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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

Perhaps auto-renewal is best. Imagine all the people who would forget  to renew automatically if this were an option...and they log in one day to find all their prims returned :( Because that's what happens when you abandon land or downgrade -- all your inworld stuff poofs. 
So maybe it is best to have auto-renew as the fixed state. But only if one could cancel that within a day or 2 and get a full refund just in case someone forgot renewal was coming up.

Of course that could have been easily handled by a checkbox if anyone had thought about that during the system design...

Edited by Fionalein
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On 7/22/2019 at 8:49 AM, Marianne Little said:

How long can one wait with the downgrade, if they will have the benefits as long as possible? The day before the renewal? Three days prior? One week?

I have downgraded the day before the renewal and it works just fine.  

 

 

 

1 hour ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

So, they downgrade land privileges at the time that you signal that you are downgrading because the system can't do it automatically when your "paid for" Premium time lapses? Am I understanding you correctly?

I had wondered if there were not some reason why a Premium subscriber would want to immediately lose land or tier entitlement -- such as something to do with a tier donation to group, or some other responsibility associated with tier and land. I can't think what that might be, but it seemed to me at least possible that some residents downgrade early not simply to prevent a renewal, but for other reasons that might involve this particular peculiarity.

As someone mentioned, my guess is that the back-end system cannot easily remove your tier from groups, reclaim you lands, etc... on the day that your Premium would actually end, so the land related stuff has to be given up when you do the request.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Fionalein said:
2 hours ago, Luna Bliss said:

Perhaps auto-renewal is best. Imagine all the people who would forget  to renew automatically if this were an option...and they log in one day to find all their prims returned :( Because that's what happens when you abandon land or downgrade -- all your inworld stuff poofs. 
So maybe it is best to have auto-renew as the fixed state. But only if one could cancel that within a day or 2 and get a full refund just in case someone forgot renewal was coming up.

Of course that could have been easily handled by a checkbox if anyone had thought about that during the system design...

If you have the option to decline auto-renew with a checkbox when enrolling it's too easy to forget about it and have all your stuff poof one day. Much of the time I can't keep track of things from last month, much less a year ago...especially with all the subscriptions and enrollments. So when signing up I'd probably check that I didn't want auto-renewal as I actually hate auto-renewals, and then be surprised when it expired along with all my prims being returned.  I don't know if emails warn when a Premium renewal is coming up, but no good for me anyway as emails from SL are hit and miss.

Edited by Luna Bliss
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Some things in life you have to cancel pretty much when the current period expires.  If you got a great deal for switching some service to company ABC, but had to stay with them for a year and at the end of the year your rate would double, you still likely couldn't call them up 4-6 weeks ahead of time and say "I want to keep all current services, but want you to cancel my service effective the date that the current contract expires".  Most service companies will only cancel the service effective the day you actually request it. 

LL lets you request it early and they continue to pay you L$300 per week and give you most of your other benefits, but they do require that you relinquish anything land related at the time of the request.

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On 7/23/2019 at 12:01 AM, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Um. Because I noted that you were "careless" for not checking out what was actually involved in downgrading before doing it?

And you weren't?

No, I don't feel "superior": I could imagine myself making precisely the same error. And if I did, I too would be "careless." The point of saying so was not to "put you in your place," but rather to point out that it put you at a disadvantage should you appeal to LL about this. But, really, whatever.

Best of luck, and I hope you're able to resolve this in a satisfactory way.

 

I have to admit, that was a bit funny. :) Because when I read your initial reply to her, I thought "Wow, another one of Scylla's balanced, awesome responses! Wish I could be so eloquent!" So, yeah, funny how ppl can interpret things entirely differently. Reminds me of a renowned Dutch chessplayer/journalist, who had interviewed many players at tournaments (and all the usual drama that comes with it), who said "Most ppl tend to be entirely reasonable... except when it concerns their own conflict." :) 

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5 hours ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Out of curiosity, what might the justification for removing some of the privileges associated with full Premium status before the end of the payment period be?

I don't mean the cynical "cuz they can save money" answer. There must be some kind of reasoning behind this, even if it is specious.

