Do I really have to pay for this QR code generator?

By | November 7th, 2016

Does Andrea King really have to pay for another year of her QR code generator? Let’s find out.

No, this isn’t another story about the merits of reading the fine print, although it could be. It certainly isn’t about QR codes or QR code generators (a QR code is a machine-readable code used for storing URLs or other information for reading by the camera on a smartphone), but it could be, too.

Instead, it’s a post about monitoring your credit card statement obsessively, which I am guilty of not doing. And it has a happy ending.

King signed up for an $80-a-year, pro-level account for QR-Code-Generator. At that level, you can add tracking codes and do a lot of other cool things. If I were running a small business, I might spring for it.

“I signed up for a yearly service,” says King. “In the contract, it states it will automatically renew every year, after a 30-day reminder from the company. I haven’t used the service in the year since I signed up and forgot to cancel the automatic renewal.”

The company refuses to cancel the charge, even after she pointed out that they neglected to send her the reminder 30 days before the renewal.

So could we get the company to drop its bill?

QR’s terms and conditions are silent on the auto-renew, so it must be part of the contract. An FAQ section on its site verifies King’s story, although it doesn’t back up the part about the notification. In other words, QR may, or may not, be obligated to let you know when you’re about to pay another $80 for your service.

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Our advocacy team reached out to QR to find out if something might have gone wrong. Its response: “The invoice still has to be paid.”

We scrolled through the paper trail to see any evidence of a notification. There was none. Just email after email, asking to be paid.

I apologize for the misunderstanding regarding the automatic renewal of your contract.

As stated in our Terms and Conditions, contracts necessarily need to be cancelled at least 30 days before the automatic renewal comes into effect. An informal email including your customer ID would have been absolutely sufficient for that.

Unfortunately, we cannot accept late cancellations in general. I am sorry about that. Therefore, the current invoice still needs to be paid.

However, I have just cancelled your contract so that it does not get renewed once again and ends on March 9, 2017.

We would like to thank you for your trust and cooperation and wish you the best possible success with your QR Codes.

Just a friendly reminder, folks. When you sign up for an auto-renew product, don’t rely on the company to notify you. Set a notification in your favorite calendar system so that you won’t get caught off guard.

Interestingly, King’s credit card on file expired before QR could charge it. That meant it automatically set her preference to pay by wire transfer. Even though she hasn’t used the service in months, the company is insisting she pay for another year. Its emails are getting increasingly desperate. In its last notification, it demanded she pay up within five days.

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But here’s your happy ending: After we contacted the company, it apparently had second thoughts, and dropped its efforts to collect the money. It also credited her for two months of unused service.

What should have happened to Andrea King?

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