleasant situation that you are currently faced with, so please be so kind and describe what the issue is exactly in case if you have any issues.
05/19/2011 10:32 Customer Reply to the software vendor - You have 48 hours in which to issue a full refund or I will file a fraud complaint with the Oklahoma State Attorney Generals Office Consumer Protection Division.
05/19/2011 10:27 Customer Product doesn't match expectations - Not satisfied with content
Note that this is not the whole story!! After receiving the "offer" to refund the $40.00 dollars of the purchase, I found the customer service telephone number for Plimus Sales. I called and explained to their representative exactly what had transpired and that I felt that music crawler was committing fraud. She placed me on hold, and after a few minutes came back and advised me that she was issuing a FULL refund of both the lifetime membership, as well as the trial membership! I was stunned!!
I checked my bank account yesterday...and, sure enough, the charges have been credited just as she stated!
Thank you Plimus Sales, Inc. and staff for being HONEST and REPUTABLE !!