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Thread: NBA league pass trial

  1. #1
    Raptors Republic Starter AJ360's Avatar
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    Default NBA league pass trial

    Hey mods, I wasn't sure where this should go, so move it if need be!

    So I signed up for the league pass trial back at the end of October, but then realized they don't broadcast Raptors games (stupid) in Canada. Then on November 8th I received an email saying I had to login and cancel my account or else I would be charged, so I immediately logged into my account, only to see that A) I had already been charged and B) there was no to cancel the subscription through my account.

    I've since emailed NBA league pass three times over the last 2 weeks ([email protected]) and haven't heard a thing from them.

    Anyone have experience dealing with NBA League pass, or is there another email address or phone number I should be calling? The website is the most unhelpful POS ever conceived and as of right now I'm stuck with a $140 service I don't care for.

    Thanks

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    lol how did you not know that you would be charged after the trial ended? They blatantly said that you have to cancel once the trial period is over when you signed up for the trial or you would be charged. That was explicitly stated. Obviously, they should have email you earlier reminding you to cancel your account, but you should have paid attention when you were signing up for the trial. Lesson here kids, always read the fine prints before you sign up for any free trials for services that are usually not free.

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    While you have no one to really blame but yourself, you should just take it as a loss, make the most of it and watch as many games as you can when you have time. I recommend watching Warriors games! That's are a shit ton of fun to watch :P

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    Raptors Republic Starter RapthoseLeafs's Avatar
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    Resell it to someone who wants to watch other teams.

    That being said, does it include all the other teams? And are there restrictions (black-outs etc) ?

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    Raptors Republic Veteran rocwell's Avatar
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    This one is on you buddy. You can't get refund from them. Their sales are final, that means they're not obligated by law to refund and cancel subscription regardless of the basis for the refund request.

    You should try to contact them by these emails: [email protected], [email protected], and this one [email protected] ( state specifically that you want to talk about League pass and ask for supervisor's/manager's phone number. )

    There are few customer services numbers, but they don't deal with financially questions over these phone numbers as they don't have access to "sensitive" information.

    There's very small chance you'll get refund, but if you don't - let me know. I can help.
    Last edited by rocwell; Mon Nov 18th, 2013 at 06:48 PM.

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    Raptors Republic Starter AJ360's Avatar
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    I had the trial a couple years ago and don't remember having to cancel... but yeah, I screwed myself. Just annoyed they offered hope - emailing me to tell me I could cancel, when in fact there was no way.

    Thanks for those emails rocwell, I'll try them and see if they actually respond to me.

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    Raptors Republic Starter AJ360's Avatar
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    Quote RapthoseLeafs wrote: View Post
    Resell it to someone who wants to watch other teams.

    That being said, does it include all the other teams? And are there restrictions (black-outs etc) ?
    From what I've seen the only black-outs are raptors games

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    Raptors Republic Veteran rocwell's Avatar
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    Quote AJ360 wrote: View Post
    From what I've seen the only black-outs are raptors games
    Not exactly.

    Here is the "blacked out" game list schedule: http://www.nba.com/schedules/nationa...B_OEM_ID=29500 + add to this schedule All Star Weekend, playoffs and NBA finals.

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    Raptors Republic Starter S.R.'s Avatar
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    Blackouts are any games on TV in your area. That includes any US national broadcasts, which are typically the marquee match-ups.

    The pros, though:
    - Watch any blackout game as soon as it's completed - then you can FF through commercial breaks and halftime anyway.
    - All games are archived. If the only good games tonight are blacked out, watch one from yesterday. All commercial breaks and halftime are already edited out for you.
    - Take your LP with you! I bring my laptop when I travel and plug it into the hotel TV. If you're out of market, you'll even get to watch the Raptors live.

    No, this isn't an official LP plug The blackouts are a bit annoying. The "free trial" that requires a cancellation (that's new this year) is a stupid policy. Also, the price creeps up every year - the first time I signed up, it was $79.

