Streaming Service Customers BritBox, which specializes in British content, was unable to keep calm and move on after receiving a monthly bill of nearly $800.
Paul Sonnenberg subscribes to BritBox for his teenage daughter, who “really likes British television”. The monthly fee for the BBC and ITV-backed live streamer, launched in the US in 2017, is $6.99 per month. But in July, Sonnenberg was charged $757.
The Austin, Texas-based attorney was shocked with the system on Wednesday when his wife said their bank called to notify the couple that their account was overdrawn, with a charge of 757 dollars from BritBox.
“I texted [my daughter] and asked her if she was doing anything special with BritBox,” Sonnenberg joked. “I’m not sure if she can download every ‘The Last of the Summer Wine’ series. Yes, like, 30 series. Maybe she bought the whole show? “
But after immediately calling customer support, the 61-year-old was told he wasn’t the only one being overcharged and would need to wait until Thursday to access payment service.
“The next day, I called back and sent a screenshot [of the bank account] and a few emails asking and the person admitting that I had to wait a long time to get this resolved because there were so many people calling about this issue,” Sonnenberg said.
On Twitter, some skeptical BritBox users also complained about their sky-high fees. User Lee Harris (@limey_lee) said he was also charged $757 for his $6.99 subscription, but canceled his credit card when he saw the charge.
“If anyone else was charged $757 today instead of $6.99 for their monthly @BritBox_US subscription, know that it was completely their fault and I hope you see this. before canceling the card for a fraudulent dispute like I did,” he said.
Meanwhile, Pat Coakley (@patcoakley) claimed the exorbitant fee “emptied her account”.
“I like your service but you just charged my account 699.00 instead of the usual 6.99 and emptied my account!” she complained directly to BritBox on Twitter. “Customers for what??? Your phone line said I would call back in 45 minutes! “
Diversity confirmed that approximately 5,000 BritBox US and Australian customers were unwittingly overcharged by the company’s payment provider. BritBox has approximately 1.5 million customers in North America. Streamer has yet to reveal its subscriber count in Australia, where it only launched in November, but the total number of subscribers across both markets is thought to be around 2 million.
In a statement, a spokesperson for BritBox told Diversity: “We know that a small percentage (a fraction of 1%) of our subscribers in the US and Australia were overcharged by our payment provider yesterday. We took immediate action to correct the error by contacting all affected BritBox subscribers and refunding them. The underlying cause has been resolved, however, this was an unacceptable experience and we deeply regret the disruption this has caused some of our subscribers.” .
Sonnenberg — a subscriber to about six SVOD services, including Netflix, Hulu, Mubi and The Criterion Channel — said he has yet to receive a refund. Although he was offered a free four-month subscription to the service, he was disappointed that it took more than two days to get refunded.
“They assured me they are working hard to fix the problem, with an expected resolution in 24-48 hours, but if I took $757 from you, how would you feel when wait 48 hours to get it back?”
https://variety.com/2021/tv/global/britbox-subscription-overcharged-1235026519/ | BritBox Subscribers Accidentally Charged Almost $800 for Monthly Fee