How MLB.tv took a year off my life

As an Indians fan (RIP Chief Wahoo) living in New York, it’s tough to get to watch Tribe games. That’s why every year I shell out money to MLB.tv to watch every game from the comfort of my own home. Indians games are rarely on TV, save for when they play the Yankees 7 times a year, and sure, watching games at a bar is fun, but with the length of games and the amount of beer I drink, it’s definitely cost effective to watch from my couch with my own 12 pack sitting in the fridge. It was great at first, worked right on my PS3, crystal clear reception, a few minor bumps and twitches here and there, but that’s to be expected. Well last year I popped my PS3 in to get ready for opening day, only to be told it no longer supports MLB.tv, and I would need to upgrade (buy a PS4) in order to watch. Being the cost effective (cheap) bastard I am, I was relegated to watching through my phone and Chromecast. Much choppier, much more annoying, but we do what we need to for our teams.

MLB also automatically renews your subscription yearly, without any warning or heads up email that 92 bucks will be taken out of your bank soon. So this year, March 1, I check my bank as us peasants do often to make sure we can afford lunch that day, and if possible, add avocado (crazy Millenials), only to see the 92 bucks gone. I immediately cancel, figuring I’ll get refunded soon, and can just buy it again in a month when I need it. I’m told its been cancelled and I should get an email soon. 5 days later, no email, no refund. So I call customer support to see whats going on.

A lovely Indian woman, not the Cleveland type, answers. She asks me what the issue is, and after giving her the rundown that I haven’t received an email or refund for canceling my subscription, she asks for my account information… and then wants to know what the issue is. This is where I should’ve assumed this wouldn’t go smoothly.

Rinse and repeat, I tell her the issue again. Now she pulls up my account, and tells me it appears my account was canceled, but not within the 5 days of purchasing it, so I am not eligible for a refund. So just to remind her, I cancelled it the exact same day it was purchased/renewed… She asks me if I got the email with the information about cancelling. I tell her no, maybe she didn’t hear me the first time I tell myself, and so she puts me on hold.

She comes back. I need to check that my email is working properly. I tell her it is, and she says to look at the email from MLB. Refraining from using my outdoor voice, I gently tell her I haven’t gotten the email… again, with a little more clearness in my voice. Back on hold I go.

A few minutes later, she’s back! More information. Forgetting about the non-existing email she repeatedly told me to read, she changes it up and tells me I haven’t been charged because I cancelled it within the 5 days of purchase. Except, I kindly remind her, I have been charged, and that’s why I am calling. Calling an audible, she tells me that it says I didn’t cancel it at all, to which I tell her I am staring right at my account which says I did. Confused and with a slight hint of nervousness in her voice, she begins to try some small talk, perhaps to throw me off the scent of being scammed out of my money. Please note: I picture her putting one of those cowboy hat beer helmets on and holding a mini American flag in her hand during this following interaction.

Her: “I see you have the team subscription for the Indians… how, uh, do you think they will do this year?” She reads from what I assume is a memo from MLB about how to talk like a casual American when you get nervous.

Me: “I think they’ll be mediocre, honestly…”

Her: “Oh, but they, uh I see, did well last year and are primed to make the playoffs again” she continues to read to me in an extremely monotone voice.

Me: “Yeah I still don’t have that high expectations.”

Her: “OK well… I hope you have a great day.”

This woman tried to bamboozle me and then ditch me! Not today though, and I let her know that I still needed to know what was happening with my account. Once more on hold I go.

Back she comes, phone call clock at 17 minutes, this time to tell me that I haven’t cancelled it, though I should check my email. I tell her I have cancelled it, thus necessitating this Twilight Zone phone call, and AGAIN she tells me that I should’ve gotten an email. Now I’m thinking I’m being Punk’d by MLB. I’m at the point where if I hear the word “email” again I will lose my shit on someone. I’m about to write “EMAIL” all over the place like Jim Carrey in Liar Liar while having a nervous breakdown.

Sensing my sanity fleeing at a rapid rate, I finally do what I had tried not to, because people who do this piss me off, but out of my mouth came “Can I speak to your manager.” I am officially an adult once this leaves my body. There’s no going back now. Time to start shopping for mini-vans.

Except, she refuses! There is nobody else available to speak to me at this time, I’m told. OK, we shall continue this dance then. With a stern adult voice, I ask where she see’s my account is not cancelled, as she told me earlier she saw that it was, and is now telling me it isn’t. Trying to avoid answering, she literally tells me that it has both been cancelled and now I need to check my email, as well as that I haven’t cancelled it, which is why there is no refund. This really happened. This woman should debate herself for public office.

Growing impatient, I tell her there is a miscommunication or something going on, and I need to know when I’ll be getting my refund back. For the last time, I am placed on hold.

She returns, with a hint of excitement in her voice, as she has cracked the case wide open and has the answer for me. Now it turns out that I cancelled my subscription for 2020, and that’s why I didn’t get refunded. Its fair, its possible, its also now 22 minutes out of my day trying to wrap my head around this, and also kind of bonkers MLB assumed by cancelling my subscription to get a refund, I meant in a year from now. So we leave it that I have the subscription for the 2019 season. Whatever, I was going to get it before opening day anyway, so I’ll take the L right now in my bank account and just move on. Fearing though, since she’s already proven not to be very reliable, that this might not be true and when the seasons start I’ll be told my account is cancelled and be out the 92 bucks, I ask for her name. ‘Alex’ she tells me, as she pulls that name out of the “popular American names” hat. So, just in case, I ask if she has a direct extension if I need to follow up.

“We can’t give customers our phone numbers”

I’m not asking you on a date here Alex, just want to know if there’s a direct number to reach you if there’s an issue with what you’re telling me. Apparently not, and now a half hour of my life I will never get back has been taken away, and I have to sit and wait until Opening Day to see if Alex pulled the Okie-Doke on me. Roll Tribe….


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