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Getting Ripped Off By NBA League Pass! December 26, 2010

Posted by pacejmiller in Basketball, Blogging, NBA.
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IN SHORT: NBA League Pass automatically renews your membership every time it expires (regardless if it is monthly or yearly) and there is no way to cancel your membership on the website or on your account page (despite what it says in the terms and conditions when you sign up).  The only way to cancel at the time of writing is to send an email to nbaleaguepass@neulion.com (and this email address is nowhere to be found on the website on on your account page).

I just finished watching the LA Lakers getting spanked by the Miami Heat on Christmas Day, courtesy of NBA League Pass.

Don’t get me wrong — I love the League Pass, which allows subscribers to watch every NBA game in HD on their computers for around US$20 a month or US$100 for a season (which doesn’t save much considering the season goes from late October to mid-April) — playoffs cost more.

It uses up a lot of bandwidth, but it’s a dream come true for any NBA fanatic.  If you upgrade to the premium service you can even watch four games at a time and rewind and fast forward at all, and every past game of the season is also catalogued in full or in condensed mode.

However, if you have signed up for it or intend to sign up for it, let me give you a word of warning.  Be very careful, or you’ll get ripped off like I did.

I first signed up to the free trial at the commencement of he 2010-2011 NBA season, and liked it so much that when the free pass expired at the beginning of November I decided to sign up for a month at a discounted rate (around AU$20).  I enjoyed it for a month and forgot about it until the Christmas period, when I decided to give it another go.

To my surprise, my League Pass account was still active, as was my “Monthly” subscription.  It still worked too, which made me realise that the subscription must have automatically rolled over at the end of the month.  Fine, that’s my fault.  I didn’t read the fine print carefully enough when I signed up.  Lots of Internet businesses use the same method (especially under the guise of “free trials” that require your credit card details) to catch less astute consumers off-guard.

Anyway, here is the deal.  When you sign up, at the billing page, you enter your credit card details, etc, and there is a small box containing the ‘Terms of Use’ just before you can click the place the order.

Most people don’t read this stuff.  It’s in a small box, and print is small, and you have to scroll down to read the 5000+ words of terms and conditions.  As I do not live in the States, the terms on my computer were for non-US users.

The relevant provision is this, about a fifth of the way into the terms (I had to dig this up by pretending to be a new subscriber):

Subscriptions and periodic billing: Monthly, Regular Season and Playoffs subscriptions begin when you place your order and will renew automatically at the selected interval (Monthly, Regular Season or Playoffs), until terminated by you as provided in this Agreement.

In other words, if you subscribe, your subscription will be automatically renewed.  I only had to pay an extra month — but it’s the same if you paid for an entire season.  You’ll get automatically billed again if you don’t terminate the subscription.

As it said very clearly a little further down:

ALL SALES ARE FINAL.  We do not give full or partial refunds for subscriptions that you have purchased regardless of the basis for the refund REQUEST.

With a few days left before my monthly subscription automatically renews for a third month, I decided to terminate my subscription.

And here is the problem.  There is no way to do it!

I went into the “My Account” page after logging in and looked around everywhere.  Nothing.  Not a single mention of being able to cancel or terminate the subscription.  Not even in the FAQ, Help or Terms of Use pages (the Terms of Use link was different to what I was presented with when I signed up and did not mention cancellation).  I tried to delete all my Billing Information, but that didn’t work either, not unless I put in another valid credit card.

To add fuel to the fire, there is no email address to contact anyone from NBA League Pass from the “My Account” page or the League Pass front page.  It’s as though they purposely tried to prevent any possible method of cancelling your subscription.

I then pretended I wanted to sign up for a new account and went into the billing page, where I was again presented with the Terms of Use (the one that stipulated the automatic renewal).  These terms do have a termination clause, which states:

YOUR RIGHT TO CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION

You may elect to cancel your subscription at any time by visiting http://ilp.nba.com/myaccount.  Your election will be deemed to have been received one (1) U.S. business day after you notify Us that you want to cancel your subscription.

Yes, the clause says you may elect to cancel the subscription at any time by visiting the link.  But of course, that link is just to the “My Account” page, which I have already said, contains absolutely no way of cancelling the subscription.  If that is not misleading and deceptive, then I don’t know what is!

Fortunately, I remembered I got an email from NBA League Pass when I first signed up (nbaleaguepass@neulion.com) and I was able to respond to it.  I made it clear that I wanted to cancel and was not happy about my inability to do so.

About seven hours later I got a response that simply said:

Your NBA League Pass subscription has been canceled. Please let us know if you have additional questions.

There you go.  In the meantime, I will continue to use the League Pass until it expires in a few days.

