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View Full Version : I've had it with MLB Game Day Audio


A. Cavatica
04-10-2006, 10:46 PM
I sent the following letter to the Better Business Bureau of New York (complaints@newyork.bbb.org) tonight. If any of you have had similar problems, I urge you to write as well.
MLB Advanced Media, of New York, sells subscriptions to listen to baseball games over the Internet. MLB has a monopoly over the audio broadcasts, so it is not possible to purchase from a competitor. I have to believe that there are thousands of consumers with complaints like mine; I hope you can help us.

I purchased the MLB Game Day Audio pass at the start of the 2005 season. This spring, I received two e-mails from MLB saying that my pass would automatically renew unless I chose to cancel. I let it renew.

I have not yet received the credit card statement with the renewal. However, I was able to listen to games up to and including 4/7/06. This, coupled with the fact that MLB told me they going to renew the subscription and never notified me of any problems, tells me I can expect the bill shortly.

The subscription stopped working on 4/8, with Game Day Audio telling me I needed to purchase a subscription. The support number was constantly busy. I sent an e-mail through the MLB website but did not receive an answer. So tonight, 4/10, I tried the support number again. The number was busy again, but eventually I got into the queue. After three hours on hold (6:15 - 9:15) a person finally picked up.

The support person was polite but unhelpful. She was unable to confirm the status of my subscription either way and told me I should buy a new one. I asked for a different phone number so I could dispute the duplicate billing once I get my statement. She said I had to call the same number; there is no other.

Well, making someone wait three hours to dispute a bill (when the renewal happens automatically) is dishonest. How many people say "it's only $15" and just give up?

I asked for the supervisor's name so I could write a letter of complaint, but the woman said she could not give it out. So I'm writing you instead.

samram
04-10-2006, 10:56 PM
You know, I may just do that. I cancelled my mlbtv subscription last week because I decided to go with Extra Innings. I haven't received any confirmation of the cancellation. If I see a charge for it next month, I'll have to do something about it. I've always thought it was odd that you can't really view your account status, except for newsletter susbscriptions, online. I've never noticed account numbers either.

SouthSide_HitMen
04-10-2006, 11:20 PM
You know, I may just do that. I cancelled my mlbtv subscription last week because I decided to go with Extra Innings. I haven't received any confirmation of the cancellation. If I see a charge for it next month, I'll have to do something about it. I've always thought it was odd that you can't really view your account status, except for newsletter susbscriptions, online. I've never noticed account numbers either.

They do not give you a receipt of the cancellation (either an internal cancellation number or a follow up email) after you cancelled the product.

I have had the audio subscription since it was initially offered 5 years ago (IIRC - it was somewhere between 4 and 6 years ago). I ordered the TV subscription last June upon ordering broadband (I had dial up previous).

I liked the TV and would have been willing to pay more if I could get access to live White Sox games. Sometimes the "blackout" mechanism did not work and I was able to watch games but other times I was unable so I decided to cancel upon receipt of the first email (in early March). I received a second email in late March and I called back to make sure the subscription was cancelled.

During this second phone call I also cancelled the audio subscription since I planned to sign up for the Sox Pride Subscription which is $9.99 and includes the $14.95 Gameday Audio free. This was the Friday before Opening Day.

I was charged that day the $9.99 Sox Pride charge. Three days later, I was charged for the TV ($79.99) and audio ($14.99) even though I placed two calls cancelling the TV and one the audio.

I called a third time and they cancelled both, saying they had records in their system I called before the deadline of Opening Day. However, when they cancelled this (Opening Day Monday) they turned off my Sox Pride gameday audio so I was forced to call a fourth time to restore my Sox Pride Game Day Audio. AAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!

I spent about 2 hours total on hold and about 20 minutes talking to people at MLB. I did other things while on hold so that didn't bother me much. The MLB staff were pleasant but their order process system is screwed up. They send cancel orders to another department and thus there is a delay of several days. Why an order cannot be cancelled at the point of contact (and a cancellation number issued so you have some sort of proof you went through the hassle of cancelling the charge if like me you are charged anyway) was beyond the staff's powers to change nor explain.

Anyway, as long as the Sox Pride subscription includes Gameday Audio (at it's original price of $9.95) I'm a happy camper. I am a Mets fan and also like to hear other games including the first three innings of Dodgers baseball with Vin Scully (I like Steiner as well) and other key matchups involving my rotisserie team players and American League games in general (including Toons games last September).

For people who wish to cancel, all MLB media subscriptions are a pain in the ass and they really should provide better customer service if they want customers to come back for other products. The poor job done with the 2005 World Series merchandise (for many posters here) was another example. The employees there are courteous and are able to help you where they are authorized but management needs to address issues which should work on the initial attempt (be it an order or a cancellation).

lumpyspun
04-10-2006, 11:25 PM
These stories are baffling b/c they don't even have anyone to compete with. If you are calling to cancel a subscription of one outlet (like mlb.tv) you are likely doing it b/c you are getting extra innings or vice versa. I haven't had any issues with them yet, but I might just call and complain about something just to piss them off.

