It's in the T&Cs that they can do this but during a period when many people have lost much or all of their income during lockdown in the UK it is wrong that C24 continue to automatically debit for renewal of premium WITHOUT ANY PRIOR NOTIFICATION. It is not illegal, but only because such companies are too small to be on the radar of the authorities. It is sharp practice and because of this was long since made illegal for utility companies, insurance companies, telecomms etc to do this in the UK. To be clear, auto-renewal is OK, but auto-renewal without advance warning to give sufficient time to cancel or renew under better terms is not OK. Is this the reputation C24 want?
Here is the chronology in my case...
2 June £91.76 charged to my credit card without notification.
8 June I notice this and email C24 asking them to refund it and cancel my membership as if they had asked me I would not have chosen to spend the money on this. I note that elsewhere on this support board C24 say they generally will refund in this situation when asked.
16 June C24 reply saying in summary, "sorry, it's in the T&Cs". I reply asking them to reconsider and quoting the below from a C24 rep on their own website.
“Thanks, guys! Let me give a bit of input from my perspective: No one at chess24 insists on the 2 weeks’ notice. I would assume that this is a legal thing in the Terms of Service that we just ignore when it comes to customer support. And in general we reimburse if the customer is not happy with becoming Premium or with the renewal of the Premium contract.”
I also ask how I can escalate my complaint above the support team.
17 June - C24 reply can offer extra 6 months free but no refund. No escalation route provided. I reply requesting complaint escalation contact details.
18 June - C24 support reply that they'll forward my message on to somebody and they mark my complaint as closed.
29 June - no contact received, so I email again and post this update.
Will keep you posted!
Meanwhile, I strongly recommend that you immediately inform both C24 and your card company that C24 do NOT have your authority to take an auto-renewal payment in the future. Who has the date of such renewal in their minds when everything else in the world is happening? If you do then want to renew, don't worry C24 will be sure to invite you at the time, probably with an offer too.
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