Unpleasant surprises from Tinypass or do not chase a discount on a subscription

One Russian Internet publication introduced a paid subscription about two years ago. Fearing a possible blockage and other inconvenience from the Russian authorities, the publication decided not to mess with Russian payment systems. Instead, the resource took advantage of the Tinypass foreign system . With the plug-in of this system, 10 articles become available to readers (except Premium, open only to paid subscribers) per month for free: the remaining articles are displayed in the corner. After this amount has expired, a window pops up asking you to buy a subscription. The resource has 3 options to choose from: for a month, for 3 months, for a year. At first glance, it’s convenient, and you can’t be afraid of blocking an account at the request of authorities. But here, there were some pitfalls.

Before the New Year, at the time of the appreciation of the dollar against the ruble, the publication decided to make a 20% discount on the subscription. Instead of $ 50, an annual subscription began to cost $ 40 (more precisely, $ 39.99 instead of $ 49.99).

I still had a valid annual subscription, which expired only at the end of February. A workaround to buy a subscription right now, and activate after, was the possibility of buying a subscription as a gift: you pay now, and the gift arrives the specified date (but no later than a month later) at the selected mailing address and activation starts on the same day.

Not everything turned out to be so simple: on the indicated day I received a letter with the text: “It seems that you already have access to this element, so we will credit your account. ... Next time when using Tinypass, log in and select the option“ Pay from Tinypass account ” ". So, 39.99 appeared on my account, and the subscription was not activated.

Okay, let's say.

Shortly after the end of my old subscription, on March 8, the publication timed a new sale with a similar reduction in subscription prices. The last time the purchase failed, and there was money left - you can use this amount to buy now.

And here the main surprise lurked - there was NO opportunity to use funds from your account to pay for it. Only three options - credit card, Paypal and Amazon.

I was not the only reader with such a problem:

Admins of the publication’s website could not help. I decided to write Tinypass for technical support. There were two types of communication with technical support.

One of them is by clicking the Help button in your account. However, no help was provided on it, my request has remained unanswered so far, apparently this service is already inactive.

The second type of connection is visible only if you are NOT logged in. There are two options for the help menu item - Content problems (the problem with the subscription belongs here) and Other problems. The first option opens the already mentioned "dead" option on the site itself, and the second - a separate tech support interfacecreated on Zendesk. Where is the logic - why this method is visible only without authorization, I don’t see, but just in case I wrote there.

Unlike the first type, it turned out to be working and I received a notification in the mail that the request was open. A day later, I received an answer with an incomprehensible comment - “why did you even give yourself a new subscription, when you could wait and repeat the old one”, and the only solution to the problem is that the funds will be returned to you within 24 hours.

A little less than a day later, the money returned to the card. The option of paying for a subscription with funds from the account, apparently, was not considered in principle, despite the assurances in the letter to the mail (one of the pictures above). It seems that the subscribers of the resource who were trying to get a similar discount (with a valid subscription) will probably have to write similar letters to tech support and demand a refund.

Total: they wanted the best, but it turned out as always. There is no discount, you will have to buy a subscription at the full price (the dollar has grown a little since then), and write off with technical support, the answers from which, due to the time difference, reach only after a day. The publication also acted out of good intentions - to please its readers with a discount, but probably did not know that using the special offer makes sense only to those who have not bought a subscription. And morality, both for readers and for publications - do not pursue a discount, without having studied to the end how it works.

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