Reni
04-11-2006, 12:29 AM
it's so funny you mention this.....I called to cancel my MLBTV, but the line was busy for hours! So I have yet another month of it.....granted, I do like it to watch the Cardinals since I moved to Chicago. But, we watch all the Sox games anyway on cable and I don't have time or money to keep MLBTV all summer.......after hearing this it sounds like I may be stuck with it!

And the same thing happened with my gameday audio.....it said it was going to automatically renew, and I have yet to see anything.....however, I haven't tried to use it this year yet. So, I am not sure what the status on it is.

scottjanssens
04-11-2006, 11:36 AM
MLB has a monopoly over the audio broadcasts

It's not a monopoly. The broadcast of the events of a major league ballgame are intellectual property that MLB owns. What they have a monopoly on is professional baseball. They also have an exemption for that.

wxkid23
04-11-2006, 01:12 PM
You know,

I just tried to watch my first MLB.tv game of the season yesterday and was directed to the "sign up" page when the video usually starts. I was e-mailed a couple weeks back saying my Credit Card would be "automatically" rebilled this month after subscribing last year and now this happens.

I like MLB.tv as it is convenient to watch the game at my desktop and it seems to show more games than EI. I guess im going to just re-sign up and if my Credit Card gets charged twice I will dispute it. I would call customer service but that sounds like a nightmare.

A. Cavatica
04-11-2006, 01:13 PM
It's not a monopoly. The broadcast of the events of a major league ballgame are intellectual property that MLB owns. What they have a monopoly on is professional baseball. They also have an exemption for that.

They are the sole source for MLB audio broadcasts over the Internet. That's a monopoly.

Unregistered
04-11-2006, 01:44 PM
You're not alone.

http://www.consumerist.com/consumer/complaints/i-love-baseball-but-hate-mlbcom-166386.php

Chicken Dinner
04-11-2006, 02:12 PM
Go with Extra Innings and XM radio.

chaerulez
04-11-2006, 02:33 PM
They are the sole source for MLB audio broadcasts over the Internet. That's a monopoly.

mo·nop·o·ly

Exclusive control by one group of the means of producing or selling a commodity or service: “Monopoly frequently... arises from government support or from collusive agreements among individuals” (Milton Friedman).Literally I guess someone could say that MLB audio is a monopoly, but MLB audio is run by MLB, which is the true monopoly.

IlliniSox4Life
04-11-2006, 02:34 PM
I had the same problem with my MLB.TV subscription. I bought it just because cable service went out during opneing night in Urbana, and I wanted to watch it. I didn't realize we were in the black out zone. I tried to call to cancel it, but it was busy. I figured there were a lot of problems because it was the start of the season, and the load would ease up soon. I called the next day. Busy. 2 days later. Busy. 3 Days later, busy. 4 days later, busy. I was calling multiple times a day, but all busy. I sent them an email, but got no response. Finally, on the 6th day, I got through, but was on hold forever and had to go to class, so I hung up. I think it was the 7th day I finally got through again after literally redialing every 3 minutes for an hour and a half. I was on hold for another 45 minutes before being able to cancel. I told them I wanted a refund (their policy states they will give you one within 5 days of the charges being made). She said yes, and the charges would take about a week to be credited to my account, but I still don't trust them.

A. Cavatica
04-11-2006, 05:43 PM
You're not alone.

http://www.consumerist.com/consumer/complaints/i-love-baseball-but-hate-mlbcom-166386.php

Thanks! Misery loves company. After reading some of other people's stories, I just filed a complaint with the FTC as well.

wxkid23
04-13-2006, 10:42 AM
Amazingly... I just recieved an e-mail from MLB.com last night that informed me they were "unsuccessful" in charging my Credit Card and my subscription was "deactived." It's nice they tell me that a week or two after the point. On the bright side.. they reactived the service temporary for me until the 20th to buy a new subscription.

scottjanssens
04-13-2006, 12:21 PM
They are the sole source for MLB audio broadcasts over the Internet. That's a monopoly.

By that logic, the Score has a monopoly on White Sox radio broadcasts in Chicago. That's not really a monopoly, they just own those rights. Just as MLB owns the rights to internet broadcasts.

scottjanssens
04-13-2006, 12:22 PM
If you're having problems with MLB Audio, try logging completely out of MLB.com. I found stale cookies can cause issues with MLB Audio and TV.

A. Cavatica
04-13-2006, 12:51 PM
Amazingly... I just recieved an e-mail from MLB.com last night that informed me they were "unsuccessful" in charging my Credit Card and my subscription was "deactived." It's nice they tell me that a week or two after the point. On the bright side.. they reactived the service temporary for me until the 20th to buy a new subscription.

I received the same e-mail. I think perhaps the firestorm of complaints may have been heard. Of course, I'm still waiting for the credit card statement to make sure they haven't double-billed me.

IlliniSox4Life
04-14-2006, 04:47 AM
I was beginning to worry I wouldn't get my refund for MLB.tv, fortunately though, it showed up on my online bank statement today!

IlliniSox4Life: 1 MLB:0