 

Can't say I fully get it either. Yes, there might be a fine-print, in this particular case, but let's just say it nonetheless feels counter-intuitive to me. Every service I've ever canceled, invariably winds up with me being able to continue using the service, in full, until payment runs out. Like if I cancel a yearly magazine subscription, I expect to receive said magazine until the renewal date is up (at which point I won't be charged any more, as I, you know, canceled).  So, feeling 'entitled' might actually be appropriate here. :) 

One could argue you don't cancel, but downgrade; but that's just semantic, of course (as, legally, you simply cancel your Premium subscription, causing you to fall back to Basic when your payment expires).

So, yeah, really curious what prompts LL to revoke your (paid for) privileges beforehand, when, de facto, all you really did, is say "I do not wish to renew the service."

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The only thing being revoked is the holding of non island land - which happens to include Linden Homes. At least, the only thing being griped about with this thread at any rate.

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1 hour ago, kiramanell said:

 

I have to admit, that was a bit funny. :) Because when I read your initial reply to her, I thought "Wow, another one of Scylla's balanced, awesome responses! Wish I could be so eloquent!" So, yeah, funny how ppl can interpret things entirely differently. Reminds me of a renowned Dutch chessplayer/journalist, who had interviewed many players at tournaments (and all the usual drama that comes with it), who said "Most ppl tend to be entirely reasonable... except when it concerns their own conflict." :) 

Lol. Thanks Kira. Tone is hard, and I certainly don't always get it right. And if you're new to the forums, it can be difficult to interpret tone in responses too, I think.

On the plus side, I don't think I've ever been criticized in the same breath, and for the same reason, as Solar, so I can check that one off my bucket list! And we did get the amusing fruit-themed redactions!

45 minutes ago, kiramanell said:

 

Can't say I fully get it either. Yes, there might be a fine-print, in this particular case, but let's just say it nonetheless feels counter-intuitive to me. Every service I've ever canceled, invariably winds up with me being able to continue using the service, in full, until payment runs out. Like if I cancel a yearly magazine subscription, I expect to receive said magazine until the renewal date is up (at which point I won't be charged any more, as I, you know, canceled).  So, feeling 'entitled' might actually be appropriate here. :) 

One could argue you don't cancel, but downgrade; but that's just semantic, of course (as, legally, you simply cancel your Premium subscription, causing you to fall back to Basic when your payment expires).

So, yeah, really curious what prompts LL to revoke your (paid for) privileges beforehand, when, de facto, all you really did, is say "I do not wish to renew the service."

I've never been Premium, so I've never downgraded; as a result, I don't know what the prompts look like when you do that. But, if it isn't made pretty clear that you're losing that one particular benefit, I could certainly imaging just assuming that I would have it until my paid-for period ended. In any case, it seems to me somewhat understandable, even if avoidable, that someone might make that error?

The fact that it is just the one benefit being lost certainly suggests that there is a justification for it, other than LL being money-grubbing. Were that the case, I suppose you'd lose your stipend too? The "technical explanation" sounds as reasonable as any.

 

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That Knowledge Base quote getting a lot of work here,

Quote

Note: When you cancel your account, it remains active until the end of your payment period. You may still log in and use Second Life during this time. For instance, if you buy a yearly Second Life membership and cancel it the next day, you are still be treated as a premium member for the next year!

is weird in a few ways, not least of which is the fact that the section is not talking about downgrading from Premium to Basic (aka "cancelling" the Premium subscription). Rather, it's talking about still getting billed for land after cancelling the whole account, which it warns against earlier in the article:

Quote

Tip: If you want to keep your name, avatar, and inventory for possible future use but don't want to pay the reactivation fee, you can downgrade to a free basic account instead of canceling your account altogether.

A second weirdness is the "for instance..." isn't actually an example of the thing in the preceding sentence that it's supposed to exemplify. The "cancel" in that sentence seems to be about a "yearly Second Life membership" which presumably is the same as downgrading the account, but the preceding sentence (and context in the article) is about being able to "log in and use Second Life" -- so cancellation of the whole account, not only the Premium subscription.

