New York Times Online — Did not issue refund
I subscribed to their online crosswords in 2007 for $39.95 for a year. They automatically renewed and charged my credit card, with out my consent, for another year in June 2008. They do not attempt to contact you that they are going to be charging you for another year of service, they do do this without permission or consent. I signed on to the nytimes.com website and fortunately canceled the subscription within days of my card being charged. I was upset to find that nytimes.com keeps all your information such as credit card #s stored on their website, but there is no way to delete your own account to avoid having this personal information readily available for anyone to see. So I emailed customer service asking for my entire account to be deleted. The next day I received an e-mail reply saying my crossword subscription has been canceled, thank you. I go back to NYTimes.com and my account and personal information is all still there. I e-mailed again, frustrated that 1) this person Oneeka seems to be the only customer service person, 2) she/he is not the sharpest knife in the drawer 3) this person obviously did not read or comprehend my first email. I e-mailed again and repeated my request, and finally the person got it right. Now I am waiting for my refund for the unauthorized crossword renewal charge and again email an inquiry, and again Oneeka replies "we have no record of your account." So now they are going to get out of giving me a refund. I should be refunded for the full amount per NYTimes.com's own refund policy:
http://www.nytimes.com/membercenter/faq/crosswords.html#crosswqa4 (accessed 6/22/08)
What is the refund policy for Premium Crosswords? Because Premium Crosswords requires you to download and install software, we will refund 100% of the price if you have difficulties with the download of this product and cancel within seven days of purchase. If you request a refund after seven days of purchase, we will grant a partial refund for the time remaining on your subscription. To cancel your Premium Crosswords subscription, visit the Purchase History area of Member Center, look for "Your Active Premium Products" and click on the "cancel this product" link next to your Premium Crosswords subscription. Follow the instructions on the next page and you should receive a pro-rated refund.
Gift subscriptions of Premium Crosswords are non-refundable. If you have any questions or encounter any problems, please e-mail Customer Service at [protected]@nytimes.com.
I am going to file a complaint with BBB (NYTimes is a member). Take home lesson: DO NOT SIGN UP FOR NYTIMES.COM CROSSWORDS SUBSCRIPION. They will subsequently charge your card year after year without your consent (I check my credit card statements frequently and carefully, but most people don't, and they will just pay the charge without even noticing it). They will refuse to refund the unauthorized payment. STAY AWAY FROM NYTIMES.COM ONLINE SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES.
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