Who Signed Me Up For This? MovieTickets.com "Shopper Discount" Strikes Again

Reader Dave writes:

I noticed a WLI*SHOPPERDISCOUNT pending transaction on my card today and thought there was something odd about it. I was right. I called and supposedly they have a refund on the way, but the guy on the other line had obviously had this call a million times before. Someone needs to nail these guys to the wall. It’s a total scam. The worst part is that a legitimate site (in this case movietickets.com) was totally complicit. The guy told me that I had authorized the transaction. I vaguely remember something about a “$10 off next purchase!” box when i bought movie tickets a month ago, but there was never any indication that I was signing up for a service or making an additional purchase. He said they sent an email that said they were going to bill me, but I assume that ended up in my junk email box with the rest of the scams. Someone needs to do something about this one. Lots of people are getting nailed, based on some cursory googling.

There’s currently a class action lawsuit going on against Web Loyalty, Dave, so rest assured—someone is trying to stop them. On the bright side, consumers who find that they’ve been charged for this crap can contact Web Loyalty and receive a full refund, which they will happily give.

It should be noted that whenever we write about this company, someone from their PR team contacts us for a “correction.” Don’t aggravate your carpal tunnel, lady, we’re not changing the post.

PREVIOUSLY: Reservation Rewards Infects GameStop?
Watch Out For Webloyalty and Reservation Rewards

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. MercuryPDX says:

    Don’t aggravate your carpal tunnel, lady, we’re not changing the post.

    “That’s telling em Howard!”

    Nothing makes me reach for the close button faster than that… VOICE… “Congratulations! You’ve…” ‘cLiCk’.

    Maybe an email or two to movietickets.com explaining how bad it is to be partnered with these people can get them booted off of another site?

  2. SOhp101 says:

    The idea that anyone would waste their time and money using movie tickets .com is pretty sad. Nearly all movie theaters now feature self service kiosks, and even if you wanted to guarantee seats for you and your party, you would probably have to go to the theater early so you could get decent seats.

    Very few movies have moved me to even go to the theaters anymore. Outrageous ticket prices, advertisements galore during the movie start (i’m not talking about the previews), and poorly maintained theaters are just the tip of the iceberg. I’ll stick to renting DVDs and watching on my big screen, thanks.

  3. Dibbler says:

    Allposters.com has something similar set up. Once I’d purchased my posters I had a box at the bottom which mentioned that I’d gotten a bonus $10 off my next purchase as a “Thank You” for my purchase. I almost went through with buying something else from them using the coupon code till I read a little further and saw in the fine print that I was signing up for some monthly fee thing. It may well have been the same company as above. I hope they see this a change their ways since I’m now suspicious of allposters.com.

  4. UTC says:

    @ SOHP 101

    Grandpappy? I didn’t know you had internet access …

  5. jpmoney says:

    @SOhp101: I hear ya. I’m lucky enough to live near several Alamo Drafthouse locations (www.drafthouse.com). Not only do you get food and drinks (yay beer!) during your movie, but they don’t allow under 18 except during certain times. The non-obtrusive waitstaff is also easy to get a hold of (put an order card up) when a section is making too much noise.

    We have been going to movies there for years and I really missed it when we went to a Cinemark theater for I Am Legend a few weeks ago. The Alamo commonly gets sold out by mid-day on first run movies so our late-forming plans forced us to put up with dozens of teenagers, cell phones, late arrivals, etc, etc.

    It was an expensive reminder that we should never go to a “normal” theater again. Wait for DVDs indeed.

  6. Froggmann says:

    I thought that $10 “offer” looked fishy. I guess I will find out if they signed me up anyway for these “Exclusive Offers”

  7. Buran says:

    @mercurypdx: Next time I buy a ticket from them (my bf has a moviewatcher card, so I don’t get charged a fee) I’m going to block the server that sound comes from.

    WEBSITES SHOULD NOT TALK.

  8. Spaztrick says:

    @jpmoney: I can’t wait to check out the new one on 6th. Oh, and yay to no more “Blender Bar @ The Ritz” during SXSW. I actually enjoy the Drafthouse here along with the Bijou.

