SPOT Tracker Renewal Fees - Being Gouged?

Talk about anything.

Moderators: Bearbonesnorm, Taylor, Chew

Post Reply
Dovebiker
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:33 am
Location: Fleet

SPOT Tracker Renewal Fees - Being Gouged?

Post by Dovebiker » Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:51 pm

Anyone else feel they're being gouged? US subscription is $99, last year I paid £150 (I needed it for Rovaniemi) and now post-Brexit it's £193! What's worse, they don't give you notification and option to cancel, which is technically illegal under UK law. Sent them a message and see how they'll respond - I'll probably take this up with my credit card company.

User avatar
burty
Posts: 493
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:45 am

Re: SPOT Tracker Renewal Fees - Being Gouged?

Post by burty » Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:59 pm

yes I got taken up the rear by then a month ago , they put you on auto renewal for your convenience.
with no option to take yourself of it until they send you a reminder 30 days before its due out ,
and that reminder does not even arrive ,
I emailed them and 20 days later they offered me 50% off next years ,
I also read that if your card goes out of date they have carried on peoples subscription and chased then for the £ later .

Dovebiker
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:33 am
Location: Fleet

Re: SPOT Tracker Renewal Fees - Being Gouged?

Post by Dovebiker » Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:04 pm

They've charged me 221 Euros for a renewal and yet their website says its 164 Euros - see what they say in reply, but not sending out renewals/ option to cancel and changing prices without notification is illegal in the EU.

User avatar
ScotRoutes
Posts: 6322
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:56 am
Location: Cairngorms
Contact:

Re: SPOT Tracker Renewal Fees - Being Gouged?

Post by ScotRoutes » Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:10 pm

I just had a look at last years renewal (Dec 2016 ) €137 +VAT

That's for the basic subscription that allows 10 minute tracking.

SteveM
Posts: 237
Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2014 10:26 am

Re: SPOT Tracker Renewal Fees - Being Gouged?

Post by SteveM » Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:47 pm

I seem to remember Mike Hall saying something about this, mines due in December will be keeping an eye out for the email from them

User avatar
Mariner
Posts: 1582
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2015 2:37 pm
Location: East Devon

Re: SPOT Tracker Renewal Fees - Being Gouged?

Post by Mariner » Thu Jun 29, 2017 8:44 pm

I sold mine on as a result of the increase. Apparently its cheaper the first year then increases there after.
I was reading the website after and was struck by the wording that registering a SPOT with a different ESN was treated as a new registration.
My interpretation of the that is if you had a deal with someone where you swap SPOTS (snigger) once a year then registering the SPOT on your account should be cheaper.
Never tried it as just rent when I need one but the person I sold to should have been charged as a new account.

User avatar
ctznsmith
Posts: 1020
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 6:09 pm
Contact:

Re: SPOT Tracker Renewal Fees - Being Gouged?

Post by ctznsmith » Thu Jun 29, 2017 8:55 pm

My bank have 'charged back' the transaction so the money is back in my account. I believe it's still being investigated or whatever the term is though so could be ruled in Spots favour.

It's the lack of reminder that irks me.

User avatar
htrider
Posts: 3227
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:51 pm
Location: Fife
Contact:

Re: SPOT Tracker Renewal Fees - Being Gouged?

Post by htrider » Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:03 pm

My renewal is in December but they don't seem to try and take the cash until April. Its a bit pricy for what you are getting - when I first got it I paid about £100 for the extreme tracking plan. I'm surprised more firms aren't producing them as its quite a popular thing to have. Pity a UK company couldn't set up a rival device and emergency call out set up. The spot website is pish poor as well - crap info, no way of putting routes on a map, you can only display a handful of track points at a time on the map....

Asposium
Posts: 1358
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2016 5:39 pm
Location: Hull

Re: SPOT Tracker Renewal Fees - Being Gouged?

Post by Asposium » Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:12 pm

Might be worth looking at a Garmin inReach.
Though I do say might.

Unit is more expensive, cheapest I've seen it is around 350 ish after various discount codes and cash back.
There is a £25 annual fee to keep the account active.
Monthly subscription ranges from £0 (suspended) to ~£104 (the full bifta) for 2 minute tracking and unlimited messages
Cheapest active subscription is £16.99
I suggested to Garmin an SOS only option, see what they say.

However, the Garmin can be used for navigation as it has a screen, and supports two-way messaging.
Two-way messaging is very useful.
Uses the Iridium network, so 100% global coverage.
When the unit doesn't have an active satellite connection it will queue messages /tracking points and send when it does. Status page shows successful send.
Very impressed with mine, although it isn't quite perfect.

User avatar
Richpips
Posts: 1531
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:57 pm
Location: Peak District

Re: SPOT Tracker Renewal Fees - Being Gouged?

