Try 60 days of free premium.

Trying to renew Gold subscription


Billo0255 wrote 12 days ago:

I'm on the final month of a one year subscription (should expire the end of December). I tried to renew with the Black Friday deal on this site but it immediately came up with an error that said it was unable to bill me. Yesterday I get an email from Paddle saying that "We attempted to bill you US$4.93 for your TVmaze Gold subscription, but were unable to do so." Not doing month to month and confused why I got an error when I clicked on the Black Friday Gold deal ($30) and then get the above. The Paddle email gives me the option to select another payment source but now I've no idea what I'd be getting if I go directly through Paddle. Would I lose the Black Friday pricing?


abqnm wrote 12 days ago:

This has me steaming mad right now. I didn't realize the crossed out and discounted pricing was "black friday" pricing. I knew I was up for renewal today, so I logged in yesterday and verified what tier I was on and what price it shows in the dashboard ($30-Silver), but I was just charged $60 to my paypal a few minutes ago for Silver, which according to the site is $30. If I knew that price wouldn't apply (IT HAS NO DISCLAIMER THAT IT WON'T APPLY OR THAT IT IS IN ANY WAY LIMITED IN AVAILABILITY), I would have changed tiers before my trial ended. But the blatant misinformation on the dashboard/premium page about my subscription and corresponding price has me ready to dispute the entire transaction with PayPal. I really hope they're giving refunds for their error ASAP, because I REALLY don't appreciate being charged double what the dashboard says my subscription fee is, especially without any notice.


FHFbVB1Mkd3 wrote 12 days ago:

Lol, bugs happen and dashboard could have been more clear. But the site owners are good people, I am sure they will resolve it with you guys, no worries :)


Jan wrote 12 days ago:

abqnm wrote:
This has me steaming mad right now. I didn't realize the crossed out and discounted pricing was "black friday" pricing. I knew I was up for renewal today, so I logged in yesterday and verified what tier I was on and what price it shows in the dashboard ($30-Silver), but I was just charged $60 to my paypal a few minutes ago for Silver, which according to the site is $30. If I knew that price wouldn't apply (IT HAS NO DISCLAIMER THAT IT WON'T APPLY OR THAT IT IS IN ANY WAY LIMITED IN AVAILABILITY), I would have changed tiers before my trial ended. But the blatant misinformation on the dashboard/premium page about my subscription and corresponding price has me ready to dispute the entire transaction with PayPal. I really hope they're giving refunds for their error ASAP, because I REALLY don't appreciate being charged double what the dashboard says my subscription fee is, especially without any notice.

Hi abqnm,

It should of just given you the black Friday pricing weather you realized it or not. I've sent you a pm.


david wrote 12 days ago:

My apologies for this! I don't understand what happened yet, but if multiple people are caught off guard by it there is obviously a bug or at least room for improvement. Jan is contacting you in private to make this right, I'm looking into what happened and will continue the discussion in this thread so everyone affected can share their vision.


david wrote 12 days ago:

Billo0255 wrote:
I'm on the final month of a one year subscription (should expire the end of December). I tried to renew with the Black Friday deal on this site but it immediately came up with an error that said it was unable to bill me. Yesterday I get an email from Paddle saying that "We attempted to bill you US$4.93 for your TVmaze Gold subscription, but were unable to do so." Not doing month to month and confused why I got an error when I clicked on the Black Friday Gold deal ($30) and then get the above. The Paddle email gives me the option to select another payment source but now I've no idea what I'd be getting if I go directly through Paddle. Would I lose the Black Friday pricing?

OK, I think I understand the confusion for your case.

Renewing a subscription before it's expired isn't possible. Unfortunately our payment provider (Paddle) simply doesn't support this usecase; you can only pay on your plan's interval (either monthly or yearly). You can't pay for multiple months/years at once, and you can't preemptively pay for the next month/year while your current subscription is still running.

You can however switch plans. Say you're currently on the Bronze plan, you can switch to the Silver plan at any time. Paddle will automatically prorate your subscription, e.g. make you pay for the difference in price between the Bronze the Silver subscription, relative to the amount of days still left on your interval.

You were on the Silver plan before. So what must have happened is that you clicked the "Switch to Gold" button. This triggered a proration from Silver to Gold for the month still remaining on your yearly interval, thus Paddle attempting to bill you for $4.93.

While instead you expected the "Switch to Gold" button to add a subscription for a whole new year, starting after your current interval had ended at the end of December. Is that correct?


david wrote 12 days ago:

abqnm wrote:
This has me steaming mad right now. I didn't realize the crossed out and discounted pricing was "black friday" pricing. I knew I was up for renewal today, so I logged in yesterday and verified what tier I was on and what price it shows in the dashboard ($30-Silver), but I was just charged $60 to my paypal a few minutes ago for Silver, which according to the site is $30. If I knew that price wouldn't apply (IT HAS NO DISCLAIMER THAT IT WON'T APPLY OR THAT IT IS IN ANY WAY LIMITED IN AVAILABILITY), I would have changed tiers before my trial ended. But the blatant misinformation on the dashboard/premium page about my subscription and corresponding price has me ready to dispute the entire transaction with PayPal. I really hope they're giving refunds for their error ASAP, because I REALLY don't appreciate being charged double what the dashboard says my subscription fee is, especially without any notice.

