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Always check your bill

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NatashaTerenzio's Avatar


NatashaTerenzio
03.06.2013 , 01:21 PM | #1
Last month I got my bill for my subscription and it was $16.34. I thought this extremely curious because this was the first month I'd been charged over 14.99. As I checked my statement it showed 1.35 in taxes. This only provided further confusion because that was above 8% for starters and secondly I had never received a tax charge before.

So I called SWTOR. A very polite gentlemen informed me that they were seeing this pop up on a lot of people's statements but they had nothing to do with it, and that I should call my bank. This baffled me because I'm assuming SWTOR billing was unaware that I do the majority of my banking through paypal, and paypal does not add charges. But whatev I called paypal and of course they said it wasn't them, and are disputing the extra $1.35 charge on my behalf.

I don't mind paying what's owed, but I'm not paying EA extra for no reason. So moral of the story kids always check your bill, and just because you see XYZ in taxes doesn't mean it's correct.
"A king has his reign, and then he dies." -Meredith Vickers
Schizo Extraordinaire; too many alts to mention.

CaptianFordo's Avatar


CaptianFordo
03.06.2013 , 02:18 PM | #2
How do they tax a digital good?
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DarthTHC's Avatar


DarthTHC
03.06.2013 , 02:24 PM | #3
Sounds like 'call your bank' is a stock script answer.

You have to throw back at them, "my bank only charges what YOU tell them to - this is showing up on YOUR web site - MY BANK does not tell YOUR BILLING TEAM what I should be paying - it's the other way around."

They're going to get a lot of disputes, which is going to cost them a crapton of money, if they don't fix this.
Human beings see oppression vividly when they're the victims. Otherwise they victimize blindly and without a thought. ~ Isaac Bashevis Singer

Andryah's Avatar


Andryah
03.06.2013 , 02:28 PM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by CaptianFordo View Post
How do they tax a digital good?
Digital goods are not exempt from taxes in all local tax boundaries. Some yes, some no.

Being an Amazon Prime user, I am very aware of the ongoing battles between merchants and states. The days of free shipping and no taxes are evaporating on the no taxes side of things.

It sucks.... but..... more and more states/provinces are tired of not getting a slice of the internet pie via taxation and are tightening their laws and enforcement to get taxes. This includes "digital" items in some cases (laws and conditions vary by state). It's common to suddenly see tax show up on an internet transaction early in a new year when it never did before, because a new law or change to a law kicked in, or a company initiated a policy change on a new calander year and decided to begin collecting taxes even if not required by law to do so.

While most states still have laws that say out of state purchases need not be taxed at the merchant side the same law ALSO states that the buyer must report it and pay a "use tax" that is equivalent to the state sales tax. Of course nobody reports it and ponies up... so the states start locking down legislative controls on the merchants. As more states do so, it get more difficult for the merchants to figure out who they must tax or who they can skip over.. so they just start charging everyone sales tax and forwarding the tax revenue to the appropriate state. Why? because it is simpler for the merchant to administer AND the states tax laws only say an out of state merchant is not required to collect tax NOT that they are prohibited from collected tax on behalf of the state. States always like more revenue.

By the way.. your local brick and mortar stores WANT internet sales taxed as they don't like it that virtual stores have an automaitc price advantage = your local sales tax rate. With most sales tax rates being 6-9% in states these days... that's a large advantage because margins are narrow in the consumer marketplace.
Forum disputatio ------> est completum ineptias.

Andryah's Avatar


Andryah
03.06.2013 , 02:29 PM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by NatashaTerenzio View Post
So I called SWTOR. A very polite gentlemen informed me that they were seeing this pop up on a lot of people's statements but they had nothing to do with it, and that I should call my bank.
I believe you that that was the answer given, but I also believe you were given an incorrect answer. There have been multiple threads in the last month about people complaining about taxes showing up on their subscriptions in 2013 when they never did before.
Forum disputatio ------> est completum ineptias.

DarthTHC's Avatar


DarthTHC
03.06.2013 , 02:30 PM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by Andryah View Post
Being an Amazon Prime user, I am very aware of the ongoing battles between merchants and states. The days of free shipping and no taxes are evaporating on the no taxes side of things.

It sucks.... but..... more and more states/provinces are tired of not getting a slice of the internet pie via taxation and are tightening their laws and enforcement to get taxes. This includes "digital" items in some cases (laws and conditions vary by state). It's real common to suddenl see tax show up on an internet transaction early in a new year when it never did before, because a new law or change to a law kicked in, or a company initiated a policy change on a new calander year and decided to begin collecting taxes even if not required by law to do so.