    Wish I had customer service tips for you, but I've never gotten a response from them.

  10. #10
    Raptors Republic Veteran rocwell's Avatar
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    Quote S.R. wrote: View Post
    Blackouts are any games on TV in your area. That includes any US national broadcasts, which are typically the marquee match-ups.

    The pros, though:
    - Watch any blackout game as soon as it's completed - then you can FF through commercial breaks and halftime anyway.
    - All games are archived. If the only good games tonight are blacked out, watch one from yesterday. All commercial breaks and halftime are already edited out for you.
    - Take your LP with you! I bring my laptop when I travel and plug it into the hotel TV. If you're out of market, you'll even get to watch the Raptors live.

    No, this isn't an official LP plug The blackouts are a bit annoying. The "free trial" that requires a cancellation (that's new this year) is a stupid policy. Also, the price creeps up every year - the first time I signed up, it was $79.

    Wish I had customer service tips for you, but I've never gotten a response from them.
    Not stupid at all. LP free trial is just same stuff as for other products. You get to watch games(try product) for free for a short period of time and then you choose to pay for it or cancel it. Free trial system hasn't changed at all, it's same since it was introduced. ( Although now you get 3 chances [before season, xmas, before playoffs] to "try product" instead of 2. )

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    Raptors Republic Starter AJ360's Avatar
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    Well I was very fortunate because they're going to refund my money. Reason being I was emailed and told I could cancel the service, only to log in and discover there was no way to do it.

    Lesson learned.

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    Raptors Republic Starter S.R.'s Avatar
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    Quote rocwell wrote: View Post
    Not stupid at all. LP free trial is just same stuff as for other products. You get to watch games(try product) for free for a short period of time and then you choose to pay for it or cancel it. Free trial system hasn't changed at all, it's same since it was introduced. ( Although now you get 3 chances [before season, xmas, before playoffs] to "try product" instead of 2. )
    Not if I remember correctly - you used to get the free trial without asking for your credit card information/requiring you to cancel on-time. I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that's how it worked until this year.

    I say it's "stupid" because the "give us payment info up front, try it out, and cancel by our deadline if you don't like it - if you're a step slow, we lock you in!" policy IS stupid, precisely because it puts customers into the situation AJ360 is in right now. Why treat your customers that way? What a terrible up-front experience to have with a company/product.

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    Raptors Republic Veteran rocwell's Avatar
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    tw
    Quote S.R. wrote: View Post
    Not if I remember correctly - you used to get the free trial without asking for your credit card information/requiring you to cancel on-time. I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that's how it worked until this year.

    I say it's "stupid" because the "give us payment info up front, try it out, and cancel by our deadline if you don't like it - if you're a step slow, we lock you in!" policy IS stupid, precisely because it puts customers into the situation AJ360 is in right now. Why treat your customers that way? What a terrible up-front experience to have with a company/product.
    Free trials usually fail for the companies, but not because of people complaints. We're living in 2013 and free trials r becoming more and more popular than money back guarantees.

    I don't see why it's stupid:

    1) They're showing off their video service, key features for free.
    2) They get more affiliates to promote their product.
    3) They encourage more fans to sign up and try this service.
    4) Customer is under no-obligation contract, you're allowed to cancel your payment by deadline without any charges.

    Free trials are smart thing to do, especially for the companies which offering video/broadcast services.

    I'm working part-time as an affiliate marketer online and I'm promoting many free-trial offers and never seen people who would be unhappy about free trial offer, unless company broke their rules.

    Policy is stupid, maybe, but it's good for business. If customer doesn't cancel in time and company doesn't offer money-back guarantee then it's because they're facing additional refund charges or their merchant account has a policy against high refund ratio. ( merchant account suspension would mean big cash flow loss. )

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    Raptors Republic All-Star ezz_bee's Avatar
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    Offering a free trial is great. Offering a free trial but you have to cancel by this date or you'll be charged can be problematic.