It just amazes me that something like this could happen.  This is the type of tactic you might expect to see from semi-scam sites, but not something as supposedly respectable as the NBA League Pass.  I’m not sure if the problem stems from the fact that I’m a non-US user, but even so, it’s unacceptable.  Not a happy customer.

Has anyone else had a similar problem?

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Comments»

1. Big Bad Burley - December 28, 2010

Just realised myself that my account had automatically renewed and basically did the same thing you did – searching My Account and FAQs before googling it and finding this. Pretty poor effort on NBA league pass behalf. It makes me pretty annoyed with a service that is first rate when it comes to actually watching the games.

pacejmiller - December 28, 2010

Yeah, absolutely. I wonder how much money they’ve made just from this auto renewal/can’t suspend trick.

2. Spree85 - December 30, 2010

Hey everyone, I am having the same problem. I work and live in the states but come from Germany and am here for the holidays. Of course Germany does not show any NBA Games on TV and I wanted to watch the Christmas Games on Dec.25, so I decided to sign up for the League Pass. Now I am trying to cancel the subscription but have not found out how to do so.

I’ll send an e-mail to nbaleaguepass@neulion.com and hopefully will get the same result. It is a shame that an organization such as the NBA makes it so difficult to cancel subscriptions. Very disappointing and it only makes me think more and more that Stern and his gang are just in it to make money. They have no love for the game and it’s fans…

3. Bartek Andre - December 31, 2010

This just blows my mind – how some companies get away with business practices like this is beyond me. Treating you customers like this is just shameful, this is not a borderline scam, it is downright deceptive. Im betting the most frequently asked question is “How do I cancel my account?” and obviously it is nowhere to be found in the FAQ. Shame on you NBA – i will forward this story to every sports lover i know, and post about it on every site i ever visit.

4. Maurice - January 3, 2011

Thanks for posting this, I was also struggling to find a solution. I took your approach of responding to the e-mail which I luckily still had. I’m curious to their response! I feel scammed and a bit deceived as well since it clearly stated ‘monthly subscription’. Guess it was a lesson I had to learn and i’m glad it wasn’t all that expensive. It probably happens everywhere, I’m disappointed NBA…

Regards

5. i.v. - January 3, 2011

Hi, Pace! I had the same problem, thank you for posting this information. I’m also very disappointed and despite the great quality of NBA League Pass I will never subscribe again! I was wondering why my subscription doesn’t end. Luckily I switched on an SMS – service, warning me for all my payments by the VISA – card. If I hadn’t done that, maybe I would have continued paying each month $20 without knowing. I’ve just sent the e-mail and I hope everything is going to be fine. We should make this problem popular by posting it at social networks and etc. Thanks again and have a great new year!

6. dave - January 8, 2011

Thanks for posting this, I was trying to work out how to cancel the subscription too, first result on google.

7. Zo - January 11, 2011

THANK YOU SO MUCH for this post. I was in the exact same situation and I made all the same attempts before writing them an email quite embittered.

I totally agree with you that this behaviour looks a lot like a semi-scam site and it is very counterproductive. I am sure it will negativly affect several potential long-term costumers, like I am.

8. Yigit - January 13, 2011

thanks a lot for this post.I’ve the same problem and in a few minutes I will send an email to nbaleaguepass@neulion.com as you said.

9. Heeme Davis - January 15, 2011

My nba league pass canceled on its on. How do i fix that. I want it back

pacejmiller - January 15, 2011

That’s a new one. I’d probably still advise emailing them.

10. NBA 2010-2011 - Pagina 39 - 9lives - Games Forum - January 15, 2011

[…] […]

11. David H - February 2, 2011

Any updates from the previous users? What was the response from League Pass? I just sent an email to the address your recommended, in order to cancel mine.

It’s absolutely unacceptable what they’re doing. Given the quality of the product itself, it’s a shame the customer service is so poor.

pacejmiller - February 2, 2011

They just respond saying that they’ve cancelled. I guess they’ll keep milking unsuspecting users until someone does something about it!

12. Mikolaj - February 3, 2011

hey i think to buy monthly NBA ILP for 2 months and can i canceled subscritpion when i send messege to this email? no problem with canceled?

and i can for example in december open a subscription? my account isnt delete?

best regards

pacejmiller - February 3, 2011

What you would have to do is sign up for a monthly pass, use it for two months, and before the two months end, send an email to them saying you want to cancel. Should be no problem.

Your account wouldn’t be deleted, just the subscription cancelled.

13. Fan From Finland - February 15, 2011

I made a subscription today and was wondering how to cancel if it I would ever want to. Googled it and found myself here.