Finally, putting on my Grammar Police cap, there's another weirdness: "... are still be treated..." is a whole new verb tense in English. Probably an editing error, which fits with the confused "for instance" example: this section of the article has had the coherence edited out of it.

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9 hours ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Out of curiosity, what might the justification for removing some of the privileges associated with full Premium status before the end of the payment period be?

I don't mean the cynical "cuz they can save money" answer. There must be some kind of reasoning behind this, even if it is specious.

The only thing that is removed is the ability to own mainland or a Lnden Home.  If you own mainland or a LH at the time you decide you want to downgrade, you are not able to do the downgrade until you either sell/abandon your mainland parcel, or you abandon your LH. 

As to why, can you imagine the posts we'd see here in the forums if they didn't have that requirement and behavior?  What if someone owned 8192 sqm of mainland, was able to keep it when they downgraded, but forgot to sell or abandon it before their downgraded premium membership ran out.  If the day after their downgraded premium membership expired, LL returned all their items from the land and took the land back from them, people would be upset and calling it unfair that they didn't have a chance to sell the land or pick their things up for some 'grace period' after the downgraded premium expired.  

However, if one downgrades and then wished to own land or a LH after all, it's just a call to Live Chat or a support ticket to get the pending downgrade removed and full premium reinstated.  If you use Live Chat during the hours they are available, it's only takes a couple of minutes to change back.

It just seems clearer all the way around, in my opinion, to have the land relinquished before you can downgrade, and have all the other benefits for the remainder of the paid term. 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Solar Legion said:

Then sue them. Get an actual court to agree with your interpretation.

Until then, you're not going to get anywhere with your assertions - not with me and likely not with those who think similarly.

Based solely on the text presented as well as the way Linden Lab has operated thus far, your assumptions and assertions are based on your personal interpretation of the policies and information rather than what is actually written and presented.

Have fun with that tree Alwin.

Actually it would be illegal in Australia too not just in the EU and called anti-consumer. If someone pays for a product based on the assumption of a years or month worth of time as indicated by the yearly/monthly Subscription offered by Linden Lab and cancelled, Linden Lab would be required by law to meet the obligations of all subscription inclusions until the paid for time expires irrespective of whether it is called a downgrade or cancel of renewal.

This would also be irrespective of what is included in the ToS which I would dare say, in most countries (I can only speak for Australia), the point about loosing something you paid a year for would be probably considered an illegal term within the ToS due to its anti-consumer nature. To be honest even when I had a subscription I didn't even know that the house gets removed as well upon downgrade.

As far as legal matters go, it would be a major issue with Linden Lab if in Australia the ACCC found out about this as they would get a court case and a hefty fine for anti-consumer practises. Just ask Apple and Steam about their multi-million dollar fines for thinking USA law applies to EU and Australia.

Edited by Drayke Newall
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1 hour ago, Drayke Newall said:

Actually it would be illegal in Australia too not just in the EU and called anti-consumer. If someone pays for a product based on the assumption of a years or month worth of time as indicated by the yearly/monthly Subscription offered by Linden Lab and cancelled, Linden Lab would be required by law to meet the obligations of all subscription inclusions until the paid for time expires irrespective of whether it is called a downgrade or cancel of renewal.

This would also be irrespective of what is included in the ToS which I would dare say, in most countries (I can only speak for Australia), the point about loosing something you paid a year for would be probably considered an illegal term within the ToS due to its anti-consumer nature. To be honest even when I had a subscription I didn't even know that the house gets removed as well upon downgrade.

As far as legal matters go, it would be a major issue with Linden Lab if in Australia the ACCC found out about this as they would get a court case and a hefty fine for anti-consumer practises. Just ask Apple and Steam about their multi-million dollar fines for thinking USA law applies to EU and Australia.

 

Why, it would appear we actually agree here. :) 

In Dutch Civil Law, certain aspects of a TOS can be nullified because the stipulation is deemed 'unreasonably onerous' to the consumer. To that end, the Law actually enumerates a 'black list' (6:236 BW) and a 'grey list' (6:237 BW). Obviously, stuff on the 'black list' is right out. Revoking paid for services (prior to your payment running out) would be covered by 'black list' item 6:236a BW, which (loosely translated) says you cannot revoke the consumer's right to hold you to your 'performance' (prestatie) in accordance with the agreed to obligation.

