• Report: #590912

Complaint Review: Netflix

  • Submitted: Thu, April 08, 2010
  • Updated: Thu, December 30, 2010

  • Reported By: jcboston69 — Golden Colorado United States of America
Netflix
Internet United States of America

Netflix Netflix chrges for services they do not provide Internet

*General Comment: Take a chill pill

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Original Report is correct

*Consumer Comment: I will address it...

*Author of original report: Don't lecture me

*General Comment: Not fraud

*Author of original report: Don't lecture me

*Consumer Comment: I normally NEVER would agree with ramjet..

*Author of original report: Don't lecture me.

*Consumer Comment: Netflix is awesome

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FIRST FRAUD:

The first fraud I noticed with Netflix is that they if they attempt to charge your credit card and it is declined they freeze your account so that you cannot use the service,  but when the payment is finally authorized, they charge you as if you were receiving the service the whole time, e.g. I get charged around the 9th of the month for about $10 for a month of service.  If my card is declined, they freeze my account and keep trying the card.  If the money is in my account, say, on the 23rd, they charge the $10, resume service, and charge me $10 again on the 9th of the following month.  They charged me for 2 weeks I wasn't allowed to use their service.

SECOND FRAUD:

So, in order to avoid this stupidity (and the resulting overdraft charges) I bought a 3-month gift card last month for myself at Best Buy.  The card had printed on it "Must have a valid credit card on file on your account in order to use this card."  "Great, I thought...I have a balance in my account now so it's valid, I'll add this and they won't attempt to charge me for three months."  I added the card to my account and went worry-free for a month.

 I just got an email today that my account is on hold because my credit card was declined.  I called Netflix to inquire and inform them that I have a 3-month gift card on file.  They said, "Yes, but your credit card is not valid at the moment, so your account is frozen."  I told them how ridiculous that is...I bought the card to avoid this situation.  They said they still need to authorize the credit card every month regardless of whether or not you've paid in advance. 

I asked, feeling kind of stupid thinking that this must be a given, if my gift card balance will be frozen since I'm not using the service I paid for.  The rep said no...the balance on the gift card is still running out.  She pointed out to me that I have a DVD out (I use Netflix almost exclusively for streaming movies to my TV), so I AM, in fact, using the service.  I said, "fair enough...so I'll get that right back to you.  Then you'll freeze my gift card, correct?"  She replied, "No.  You gift card balance will still be running out."   I said, "Let me get this straight...even if I am NOT using your service, you're still charging me for it?"  She said, "No.  We're not charging you anything.  Your account has been prepaid and we will not charge you again until your gift card runs out."

 I pushed the point and while she admitted that my prepaid gift card is running out whether or not I'm allowed to use the service, but I could not get her to admit to charging me for a service I am not using

Summary:

If you live paycheck to paycheck (or are unemployed, which I was for a year and a half and until very recently) DON'T subscribe to Netflix.  Also, DON'T buy a gift card thinking it's your get-out-of-jail free card.  That just gives them new and more imaginative ways to rip you off.

I originally thought Netflix was a stand-up company and with a mostly digital product these days with a low overhead that they would have no reason to abuse its customers.  I'm very sad and disappointed that Netflix has chosen to conduct their business the way they have.

I am filing a formal complaint with the attorney general of Colorado, the better business bureau, and considering legal action on behalf of myself or a class action lawsuit if others are experiencing the same abuse by this company.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/08/2010 10:55 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Netflix/internet/Netflix-Netflix-chrges-for-services-they-do-not-provide-Internet-590912. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
3Author 5Consumer 1Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 General Comment

Take a chill pill

AUTHOR: Mykl - (United States of America)

There is overhead for trying to get users to pay. Can you imagine what might happen if Netflix just kept providing the service and hope to get paid? Or turn the service on or off because someone can't keep $9 in their flipp'n account? Look around. is it that unreasonable for the service to be cut off? Perhaps everyone would be happier to pay an extra amount to cover the overhead so children who can't manage their finances don't get their feelings hurt?

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#2 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Original Report is correct

AUTHOR: Balderol - (United States of America)

I agree that it is cheating for Netflix to charge a full monthly fee for a month in which they denied service to the customer for half the month.  Netflix must either continue sending movies if it wants to charge for a full month, or stop sending movies and prorate the charge.  They can't have it both ways. 
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#3 Consumer Comment

I will address it...

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

You are not happy with their policies. However I see no fraud here at all. I will not post all of the Netflex policies here because no one would would read them all, or care. It is a just a movie rental for the love of Pete, it is not like they are taking food out of children's mouths.

Here is ONE policy that may apply to your situation...

A gift subscription recipient is required to enter a credit card number in order to activate a gift subscription.