This is just retarded. I think I will cancel my subscription just because of this. C’mon NBA, this is NOT the way to do business!

14. Anything to avoid writing « About Writing – The Personal Blog of Pace J Miller - February 16, 2011

[…] Getting Ripped Off By NBA League Pass! (pacejmiller.wordpress.com) […]

15. Deiter - March 2, 2011

Thank you very much for the help I had the exact same problem and I was becoming unbelievably frustrated by the whole thing hopefully emailing that email will get this thing finally cancelled

16. LoTTo - March 3, 2011

Thank you so much! Now i am FREEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

17. Migs - March 9, 2011

Dear League Pass Folks, i am writing to tell you that i am so fed up with my supposed “All Access” pass. You should instead call it, the “No Access Pass B/c Every Game iS F-ing Blacked OUt Pass”. WTF. Seriously though, it is so unfair that every single Lakers game is blacked out. I didnt sign up and pay my hard earned money b/c i wanted to see 8 teams and maybe one of them was those Lakers guys out west who maybe have a shot at a three-peat. I am a Lakers hard earned fan from way back when it was James WOrthy using the backboard to bring down shots, and kareem’s hook shot from the heaveNs and Cooper w/ his socks pulled up to his knees…. seriously, i live + breathe the Lakers and the sole, specific reason i purchased this b.s. no-pass was to W-A-T-C-H the Lakers play while i work @ work. I dont have time to run home and turn on the tube. I WORK. and in fact, i bought a 30″ screen for my office desk so i can watch my LAKERS play while i crunch numbers and review contracts! Not so i can get pissed off every time I log on to watch the Lakers only to find out… its F-ing BlackED Out AGAIN. You need to fix this. I dont want my money back, i want to watch the LAKERS PLAY BALL. and if you think to even tell me that the b.s. minute fine print speech you have floating on your sign up board…. “some games are subject to black out” was sufficient enough detail, i will crawl through this 30″ screen and open up a can of whoop ass. You best do something about this cr@p…. sign me up on a new IP address somewhere, log me in on some IP address in Lincoln Nebraska, or Banff, Canada or some sh!t. Or better, send me to the LAKERS vs. San Antonio game in April!! JUST DO SOMETHING!!!!

Sincerely,

Migs a.k.a. a very disappointed League Pass subscriber.

18. Frank Alperstaedt - March 9, 2011

As of March 9th, 2011 their T&Cs still misguide users the same way. I have a League Pass subscription and do not want to cancel, but want that option openly communicated.

That’s what I call a bad customer experience.

Henrik - March 11, 2011

You could try this site.
http://chat.turnersports-NBA.Cust-serv.com/netagent/scripts/srvgate.dll?Action=1060

Here you can chat with the guys at leaguepass, and also manage your account.

BR

Henrik

19. Frank Alperstaedt - March 11, 2011

Update, March 11th, 2011:


Hello,

The FAQ will be updated soon thank you for your feedback.

Thanks,
NBA League Pass

Yeah, quite a comlex task to change that one sentence.

20. K. Warner - March 12, 2011

Thanks for posting this info! I have become so frustrated looking for a way to cancel my subscription thinking I must be completely blind and just not being able to find the link to do so. I have now e-mailed League Pass and hopefully they will cancel before I am billed again. I use a similar NFL service (Game Pass) and although the monthly renewal system is the same it is a lot simpler for users to cancel this at any time. It has definitely made me reconsider ever using League Pass again!

21. Fan From Finland - March 17, 2011

Well, they’ve finally put up the email address (nbaleaguepass@neulion.com) on the FAQ page. It’s under “How do I report a problem?” though, still no Q&A on how to cancel one’s subscription.

22. OC - March 24, 2011

Thanks for this blog. What a f-ing joke that it’s this hard to cancel the subscription. I thought I was losing it when I kept going in a loop to the my account page but there was no place to unsubscribe. This is a bush league tactic by the NBA. They should be ashamed of themselves for playing these games with their customers. I just wanted to stop my subscription for a month as I will be out of town but after this process I’m never signing up again.

23. Jay - March 25, 2011

This is ridiculous ! Anyway to report this so some action can be taken ???

24. Andreas - Switzerland - March 31, 2011

I love the quality and everything from the same. BUT this same scam behavior from Nba.com? As of April 2011 it is still like this. It is a shame and frustrating. Sadly there is no such thing as Internet Police.