While most states still have laws that say out of state purchases need not be taxed at the merchant side the same law ALSO states that the buyer must report it and pay a "use tax" that is equivalent to the state sales tax. Of course nobody reports it and ponies up... so the states start locking down legislative controls on the merchants. As more states do so, it get more difficult for the merchants to figure out who they must tax or who they can skip over.. so they just start charging everyone sales tax and forwarding the tax revenue to the appropriate state. Why? because it is simpler for the merchant to administer AND the states tax laws only say an out of state merchant is nor required to collect tax NOT that they are prohibited from collected tax on behalf of the state.
And that's 100% good info...

But it doesn't absolve EA's team from redirecting inquiries to the caller's payment processor. That's nothing more than a tactic to end the phone call as quickly as possible (at best) or a flat, outright lie (at worst). EA is charging the tax; not any customer's bank or PayPal or whatever they use!

EA's falling down here. They need to step up and be straight with us. Tell us to expect the tax and why, or tell us it's a bug and fix it.
Human beings see oppression vividly when they're the victims. Otherwise they victimize blindly and without a thought. ~ Isaac Bashevis Singer

Andryah's Avatar


Andryah
03.06.2013 , 02:42 PM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by DarthTHC View Post
But it doesn't absolve EA's team from redirecting inquiries to the caller's payment processor. That's nothing more than a tactic to end the phone call as quickly as possible (at best) or a flat, outright lie (at worst). EA is charging the tax; not any customer's bank or PayPal or whatever they use!
I agree with you.

Either their CS script/flowchart needs updating and/or they need updated training. Either way... it's on Bioware to address it. The root cause is a quality assurance escape... and we are all aware they have them at Bioware.

Having had some experience with reviewing CS scripts/flowcharts in the past as part of a larger project... this is not uncommon, and it gets fixed. But that does not excuse it.
Forum disputatio ------> est completum ineptias.

DarthTHC's Avatar


DarthTHC
03.06.2013 , 03:05 PM | #8
They already made a statement on this. Eric's probably going to beat me to this...

Quote: Originally Posted by EricMusco View Post
I was hoping to clear up some confusion on this issue. Subscriptions are subject to sales tax in some states, and sometimes states rules on how these taxes are applied can fluctuate from month to month. This could be the cause of the cost changes you noted above.

If you want to get more information on something like this you can view our Terms of Service or our FAQ, or call your state's Revenue Department.

-eric
from http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?p=5924845

I dun been schooled.
Human beings see oppression vividly when they're the victims. Otherwise they victimize blindly and without a thought. ~ Isaac Bashevis Singer

EricMusco's Avatar


EricMusco
03.06.2013 , 03:08 PM | #9 This is the last staff post in this thread.  
Quote: Originally Posted by NatashaTerenzio View Post
Last month I got my bill for my subscription and it was $16.34. I thought this extremely curious because this was the first month I'd been charged over 14.99. As I checked my statement it showed 1.35 in taxes. This only provided further confusion because that was above 8% for starters and secondly I had never received a tax charge before.

So I called SWTOR. A very polite gentlemen informed me that they were seeing this pop up on a lot of people's statements but they had nothing to do with it, and that I should call my bank. This baffled me because I'm assuming SWTOR billing was unaware that I do the majority of my banking through paypal, and paypal does not add charges. But whatev I called paypal and of course they said it wasn't them, and are disputing the extra $1.35 charge on my behalf.

I don't mind paying what's owed, but I'm not paying EA extra for no reason. So moral of the story kids always check your bill, and just because you see XYZ in taxes doesn't mean it's correct.
Hey everyone,

I posted some clarification on this a few days ago but I wanted to bring it up here as well since the issue is still around. You can find the thread here: http://www.swtor.com/community/showt...45#edit5924845


What I said prior was:
Quote: Originally Posted by EricMusco View Post
I was hoping to clear up some confusion on this issue. Subscriptions are subject to sales tax in some states, and sometimes states rules on how these taxes are applied can fluctuate from month to month. This could be the cause of the cost changes you noted above.

If you want to get more information on something like this you can view our Terms of Service or our FAQ, or call your state's Revenue Department.

-eric
Hope that clears up any confusion!
Eric Musco | Community Manager
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MazakMatsura's Avatar


MazakMatsura
03.06.2013 , 04:07 PM | #10
2 things I'd like to know is why now? And why was the community not informed?

After a year of folks not being charged tax for their sub/cartel coins tax is suddenly added on with no mention. Why?
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