So, it doesn't matter what they put in a TOS (even if you 'agreed' to it): a stipulation which says you can no longer claim what you already paid for (in this case, simply because you chose not to renew your subscription), as a matter of statutory law, is simply nullifiable.

I don't think that many ppl would actually take LL to Court over it. But I'm fair certain LL would be on shaky legal ground, in many member states of the EU, if they did.

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7 minutes ago, kiramanell said:

 

Why, it would appear we actually agree here. :) 

In Dutch Civil Law, certain aspects of a TOS can be nullified because the stipulation is deemed 'unreasonably onerous' to the consumer. To that end, the Law actually enumerates a 'black list' (6:236 BW) and a 'grey list' (6:237 BW). Obviously, stuff on the 'black list' is right out. Revoking paid for services (prior to your payment running out) would be covered by 'black list' item 6:236a BW, which (loosely translated) says you cannot revoke the consumer's right to hold you to your 'performance' (prestatie) in accordance with the agreed to obligation.

So, it doesn't matter what they put in a TOS (even if you 'agreed' to it): a stipulation which says you can no longer claim what you already paid for (in this case, simply because you chose not to renew your subscription), as a matter of statutory law, is simply nullifiable.

I don't think that many ppl would actually take LL to Court over it. But I'm fair certain LL would be on shaky legal ground, in many member states of the EU, if they did.

Thanks for that explanation. Certainly is interesting seeing other countries perspectives on ToS's. I'm not sure what it is like in the EU as a whole, but here in Australia it doesn't necessarily require an individual to take a company to court. The ACCC is a government owned body whereby all a consumer needs to do is report the actions to them. They as the government body will then act if they see issue on behalf of the consumer and take the company to court instead. They can also act on their own as well. I would take it the EU is the same.

This is also why Steam now offers refunds. Their 2 hour play refund policy was implemented a few months after a court case with the ACCC whereby they were sued due to their ToS declaring no refunds despite Australian law guaranteeing it a necessity. Whilst the 2 hour refund is relevant for other countries, this wasn't enough for Australia and therefore we have a separate refund policy whereby the 2 hour play doesn't exist, so long as the game doesn't perform as expected a refund must be given.

Same with Apple insisting their products have to be repaired by Apple. ACCC over ruled this and here anyone can repair a iPhone or the like if they can do the repairs.

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3 hours ago, moirakathleen said:

The only thing that is removed is the ability to own mainland or a Lnden Home.  If you own mainland or a LH at the time you decide you want to downgrade, you are not able to do the downgrade until you either sell/abandon your mainland parcel, or you abandon your LH. 

As to why, can you imagine the posts we'd see here in the forums if they didn't have that requirement and behavior?  What if someone owned 8192 sqm of mainland, was able to keep it when they downgraded, but forgot to sell or abandon it before their downgraded premium membership ran out.  If the day after their downgraded premium membership expired, LL returned all their items from the land and took the land back from them, people would be upset and calling it unfair that they didn't have a chance to sell the land or pick their things up for some 'grace period' after the downgraded premium expired.

 

Well, if I let my Homestead expire, I will get kicked out. I have a decent Landlord (one of the Anshe Chung subsidiaries), so they would send me an eviction notice, a few days prior to it; and I think you even get a 2-day grace period, in which you can no longer enter your sim, but can still pay when in arears, without having your stuff returned already, but essentially so, yes: if you snooze, you lose. :) And you'll wind up with your stuffz in 'Lost & Found'. That's entirely normal and reasonable. And pretty much what would happen in RL. What would assuredly NOT be normal, is if I lost access to my land, the moment I went to the rental box and pressed 'Do not renew.' I would feel defrauded even (especially if I had several weeks left on the meter).

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10 hours ago, moirakathleen said:

The only thing that is removed is the ability to own mainland or a Lnden Home.  If you own mainland or a LH at the time you decide you want to downgrade, you are not able to do the downgrade until you either sell/abandon your mainland parcel, or you abandon your LH. 