  9. ecwis says:

    @SOhp101: Uhm, sorry but have you ever used movietickets.com? It’s actually a great site. I have used it a number of times because many times I go to sold out shows. It beats having to go to the theatre early just to buy the ticket. This way you can show up just early enough to grab a good seat.

    They don’t even charge convenience fees if you have a MovieWatcher card. So you end up paying the same price as you would at the kiosk but you have a guaranteed ticket.

    Also, not all theatres are bad. Yes, a lot are but I have found one or two that I like. Landmark Theatres [www.landmarktheatres.com] are great if you’re into those types of film. My local Landmark only charges students $7 for a ticket, including tax.

    • Anonymous says:

      @ecwis: Actually, movietickets.com is a scam. I tried to purchase tickets to the IFC theater through movietickets.com. Their website told me that the card was declined, but the transaction posted to my account anyway. I am in the process of trying to get back my $26. They post the transaction as IFCCenter box office, but IFC has no record of it. They do this to cover themselves. Additionally, there are plenty of reviews of them overselling shows and people being turned away when they get to the theatre. I’m not going to argue this with anyone so just take this as a warning. DON’T BUY TICKETS THROUGH MOVIETICKETS.COM!

  10. ecwis says:

    @SOhp101: Oh, and Landmark doesn’t have advertisings galore. I actually missed the beginning of a movie once because the movies start much closer to the actual time, probably within 5 minutes.

  11. missbheave (is not convinced) says:

    @mercurypdx: this happened to me with fandango, and I complained to them and was forwarded on to the rewards program where I got another canned answer insinuating that I was an idiot for not seeing the tiny print at the bottom of the screen that indicated I was enrolling in some stupid membership that charged a fee.

    It’s the movie tickets companies that I am really angry with–I trust them to safeguard my credit card information, and instead they sell it to these bogus scams. I haven’t used them since.

  12. Keat says:

    This is a prime example of why you should use “single use” credit card numbers for online purchases.

    1. The single-use number will be declined for the second charge if the vendor is different.

    2. If your number does get sold out/stolen, you know exactly which vendor was involved.

  13. landmarkburger says:

    I want to try this, but need to port my number to AT&T. Should I port first, or try to cancel first? If I cancel first, what happens to the number?

  14. rewinditback says:

    fandango screwed me on this to – and in my college years of not caring what was in my bank account (Since it was always close to zero) i didnt realize that this fee had racked up hundreds of dollars. I told them i was going to contact the bbb and ftc if i didnt get a refund. they obliged, gave me like 220 bucks back!

    but still.. sucks…

  15. BaysideWrestling says:

    Fandango.com tried that yesterday – I ordered some tickets on line, and the BIG PRINT says “Get $15 off your order!” The little, tiny, 8-point Arial Narrow print says you’ll be charged $11.99 a month for the privilege. And it’s opt-out, not opt-in. ALWAYS read the 8-point teeny-tiny Arial Narrow print!

  16. SacraBos says:

    We got caught on that, too. My son order movie tickets from movietickets.com, and appearently clicked on the save $10 thing. Charge about $60 to my wifes card before I asked her what this thing was. We did get it refunded quickly, but felt like this was really a scam.

    What I want to know, is under what legal or merchant agreement provision is movietickets.com allowed to give WLI our credit card information just for inquiring about $10 off? Or for ANY reason? I SHOULD have to re-enter all that information to WLI as part of signing up for that “offer”.

    We got our money refunded, too, but I’ve changed all my firewalls to block movietickets.com.

    @ecwis: Yeah, but once I feel defrauded by using your site, you’ve lost a customer.

  17. SacraBos says:

    Oh yes, I did sent movietickets.com a little e-mail explaining the situation, and the followup I got was from WLI asking to make sure I got my money refunded. I have little doubt that they know exactly what’s going on.

  18. Propaniac says:

    @SOhp101: I really don’t see how you’ve made a case for why it’s “sad” that I order tickets online for movie showings that I think have a high probability of selling out. (And mentioning the self-service kiosks is just irrelevant, except that they make it even more convenient for me to pick up my pre-ordered tickets.)

