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Report: #1490684

Complaint Review: Mighty Networks - Palo Alto California

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: J — United States
  • Mighty Networks 127 Lytton Ave. Palo Alto, California United States

Mighty Networks MightyNetworks.com System fails to prevent tampering of credit card Palo Alto California

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Via my experience, I feel that Mighty Networks has loose regulations on credit card tampering / credit card fraud. They did not take responsibility for my credit card being charged without my authorization.  

I was trying out a membership service on the network. I had to give my credit card number ahead of time, during the free try-out period. I learned that the credit card was charged by the service provider (herein SP) who was running the membership service on the Mighty Networks platform.

However, SP inferred that there was a technical issue, as opposed to intentionally tampering with my credit card without my knowledge. SP stated that there would be further research done and would get back to me. To my knowledge, no such research was done. I pressed the issue with the SP, who then said they would check into it, but again, I never heard back on that issue.   

However, my main issue is with Mighty Networks's lack of support on behalf of the customer.  Let me tell you why I think this issue is an abuse of consumer rights. 

Auto Debit is a Predatory Business Practice   

In order to try SP's service for free for a limited time, it was required that I first:   

1. Provide my credit card details up front.  Mighty Networks also did not give a choice regarding auto renew. I chose a one year plan, but: 

2. I could not state ahead of the actual purchase (at the time when I would go ahead and actually place the purchase on my credit card) that I *did not want the membership to auto renew*.   

After the free period was over, I decided not to become a member just at that time. I was thinking about it. I told SP *and* Mighty Networks that I would likely go ahead when I had a chance to get around to placing the purchase. 

However, before I had a chance to do so, if I was going to do so at all, I received an automated notification from Mighty Networks that my credit card was charged, and that I was a member of the service. I did not place that purchase.  That is fraud, plain and simple.    

Worst case scenario:  

1.  Card is charged without customer knowledge.  

2. Customer becomes incapacitated.  

3. Customer has no knowledge of the charge due to being incapacitated (hospitalized, etc.)  

4. Credit card continues to auto renew.    

Auto Debit / Renewal is Stacked Against the Consumer   

The system works against the customer and in favor of revenues for Mighty Networks and SPs. This is likely one reason for Mighty Networks's apathy. The burden of proof is on the customer. The system automatically takes the customer's money.   

It should work the opposite way. It should be next to impossible for companies to auto charge customer credit cards.    

1. Credit card information should not be required to be given before a purchase decision is even made.    

2. It should be much easier to opt out of auto renew. You should be able to opt out *before* a purchase is made. 

Currently, the purchase is automatically set to auto renew (for example, after a one year membership). Only after you have placed the purchase on your card can you change the settings to stop auto renew. That is a hassle.   

Mighty Networks's Evasive Response    

I stated my complaint to Mighty Networks. To my knowledge, Mighty Networks did nothing but refer me back to the SP. The SP did not directly admit any wrongdoing. In vague languaging, SP blamed the fraudulent activity on "the system on [SP's] end." 

Six months later, I asked SP again about this. SP changed the story. SP now stated SP thought that the system always auto debits once the trial period is over. It appears that SP is now inferring that nothing strange had happened. In fact, time had lapsed between the end of the free period and the time the card was charged. So, it likely was not an automated transaction.   

At the time, approximately six months earlier, I had specifically told SP and Mighty Works that I did not want my card to be charged. At least it was clear that *I* would make the transaction if it would be made. 

SP (in the correspondence six months later) then stated that SP received some correspondence from Mighty Networks and has not had a chance to review it. This is six months after the fact. Any correspondence from Mighty Works would not have been recent. SP was simply not addressing the issue and Mighty Networks was not answering my questions about how the system allowed my credit card to be tampered with. Did SP physically tamper with my credit card?   

Requests    

1. Mighty Networks needs a clear policy for its staff and vendors, for example, SP, that tampering with credit cards is illegal and strictly prohibited.   

2. Mighty Networks needs to make sure that their system is foolproof. That anl vague excuse such as the fault lies "with the system on my end," followed by empty promises to get back to the customer is evasive, if not deceitful. *Mighty Networks needs to be involved* in the investigation. Instead, Mighty Networks shunts the responsibility onto the consumer.    

About Sensitive Relationships Between SP (Vendors) and Customers  

My main complaint is with Mighty Networks's lax systems and unwillingness to get involved. This perpetuates the huge problem of  unwanted automated charges that become the *customer's burden* to prove.  I did not reverse the charge because the person running the service (SP) is an acquaintance. I trusted SP. And, Mighty Networks left me with the burden of proving if SP, my acquaintance, had charged my card. Awkward and divisive. That is Mighty Networks'a responsibility.

Had Mighty Networks proved that SP had committed fraud with my card, I may have reversed the charge. I was confused as to how to move forward. I was concerned about offending SP. 

My complaint is that Mighty Networks did not get involved in a meaningful manner.    

I have completed my one year membership with SP's program. To date, I have not received a thorough explanation as to how my card was charged. In fact, SP had not been personally in touch during the time that my membership was coming to an end. Not even to personally ask about my membership experience. But I did suddenly and recently receive from SP emails trying to sell me another membership. I believe the languaging was worded specifically to me, to my "pain", as they say in the sales and marketing business (though clearly sent through a  newsletter sending service) to entice me to renew my membership.

Several aspects of those emails left me feeling used. Insensitive, aggressive, mercenary, manipulative languaging. I felt dehumanized. It made me think perhaps SP might have deliberately tampered with my card, after all. That even the revenue of just a single membership was so crucial, that SP couldn't wait for me to charge my card by myself. SP had to "help" the process along. The abruptly emailed, aggressive sales pitches solidified my rationale for finally filing a complaint.   

Overall, I was unhappy with the membership program, had earlier subtlety stated such, and received little in the way of meaningful improvement. Promises, yes.  Now, SP was offering the same with not one, but two price increases, depending on how fast I acted. I felt that was rather shameless in light of what I have written above. 

I used to have much respect for this SP. And, I used to think that Mighty Networks was a respectable, trustworthy company.       

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/21/2020 08:41 AM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/report/mighty-networks/palo-alto-california-dotcom-1490684. 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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