Post by Richpips » Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:56 pm

Last year, I had mine set up with a card that wasn't loaded with money, and after a month it lapsed.

No problems reactivating this year.

User avatar
mountainbaker
Posts: 1140
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 1:34 pm
Location: Devon

Re: SPOT Tracker Renewal Fees - Being Gouged?

Post by mountainbaker » Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:09 am

SPOT are total sh!ts about this. They didn't send me a reminder that the automated renewal was going to happen, and also offered no way to cancel it without calling/emailing them. They took the money on June 20th last year. When I saw they'd taken the money, it was a week after the Brexit referendum. I demanded a refund, but as the exchange rate had tanked in that time, I lost quite a few quid (iirc about £25) on the refund as they operate in Euros.

The only way to cancel an automate subscription is to change your card details in the site to something invalid.

I wish there was an alternative.
Image

User avatar
ScotRoutes
Posts: 6322
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:56 am
Location: Cairngorms
Contact:

Re: SPOT Tracker Renewal Fees - Being Gouged?

Post by ScotRoutes » Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:48 am

TBH I'm struggling to see what all the fuss is regarding the automated renewal. I'd rather that than have the service lapse when.I'm. Not expecting it. Set up a reminder on your phone or something/stick a note on your fridge?

User avatar
GregMay
Posts: 2891
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2015 12:57 pm
Location: Calderdale
Contact:

Re: SPOT Tracker Renewal Fees - Being Gouged?

Post by GregMay » Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:26 am

As with others, I too have had issues with SPOT. Even after they agreed to refund me. Currently in the process of a fraud claim through my bank.

Scrotes - if you don't see why people taking money with out prior notification or opt out from your account is a problem you probably have a bit too much money to play around with.
Image

User avatar
whitestone
Posts: 6103
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:20 am
Location: Skipton(ish)
Contact:

Re: SPOT Tracker Renewal Fees - Being Gouged?

Post by whitestone » Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:10 am

I can see why auto-renewal is an advantage (my contract expired during the HT550 for example) but at the very least I'd expect a notification email a few weeks prior to it occurring. I get a text from my mobile phone carrier every month stating "Your bill this month is £XX.YY and will be debited from your account on dd.mm.yyyy". Hell, I even get a text from my dentist reminding me of upcoming appointments.

I wonder if it's an American/European thing? Americans expecting explicit opt-out whereas Europeans expect opt-in.
Better weight than wisdom, a traveller cannot carry

User avatar
ZeroDarkBivi
Posts: 1263
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:18 am
Location: Somerset

Re: SPOT Tracker Renewal Fees - Being Gouged?

Post by ZeroDarkBivi » Fri Jun 30, 2017 3:50 pm

Thanks for this thread, otherwise I may have missed this... The bastards have charged me £206.16 (236 Euros for a Basic + Unlimited Service plan, whatever that is), a few weeks ago, again without any notification (I am sure in previous years they did send an email). This has risen every year since 2014, when it was 192 Euros (approx 7% PA, well above inflation). Will be getting in touch with them, then my credit card provider to express my displeasure.

User avatar
mountainbaker
Posts: 1140
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 1:34 pm
Location: Devon

Re: SPOT Tracker Renewal Fees - Being Gouged?

Post by mountainbaker » Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:26 pm

ScotRoutes wrote:TBH I'm struggling to see what all the fuss is regarding the automated renewal. I'd rather that than have the service lapse when.I'm. Not expecting it. Set up a reminder on your phone or something/stick a note on your fridge?
It's to do with not just accepted practice, but also legal requirements. It is not a direct debit, but it is a subscription based service, which I believe requires that the subscriber be informed in advance of a subscription renewal, so that they have an opportunity to cancel in time. SPOT is the only provider I can think of that has never notified of a pending renewal, and I subscribe to dozens of services as a developer/devops, they all notify.

A project I'm currently working on has required a lot of due diligence in the set up stages, and this is something we've looked at. We have to notify customers of contract/policy renewal. It's the law. SPOT are EU based, thus probably should fall into the same set of laws. Also, it's really f**king easy to write cron script that emails users when their policy is due for renewal. And not having a way to cancel on the site itself is definitely not right.

I don't think SPOT could argue "Our customers should have put a note on the fridge" that's a pretty crap get out.
Image

User avatar
burty
Posts: 493
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:45 am

Re: SPOT Tracker Renewal Fees - Being Gouged?

Post by burty » Fri Jun 30, 2017 6:23 pm

the only thing with just changing your card numbers on the spot site is that they now check the number ,
and if its not a proper card number they revert back to the original one .
I used to do it like that so I was in charge of when it gets renewed but cant anymore

User avatar
mountainbaker
Posts: 1140
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 1:34 pm
Location: Devon

Re: SPOT Tracker Renewal Fees - Being Gouged?

