Classmates 'Gold' Status User Quits, Can't Get Her Gold Back

Kelly has found that Classmates.com not only makes it extremely tough to cancel your membership, but damn near impossible to get a refund if you sign up for its gold status automatic renewal program.

Having lost her job, she was looking for ways to cut down on expenses and canceled her account shortly after her credit card was charged for auto-renewal. Judging from a series of e-mails between her and Classmates, the organization not only won’t refund her money, but won’t even acknowledge she’s asking for a refund.

Kelly:

I saw a charge on my credit card for this membership. I did not want to renew my membership and did not know there was automatic renewal. I would like my money back please. Thank you.

Classmates:

**YOUR ACTION REQUIRED—PLEASE FOLLOW THE STEPS BELOW TO AVOID FURTHER BILLING**
We’re sorry to hear that you don’t wish to continue as a Classmates Gold member. While purchasing your Gold membership, you were provided with information just above the “Submit Payment” button explaining that all memberships are enrolled in our automatic renewal program. This automated billing process prevents any interruption in your Gold membership benefits. Through your acceptance of the Gold membership offer, you authorized us to continue to charge your credit card to extend your membership until you took the necessary steps to remove yourself from this program.

If you wish to discontinue your paid Gold membership after the current term, you may remove yourself from the automatic renewal program any time prior to your renewal date.

To change or confirm your renewal option, simply follow these steps:

At the top of any Classmates page, click Account.

Enter your password. (If you don’t remember your password, click Forgot your password? to submit a password request.)

Under Membership Information, click your Renewal Option (Automatic).

You’ll arrive at a page that will ask if you want to cancel the automatic renewal option. Click Yes.

Confirm that your Renewal Option is now listed as Manual.

By changing your renewal option to manual, your account will not be charged again. You’ll continue to receive full Gold membership benefits until the end of the current term. At that time, your Gold membership will simply expire and revert to free status (unless you choose to manually renew). As a free member, you’ll still be listed on the Classmates website and receive email notifications about your account activity.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please reply directly to this email and we will be happy to assist you. Sincerely, Classmates.com

Kelly:

That is great. Well, if you had any sense of customer service, you would refund my money. Please refund my money. I have lost recently lost my job and I cannot afford luxuries like a classmates.com membership anymore. If I had any idea you would be charging me I would have told you I wanted to cancel.

Classmates:

Hello Kelly,

Thank you for your reply. I apologize if this matter has caused you any frustration.Please be assured that your membership is no longer enrolled in the automatic renewal program and you will not be charged again. Your Gold membership will expire and revert to FREE status on Jul 9, 2010. After your membership reverts to free status, you’ll still be listed on Classmates and receive email notifications about your account activity.

We make efforts to ensure our members understand the terms of the membership they are purchasing by providing information about the automatic renewal program directly on the credit card payment page, right above the “Submit Payment” button. On the same page, it states that payment for a Gold membership is non-refundable.

The automatic renewal program and no refund policy are also explained in the Classmates Terms of Service, which you agreed to when you clicked the “Submit Payment” button to finish your membership payment.

We hope you’ll take some time to explore and enjoy Classmates.com and get the most out of your Gold member benefits. We’re constantly updating the site to make it more valuable to you and more fun to use.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please reply directly to this email and we will be happy to assist you.

Sincerely, Classmates.com
Monica
Member Care Department

Kelly:

Hello,

Did you not see the part where I told you I just lost my job? It really is true, if you would like to call and verify. You should refund my money. The practices of this website are very shady. I received no email warning me that my credit card would be charged soon. I am going to tell everyone I know about my experience here, and it will not be a good review.

Kelly

Kelly’s refund quest isn’t looking good, at least not through this channel. She should probably give up on dealing with Classmates and get her credit card company to issue a chargeback. Any other thoughts?