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Unscrupulous refund policy and customer service

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SGC
Level 6

Unscrupulous refund policy and customer service

On August 20, I upgraded my personal Dropbox (DB) account to a business account, with the understanding from the DB webpage interface that it would cost $150 year ($12.50 monthly). However, I discovered that I was being charged $799.50 when I reviewed my credit card statement at the end of September. Furthermore, DB refuses to refund me, because I did not cancel within a 1 month trial period, even when I was NOT informed that I was being charged more than 4 times what I was expected. I am posting in this online community for support.

 

I am an individual user of DB, and with the birth of our first child this year, I decided to upgrade my existing account to the standard business plan for the 2 TB of storage for all of our family pictures and videos. My credit card statement is only posted in the latter half of the following month (Sept) in which this purchase was made, and as I travel for my job and am only able to review my financial transactions at the end of the month. When I saw the mischarge, I contacted DB the first working day of October to address the mischarge – which is 12 days after the 1 month trial.

 

UNETHICAL SERVICE

 

DB’s refusal to provide me a refund rests on its policy that my request came 12 days after its 1 month trial period. However, at NO time was I informed that I was being billed $799.50 – either during time of purchase or any time afterwards. In short, I had no idea I was being overcharged, and therefore did not know I had reason to cancel my subscription during the trial period.

 

Why does DB not send out email confirmations of purchased services and cost, or an email reminder that the trial period is ending for a service (and its cost)? It feels as if DB has arranged its communication strategy to deceive unsuspecting customers. It is unscrupulous that DB does not refund me for services not intended or used due to its misrepresentation and miscommunication.

                        

MISREPRESENTATION

 

Part of the problem seems to be that I am being charged for 5 licenses, but when I purchased the standard plan, the DB webpage indicated that it would cost $150. From reading complaints in this forum and elsewhere online, it seems that a DB standard plan is a minimum of 3 licenses at $450 total.

 

This is not apparent in the customer interface online when upgrading an existing DB account to the standard plan. A brief search on the internet reveals that my experience is not unique. There are numerous complaints from DB customers who, like myself, have been over- charged for service not intended or used, i.e. multiple licenses. For example, in addition this very DB forum, the website of the Better Business Bureau has an assortment of complaints of the same nature.

 

DB needs to improve its website customer interface and communication, rather than mischarge and penalize unsuspecting customers.

 

UNACCOUNTABLE CUSUTOMER SERVICE

 

The lack of direct telephone assistance from DB for billing disputes further amplifies the situation, as if DB has designed customer service to be exceedingly convoluted to discourage follow-up with disputes. As one person in this community expressed in a related post, hours of email back and forth could more efficiently be resolved in 5 minutes on the phone.

 

When one finally does get customer service, it seems to prioritize corporate profit over customer satisfaction. Let me illustrate with a couple examples from my experience…

 

1. When I pointed out to DB customer service that I was not informed of my credit card charges in a timely manner to cancel my subscription, they simply did not respond to this part of my dispute. Instead, I was told that my payment details are available through the DB webpage for my account at any time; however, I did not know that I needed to or how to navigate the DB website to check my payment details, (which requires several un-user -intuitive clicks to reach).

 

2. Customer service responded to my dispute by focusing on a screenshot I took on Oct 3 to illustrate the website interface and how it can mislead customers such as myself because it shows the cost for a standard plan to be $150. However, customer service did not acknowledge this, but instead pointed out that at the bottom a billed total appears of $799.50. What? This appears simply because I accessed the plan while still logged into my DB account, and it only reflect that the screenshot was taken on Oct 3, after my account was already mischarged this amount. Maybe I am missing something, (which could be addressed if phone customer services available), but it feels as if DB is deceivingly sidelining the points I am making by distracting on non-relevant points it creates.

 

PROFIT OVER SERVICE

 

DB’s Terms of Service states, “We want to address your concerns without needing a formal legal case.” However, this clearly has not been my experience. Maybe if I was a large business with the resources for legal counsel DB would respond differently, but from its response to my dispute, DB actions reflect that it prioritizes profit over customer service and satisfaction, even to the degree of unscrupulous behavior.

 

I welcome any advice you may have for me and my predicament.

1 Accepted solution

Accepted Solutions
Solution
SGC
Level 6

Re: Unscrupulous refund policy and customer service - #2

I have received notice from DB that they have decided to refund my subscription. I am very thankful for this, but it has been quite an ordeal, expending much more time and energy than I think necessary. I do hope in the future that DB will reconsider its communication to subscribing customers and its follow-up customer service to avoid such bad experiences as my own. 

11 Replies
Super User II

Re: Unscrupulous refund policy and customer service

As soon as you start the trial process, the default user count that you're subscribing to is listed, as is the total that you will be billed at the end of the trial period.