25. Hadi - April 10, 2011

I can’t agree with this post and all the comments more. NBA League Pass is such a scam. The part of the main post which I don’t agree with is having the ability to watch all the games. Maybe if you live outside of US that is possible. However inside the united states it is almost impossible to watch a single game on league pass. I got the end of season $25 deal to watch the last 112 or 13 Lakers games of the season. When I bought it, the Lakers-Hornets game was under progress in the fourth quarter. I watched the fourth quarter and that was the only Lakers game I could watch until the end of the season. This sucks. They say local and national TV are blocked. One would assume national TV to be ABC, CBS or any other channel which you get with basic TV. However, they are categorizing ESPN 1, ESPN 2, and EVEN NBA TV!!! as national television. Basically what I did was pay $25 to watch the fourth quarter of the only game which was shown on league pass. What a rip off. Playoffs are all on national TV too …

pacejmiller - April 10, 2011

Wow, that’s one thing I didn’t know — that US customers are barred from a lot of games because of national TV. But I guess on the other hand you guys should be counting yourselves lucky for even getting so many free NBA games on TV! That said, if the advertisement says every game of the season, then you should get access to every game of the season.

26. Hadi - April 10, 2011

The add says some games are subject to blackouts (at the end of the adds they speed up the tone and they guy blurts out some indistinguishable words which apparently say this). The thing is TV isn’t free in the US. If you get basic TV which is the cheapest you get ABC, FOX, and CBS but not ESPN 1 and 2 or NBA TV or TNT or anything. To get all of those you have to pay like $80 a month for TV. Also these channels. ABC shows the big games, a lot of playoff games and the finals so that is good. However, in the regular season they barely show any games. So you have to pay $80 a month to watch some of the games AND you have to get league pass to see the rest of the games. I don’t even watch TV. I only watch basketball. So I will end up paying $100 a month to watch some basketball and get a bunch of silly shows that I never watch.

27. diaccigue - April 14, 2011

Всем привет
Занимательный сайт
Хочу преобрести ссылки на вашем сайте
международные перевозки грузов Крым
Наверху и можно слева в сообщениях. Ну или каких-либо других интересных рекламных мест.
Возможно по тематика вашей странички подойдёт для рекламы сайта международные контейнерные перевозки для этого проекта могу заказать более дорогостоящие статьи и обзоры.
Напишите мне пожалуйста, как можно заказать у вас рекламу?
Хочу постоянно заказывать статьи, и др. надеюсь эти сайты подойдут для ваших посетителей.
Я покупал рекламу на разных сайтаx всего за 3000 руб. в квартал за ссылки.
Пожалуйста ответьте тут, напишите вашу цену. Нужно для отчёта

pacejmiller - April 14, 2011

Right back at ya slick

28. diaccigue - April 14, 2011

Добрый день
Благодарствую за информацию, очень нужное дело.
Хочу преобрести ссылки на вашем вэб сайте Хочу преобрести ссылки на вашей страничке Хочу преобрести ссылки на данной страничке Хочу купить ссылки на вашем сайте Хочу купить ссылки на вашем портале

Мукачево
В низу и можно слева в сообщениях. Ну или каких-либо других интересных рекламных мест.
Возможно по тематике вашего сайта подойдёт для рекламы сайта
для этого проекта могу заказать более дорогостоящие статьи .
Поясните, где заказать, какие методы у вас?
Хочу постоянно заказывать статьи, и др. надеюсь эти сайты подойдут для ваших посетителей.
Я покупал рекламу на разных сайтаx всего за 3000 руб. в квартал за ссылки.
Пожалуйста ответьте тут, напишите вашу цену. Нужно для отчёта

29. Eduardo - April 18, 2011

I would like to know if the DAYPASS option renews automatically too?

pacejmiller - April 18, 2011

Not sure about that one dude, though I wouldn’t put it past them

30. Jose A. Segura - May 9, 2011

I just canceled my account thanks to this article. I’m a spanish customer and I went crazy looking for the Unsubscribe button.

By the way, they changed the terms of use, and now, there is nothing about canceling our subscription (or I’m the worst reader ever, and that’s weird because I searched also with the find tool of the browser). Ever worst that before.

It’s unacceptable that the NBA have to do this “tricks” to catch up customers. I’m really angry. I’m happy with the service, but that changes a little my opinion.

Thanks another time for the post, it was really useful.

31. Roy - June 3, 2011

I am in the process of cancelling my subscription right now. I had similar problems with unsubscribing and to make things worse i was charged £50, on top of my monthly £17.11 subscription fee. They had the cheek to charge me £25 and then call it overseas transactions fee, which is normally just £1 with all my other transactions with them. This is just plain theft. I have sent an email to them demanding a response to this mad fee and ive received a email back with a link which does not even work. I have to laugh otherwise i will lose the plot.

32. Another Finnish NBA fan - June 21, 2011

Same problem here. Just sent an email to the address provided here. I’m hoping that’ll cancel my subscription. Thanks for this post and great comments!


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