In your case you started a trial for the Silver plan two months ago. Back then there was no (Black Friday) promotion so you were supposed to be billed $60 after the trial period ended. Yesterday the trial period did end, and since you didn't take any action like cancelling or switching plans, you were billed $60 as intended.

However, you expected to automatically apply for the Black Friday discount campaign since the site is currently displaying the discounted price of $30. Is that correct?


david wrote 12 days ago:

OK, I think I understand you both, and I suppose there's an easy fix that'll at least remove all the causes for confusion: we should take care to not display any mention of discounts whatsoever to people who are already on a subscription or trial.

Of course it would be even better for you if we could still apply the discount to people who are switching plans in the promotion period or whose trial ends in the promotion period, but I'm pretty sure both are simply not possible to accomplish in our payment processor's systems.


david wrote 12 days ago:

I've made some quick changes which are on the conservative side, but I'd rather have that than inadvertently misleading anyone.


abqnm wrote 12 days ago:

david wrote:
In your case you started a trial for the Silver plan two months ago. Back then there was no (Black Friday) promotion so you were supposed to be billed $60 after the trial period ended. Yesterday the trial period did end, and since you didn't take any action like cancelling or switching plans, you were billed $60 as intended.

However, you expected to automatically apply for the Black Friday discount campaign since the site is currently displaying the discounted price of $30. Is that correct?

Yes David, that is what I expected. I had expected to downgrade to Bronze, so I checked the day before it billed, and it showed the price and showed I was subscribed to the Silver plan and showed my next billing date, so I believed I was going to be charged for what was displaying in the dashboard. If I had known the discount was special and would not apply, I would have reduced the subscription tier, because I only really need Bronze, but I left it at Silver because the price difference was negligible and I would rather support the site a little more. But it was indeed a bit surprising to find that the charge didn't match the dashboard. I got Jan's pm to resolve that, but as far as the display, yes, I think it would be best to remove the discount information from the dashboard of active subs since you can't apply them anyway. Maybe offer buy a year get 6 months free or something to existing subs, if you can. I am not sure how much you can do with Paddle, so I figure adding extra free months might be easier than adjusting the price for renewals/existing subs.

Anyway, thanks for the help!


Billo0255 wrote 11 days ago:

That is what I'd expected. I must have missed it, but is there an Account page on the site that shows the current status of the account? I'd poked around yesterday looking for something like that but could not find one. This billing process through Paddle is rather rigid. However, since you've clarified that I can't get the Black Friday discount I'll just wait until I receive some notification that the subscription is coming up for renewal later this month.

However, let me clarify one thing that I think is important. Regardless of the amount and regardless of what button I pushed, Paddle attempted to bill me for a month without any warning after TVMaze's site gave me a "couldn't be billed" error. You are correct, at some point I did select the Switch to Gold option (if that's the top tier). I think I did that after I selected the Silver option and received the error. Then I gave up.

Again, the amount doesn't matter. What matters is that if I'd had AutoPay turned on they would have charged me and I would not have known about it until I received a notice from PayPal about the charge. If, as you say, a current subscriber could not receive the Black Friday discount, Paddle should not have automatically initiated any charge.

I like things to be easy but I only turn AutoPay on PayPal when I trust the billing source. I'm not that comfortable with Paddle since I'd never heard of them before.

I've gotten very comfortable using TVMaze and appreciate the work you folks have put into it. I do feel like I was mislead about the Black Friday discount but I understand it was not intentional on your part and I understand why you don't allow it. A current subscriber could continually get the 1/2 off discount every year which would defeat the purpose of setting a price in the first place. But I'm like most people and I like discounts so I'm glad you're clarifying the issue for others but still a bit disappointed.

However, I get enough value from using the site that I'm not going to make a big deal out of paying the $60 when the subscription runs out.


david wrote 10 days ago:

This page should tell you all you need to know regarding your current subscription status: https://www.tvmaze.com/premium/dashboard

In our defense, switching plans does come with the following warning: "Do you want to switch plans? If the new plan is more expensive than your current plan, you will be billed for the prorated difference.". I agree that this process could be more clear, f.e. by redirecting you to a confirmation page that'll show the price for the change you are making. Unfortunatlely we've got to make do with what our payment processor offers here.

I will add that we really didn't specifically mean to deter people from using a discount multiple years in a row. I can't make any promises about future promotions, but if you manage to time your subscription just right and get a discount again next year, power to you :-) You would have to manually cancel and resubscribe though, because our payment provider confirmed to us that it's indeed not possible to apply promotions to running subscriptions.

Thanks for your feedback both, this is very valuable. Me or Jan will still contact you in private, Billo0255.


Jan wrote 9 days ago:

Hi Billo,

Sent you a pm.

Thanks for coming to us with the issues you were having (both billo and abqnm).
I'm glad we could get things resolved.

I'll make sure to mention the limitations on the Premium page and blog the next time we do another discount.
Maybe by then our vendor will have updated their system as well.

best,

Jan

.