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Visit abbywinters

abbywinters (0)

tomjones (1) 09-04-11  12:52am
No Badges TRUST USER?   YES (1), NO (2)
Status: Was a member approx. 1 month prior to this review.
Pros: I'm very impressed with AW's Unique content and natural interaction between attractive girls who seem to genuinely enjoy the mostly unscripted sex they engage in. The models are generally enthusiastic, and vary widely in their body-types and ethnicity. Video and photos are available in high-quality (assuming you have broadband) and are often free of many annoying porn conventions. I think the content is generally very compelling.
Cons: Partly because there are only a few low-res. hetero interactions on-site, there is a sense of almost oppressive lesbian exclusivity which seems to pervade some of the shoots. Strap-ons (a personal favorite) are nowhere to be found, presumably because their use emulates male-female sex.

But by far the most disappointing aspect of the site is the Abbywinters automatic re-billing policy which seems deliberately structured to enhance opportunities to overcharge subscribers who fail to realize they must actively un-subscribe. Casual credit card statement scanners had best make a note of this scheme (which I realize is not unique to AW) and be sure to confirm that Abby's hand is not in their pockets after their first month is finished. AW's billing division (GMBill) claims to be unable to access user's activity history on-site which they assert frees them from any requirement to review subscriber activity (or inactivity).
Bottom Line: I realize that porn purveyors are not guided by the "customer is always right" strictures that are the policy of main street merchants, but Abbywinters seems to have no compunctions about customer exploitation and will apparently gleefully take advantage of any subscriber accounting negligence, perhaps with the assumption that porn-site patrons will be reluctant to dispute billings and expose their patronage. So, be warned, and enter into any contract with AW understanding that their business model does not include a policy promoting complete customer satisfaction or strictly ethical give-and-take.

Since I like their content, I'm sorry they aren't taking the long view and cultivating good consumer relations which I believe would actually enhance their bottom line.

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Review Replies (11)

Replies to the user review above.

Msg # User Message Date


tangub (155) Am i reading this correctly....you give Abby Winters a 50 because you forgot to cancel the re-bill....you're suggesting they should have noticed that you're no longer active on the site and therefore should not have charged you again?
09-04-11  01:54am

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otoh (54) As tangub said, that's a little harsh - suspect this may be your first pay site join, since it's pretty much standard practice with porn sites to do recurring billing and leave it up to the customer to cancel.

Whether or not you agree with it, you'll end up giving all sites 50 because of it :|

09-04-11  02:12am

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Capn (28) Whilst I appreciate the effort you have put in on this, what the others have said is quite correct.
It is normal practice in the industry to continue to bill until you cancel.

There are a couple of ways around it.

Either use a non-recurring subscription; some sites offer this as an option at a slightly higher price; or cancel the card it is billed to in which case a rebill will fail.

Cap'n. :0)

09-04-11  09:42am

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tomjones (1) REPLY TO #2 - otoh :

Yes, it is a standard practice with many second-rate sites who've failed to recognize its negative effects on their subscription rates and choose to boost profits with deception rather than effective promotion and customer service. I've subscribed to several more thoughtfully structured paysites that do not re-bill automatically. Most sensible pay-site webmasters have dropped automatic re-bill. If you read my review "pros" you'll see that I largely approve of AW's high-quality content, however its current billing scheme leaves me cold. AW could choose to bill users for services rendered, but has instead made a practice of denying responsibilities which I believe should be accepted by any merchant: payment in exchange for goods and services their patrons utilize, no more, no less. I would like to see such schemes disappear from an industry that needs to step out into the bright light of mainstream commerce.
09-04-11  09:54am

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otoh (54) REPLY TO #4 - tomjones :

I did read your review pros, which is why it's more of a shame that you give such a poor score to this popular site for doing what pretty much every site does. Any sites you've joined that don't work this way are in the very small minority; and again, by this logic you will score almost every site listed on TBP at 50.