 

fb1ce85ee19c07c330ac683595c1c9ab.png

 

 

Also, should you try to set the user count to 1, you'll see that there is a minimum number of user licenses on Business packages.

 

2cfe3c3e21b958946665fef0c2fff920.png

 


SGC
Level 6

Re: Unscrupulous refund policy and customer service

Thank you, Rich, for your prompt response.

 

I was not presented the screenshots you kindly took the time to share.  I am unable to view what I was presented in August by the DB webpage interface at this stage, and I did know that I needed to take screenshots at that time when I placed the order.

 

I do know that I would not have subscribed for a plan that was above the $150 that was presented to me. I compared the DB plan with other online storage services (Google, OneDrive, Amazon) which were all lower in cost for what I needed, and would have simply gone with them if I knew that it would cost me more than the already relatively expensive DB price of $150 annual. I went with Dropbox because I believed the customer service would be superior.

 

As I took the time to express in my initial post, from reviewing other complaints, the interface is not intuitive and I am not alone in my predicament. Regardless of how one interprets why my subscription was mistakenly billed at $799.50 at the time it was placed, as I also posted, I received no communication from DB afterwards to my email registered with my DB account, which would have allowed me to spot the problem and cancel my account within the DP 1 month trial for a service. Because I did not know I was being over-billed, I had did not know I had reason to cancel my subscription during the trial period for a service I did not know I had or was paying for.

Super User II

Re: Unscrupulous refund policy and customer service

The screenshots Rich has posted have been the same for quite awhile now (with the exception of the addition of the 'who is using...' tabs).

Those pages have always, repeatedly, made it exceptionally clear what you are charged for and when. There is no mistake on the billing from Dropbox side I'm afraid only yours.

All I can suggest is speaking to support if you havent already. However, the T&C's you've agreed to when joining do state no refunds.

May I also suggest you make sure that you have disabled auto-renewal as if not you will be billed again next year.

 


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SGC
Level 6

Re: Unscrupulous refund policy and customer service

Thank you for your response Mark –

 

I have spoken to support – refer to my summary of customer service (or lack of) in my initial post for my frustrating experience.

 

DB has informed me that they have disabled auto-renewal so I do not get billed again next year.  

 

Regarding the source of the mistake, one can differ about what was presented to me at the time the subscription was place, and whether it was due to my or DB negligence. I would not have ordered a service 4 times the $150 I thought it would have cost and that is presented to the user when they sign up. Period. Refer to my post that I am not alone in this experience based on the numerous other people complaining about or disputing this with DB.

 

Regardless of the cause of the mistake, and that it does occur with customers, why does DB not send an email confirmation of the purchase, or an email reminder that the 1 month trial is expiring and state the billing cost? I refer to my points in my initial post.

 

I think it is generally understood that most people (including myself) do not read through all the fine print in T&Cs. However, maybe the T&Cs and how they are used should be reconsidered, especially when used unfairly, prioritizing profit over principle and customer service.  Again, I refer you to my initial post.

Level 2

Re: Unscrupulous refund policy and customer service

Hi,

I too did not see that I had to have the min amount of users when I signed up and I am in Financial services for over 30 years.. but I took a monthly payment.

Drop box refund this person.

If they do not refund you, you can always charge it back...that is a lot of money for some
SGC
Level 6

Re: Unscrupulous refund policy and customer service

Thank you Karen. It is a lot of money. It would be one thing if it were a percentage of the amount I thought I was paying. It is another when it is over 4 times the amount. I work as a senior evaluation officer in social programming and my job requires me to pay attention to details, but I am still left scratching my head as to howI could have signed up for a plan that is so much more than what I expected to pay. 

SGC
Level 6

Unscrupulous refund policy and customer service - #2

On Friday, Oct 6, I made the post pasted below. I see it has since been "accepted as a solution," but this is NOT the case. Therefore, I am posting again. I also see in the ticket that I filed with DB Support that it has recorded my issue as solved, which is also NOT the case from my perspective.

 

One person responded to my initial post that she too did not see the minimum amount of users when she signed up, and that she is in financial services for over 30 years. She advocated that DB should give me a refund.

 

I agree - It would be one thing if it were a percentage of the amount I thought I was paying. It is another when it is over 4 times the amount. I work as a senior evaluation officer in social programming and my job requires me to pay attention to details, but I am still left scratching my head as to how I could have signed up for a plan that is so much more than what I expected to pay.

 

A colleague at my workplace suggested that I point out to DB that my activity history with the subscription will show that there has been no activity in the team folder or with other licenses, substantiating that I was only intending to upgrade my storage capacity and not additional licenses. I have done this, but have had no reply.

 

I have also posted my predicament to the DB Facebook site, who said they will have a look into the case, but I have not heard anything in response.

