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Old 08-04-2013, 04:05 PM   #21
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As a matter of fact, it was when I asked Bank of America for a link to that regulation that they hung up the phone on me! I searched all over the internet but never found it. I believe the credit card reform act of last year is what they are referring to, but whenever I've tried to find information on it, I've come up with nothing. They said it was written to protect the merchants from cardholders agreeing to make recurring payments and then canceling the cards to get out of paying their bills.
OK, I haven't turned up anything. Sounds like BS to me, You should be able to cancel the service easier than cancelling your CC. And I thought the new regs the FTC did pass made it easier to cancel such autorenewal charges. Maybe contact the FTC, they would have been the one that wrote it.

I wonder what they would do if you used a virtual CC number when signing up.
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Old 08-04-2013, 04:28 PM   #22
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Bugs me too. If there is one benefit to when a credit card is changed by the issuer because of fraud, it automatically stops the auto-renew.

Just because it is against the law doesn't mean there is a penalty for the lawbreaker. A complaint to the State Attorney General and the appropriate Federal Regulatory agency may not bring any relief but it may add ammo to a future call for more and better enforcement.
Evidently merchants/card companies pushed through a law making it legal to charge cards in automatic renewals even when the card is expired, and judging from ready's story even after the card has been canceled.


Now days it is really difficult to purchases many services without signing up for auto renewal, example netflix,cable tv. Believe me I tried to avoid auto renewal on the WSJ. It used to be that companies would offer a monthly rate with no auto renewal, a few buck cheaper if you opted for auto renewal, and then a large discount for 6 month or 1 year terms. But I've seen other companies move to the WSJ model, have the auto renewals happen at the highest price possible. I also received a notice from Morningstar, which said my renewal will happen in the next 30 day, when I call them I'll tell them they also need to conform to the law, by providing the deadline for canceling and also providing instructions on how to cancel.
But at least M* didn't just make stealth charge to my card.

I could use other source than WSJ, I just happen to think they are the best source of business and financial news and willing to pay $10 a month or so.

This obviously a hot button for others so I think I will pursue this with the State Attorney General's office. It feels a bit foolish, since I wasn't harmed because I got all my money back. Still it is a matter of principal, and one of the joys of being retired, is you've got time to go tilting after windmills.
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Old 08-04-2013, 04:53 PM   #23
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Did a web search and came up with this. Pull the Plug on Recurring Charges - NASDAQ.com
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Thanks to some under-the-radar rules that work out in favor of vendors who charge recurring card fees, most credit card carriers allow a "recurring indicator" to be included in vendor/customer credit card transactions. In layman�s terms, that means there are data bytes in your credit card payment DNA that allows companies to bypass credit card expiration dates and keep charging you anyway, even if your card has expired.

Worse, there are loopholes in credit card regulations that enable vendors to get new credit card information if the old card was closed due to fraud, or even if you switched cards for a better rate. In either case, the recurring charges continue.
That stinks. They don't link the regs, but hey, I'm no longer doubting.
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Old 08-04-2013, 05:06 PM   #24
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Did a web search and came up with this. Pull the Plug on Recurring Charges - NASDAQ.com
That stinks. They don't link the regs, but hey, I'm no longer doubting.
I can see doing that if just the date on the card is expired, the actual account is still open. That actually saves me the hassle of having to re enter payment data just because the expiration date changed.

But if the credit account has actually been closed, I don't see how they make a charge on it.
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Old 08-04-2013, 05:16 PM   #25
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I can see doing that if just the date on the card is expired, the actual account is still open. That actually saves me the hassle of having to re enter payment data just because the expiration date changed.

But if the credit account has actually been closed, I don't see how they make a charge on it.
From a manner of fairness you are absolutely correct. However, from the prospective of credit card companies who benefit from collecting the transaction fees, and the merchants who sell you the service this is clearly a good deal. They hire better lobbyist than we do and make more campaign contributions and hence get favorable laws, consumers be damned.

