3 On Your Side

Valley mom cancels online subscription, but is still charged

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ABCMouse.com is a subscription-based website for kids. (Source: ABCMouse.com) ABCMouse.com is a subscription-based website for kids. (Source: ABCMouse.com)
ABCMouse.com says its exercises and games are designed to keep kids interested in learning(Source: ABCMouse.com) ABCMouse.com says its exercises and games are designed to keep kids interested in learning(Source: ABCMouse.com)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Jennifer Walston works in a law firm and puts in 10- and 12-hour days. She said spending so much time at work can really take time away from her kids.

"It's very difficult at times," Walston admitted. "Very busy."

During those busy times, Walston wanted to make learning fun by allowing her kids to use the computer. That's when she came across a website called ABCMouse.com

The website said it uses carefully designed exercises and games to keep kids interested in learning. Walston thought it would be perfect. However, ABCMouse.com isn't free; you have to subscribe.

"It's a subscription service, so you either elect to do it on a year-to-year basis or you do it on a monthly basis," Walston said.

Walston chose to pay monthly at a cost of $7.95 per month. That amount was deducted automatically out of her checking account.

However, after a few months of use, Walston said her kids lost interest in the website and she canceled the service.

"I had absolutely no reason to believe there was any cause for concern that I canceled my account," Walston said. "I went on with my life."

But even though Walston said she canceled, ABCMouse.com keeps taking $7.95 out of her checking account. She told 3 On Your Side that she can't get the company to stop.

This has been going on now for six months. After doing some research, Walston discovered she's not the only one who can't get ABCMouse.com to stop taking money

"So I started doing some research online and I found hundreds and hundreds of other individuals that have no idea what to do," Walston told 3 On Your Side. "They have no clue how to get their money back. Some people have been going through this for years."

3 On Your Side got a hold of ABCMouse.com and asked that the company immediately cancel Walston's subscription. 3OYS also asked the company to refund the $48 they took over the past six months.

The company agreed, but 3 On Your Side asked why so many other consumers like Walston were writing online complaints saying they had the same problem.

"We would never intentionally keep billing a customer," a company spokesman said in an email to 3 On Your Side.

The spokesman went on to blame the customer, saying, "There is sometimes user error when attempting to cancel an account."

However, Walston said she's not buying that excuse. She told 3 On Your Side that she canceled successfully several times, but ABCMouse.com kept raiding her account.

"7.95 [per month] really adds up," Walston said. "You know, that could be a meal out. It could be part of a movie ticket."

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