After seeing a commercial on the service “Vongo” on TV, I decided to sign up. It’s a service that lets you download an unlimited number of movies to your PC and play them for $9.99 a month. I picked the PPV option since that lets you browse the movie selection for free (apparently, you cannot browse the movie list without registering, that should have been my first red flag). Even though it’s free, they still want your CC number (red flag number two). They boast a selection of 1500 movies, but after seeing all of them I was quite unimpressed! I decided I didn’t like this service much and I wanted to cancel.
Hmm…how to cancel? Every reputable service has a cancel option online, but apparently not Vongo. To cancel you have to call 1-877-866-4621 and speak to someone in customer service. Excuse me? You brag about not having to drive to the Blockbuster to rent a video and how convenient your service is and I have to call you to cancel? Oh, it gets better. They store your credit card number right in their service! I wonder what the legality of doing so is without giving you the option to remove it? I mean, I had no balance: nothing, zip, zilch. Why can I not remove my credit card information? I tried to change my credit card information to another (non-active) number so they couldn’t charge me, but apparently they are pretty swift on that. It appears they crosscheck your CVV number with the issuing bank’s ZIP code to make sure they match up.
Why make it so hard to remove my credit card information? Why make canceling so hard? So off I went to cancel by phone (I really hate having to explain myself). I was connected relatively quickly to a customer support agent. “Why are you canceling?” asked the customer support person. Why should I have to explain my reasons? This is precisely why an online option is so valuable. I explained I just wanted to cancel. “Oh, but you haven’t any charges” she quipped. I explained her service was storing my credit card information on their service and I didn’t appreciate that. She then preceded to cancel the account asking all of my information (name, address, city, zip, blood type, etc).
This is critically important…if I just let them hold on to my credit card information, what happens if they are hacked into? I have to keep worrying about them charging me for something I didn’t buy or some cracker getting my information.
I urge you to go to www.vongo.com and click on Contact Us. Tell them how crappy this policy is. Vongo doesn’t own my personal information, I DO!
– Soli Deo Gloria