This is so blatantly anti-consumer, it makes me more determined to pursue enforcing the Hawaii law.. Hopefully if citizens in states with this laws complain companies will find it easier just to change their practices across the country rather than dealing with each in individual state.
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Old 08-04-2013, 05:26 PM   #26
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I found another blurb on this, Can an Old Credit Card Number Still Be Charged? | eHow

There maybe some loop hole in the rules. But is seems it is an individuals bank policy that allows it , BoA seems to be an offender, which is probably not what the regs intended. If they charged something on an account I closed I would not pay it. This seems crazy, there is no way to stop a recurring charge ?
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Old 08-04-2013, 05:40 PM   #27
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If you fly Delta you can get the wsj very cheap......about 2700 miles for nearly a year of both paper and digital editions. Just go into Delta, go to use miles section and click on newspapers. Put the paper in your wifes or kids name (they say you can't do this if you were a subscriber) and you have nearly a year for miles worth about 27 bucks. I buy people, Money, Barrons and WSJ for about 6000 miles each year. I don't know about othe airlines, but I know this is available on Delta. Anyone else ever done this?
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:07 PM   #28
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If you fly Delta you can get the wsj very cheap......about 2700 miles for nearly a year of both paper and digital editions. Just go into Delta, go to use miles section and click on newspapers. Put the paper in your wifes or kids name (they say you can't do this if you were a subscriber) and you have nearly a year for miles worth about 27 bucks. I buy people, Money, Barrons and WSJ for about 6000 miles each year. I don't know about othe airlines, but I know this is available on Delta. Anyone else ever done this?
All the time, and not just with Delta. Almost every airline lets you do this quite easily.
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Old 08-05-2013, 04:33 AM   #29
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This seems crazy, there is no way to stop a recurring charge ?
Apparently not. There is only lip-service paid to consumer protection in our economy, and here's a great example of the downside of that.
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:32 PM   #30
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This obviously a hot button for others so I think I will pursue this with the State Attorney General's office. It feels a bit foolish, since I wasn't harmed because I got all my money back. Still it is a matter of principal, and one of the joys of being retired, is you've got time to go tilting after windmills.
Good luck with that. Over 10 years ago, I got a classic Bait & Switch for some car audio (or photo?) equipment I bought on-line. They basically kept delaying my order, giving me a bunch of excuses, but then they said they could 'ship today' if I bought the bundle, with a bunch of useless over-priced junk. The whole time, their site showed the product "IN STOCK!!!!"


I manged to cancel the order, and I was so torqued that I got the complaint forms from the NY Attorney General's office (I might have even had them mailed to me back then?). Well, the form asks you to list damages. My damages were zero because I didn't fall for the Bait & Switch.

Plus, I had to send all this personal info in, and they would get a copy. I didn't like sending that to crooks, at least that shouldn't be a concern with the WSJ.

I guess this is where the Class Action lawyers make their bucks. Claim a $10 loss to a million people, and take a %.


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Old 08-06-2013, 03:18 AM   #31
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If you fly Delta you can get the wsj very cheap......about 2700 miles for nearly a year of both paper and digital editions. Just go into Delta, go to use miles section and click on newspapers. Put the paper in your wifes or kids name (they say you can't do this if you were a subscriber) and you have nearly a year for miles worth about 27 bucks. I buy people, Money, Barrons and WSJ for about 6000 miles each year. I don't know about othe airlines, but I know this is available on Delta. Anyone else ever done this?
I was able to find WSJ for 2700 on United and American, but not Hawaiian sadly the infamous asterisks was also shown. *Offer only available for the 48 contagious states. I did find a couple of magazines to buy with the 1,000 odd American Airlines points.
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Old 08-06-2013, 03:25 AM   #32
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I'm not sure that is the case. I cancelled my credit card completely with Bank of America, only to find that skype automatically renewed my premium account on the cancelled card, which reactivated the card. I called Bank of America to complain, and they told me there was a new regulation that just took effect which allows a merchant to reactivate an expired or cancelled card if the card holder signed up for a service on it that automatically renews. This was the case even if the automatic renewal was not mandatory and I had the right to cancel immediately. I tried to dispute it and they got angry and hung up on me. Since the charge was legitimate, I just paid the bill and cancelled the card a second time.
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Did a web search and came up with this. Pull the Plug on Recurring Charges - NASDAQ.com
That stinks. They don't link the regs, but hey, I'm no longer doubting.
I'm thinking that the next time I want to cancel a card I will first of all report it as lost getting the issuer to send out a new card with new number, then cancel the new card.