  19. ecwis says:

    @Keat: I considered using a virtual credit card number last time I used movietickets.com but they say that you have to have the card to pick up the tickets. To pick up the tickets, you just go to the kiosk and slide your card. Then they print out. So I don’t think the virtual credit card numbers would work, at least not easily.

  20. mmbb says:

    @Dave: If your memory of signing up for this is vague, then how can you be so sure that there *wasn’t* any indication that you were signing up for a service or making an additional purpose?

    Seems to me that your problem is a lack of attention.

  21. sibertater says:

    *gasp* This happened to me! I can’t even tell you what a mess it was for me to fix.

  22. SOhp101 says:

    @ecwis: I’ll try going to the local Landmark and see if it’s any better. I’ve given up on the other ‘chain’ theaters.

    @Propaniac: It’s because if the movie that you want to watch will be sold out, you will have to arrive early anyway to get decent seats, and nearly all movies rarely if ever sell out by that time, at least in my experience.

  23. Buran says:

    @Keat: With these services you can’t because you have to swipe the card at the ticket machine to get the ticket, as ecwis pointed out. This is one of the few services where unfortunately that doesn’t work. I imagine you can’t just enter the card number or moviewatcher card number because insisting the card be present cuts down on fraud, in theory.

    I think it would be a good idea for them to see if it could be adjusted so that if you have a moviewatcher card, you can have a card number on file (which could then be a one-time number set up for recurring billing; BofA lets me set up such a thing, at least) and then you punch in, or swipe, the moviewatcher card and not the credit card.

    Due to my being hard of hearing, it’s a must for me to get into the exact showing I want because only one or two auditoriums have the rear-window captioning I require, so buying my ticket in advance means I can get in, no matter whether I get a good seat or not. Until I found out my bf had a moviewatcher card, I was getting in by risking the show being sold out before I got there, since I don’t want to pay service fees for something that should be spread across the cost of ALL tickets, since that way the cost would be minimal.

    I’ve never been to niche places like Alamo Drafthouse (I have friends in Austin) because they don’t caption. Could the poster(s) who live in Austin please suggest adding rear-window to the management next time you go? It’d be great to have more choices!

  24. friedduck says:

    It happened to me as well. I initiated a chargeback and then called them to demand a refund. They argued, then said they’d credit it me one month, and then finally relented (after I mentioned I’d initiated a dispute) and returned all fees charged.

    As I’m sure you all know, there’s a checkbox that says “save on your next purchase…” that’s checked by default. What was missing was “…and get screwed by Movietickets.com!”

    I’m happy, and Movietickets lost one more customer.

  25. rsnhyperion says:

    Yes, you can contact Webloyalty and they will issue you a refund, but a better way to get your money back is to contact your credit card company and tell them that the charge was not authorized. Generally speaking the card company will void the charges even if they are months and months old (particularly if its American Express) and Webloyalty will get hit with something called a charge-back which will cause them to incur an additional fee. I’m sure the card brands have been hit with a lot of complaints about webloyalty but they haven’t taken any action against them because, after all, webloyalty is doing a brisk credit card business. Eventually if enough consumers call the card companies and demand the webloyalty charges be voided then the card brands may have to reconsider their position….especially if you do what I did which was have the issue me a new card. That costs them money. Webloyalty is a troll of a company and the world will be a better place without them.

  26. krector says:

    Now they’re calling themselves Reservation Rewards, but it’s the exact same scam. I’m a web dev, and the coupon ($10 off next purchase) purposely misrepresents makes the offer look like it’s coming from Movietickets.com. Absolutely no mention of any ongoing fee is mentioned, or the fact that Movietickets.com is giving a third party your credit card info!! If this isn’t illegal what else is??

  27. du2vye says:

    It seems this company has gotten bigger with bigger websites. They’ve got Amazon, FTD, Ebay, Buy, and others in on it now. The company has no legitimate business beyond a call center to handle angry people. The discounts they offer would take 5 min or less to Google all of them.

    The merchants sign up for this. I think people are right to blame them, but they need to be telling the merchants. I did not enter my email twice or realize it was a third party involved. And I don’t check any email signing up for promotions, so they couldn’t have gotten another click that way either. Is there little surprise they are not telling the truth about their business practices.

    Merchants need to be made aware this is hurting their business.