As to why, can you imagine the posts we'd see here in the forums if they didn't have that requirement and behavior?  What if someone owned 8192 sqm of mainland, was able to keep it when they downgraded, but forgot to sell or abandon it before their downgraded premium membership ran out.  If the day after their downgraded premium membership expired, LL returned all their items from the land and took the land back from them, people would be upset and calling it unfair that they didn't have a chance to sell the land or pick their things up for some 'grace period' after the downgraded premium expired.  

However, if one downgrades and then wished to own land or a LH after all, it's just a call to Live Chat or a support ticket to get the pending downgrade removed and full premium reinstated.  If you use Live Chat during the hours they are available, it's only takes a couple of minutes to change back.

It just seems clearer all the way around, in my opinion, to have the land relinquished before you can downgrade, and have all the other benefits for the remainder of the paid term. 

Thanks for this!

This seems to me a more logical reason and/or justification for this particular feature of downgrading than the technical explanation -- although it seems possible that both are in play here. I can't imagine that it's impossible to add the code that delays the withdrawal of one's right to own mainland (or a LH), but it might be more trouble that LL thinks it's worth.

One thing that strikes me about both explanations is that both have more to do with LL's convenience than with that of their residents. A more resident-friendly solution would be something like Kira describes above in relation to rentals, with warnings and reminders issued at, say, 10 days and 5 days. But I recognize that rentals are not the same as "owning" mainland, and that there's a big difference in scale as well.

And, of course, as someone will no doubt pop up to remind me, "their world, their rules," people should inform themselves, there's nothing we can do about it, we are at war with Eurasia, we've always been at war with Eurasia, blah blah blah blah.

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Qie Niangao said:

That Knowledge Base quote getting a lot of work here,

is weird in a few ways, not least of which is the fact that the section is not talking about downgrading from Premium to Basic (aka "cancelling" the Premium subscription). Rather, it's talking about still getting billed for land after cancelling the whole account, which it warns against earlier in the article:

A second weirdness is the "for instance..." isn't actually an example of the thing in the preceding sentence that it's supposed to exemplify. The "cancel" in that sentence seems to be about a "yearly Second Life membership" which presumably is the same as downgrading the account, but the preceding sentence (and context in the article) is about being able to "log in and use Second Life" -- so cancellation of the whole account, not only the Premium subscription.

Finally, putting on my Grammar Police cap, there's another weirdness: "... are still be treated..." is a whole new verb tense in English. Probably an editing error, which fits with the confused "for instance" example: this section of the article has had the coherence edited out of it.

Wow. Thanks for digging deeper into this Qie. The text is indeed confusing and contradictory -- making it at least a little more understandable that people should not always grasp the full implications of their choice with regard to downgrading. This sentence, which is (as you note) confusing because the apparent context, seems to me to be almost designed to create ambiguity:

Quote

For instance, if you buy a yearly Second Life membership and cancel it the next day, you are still be treated as a premium member for the next year!

I love dear old LL, but OMG they really should hire a team to take charge of the whole communications side of their operation. Poor Grumpity and Patch can't do everything.

Edited by Scylla Rhiadra
Diction diction diction diction. Cuz I'm auditioning to be head of LL's new "Communications Team"
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4 minutes ago, Solar Legion said:

Hmm, now where is a sigh reaction when I need it ...

When are you going to make cookies again? You're a lot more fun when you're making cookies.

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Just now, Scylla Rhiadra said:

When are you going to make cookies again? You're a lot more fun when you're making cookies.

Likely the next time my SO visits as when she's around I do not feel nearly as stressed out s I do on a day to day basis.

Let's just say that I worry a fair bit and have a fair bit on my plate here - likely not as much as some using Second Life or posting on the forum but it does wear one down over time.

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1 minute ago, Solar Legion said:

Likely the next time my SO visits as when she's around I do not feel nearly as stressed out s I do on a day to day basis.

Let's just say that I worry a fair bit and have a fair bit on my plate here - likely not as much as some using Second Life or posting on the forum but it does wear one down over time.