    As a customer, if they are asking for credit card info, they're probably putting the onus* on you to cancel or you'll be receiving automated charges. Netflix is particularly crafty with their cancellation policy. As soon as you cancel your account, you no longer have access to their content even though you've paid for the month. I'm sure they do it to try to get you to delay your cancellation to as close to the deadline as possible in the hopes that you miss it and then are charged for the next month.

    I LOVE free trials that don't use my credit card. These are really the only true free trials as there is no obligation on your part for action. You can be passive and let the free trial run out. Obviously, this is not the ideal situation for short term business for companies as the active opt-out will have a higher retention rate. However, I agree that it is NOT the best practice for companies in terms of long-term marketing. Marketing, based on my limited knowledge (1st year MBA course) is about creating customer equity (basically good will from the customer by providing good value for goods and services) which you then trade over the long term for money (repeat business). Regardless, of whether you think the NBA's free trial service is good or bad, how is there customer service on the issue? How easy was it for AJ to file a complaint? Did he feel like anyone heard or listened to his complaint? Did he have to contract multiple people or use multiple means (phone, email, etc) to get answers? In short, did NBA LP provide good service? This is ultimately more important than the philosophical debate about whether customer opt out free trials are the right or wrong business strategy. The customer service is way more imporant.

    Just out of curiosity AJ360, it sounds like this is not the first year you've used the league pass free trial. Based on your experience this year, are you likely to partake in a free trial next year, if it requires your credit card and that you must actively opt-out by a certain date?


    Onus: Difficult or disagreeable task or obligation
    "We only have one rule on this team. What is that rule? E.L.E. That's right's, E.L.E, and what does E.L.E. stand for? EVERYBODY LOVE EVERYBODY. Right there up on the wall, because this isn't just a basketball team, this is a lifestyle. ~ Jackie Moon

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    Raptors Republic All-Star ezz_bee's Avatar
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    Quote rocwell wrote: View Post
    Policy is stupid, maybe, but it's good for business.
    I agree that it is definitely better in the short term, but I'm of the opinion (again though not an expert) that although it would have a lower retention rate having a free trial where the customer has to actively opt-in as opposed to opt-out is a better long term strategy. AND may even be less costly, as you are devoting less employee time to dealing with complaints about the policy and the costs of trying to recover outstanding costs owed to the company, either through direct staff or through 3rd party recovery services.
    "We only have one rule on this team. What is that rule? E.L.E. That's right's, E.L.E, and what does E.L.E. stand for? EVERYBODY LOVE EVERYBODY. Right there up on the wall, because this isn't just a basketball team, this is a lifestyle. ~ Jackie Moon

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    Raptors Republic Starter S.R.'s Avatar
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    Quote ezz_bee wrote: View Post
    Offering a free trial is great. Offering a free trial but you have to cancel by this date or you'll be charged can be problematic.

    As a customer, if they are asking for credit card info, they're probably putting the onus* on you to cancel or you'll be receiving automated charges. Netflix is particularly crafty with their cancellation policy. As soon as you cancel your account, you no longer have access to their content even though you've paid for the month. I'm sure they do it to try to get you to delay your cancellation to as close to the deadline as possible in the hopes that you miss it and then are charged for the next month.

    I LOVE free trials that don't use my credit card. These are really the only true free trials as there is no obligation on your part for action. You can be passive and let the free trial run out. Obviously, this is not the ideal situation for short term business for companies as the active opt-out will have a higher retention rate. However, I agree that it is NOT the best practice for companies in terms of long-term marketing. Marketing, based on my limited knowledge (1st year MBA course) is about creating customer equity (basically good will from the customer by providing good value for goods and services) which you then trade over the long term for money (repeat business). Regardless, of whether you think the NBA's free trial service is good or bad, how is there customer service on the issue? How easy was it for AJ to file a complaint? Did he feel like anyone heard or listened to his complaint? Did he have to contract multiple people or use multiple means (phone, email, etc) to get answers? In short, did NBA LP provide good service? This is ultimately more important than the philosophical debate about whether customer opt out free trials are the right or wrong business strategy. The customer service is way more imporant.