 

It is really incredulous to me that DB is insisting on adhering to a policy when there was clearly a misunderstanding, exacerbated by lack of communication regarding the cost of the subscription, as I take the time to explain in my intial post (below). I should not need to pay $799.50 for services I will not use, with the understanding that it would only be costing me $150. I deserve a refund – any suggestions or support from this community would be more than welcome.

 

ORIGINAL POST – OCT 6

 

On August 20, I upgraded my personal Dropbox (DB) account to a business account, with the understanding from the DB webpage interface that it would cost $150 year ($12.50 monthly). However, I discovered that I was being charged $799.50 when I reviewed my credit card statement at the end of September. Furthermore, DB refuses to refund me, because I did not cancel within a 1 month trial period, even when I was NOT informed that I was being charged more than 4 times what I was expected. I am posting in this online community for support.

 

I am an individual user of DB, and with the birth of our first child this year, I decided to upgrade my existing account to the standard business plan for the 2 TB of storage for all of our family pictures and videos. My credit card statement is only posted in the latter half of the following month (Sept) in which this purchase was made, and as I travel for my job and am only able to review my financial transactions at the end of the month. When I saw the mischarge, I contacted DB the first working day of October to address the mischarge – which is 12 days after the 1 month trial.

 

UNETHICAL SERVICE

 

DB’s refusal to provide me a refund rests on its policy that my request came 12 days after its 1 month trial period. However, at NO time was I informed that I was being billed $799.50 – either during time of purchase or any time afterwards. In short, I had no idea I was being overcharged, and therefore did not know I had reason to cancel my subscription during the trial period.

 

Why does DB not send out email confirmations of purchased services and cost, or an email reminder that the trial period is ending for a service (and its cost)? It feels as if DB has arranged its communication strategy to deceive unsuspecting customers. It is unscrupulous that DB does not refund me for services not intended or used due to its misrepresentation and miscommunication.

                        

MISREPRESENTATION

 

Part of the problem seems to be that I am being charged for 5 licenses, but when I purchased the standard plan, the DB webpage indicated that it would cost $150. From reading complaints in this forum and elsewhere online, it seems that a DB standard plan is a minimum of 3 licenses at $450 total.

 

This is not apparent in the customer interface online when upgrading an existing DB account to the standard plan. A brief search on the internet reveals that my experience is not unique. There are numerous complaints from DB customers who, like myself, have been over- charged for service not intended or used, i.e. multiple licenses. For example, in addition this very DB forum, the website of the Better Business Bureau has an assortment of complaints of the same nature.

 

DB needs to improve its website customer interface and communication, rather than mischarge and penalize unsuspecting customers.

 

UNACCOUNTABLE CUSUTOMER SERVICE

 

The lack of direct telephone assistance from DB for billing disputes further amplifies the situation, as if DB has designed customer service to be exceedingly convoluted to discourage follow-up with disputes. As one person in this community expressed in a related post, hours of email back and forth could more efficiently be resolved in 5 minutes on the phone.

 

When one finally does get customer service, it seems to prioritize corporate profit over customer satisfaction. Let me illustrate with a couple examples from my experience…

 

  1. When I pointed out to DB customer service that I was not informed of my credit card charges in a timely manner to cancel my subscription, they simply did not respond to this part of my dispute. Instead, I was told that my payment details are available through the DB webpage for my account at any time; however, I did not know that I needed to or how to navigate the DB website to check my payment details, (which requires several un-user -intuitive clicks to reach).

 

  1. Customer service responded to my dispute by focusing on a screenshot I took on Oct 3 to illustrate the website interface and how it can mislead customers such as myself because it shows the cost for a standard plan to be $150. However, customer service did not acknowledge this, but instead pointed out that at the bottom a billed total appears of $799.50. What? This appears simply because I accessed the plan while still logged into my DB account, and it only reflect that the screenshot was taken on Oct 3, after my account was already mischarged this amount. Maybe I am missing something, (which could be addressed if phone customer services available), but it feels as if DB is deceivingly sidelining the points I am making by distracting on non-relevant points it creates.

 

PROFIT OVER SERVICE

 

DB’s Terms of Service states, “We want to address your concerns without needing a formal legal case.” However, this clearly has not been my experience. Maybe if I was a large business with the resources for legal counsel DB would respond differently, but from its response to my dispute, DB actions reflect that it prioritizes profit over customer service and satisfaction, even to the degree of unscrupulous behavior.

 

I welcome any advice you may have for me and my predicament.

 

Dropboxer

Re: Unscrupulous refund policy and customer service - #2

Looking into this issue and expect to resolve your issue shortly.  Apologies for your having to raise it again. 

 

Also, can I have permission to contact you directly at the email associated to your Dropbox account?

 

 

 

SGC
Level 6

Re: Unscrupulous refund policy and customer service - #2

Thank you for your reply, Rob. You can contact me directly using my email.