I'm genuinely sorry to hear that, Solar. Deep breaths, and keep yourself happy and balanced as best you can.

And let me know when the cookies are coming out of the oven.

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On 7/25/2019 at 1:33 AM, kiramanell said:

 

Why, it would appear we actually agree here. :) 

In Dutch Civil Law, certain aspects of a TOS can be nullified because the stipulation is deemed 'unreasonably onerous' to the consumer. To that end, the Law actually enumerates a 'black list' (6:236 BW) and a 'grey list' (6:237 BW). Obviously, stuff on the 'black list' is right out. Revoking paid for services (prior to your payment running out) would be covered by 'black list' item 6:236a BW, which (loosely translated) says you cannot revoke the consumer's right to hold you to your 'performance' (prestatie) in accordance with the agreed to obligation.

So, it doesn't matter what they put in a TOS (even if you 'agreed' to it): a stipulation which says you can no longer claim what you already paid for (in this case, simply because you chose not to renew your subscription), as a matter of statutory law, is simply nullifiable.

 

But in this case it wasn't a matter of "not renewing the subscription", but one of actively cancelling the membership that the benefits were part of. And strictly speaking, since it was cancelled only a short time before the subscription ended the payment for the actual time used based on rates necessary to be a member for exactly that period of time would have been more than the annual fee.

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30 minutes ago, Theresa Tennyson said:

But in this case it wasn't a matter of "not renewing the subscription", but one of actively cancelling the membership that the benefits were part of.

This is a little disingenuous, surely? Is not renewal automatic unless you "actively cancel"? As the subscription service does not make that option available to you, it would be more than a little sleazy of them to claim that you chose the wrong option from an non-existent set of choices.

 

32 minutes ago, Theresa Tennyson said:

And strictly speaking, since it was cancelled only a short time before the subscription ended the payment for the actual time used based on rates necessary to be a member for exactly that period of time would have been more than the annual fee.

Also disingenuous: the resident didn't sign up for a shorter period of time (with the accompanying higher rate). AND, as others have noted here, the other benefits that she enjoys still continue, so not even LL thinks of it in this way.

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37 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

This is a little disingenuous, surely? Is not renewal automatic unless you "actively cancel"? As the subscription service does not make that option available to you, it would be more than a little sleazy of them to claim that you chose the wrong option from an non-existent set of choices.

 

Also disingenuous: the resident didn't sign up for a shorter period of time (with the accompanying higher rate). AND, as others have noted here, the other benefits that she enjoys still continue, so not even LL thinks of it in this way.

My basic problem with this is the OP's wanting a benefit (the house) after they downgraded. Yes, it would be better if there was a system to say, "I want to downgrade at such and such a time in the future," but since there isn't they should have waited to downgrade until after they decided they no longer wanted the benefits. It's also a response for people saying there are legal aspects which aren't as clear as they are describing.

As far as the payment issue, it was addressed to the people saying that a "refund is due." The reason for the annual rate being lower than the sum of the monthly rates is that it's meant to run for that full period of time. That's pretty standard for time-based contracts.

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23 minutes ago, Theresa Tennyson said:

My basic problem with this is the OP's wanting a benefit (the house) after they downgraded.

 

Imagine you canceled your newspaper subscription (assuming, for argument's sake, you pay, say, quarterly), and then, the very next day you woudn't receive your newspaper any more. In all honestly, wouldn't you be a teensy bit upset if someone then told you, "But you didn't say 'I want to downgrade at such and such a time in the future'"?!

"The reason for the annual rate being lower than the sum of the monthly rates is that it's meant to run for that full period of time. That's pretty standard for time-based contracts."

Zactly! So, let the service continue until your last payment runs out. 😍 As per what ppl paid for.
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1 minute ago, kiramanell said:

 

Imagine you canceled your newspaper subscription (assuming, for argument's sake, you pay, say, quarterly), and then, the very next day you woudn't receive your newspaper any more. In all honestly, wouldn't you be a teensy bit upset if someone then told you, "But you didn't say 'I want to downgrade at such and such a time in the future'"?!

Speaking personally, I'd be upset if I kept getting sent things I didn't want.

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