I rang Foxtel today to cancel my sports channels subscription as the AFL season has been postponed. After trying to get me to add other channels they read through a script of terms and conditions- one condition being that my cancellation would be effective 28 March (I called on 25th). I clearly explained that I wanted my subscription stopped today - only to be told they don’t provide credits and as my account was paid until the 28th they “would let me keep” the sports channels until then. Obviously we only talking about a few dollars but what about the principle! This does not sit right with me at all. I’m not sure this is legal I’m being forced to accept a service I don’t want and pay for the privilege!
Maybe you send an email to them saying that when AFL resumes, that you won’t re-subscribe because of their poor service/plus any other reason that fits and you will source your AFL games elsewhere (eg Kayo etc)…
The following is only opinion and as I am not a legal expert I provide it only as my thoughts on the matter.
From the ACCC:
"For example, you may not be required to provide a remedy if a consumer:
- simply changes their mind, decides they do not like the purchase or has no use for it"
"Compensation for damages & loss
Your customers can seek compensation for damages and losses they have suffered due to a problem with a product or service (in addition to any other remedy provided) if you could have reasonably foreseen the problem. In other words, customers can also recover losses that would probably result from your failure to meet a guarantee.
Damages include the cost caused to the consumer as a result of the problem with the product or service. This is usually financial, such as costs of repairing damaged carpets as a result of a faulty leaking washing machine, inspection and transportation. It can also include lost time or productivity.
You do not have to pay for damages or losses that:
- are not caused by your business or the goods you supplied
- relate to something independent of your business and outside your control, after the goods left your control."
The contract you agreed to had the terms and conditions that meant you had possibly no right under the contract when you cancelled (eg no refund of payments due to a change of mind). This is similar to change of mind regarding goods and services, the provider under ACL has no legal requirement to refund for a change of mind. If they had possibly cancelled the channel because they no longer wanted to provide it you may have been in the situation of being able to gain a refund.
If you had purchased the service only on the basis that it provided the AFL season and they made promises in regard to that you may also have a case to ask for a refund. You would need to find evidence that this promise was made when you made the contract, maybe obtain a copy of the conversation you had with Foxtel when “buying” the access. The following ACL requirement “are fit for any purpose that the consumer made known to the business before buying (either expressly or by implication), or the purpose for which the business said it would be fit for” would likely provide the rule for this remedy.
I agree with your comment about the principal, but what you have to ask is: is you time more valuable than the very few dollars (three days worth) you could possibly recoup?
In this case, I if it were me, I would shake my head and walk away. Spend your time on something that will give you more pleasure than beating your head up against a very hard Murdoch wall.
Now you know that Foxtel is merciless, you have the option of not resuming your subscription if/when the AFL season finally gets under way.
Fox seem to have a plethora of subscription services. Is this the terms and conditions of your service here? If it is see section 7.7 It depends on how you paid there may be a refund for the balance or not.
Foxtel require prepayments so every customer would not be entitled to a pro rata refund based on my reading of these terms.
I have basically walked away but needed to vent.
What else would he spend time on these days while staying home and so on, if in the sad state so many of us have found ourselves in? It could be a challenge that occupies his time and although a long chance, makes a point w/Foxtel. Unfortunately the short season has nothing to do with Foxtel but it diminishes their product.
A true footy fan is dependable and will endure whatever and however to watch. Foxtel knows this. Customer dissatisfaction has not made a huge dent in their subscriber base over time no matter how bad they treat customers.
As told by the phone agent I presume? If, as many of us, you currently have little else to occupy your time or just want to proceed on principle, lodge a formal complaint and they could respond favourably. The phone agents usually have no discretion and no incentive to help customers, just follow scripts and answer calls per their KPIs.
When the T&C are on our side it is clearer; when they are not or inconclusive some companies will use common sense and prioritise the relationship anyway.
Many companies do this for regular reoccurring payments (insurance, telcos etc). There is no refund for any weeks, days or hours left before next payment when a payment is cancelled between payments.
I suppose the other option would be for them to charge a cancellation fee for time taken by their employees to arrange the cancellation…which is likely to be far nore than a couple of dollars.
However in this case the product changed (or more properly had to be changed because of the shutdowns) leading to the cancellation so I suggest it is out of ordinary for those scenarios. It could be tilting at windmills to get an adjustment, but it is not just a cancellation for ‘change of mind’ of the ‘product originally purchased’. Many of us might not go through the aggro, but as I wrote earlier when one is at home …
Subscription based services are billed monthly. Just like any such services. If you cancel iTunes, Netflix et cetera you are paid for the month. There is never a pro-rata refund of the amount you’ve prepaid. This is a pretty well known policy for pretty much all companies, not just Foxtel. Some things can be pro-rata, mobile phone plans, and others which is a daily used service. This is why when you start a plan you pay for a pro-rata for the first month, and a full month in advance. Foxtel, Netflix are not post-paid services, they are pre-paid. If you cancel a pre-paid mobile, you’ll have use of the service until the end of the term, you’ll never get a refund because you call mid cycle to cancel. You can use the service until the pre-paid period is over. Quite stunned someone would be complaining about 3 days. But to each their own.
@phb and @JoshuaJS (Welcome to the .community @JoshuaJS) stated how it is, and that is how it is. I think an implied question from the OP is ‘is that how it should be under the circumstances?’ and even extrapolated to ‘is that how it should be?’
Most subscription services state in their T&C that cancelling mid-way does not get a refund, but why is that an immoveable object just because they say so, as well as regardless of what may transpire to cause a cancellation?
I’m going to side with @JoshuaJS here and won’t repeat his points. A subscription to Foxtel Sports includes many programs and sports, in addition to AFL, although the OP may have been only interested in the AFL.
Foxtel continues to broadcast content on the Sports channels including re-runs of various “classic” AFL games from the past. In my view, they are continuing to broadcast the available sports content. That doesn’t include live games, just as it doesn’t in the off season.
If you paid for a specific event (like they do with some boxing matches for example) and it gets cancelled, I agree 100% that you deserve a refund.
As it is, cancel your subscription and move on - life is too short.
p.s. I will now wash my mouth out with soap for my once in a lifetime defence of Foxtel.