Although the credit card protects Netflix's property by enabling it to bill people for lost or damaged DVD's, the reality is that many people either don't have credit cards, or aren't willing to give up their credit card info to a company whom they don't really want to use other than for use of the gift subscription.

"So is there ANYONE willing to man-up and admit that it's not fair to take payment
and then refuse the service?"

I will man up. It is NOT fair for a company to take payment and then refuse service. BUT, it is also reasonable to expect a company that rents something and requires a valid credit card as collateral, to refuse service to anyone who pays with a card that is declined.

However,  there is a way around this...as per Netflex policy...

Gift subscription purchasers, if they choose to do so, may enter their own credit card numbers into gift subscription recipients' accounts.

So, if you know anyone who will trust their un-declined credit card for your movie rentals, the problem will be fixed and you can then use the gift card to your hearts content.
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#4 Author of original report

Don't lecture me

AUTHOR: jcboston69 - (United States of America)

"It is a $10 monthy fee whether you use the service or not, it does not matter that you were not able to because the money was not there. If you decide not to stream any movies for a month are they suppose to give you that month for free? "

 

Umm..no.  Check your math. If they shut you off because the money wasn't there, then they shouldn't be charging you for that time, should they?  $10 from th 9th to the 9th of the following month, then no service until the 23rd, then $10 from the 23rd to the 9th and then another $10 from the 9th to the 9th looks like more than $10 a month to me.  That's $20 for a 6-week period (roughly). 

 

But you STILL haven't addressed why they can take three months' fee in the form of a gift card, REGISTER your card as a credit to the account, then refuse to provide service.  THAT'S my main complaint.  I was willing to tolerate the OTHER fraud because I know it's my responsibility to make sure the money is paid to get the service provided.

So is there ANYONE willing to man-up and admit that it's not fair to take payment and then refuse the service?

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#5 General Comment

Not fraud

AUTHOR: la gente es est - (United States of America)

Sorry but your arguement about how many weeks you used this service does not fly.


You claim that If the money is in my account, say, on the 23rd, they charge the $10, resume service, and charge me $10 again on the 9th of the following month.  They charged me for 2 weeks I wasn't allowed to use their service.


It is a $10 monthy fee whether you use the service or not, it does not matter that you were not able to because the money was not there. If you decide not to stream any movies for a month are they suppose to give you that month for free?

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#6 Author of original report

Don't lecture me

AUTHOR: jcboston69 - (United States of America)

"If anyone has a problem affording a luxury such as renting movies, then they can't blame the company renting the movies when their credit card can't cover it. They are not in the business of "lending" movies, but "renting" movies. "

Actually, they're in the business of STREAMING movies too.

 "can you really blame netflex for using this as a line of defense? "

 Yes, I can...that's why I filed this report.  In what universe is it ok to take someone's money for a gift card, and then simply refuse the service?

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#7 Consumer Comment

I normally NEVER would agree with ramjet..

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

but in this case there is merit to his reply.

You claim you lived paycheck to paycheck or unemployed and you stated and I quote " If you live paycheck to paycheck (or are unemployed, which I was for a year and a half and until very recently)"...

..then you or anyone in that situation can do without renting movies.

I am by no means lecturing you, but perhaps you should have left that part out of the complaint if it was an issue.

If anyone has a problem affording a luxury such as renting movies, then they can't blame the company renting the movies when their credit card can't cover it.  They are not in the business of "lending" movies, but "renting" movies.

I understand your side that the gift card did not allow the account to work because the credit card was declined, but at the same time can you really blame netflex for using this as a line of defense? They simply want to get paid for the service they are providing. They are not in business to provide strategies to help those who wish to "beat" the system by using gift cards or any other means.

There was no fraud here as far as I can tell  from your report. It just seems to me that you are unhappy that you could not find a way around paying netflex what you owed them. Sorry if the truth hurts.
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#8 Author of original report

Don't lecture me.

AUTHOR: jcboston69 - (United States of America)

I can afford $9 a month, jack@ss.  Instead of lecturing me, perhaps you can address why they need a valid credit card when a prepaid gift card is used, and why, if they're going to freeze my account, they won't ALSO freeze the charging of that account to the pre-paid card?

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#9 Consumer Comment

Netflix is awesome

AUTHOR: Ramjet - (U.S.A.)

I have been subscribed to Netflix since my daughter got me a trial subscription in 2004.  I have rented hundreds of movies and have NEVER had any problem of any sort except 2 DVD's that were too damaged to play correctly, these 2 movies were immediately cross shipped and I had replacements in 2 days.

If you are living pay check to pay check and your credit card is regularly declined, you may be better off canceling unnecessary things until you get back on your feet.  Honest, you can live without movies.  
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