Post by mountainbaker » Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:07 pm

burty wrote:the only thing with just changing your card numbers on the spot site is that they now check the number ,
and if its not a proper card number they revert back to the original one .
I used to do it like that so I was in charge of when it gets renewed but cant anymore
Oh, good to know thanks. Also shows they have enough tech knowhow to do that but avoid sending out reminders. Cheeky c**ts
Image

User avatar
dlovett
Posts: 1445
Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2014 6:37 pm
Location: South Coast
Contact:

Re: SPOT Tracker Renewal Fees - Being Gouged?

Post by dlovett » Sat Jul 01, 2017 11:28 am

I had an argument with them about this last time. I simply sent them and email saying that I did not give consent for them to renew the service and if they did I would report it to the police and banks as fraud. I would also charge them a $50 admin fee if they did. Funnily they didn't continue my service after it expired. When I did want to renew it later in the year there was no issues.

User avatar
ScotRoutes
Posts: 6322
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:56 am
Location: Cairngorms
Contact:

Re: SPOT Tracker Renewal Fees - Being Gouged?

Post by ScotRoutes » Sat Jul 01, 2017 12:23 pm

GregMay wrote:
Scrotes - if you don't see why people taking money with out prior notification or opt out from your account is a problem you probably have a bit too much money to play around with.
Au contraire my dear boy. In my experience those with the least funds are best at budgeting. It's taken from my account the same time every year and, as with all my regular expenditure, I have my own records of when that will happen, allowing me to plan accordingly. For instance, last year I decided to drop the enhanced tracking option and go back to that basic plan. An email notifying them of this was sent and my subscription was amended in time.

It's not exactly rocket science.

Dovebiker
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:33 am
Location: Fleet

Re: SPOT Tracker Renewal Fees - Being Gouged?

Post by Dovebiker » Sat Jul 01, 2017 5:06 pm

They simply sent me a message with a link to their terms and conditions when I asked them for an invoice!

I was billed by Spot in Ireland in Euros - the only tariff on their site is 137 Euros and yet they've billed me for 221 Euros with no explanation. The service comes under the EU distance selling regulations which requires the seller: 1. Provides prior notification of renewal 2. Requires buyers agreement to renew 3. Cannot put the price up without notification

It's not f*ing difficult, they have my email and mobile number - anyway, notified my credit card company that it's an unauthorised transaction and await my refund.

Looking seriously at the Garmin Inreach Explorer - GPS and sat tracker in one device - only downside is screen size a bit small for navigation.

User avatar
ZeroDarkBivi
Posts: 1263
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:18 am
Location: Somerset

Re: SPOT Tracker Renewal Fees - Being Gouged?

Post by ZeroDarkBivi » Sat Jul 01, 2017 5:39 pm

ScotRoutes wrote:
It's taken from my account the same time every year and, as with all my regular expenditure, I have my own records of when that will happen, allowing me to plan accordingly.

It's not exactly rocket science.
So do you factor in the automatic, 8% increase each year?

At least they responded quickly to my email:

Request to deactivate SPOT services must be submitted 30 days prior to renewal of the service subscription. Your service subscription renewed effective Month, Day 2017. Therefore, your account is not eligible for a refund at this time.

Your services can be deactivated immediately, however doing so will forfeit the remainder of your paid service subscription. Please advise as to how you would like to proceed.


They have clearly missed the point, and I would be less angry with their furtive, no-notification methods if they didn't also increase the bill each time.

It does appear that we don't have a lot of other choices, especially when it comes to things like Trackleaders. With my experience of Garmin reliability, I am loathed to depend on them to provide my last option for recovery when it all goes wrong somewhere remote.

User avatar
ctznsmith
Posts: 1020
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 6:09 pm
Contact:

Re: SPOT Tracker Renewal Fees - Being Gouged?

Post by ctznsmith » Sat Jul 01, 2017 6:27 pm

ZeroDarkBivi that email is also a standard response that they must copy and paste from somewhere.

User avatar
Bearbonesnorm
Posts: 19231
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:53 pm
Location: my own little world

Re: SPOT Tracker Renewal Fees - Being Gouged?

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Sat Jul 01, 2017 6:48 pm

I feel quite relieved that I'm able to save myself both the expense and stress of ownership, by leaving mine in the box high on a shelf :-bd
What value a life half lived if the half you lived was the wrong half?

User avatar
Ray Young
Posts: 3317
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:40 pm
Location: Edinburgh
Contact:

Re: SPOT Tracker Renewal Fees - Being Gouged?

Post by Ray Young » Sat Jul 01, 2017 6:56 pm

Bearbonesnorm wrote:I feel quite relieved that I'm able to save myself both the expense and stress of ownership, by leaving mine in the box high on a shelf :-bd
I went one better, after seeing how much the annual fee was I decided not to even buy one.

Post Reply