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Flobikes “scam”?

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Flobikes “scam”?

Old 09-01-20, 07:46 AM
  #1  
Jno
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Flobikes “scam”?

Be warned! I am in Canada and one of the companies providing coverage of the Tour de France is Flobikes. They are referenced in lots of the bike mags and sites and their site had three inducements to subscribe: 7 day free trial; $12.50 per month rate; cancel anytime. When I subscribed, it asked for credit card info; once registration was complete, the confirmation email said I had a full year subscription - $150 came off my card.

A casual search online confirms that they’ve been running this scam for a while, and BBB has disgruntled subscribers who describe the same experience. Of course it is my fault that I did not take the necessary steps to safeguard myself. I hope I can spare one or more of you from falling into a year long subscription to Flobikes.

Scam, part one: no free trial, and no mention of it once you complete the basic registration info.

Scam, part two: Their reply to my email inquiry said $150 is $12.50/month but billed yearly and it’s a one yr subscription.

Scam part three: Their reply email invited me to take advantage of an additional 30% discount but, if I wished, I could cancel any time. I did cancel, 48 hrs after joining. Turns out, my cancellation is effective as of the one yr anniversary of my subscription which means I also missed out on the chance to lessen the impact of the scam by 30%
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Old 09-01-20, 08:05 AM
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Man that is BS. I would be after someone's head for that.
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Old 09-01-20, 08:33 AM
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Paul Barnard
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Can't you do a charge back through your CC company?
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Old 09-01-20, 08:54 AM
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Find out the procedure to challenge the charge with your credit card. Mine has a form on back of the monthly bill for doing so. I've always paid in full, but challenged scams and the credit card company has always investigated and credited me the following month. Just make sure to detail the transaction as accurately as you can remember and or piece together by revisiting the site.
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Old 09-01-20, 08:58 AM
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Yeah you need to "dispute" that charge with your bank. Some bank apps allow you to do it right from your phone.
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Old 09-01-20, 09:07 AM
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When I looked over the offering it looked pretty clear to me that it was for the full year and the monthly option was not available for cycling thus paying $150 for the full year just to watch the tour seemed a bit rich. The issue Flo Cycling has is a vast majority of its potential customers are only interested in the Tour and would cancel after one month or even worse try the free trial then not subscribe. I tend to read the offering before I pay for online services especially if it looks too good to be true.

From the site:What are my options for subscription plans? Which verticals are yearly ONLY and which are yearly AND monthly?

Yearly ONLY subscriptions ($150.00/year):
  • FloBikes
  • FloGrappling
  • FloRacing
  • FloSoftball
  • FloWrestling
  • Dirt on Dirt
When you cancel your subscription, you will retain Pro access until the end of your billing period. During that time you will continue to have access to the entire FloSports network on the web and through our mobile and TV apps across 25+ sports. To see when your subscription will end, click Manage on the subscription page in account settings. You should see something similar to the image below:

Last edited by Atlas Shrugged; 09-01-20 at 09:14 AM.
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Old 09-01-20, 09:27 AM
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Jno
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Follow up

It is true that I assumed the Flobikes offer was structured exactly as every other one I’ve used: ie trial registration still requires card; monthly price implies monthly subscription; and, as far as I’m concerned, the most manipulative piece is declaring that one can cancel “any time”. If that only means I can advise them of my intention to cancel the subscription once it runs out, then I say, “no kidding? - you’ll permit me to eventually escape the service? That seems like a given.


And yes, I see that Flobikes doesn’t want people (like me) to watch for 3 weeks then cancel. I don’t know what difference that makes. Every company prefers people remain with them longer. That doesn’t give them licence to exploit the conventions of on-line subscription.

I have advised Mastercard. We’ll see.


Last edited by Jno; 09-01-20 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 09-01-20, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by velopig View Post
When I looked over the offering it looked pretty clear to me that it was for the full year and the monthly option was not available for cycling thus paying $150 for the full year just to watch the tour seemed a bit rich. The issue Flo Cycling has is a vast majority of its potential customers are only interested in the Tour and would cancel after one month or even worse try the free trial then not subscribe. I tend to read the offering before I pay for online services especially if it looks too good to be true.

From the site:What are my options for subscription plans? Which verticals are yearly ONLY and which are yearly AND monthly?

Yearly ONLY subscriptions ($150.00/year):
  • FloBikes
  • FloGrappling
  • FloRacing
  • FloSoftball
  • FloWrestling
  • Dirt on Dirt
When you cancel your subscription, you will retain Pro access until the end of your billing period. During that time you will continue to have access to the entire FloSports network on the web and through our mobile and TV apps across 25+ sports. To see when your subscription will end, click Manage on the subscription page in account settings. You should see something similar to the image below:
This sounds less like a scam and more like OP failing to read the fine print. Glad to know I have nothing to fear.
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Old 09-01-20, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Jno View Post
It is true that I assumed the Flobikes offer was structured exactly as every other one I’ve used: ie trial registration still requires card; monthly price implies monthly subscription; and, as far as I’m concerned, the most manipulative piece is declaring that one can cancel “any time”. If that only means I can advise them of my intention to cancel the subscription once it runs out, then I say, “no kidding? - you’ll permit me to eventually escape the service? That seems like a given.


And yes, I see that Flobikes doesn’t want people (like me) to watch for 3 weeks then cancel. I don’t know what difference that makes. Every company prefers people remain with them longer. That doesn’t give them licence to exploit the conventions of on-line subscription.

I have advised Mastercard. We’ll see.


That cancelation policy is a standard procedure for almost any subscription-based service. The one exception would be things like internet service type stuff. But for any sort of monthly web access service including every monthly fee based online game, once you pay for a period, it's yours. If you cancel, you don't get billed for anymore, but you don't receive any future charges, hopefully.
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Old 09-01-20, 12:29 PM
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Old 09-01-20, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Kiss my grits!
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Old 09-01-20, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Jno View Post
It is true that I assumed the Flobikes offer was structured exactly as every other one I’ve used: ie trial registration still requires card; monthly price implies monthly subscription; and, as far as I’m concerned, the most manipulative piece is declaring that one can cancel “any time”. If that only means I can advise them of my intention to cancel the subscription once it runs out, then I say, “no kidding? - you’ll permit me to eventually escape the service? That seems like a given.


And yes, I see that Flobikes doesn’t want people (like me) to watch for 3 weeks then cancel. I don’t know what difference that makes. Every company prefers people remain with them longer. That doesn’t give them licence to exploit the conventions of on-line subscription.

I have advised Mastercard. We’ll see.

Your objective was to exploit a perceived loophole to watch the Tour and when it did not work out even though the info was clearly available now your goal is to publicly shame the company with misleading information and extort a refund. Without FloBikes there would be no legal way to watch the Tour and other major races in Canada which would be a real shame.
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Old 09-01-20, 07:30 PM
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I've had flobikes (I'm in Canada) for several years. It's pretty good year round. You quickly realize that while the tour may be the biggest deal, it often isn't the most exciting race. There are lots of great races throughout the year.
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