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Candy's Agora

Just about anything under the gaming sun.

Author: candycoated

Which side are you on? Prepaid vs. Postpaid

Posted by candycoated Monday June 28 2010 at 10:15PM
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Convenience is always everybody’s game. That’s why as early as the 1920s, oil companies and hotel chains began issuing credit cards to their customers in the U.S. Credit cards revolutionized man’s way of living. Everything became fast-paced. It also uplifted security to men and to companies as well.
On the other hand, with the change that credit cards brought to mankind, also fed man’s nature to splurge in which companies would naturally really take advantage of. But when it comes to gaming subscription, how safe are the consumers? Are the consumers aware of the terms and conditions that they agreed upon signing up? Did they even bother reading those lengthy terms and conditions which also indicate that companies can change anytime they want?
One good example for this is an Xbox Live Gold membership. When a customer purchase an Xbox Live subscription Gold membership (whether 1-month,6-month,1 year subscription) using a credit card, he/she is not aware of Microsoft’s automatic membership renewal feature. Microsoft sends an email to their customers before their accounts are about to expire but most of the customers fail to read it. That’s why most of the customers are surprised to have their credit card charged for another subscription. I know most of you would say “Well, there’s always refund”. But NO, with some cases like a month subscription wouldn’t let you allow making a refund. Why? Because it would take time for them to process that with your bank. Now I ask, where’s the buyers’ protection? Shouldn’t companies tell you everything before you really make a purchase? But who can’t blame those big companies, $$$$$$$$ is all that matters.
Now the question is how we (buyers) can outsmart companies. Choose the alternative that companies are least likely to offer because with those choices, you get a good bargain. Similar to the example given above, there are always prepaid cards. Naturally the automatic subscription renewal won't work. I know, I know… that buying those cards from distributors will require much effort. But as the saying goes, (excuse me for sounding cliché) “No pain, no gain”.
On a final note, it’s always depends on what’s convenient for you. But a little knowledge won’t hurt you.
Nephaerius writes:

Or you could just check your email.

Mon Jun 28 2010 11:15PM Report
candycoated writes:

I understand your point but most of the subscribers are just kids who let their parents sign up for them. It's either the parents or the kid who forget the email they used. And most of the time parents forget about the subscription they did for their children after a long time.

And another good thing about prepaid cards, kids won't be able to purchase anything from the Xbox Live marketplace. Unlike with credit cards, kids have the liberty of downloading contents from the Marketplace.

Tue Jun 29 2010 12:54AM Report
Nephaerius writes:

"...most of the subscriber's are just kids who let their parents sign up for them."

What do you base that on?  I am not saying you are wrong, but it sounds like you are just making an assumption based on your own experience.  And if an adult signs up a child using their credit card, they should use their own email address so that they get the notification of renewal.  While this is probably not common sense to every parent, any one raised in the age of the internet should know better. 

For your children I think prepaid cards are a great idea.  You can even buy your Xbox live/mmo subscription in this fashion already.  Regardless of the method one uses to pay they should be aware that 99% of gaming subscriptions renew automatically unless you take some step to intervene (change the option, use only prepaid cards, check your email, whatever.)

As for me personally, I pay for my own subscriptions and I find the automatic renewal to be extremely convenient.

Tue Jun 29 2010 4:08PM Report
candycoated writes:

I totally respect your opinion. Let me quote what I've said before "On a final note, it’s always depends on what’s convenient for you."

And I would also like to clear things regarding making assumptions. Let's just say that I've been with them (the said company) for some time.

Thank you Nephaerius for sharing your insights.

Wed Jun 30 2010 7:32PM Report writes:
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