I had an Albatross membership that was auto-renewed without prior notification in April 2020 - during a world pandemic and lock-down when there were no real-life events organized at all. (Earlier I attended a couple of events - the last one in December, so I cannot say I was very active.)
They could not charge my credit card and therefore started to harass me in email for the membership subscription fee.
I contacted them right after receiving the first email about the failed transaction for auto-renewal (otherwise I would probably have not noticed immediately that my money has gone to their pockets). The communication with their "Support Team" clearly showed how much consideration and empathy they have for their users (hint: 0) and how they are not willing to make an effort to provide any solution beyond canned answers.
The membership that I was able to use since the coronavirus has been spreading corresponded only to Basic membership, therefore as they failed to provide any services that match the Albatross membership, they could've simply admitted it and could have downgraded me to Basic membership - like I requested their Support Team multiple times to do so, in a friendly way. They cannot sell any value with Albatross membership during a world pandemic as their offer was not designed for the online world. Charging users for Albatross membership was completely unwanted and inappropriate.
Instead of understanding and accepting my request, they insisted on me paying the outstanding balance so that I become able to downgrade.
Yes, I could have bought a downgrade option for 71,4 EUR - for a 1-year subscription fee! What an impertinence!
Their sneaking idea is to hide the "downgrade" button as well as the "profile deletion" function from the user menu in order to put pressure on the user to settle the balance. They lied that they cannot downgrade me and cannot cancel or revert the renewal of my membership. If that's true, be especially careful when giving your sensitive data for a company that does not have a competent User Administrator in charge and make sure to request the deletion of your data from their database!
They blocked access to my profile and messages after a couple of payment reminders and started to threaten me and told me that they reserve the right to escalate this matter further to a debt collection agency, which may result in additional costs for me.
What a ridiculous and shameless move it was from them! And they kept repeating that I should have seen the auto-renewal date on their web page and on my older invoices and in their Terms and Conditions. Seriously, who on earth visits web pages in 2020 regularly just to read old invoices and Terms and Conditions?!
I have the right to refrain from attending any social events during a world pandemic in order to avoid getting infected by a random participant at the venue even if events are organized. Internations doesn't understand that it is meaningless to have an Albatross membership in these times and they show 0 empathy about it.
They are able to spam you with a lot of newsletters, but they don't bother sending a single notification email before the auto-renewal is due (like e.g. Google does 1 month prior). If they succeed with charging your credit card, they don't inform you in email either.
This is pure meanness.
I learned after some googling that they have been applying this practice to hundreds and thousands of their users FOR YEARS without any consequences.
It's outrageous and sad to see how many people they stole from or threatened already.
If you start to complain about their unethical practice on their social media accounts, be prepared that they will be quick to suppress your voice and block you by their other talented team, the "Social Media Team". But it doesn't stop me from calling the attention of media & authorities to their business practices and warning others multiple times a week to avoid them.
DO NOT PAY them, or do request a refund from your bank if they've already charged you. Spread the word about this scam and discourage your friends from signing up there.
Report international scam for consumer protection authorities - to econsumer.gov
In North America, you can file a consumer complaint to
- Better Business Bureau (bbb.org) -> EU Privacy Shield
- Federal Trade Commission (ftccomplaintassistant.gov)
Post your experience and warn others on social media using these hashtags:
#BoycottInterNations #scam #scamalert #fraud #scamnations #greed #unethical #unfair #FraudFriday
For more info on this duplicitous company, follow @BInternations on Twitter.
Do not sign up! Downgrade if you have Albatross membership and don't want it to auto-renew! Delete your account!
This site looks good ... although it's a little obscure when you're not logged in, since you can't see/read much.
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