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Goliath / automatic renewals after 7-day free trail

1 United States Review updated:
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I discovered one day a charge to my checking account listed as goliath.com. It was unfamiliar to me, so I googled and discovered an online business called Goliath. I did not have any recollection of using it, so I emailed them to complain that I was being erroneously charged. As with many of these operations, they had no phone number I could call directly.

I received an email response shortly afterwards that stated "You requested the Goliath 7-Day Free Trial Subscription. The Trial subscription renews at the regular monthly subscription rate unless it is canceled PRIOR to the end of the 7 Day Trial. The subscription was not cancelled prior to the end of the trial period; therefore you have been charged the full monthly subscription price." I was puzzled, as the site has little relevance to anything I do. In any case, I was incensed that I had been automatically charged on a "Free Trial". I scrounged around in my memory and remembered that I had been doing some research a couple of months earlier and was looking for some statistics. A google search pulled up the Goliath site and I signed up for the free trial to look around and see if it had anything helpful. It did not. I left and never looked back.

I have signed up for free trials for online services before and do not recall a clause stipulating that you will be automatically charged if you do not actively cancel. For instance, I signed up for a free trial of the Journal of Philanthropy. When my trial was a out to end, I received a notice of it ending with a query as to whether I wanted to subscribe. I did not.

I have no recollection of ever receiving notices from Goliath of the free trial expiring nor of being given a CHOICE of renewing. If I did receive emails, I suspect that I deleted them without reading, as I assumed they were spam. My entry into Goliath was so short and so definitively unuseful to my goals that I had no need to remember Goliath after that brief encounter.

I have been told via email that they will not refund me the two months of charges to my account.

My question is: Is this kind of practice considered OK or even standard? Shouldn't there be limits on such aggressive marketing that reels in unsuspecting visitors and then charges them often without their knowledge?

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Comments

  • Ka
      17th of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    if you suscribe to something (specially if they ask you your credit card number) you should read the terms and conditions first, I was about to suscribe when I asked myself... if they're going to give me a free suscription, how come they ask me for my credit card number???

    thats is why I searched google to find out if it was a scam site, and that's when I found this web page...

    yes, I think they are NOT right about charging you with it, but I dont think they are at fault here

  • Zh
      20th of Jul, 2009
    0 Votes

    They are not at fault, you are.

    Its called a trail for a reason. They asked for you credit card for a specific reason and that is because many sites that run free advertising trials are being hit with Chinese spammers and the only way to prevent this is to collect your credit card information to prove you are a legit person/business.

    Might want to read the terms and conditions in the future.

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