DAZN Streaming Service: Bringing Back One of Cable’s Worst Features

By Microsoft 6 Min Read
origin 1

Unless you’re a huge boxing fan, you might not know it too well DAZN. The sports-oriented streaming service, which launched in 2016, is best known in the US for its partnership with boxing promoter Eddie Hearn (and, previouslyCanelo Alvarez). It has also branched out into other niche sports such as billiards and darts.

Even if you don’t care about those things, DAZN deserves notoriety for a reason: it tries to lock customers into one-year contracts using underhanded sales tactics. DAZN also has an unusual 30-day notice requirement when canceling its standard monthly plan, leading to overcharges beyond the current billing cycle.

This kind of consumer-unfriendly behavior was unheard of when streaming services positioned themselves as friendlier alternatives to cable. Hopefully DAZN’s policies aren’t a sign of where things are headed as streaming services become desperate to raise revenue.

DAZN’s sneaky “monthly savings”.

Visit the DAZN homepageand you’ll see an advertised price of $19.99 per month.

But the homepage omits one important detail: The $19.99-per-month price tag requires a “Monthly Savings” plan, which charges customers each month for an entire year. Customers cannot cancel until their 12 months are up, effectively resulting in a one-year contract.

origin 1Note the fine print: The default “Monthly Savings” plan requires 12 monthly installments.

Jared Newman / Foundry

The only time DAZN reveals this is on its plan selection page, where Monthly Savings is the default option. A message below says “Sign up for a year and pay less per month in 12 installments.”

Subscribers who get past the fine print receive no further strikes on their annual commitment. DAZN’s final payment page shows a $19.99 bill and a notice that the plan will automatically renew in a month, but doesn’t mention the 10 other mandatory payments to follow.

origin 1DAZN’s final payment page does not reveal the 12-month commitment customers are signing up for.

Jared Newman / Foundry

This is a sneaky way of doing business. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with offering an annual plan paid in monthly installments, DAZN needs to be much clearer about what customers are signing up for.

30 days notice

DAZN offers an effective monthly plan, called the “Flexible Pass,” which is more expensive at $25 a month.

But even with this plan, DAZN has a way to charge more. As described in DAZN cancellation policythe company requires 30 days notice before Flexible Pass plan cancellation, and subscribers must pay for the excess time on a prorated basis.

For example, if you join DAZN on the $25/month Flexible Pass plan and cancel mid-month, DAZN will continue your membership for another 30 days. In your next billing cycle, DAZN will bill you for another half month before permanently canceling your subscription.

Conversely, most streaming services will cancel your subscription at the end of your billing cycle, regardless of when you cancel. To get this privilege with DAZN, you’ll need to sign up for an annual plan, which costs $225 upfront.

What can you do about it

DAZN did not respond to questions about its cancellation policies, including what happens to customers on installment plans whose payment methods fail.

DAZN Terms of Use provide only a vague and somewhat threatening explanation: the cost of the remaining year becomes payable immediately and DAZN says it “may exercise our right to collect this pending payment to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law.” The terms also explain that DAZN may attempt to charge other cards on file and will immediately attempt to charge any unpaid balances if you re-subscribe in the future.

What can you do then? Some idea:

Consider signing up with a limited use credit card to avoid being overcharged for the service (but be careful to register again with the same account in the future). If you’re only signing up for a particular event, make sure you choose the “Flexible Pass” plan and cancel it immediately after signing up so your 30-day notice period starts right away. Some states have laws against subscriptions that don’t clearly state the terms of renewal at the time of purchase. Check if these laws apply in your stateand consider filing a complaint with your state’s consumer protection agency. The FTC is too collapse on sneaky subscription tactics, and it is Seeking consumer feedback.

Of course, you might as well avoid giving DAZN your business in the first place. While you might miss out on a big boxing match or two, you will also discourage bad behavior in the most direct way possible.

Sign up for Jared’s Tagliacavi weekly bulletin to get columns like this in your inbox every Friday.

Share This Article
Leave a comment