I am neither condoning nor condemning the practice of automatic rebilling; just stating that it's almost universal in the industry; I think every site I've joined rebills until cancelled. It's easily dealt with as Cap'n mentioned; and most sites make it very easy to cancel (difficulty in cancelling WOULD justify a poor score).

It's unfortunate that you perhaps weren't familiar with this when singing up to AW - although I see on their join page, each option has 'rebilling' stated very clearly next to it.

End of story for me, at least :)

09-04-11  10:23am

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tomjones (1) REPLY TO #5 - otoh :

I understand why you are making the "it's an industry standard" argument, although I don't believe re-billing should stand in the remaining places that it continues to be tolerated. I might be more flexible in my views and rate them more highly for their product if AW was willing to rectify omissions and misunderstandings they can easily verify after the fact. They (so far) exhibit zero regret and deny any scintilla of culpability while asserting thus: "...we can assure you that Abbywinters does not engage in or tolerate deceptive billing practices or unfair treatment of their members in any way, shape, or form."


09-04-11  12:23pm

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abbywinters (29)
REPLY TO #6 - tomjones :

Hi Tomjones,

Garion Hall here, Owner of AW and GMBill.com. I'm trying to ignore the editorials and understand the facts. From what you have posted, it seems that:

(1) You joined AW on a rebilling sub
(2) You did not cancel rebills
(3) You were rebilled
(4) You asked for a refund for the rebill, and were denied

In principle, that's pretty much our policy, but we are flexible in some circumstances. Note that we notify you in four separate emails after joining, on each page of the join process, AND on every page on the site when your next rebill date is (if you have not yet cancelled rebills), AND we make it simpler than pretty much any site in the world to cancel your rebills (no need to go to the billing provider, you can do it from AW itself).

As to changing the policy for automatic rebills, that's fair criticism, but unlikely to change for us. As other posters have mentioned, it's just "how it's done" - everyone understands it, and we don't get complaints about it. It provides an incentive for us to keep updating the site (thus keeping members), and for members to view the site (and keep rebilling).

Your example of "main street shops" does not hold water. Consider a subscription to a magazine or a gym - they have MUCH more strict rebilling policies than porn sites.

If you'd care to notify me (off-list if you prefer, on garion.hall@abbywinters.com) with your SubID so I can look into the specifics, I'd like the opportunity to do that, so I can post back here our stance as it relates to your circumstances, and explain to you the case (or, if an error was made, correct it).

09-05-11  11:00am

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tomjones (1) REPLY TO #7 - abbywinters :

Mr. Hall,
I've sent an email response to your post here, please alert me if it doesn't arrive. Regards,


09-05-11  09:32pm

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abbywinters (29)
REPLY TO #8 - tomjones :

received, thanks. I'm looking into it, and will respsond shortly by email and here.
09-06-11  02:17am

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Thomas20 (2) REPLY TO #7 - abbywinters :

"it's just "how it's done" - everyone understands it, and we don't get complaints about it."

Lol. You have now.

I don't know why but this reminds me of a famous movie quote - "Eduard Delacroix IS dead."

09-06-11  11:59am

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abbywinters (29)
REPLY TO #8 - tomjones :

Tomjones and I exchanged several emails, and cleared up his concerns. He did join on a rebilling account (perhaps accidentally), he did forget to cancel his rebills (assuming he had not signed up on a rebilling account).

We credit his account with the un-used time he had paid for (~150 days). As he only has occasional access to broadband, we advised him of our ability to suspend and un-suspend his account, so it's only active when he has broadband access (we do this for folks in the armed forces quite often).

We agreed to disagree on rebilling account plans. As others have suggested, it's the norm (ironically, we get more complaints from customers whose rebills have filed (eg, expired card) than we do for having rebills in the first place!

We did miss one of Tomjones' emails, and that's what caused a lot of these problems. He seems satisfied now, as are we!

09-08-11  12:18pm

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