    Just out of curiosity AJ360, it sounds like this is not the first year you've used the league pass free trial. Based on your experience this year, are you likely to partake in a free trial next year, if it requires your credit card and that you must actively opt-out by a certain date?


    Onus: Difficult or disagreeable task or obligation
    rocwell: This is what I'm trying to say, not that free trials are stupid. League Pass didn't used to ask for payment info up front and require cancellation by a deadline to participate in the free trial. Two main reasons for why the mechanism for requiring payment info up front is a bad move from the consumer's perspective:
    1) It leads to situations exactly like this one, which is a pain in the ass and an extremely negative experience for potential customers.
    2) NBA.com keeps your payment info on file, which is a huge problem for me. I recently had to cancel my credit card, because Adobe, who keeps payment info on file, was hacked and encrypted customer info (including payment info) for something like 2 or 3 million clients was stolen by hackers. There's 0 reason for them to keep my payment info on file, other than so that they can automatically deduct payments if I forget to cancel a subscription. I'm sure they're making some more money in the short-term with the automatic deductions and in a way there's a convenience for returning/permanent customers, but there's also the security risk and the huge inconvenience for anyone who forgets the payment schedule of all their online subscriptions/purchases. Nobody likes to find surprise deductions on a credit card statement, or to have to jump through all the hoops AJ360 had to jump through to figure out how to get your money back.

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    Raptors Republic Veteran rocwell's Avatar
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    Quote ezz_bee wrote: View Post
    I agree that it is definitely better in the short term, but I'm of the opinion (again though not an expert) that although it would have a lower retention rate having a free trial where the customer has to actively opt-in as opposed to opt-out is a better long term strategy. AND may even be less costly, as you are devoting less employee time to dealing with complaints about the policy and the costs of trying to recover outstanding costs owed to the company, either through direct staff or through 3rd party recovery services.
    They don't give a fuck about retention rate this moment, in my opinion. Not many business can brag about that, but they have a chance to drive huge amounts of traffic trough authority website(s) ( high quality website that is well respected by knowledgeable people in its industry ). They don't even need front page offers to attract customers. They're getting high quality and targeted traffic ( traffic like that always have high conversion ratio. ) to their site. That's why I think they're running free trial offer few times a year for a long term business investment. Free trial offers are tricky. You gotta find a way how to profit now ( usually it doesn't work coz you gotta payout big $$$ to affiliates ) and find the way how to profit in the future.

    LP is running free trial offer(s) not for the customer, it's for affiliates. We love free trial offers because of high commissions ( from $xx to $xxx per lead ). It's a great way to get huge international traffic and some leads for the company tho. This is LONG-TERM, expensive and risky investment. But it holds own benefits, you're not only getting some paying clients but also you're building connections/relationships with affiliates for the future off-the-screen campaigns. ( email marketing, direct mail marketing, SEO blogs to drive traffic to offer and etc. )

    Let's not forget that by running free trial offer they're building their email list and I can bet - their email list is fucking HUGE. ( email marketing still going strong these days[huge $$$, believe me.]. LP can also be affiliate for other guys like NBA shops, Nike, Adidas shops and etc. sure a lot depends on promotional contracts, but we don't want go there. )

    The one thing I know best - their 'unusual' front end offers ( offers can come from email marketing strategy, sign up pages, commission-based contracts and more.. there are plenty ways to run front end offers that's why I said it's a bit 'unusual' because they're mixing up with Internet Marketing and simple, basic marketing. ) are going to MAKE THE MONEY IN THE FUTURE. It's just a matter of time. Most of free trial campaign fail, but successful ones could give you long-term relationships with affiliates, long lasting email list with constant income, some paying membership customers, and it can even lead to more media buyers too. Everything depends on company' marketing strategy and knowing that NeuLion have some very good people in their team, I'm certain - they're running free trials offers for long-term reason, not just to attract few customers for new season or playoff games.

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