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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. 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

      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!

    2. 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

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

        1. re: monavano

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

          1. re: chileheadmike

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

            1. re: chileheadmike

              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

              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

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

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: jpr54_1

                    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

                      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

                        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

                      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

                        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

                          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

                            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".