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XING aggressively collecting overdue payment

49 posts in this topic

Posted

Hi Toytowners,

 

I was wondering if anyone has any experience with XING and the issue of 'overdue' payments. I bought a short-term membership earlier this year when I was considering moving to Frankfurt from Lyon, France.

 

Yes, my bad, I didn't read every single line of the terms and conditions and it appears there is a clause that automatically renews your Premium Membership.

 

I recently changed bank accounts and a payment failed to be collected

 

I am now receiving aggressive e-mails demanding payment plus processing fees. Does anyone have any experience in dealing with this issue. Do they actually follow this up? I have no bank accounts or assets in Germany so fail to see how they could collect payment, but wanted to hear any advice from TTrs with similar experience.

 

Many thanks in advance,

 

JF

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Posted

I had the same problem - my credit card expired and the payments stopped. I was out of the country at the time and came back to find threatening debt collection letters. They do seem to escalate quickly. I paid up and transferred all my Xing contacts to LinkedIn.

 

I advise anyone to avoid the premium membership like the plague.

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Posted

 

Yes, my bad, I didn't read every single line of the terms and conditions and it appears there is a clause that automatically renews your Premium Membership.

You confirm that the Premium membership was validly entered into and renewed, albeit as the result of an oversight.

 

 

I have no bank accounts or assets in Germany so fail to see how they could collect payment, ...

So why are you trying to avoid payment? This is a valid claim on XING's side, you were not tricked or otherwise coerced into extending the membership.

 

My advice: Cancel asap and pay up.

 

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. Please have all legal advice you receive here verified by a legal professional.

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Posted

I checked the correspondence and actually my credit card was lost, not expired. The payment didn't go through so they sent a reminder - which I ignored because I didn't think the Premium membership was worth renewing. I got another reminder three days later but I was then out of the country and not online, but for all XING knew I might have been dead or in a coma. Then just three weeks later I started getting the bailiffs letters.

 

I complained to XING and this was ther customer-sensitive reply.

 

 

Thank you for your message.

 

We were unable to debit your last invoice from [date]. We sent you two payment reminders via email. Unfortunately, we received no response to either of these reminders. We indicated to you in these letters that you are responsible for paying the amount due by bank transfer, and that your file would be sent to a collection agency once the payment deadline was exceeded. This has occurred.

 

We hope you understand that we are no longer involved in the process. If you have any other questions, please contact the collection agency directly.

 

At that point they lost any shadow of goodwill and I've been actively warning people to steer away from XING ever since. I still have a XING account but when I get contact requests I ask people to use LinkedIn instead and tell them why.

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Posted

Boots, that is a standard response you might receive from any company and is meant to deter debtors from trying to contact the creditor directly. The collection was outsourced as the company has no internal collecting department; you have to deal with the collecting firm.

 

I am not saying that you have to like it.

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Posted

Don't they have to send a schriftliche (letzte) Mahnung before they can escalate?

 

This automatic renewal is one of the most annoying aspects of German consumer law, and is so obviously used to trap customers rather than help them. It should be repealed but hasn't so it is sadly the law.

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Posted

 

Don't they have to send a schriftliche (letzte) Mahnung before they can escalate?

 

If a payment is due by a specific date the creditor does not have to send a reminder at all to put the debtor in default. From what Boots said there were reminders after which the claim is passed on to the collection company.

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Posted

It's not only Xing, every single company in Germany has this kind of fraud, so it is better to avoid all subscriptions and contracts if possible, and set up reminders of the last date of cancelling the contract renewal.

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Posted

I didn't get the letters because I was out of the country, and I couldn't have paid anyway because my credit card was lost (and my German bank only replaces them if you visit in person. So by the time I got back to Germany things had escalated dramatically. I explained the situation to XING but that (above) was their response. Like I said I paid up and learned my lesson.

 

But absolutely suicidal behaviour for a social networking site. Do they really imagine this will get them repeat business and recommendations?

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Posted

 

Don't they have to send a schriftliche (letzte) Mahnung before they can escalate?

 

No, people send a Mahnung just because they are nice and prefer to remind you before escalating, but they are not legally required to send them.

 

As Boots said, XING is a SOCIAL network platform, the way they treat their customers is really against their own interest, but their company, their rules.

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Posted

 

It's not only Xing, every single company in Germany has this kind of fraud, so it is better to avoid all subscriptions and contracts if possible, and set up reminders of the last date of cancelling the contract renewal.

 

if you never intend to renew, then send the cancellation letter straight away rather than at the end of the first year.

The contract will still run but you don't have to worry about forgetting to cancel (and I believe in most cases you can cancel the cancellation later if you change your mind).

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Posted

 

As far as I'm concerned, every single automatic renewel, without a reminder to cancel, "tricks" you into extending membership.

 

It would be very interesting to find out just how many people actually read a) the complete contract before signing it; and B) the Terms & Conditions referred to in the contract. If I do not adhere to basic caution in a business transaction I cannot say that I was tricked into signing something I did not want to agree to, much less can I call this kind of business tactics fraud.

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Posted

There was a study and the t&c signing up for twitter or facebook runs up to 100 pages. There was a consensus that even lawyers could not be expected to know what they're singing up for.

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Posted

Actually, I would have been happy to extend had I received a reminder message that my Premium Membership was about to expire. But the straight jump to aggressive overdue notices has put me right off.

 

Interesting that others have had the same experience; I was simply wondering whether it was just a scare tactic to begin with.

 

But anyway, the chances of a French court sanctioning French bailiffs to collect this (currently paltry) amount with arguments based on German contract law are fairly slim.

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Posted

German enforceable titles (valid for 30 years, by the way) can be declared valid in other countries. XING will not fear the costs as they have to be covered by the debtor as damages.

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Posted

On Twitter: #xingautorenewals

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Posted

Contract or not, this is how the Americans do customer service : http://greenwoodsgarden.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/a-little-bit-of-good-customer-service-goes-a-long-ways/

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Posted

Sound like there been sharks, James. Good luck with your move to bxl.

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