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my3guys Oct 24, 2011 11:13 PM

Sent me a message with a renewal which I have no intention to renew, basically saying that if I do not respond that I will not be charged. Three hours later I was charged for an additional year, for a worthless membership to a boring website. Be aware before your decide to donate.

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  1. monavano RE: my3guys Oct 25, 2011 07:18 PM

    Egullet did that to me too a few years ago. I didn't want to renew, but they went ahead and took the money out of my PayPal account because I had not changed the password since I used it to pay initially.
    I tried to contact eGullet multiple times to no avail. I contested the charge with PayPal but to no avail. I hope you can recoup your loss because they are highway robbers, IMO. Unethical highway robbers.

    2 Replies
    1. re: monavano
      marblebag RE: monavano Oct 31, 2011 09:12 AM

      Paypal will hardly do anything if it costs them time to investigate. I lost money on a fraudulent Ebay transaction once and now they are both off the list!

      1. re: marblebag
        monavano RE: marblebag Nov 1, 2011 07:16 PM

        I thought I had a good case too!

    2. DiningDiva RE: my3guys Oct 26, 2011 11:29 AM

      Payment to use eGullet?!?!??? I've never paid them anything. What services are you getting, or supposed to be getting?

      6 Replies
      1. re: DiningDiva
        monavano RE: DiningDiva Oct 26, 2011 11:49 AM

        You can not participate at eGullet unless you join for $50/year.

        1. re: monavano
          chileheadmike RE: monavano Oct 26, 2011 12:15 PM

          What? Is this for new members?
          I've been on there for 5 years. No one has charged me anything.

          1. re: chileheadmike
            CarrieWas218 RE: chileheadmike Oct 26, 2011 12:19 PM

            I've been on for more than ten years and have never paid a dime...

            1. re: chileheadmike
              monavano RE: chileheadmike Oct 26, 2011 01:29 PM

              I didn't realize that, but the "membership' process is ridiculous. A personal statement?
              I don't think so Tim ;-)
              Anyway, my point still stands about watching the account you donated with and don't let them keep any of your information.

            2. re: monavano
              SnackHappy RE: monavano Oct 26, 2011 12:43 PM

              Since when? AFAIK, all you have to do is write some essay that no one will ever read. Donations are voluntary, and I would never pay for such a lousy forum.

              1. re: monavano
                DiningDiva RE: monavano Oct 26, 2011 12:54 PM

                I've been on there for years and used to post fairly regularly. I've never paid anything to do that. Nor would I because, frankly, in it's present incarnation it's not all that interesting.

            3. LindaWhit RE: my3guys Oct 26, 2011 01:15 PM

              Ummm, if their Email says they will NOT charge you and then they do, wouldn't that be illegal? I hope you're able to dispute/recover the money via your credit card company!

              1. rockandroller1 RE: my3guys Oct 26, 2011 01:24 PM

                I was wondering about this too. I wrote my essay years ago and have been a member for several years, participating heavily this year WRT a local eG gathering, and have never paid them a dime.

                1. jpr54_1 RE: my3guys Oct 27, 2011 05:37 AM

                  i have been a member for years and have never paid a fee

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: jpr54_1
                    monavano RE: jpr54_1 Oct 27, 2011 09:55 AM

                    Yes, we've established that. The point remains that if you choose to donate, eG has been known to auto-renew your membership and will do so if they have current billing information.
                    Bottom line: don't become a donating member.

                    1. re: monavano
                      LindaWhit RE: monavano Oct 27, 2011 10:06 AM

                      Which is why I called it illegal. A donation is just that - a one-time gift, unless otherwise specified by the donor. Unless eGullet has it set up to be a "recurring gift" without clearly informing those who do donate.

                      1. re: LindaWhit
                        monavano RE: LindaWhit Oct 27, 2011 10:19 AM

                        It took me by surprise! What's worse in my eyes in my inability to contact them, or should I say, their lack of acknowledging my emails explaining that I did not want to renew.
                        Lesson learned.

                    2. re: jpr54_1
                      Harters RE: jpr54_1 Oct 28, 2011 10:11 AM

                      As I understand things, egullet offers contributors the opportunity to buy an enhanced membership which brings certain benefits over and above those available to non-members, . As such, I see it not as a donation but a fee. Now, I suspect many folk who choose to buy one of the membership packages do so more because they want to financially support the website rather than because of the extra facilities.

                      Personally, I'm very happy with my "free membership" status and would never be likely to want to pay a fee to any discussion board. Not even one as useful as I find egullet.

                      1. re: Harters
                        my3guys RE: Harters Nov 1, 2011 06:57 PM

                        Sorry, I just noticed that other people had responded to this. I have to say that I initially did send in the essay and felt umm.. a little stupid for it. However I had finally sent the last of my children off to school and actually had time to participate in something that wasn't designed for a preschooler. Not once have I seen the fifty dollar donation go to a good use. I am pretty sure anyone can access the same info I can, but ...anyway.
                        I (Iknow this is repetitive) received an email stating that without a response that my level would not continue. OK. Three hours later I found out I had been charged. After spending a very fruitless hour searching the site to find a way out and really just a contact, no luck. In frustration I posted on here, and I am so glad that I have yet to be flamed. Probably stupid to join in the first place. Anyway, if this can help anyone in the future not get caught up in this, then I would be happy for it.

                        1. re: my3guys
                          sal_acid RE: my3guys Aug 2, 2012 08:54 AM

                          Apparently the "essay" is to block spammers. Sort of a CAPTCHA thing. I don't think anybody is grading them LOL.

                          I don't pay eG a dime and have full privileges. I think its is a donation to keep the servers running etc.

                          1. re: sal_acid
                            tommy RE: sal_acid Aug 2, 2012 10:10 AM

                            From the website:

                            This helps our membership team ensure that your application is not automated, and that you aren't a spammer. It also helps the staff get to know you! It isn't a test of your culinary knowledge or even your ability to write. And yes, it's actually read by a real human being, so your application may take up to two days to process.

                            Your statement must be at least 100 words, and must include the phrase "I support the Society statement of purpose and agree to abide by the member agreement".

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