Surely an issuer cannot allow a recurring charge to a card that has been previously reported as lost or stolen.
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Old 08-06-2013, 04:21 AM   #33
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That's an interesting idea.
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:04 AM   #34
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Rather than pay the cost for WSJ, I chose to just get the weekend edition for $52/year.

When I got the WSJ daily I noticed that the weekend edition had much of the same news and I was having trouble keeping up with the daily paper anyway (playing too much golf I guess).

Once that expires, I may try the using miles to order it.
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Old 08-06-2013, 12:07 PM   #35
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I've occasionally seen free offers for 1 yr of the WSJ in print. I already get the digital edition through T Rowe Price for keeping investments there.
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:19 AM   #36
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I gave up on the WSJ for this very reason - the auto renewing and the annual dance to get a better rate.

I think their price increases over the past few years have been outrageous
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:40 AM   #37
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I think their price increases over the past few years have been outrageous
This is one of "those things." Is the WSJ worth a buck per day? To me, it probably is--I enjoy the paper and it's amazing they can print it and get it to my door for this price. They are even good about temporarily changing my delivery location when we travel: One call and it starts showing up at my MIL's house when we visit. So, by this reasoning I shouldn't mind paying the full subscription price. It's worth it (to me).
But . . . Paying over $250 for a product my neighbor may be getting for $99 does not sit well. That's the price I'm used to paying, and I've got some internal resistance to paying a lot more. And then, as clifp notes, there's the sneaky way that the increases are implemented.
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:11 AM   #38
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FWIW, I switched last year from the paper (delivered) WSJ to only the iPad version. It's exactly the same as the paper copy, and their iPad app is the best implementation of a newspaper I've ever seen. I'm completely happy with it, and the cost is far lower than the full normal subscription.
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:43 AM   #39
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This is one of "those things." Is the WSJ worth a buck per day? To me, it probably is--I enjoy the paper and it's amazing they can print it and get it to my door for this price. They are even good about temporarily changing my delivery location when we travel: One call and it starts showing up at my MIL's house when we visit. So, by this reasoning I shouldn't mind paying the full subscription price. It's worth it (to me).
But . . . Paying over $250 for a product my neighbor may be getting for $99 does not sit well. That's the price I'm used to paying, and I've got some internal resistance to paying a lot more. And then, as clifp notes, there's the sneaky way that the increases are implemented.
That is where I am. I enjoy the paper and $1 a day isn't a lot in the whole scheme of things but it is a lot more than the $99 game I played for a while. I did find that i had trouble keeping up with the daily paper - I would sometimes have several days in a pile to read. I don't think the $99 for a year deal is available any longer - I could only find a 12 week deal which is not worth the effort to me.


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FWIW, I switched last year from the paper (delivered) WSJ to only the iPad version. It's exactly the same as the paper copy, and their iPad app is the best implementation of a newspaper I've ever seen. I'm completely happy with it, and the cost is far lower than the full normal subscription.
That may be a possibility for me but I'm still having trouble getting used to reading a newspaper or magazine on a tablet - silly I know, but... I guess I like the tactile feel of a magazine or newspaper - hard to teach an old dog new tricks.
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:54 AM   #40
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I gave up most paper/magazine subscriptions a while back. I use the local library. They have WSJ, Barrons, S&P Outlook, Value line survey, most of the major newspapers like NYT, USA today ( fluff mostly ) etc. They also have a good selection of magazines I like to read like Consumer Reports, Newsweek, Popular Mechanics, Handyman, Scientific American etc. I can kill an afternoon once a week for free.
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