Changeover from monthly to annual payment method appears to be legally problematic

I have switched from a monthly to an annual payment method as recommended in a Neswletter. This saves me two months’ premiums, so I only pay 10 monthly premiums p.a. under monthly payment.

I assume that Zwift grants this discount because it reduces the company’s costs for collecting and monitoring premium payments, higher advance payments can be recognised in total and the basis for calculations is extended over time.

Previously, I had paid monthly and had the right to pause my membership at any time and resume it after a or several weeks. After switching to annual membership, I realise that this right to pause has been removed.

Whatever the reason may be for this on Zwift’s part, I was not informed before I switched that I would no longer be able to pause, nor can I now return to the monthly billing period. After all, I might have to or want to pause again.

In addition, I can’t find any reference to the changed payment terms and the option to pause in the currently valid terms of use in German.

I suppose that in Europe it would be a legal requirement to give a customer the said information before (!) changing the contract and to let the customer accept it.

What does the Zwift company say about this?

There is no pausing for monthly subscriptions. There is only cancelling.
EDIT… nevermind. For a while you could only Cancel. Looks like they brought back Pausing.

There is no pausing for annual subscriptions. There is only cancelling.

Basically, if you pause a monthly (or cancel which I think has same net impact), that pause (and ceased billing) begins when your current month’s membership ends. And, if you ‘cancel’ or were able to ‘pause’ an annual membership, this would begin when your current annum’s membership ends.

You should have 30 days to cancel the annual membership and receive a refund. After the 30 days you are locked in.

1 Like

[ I have two monthly subscriptions since the beginning of 2018]

Thank you! But there must be a difference between “cancel” and “pause”, otherwise there wouldn’t be these two interruption options when paying monthly.

In my opinion, the purpose of pausing is to temporarily suspend the subscription in the summer months, for example, when I’m riding outside and not in the pain cage.

Of course - if I had an annual payment method and then started a break after a year - that wouldn’t make any sense.

But my issue at the moment is that I didn’t receive any information about this when I switched from monthly to annual payment.

1 Like

The OP is not a first time subscriber.

Q: Can I cancel my Zwift membership?

A: Yes. If you cancel your Zwift membership, your progress will be saved so you can come back whenever you want. You’ll also be able to continue riding for the remainder of your billing cycle. If you have an annual membership, you’re a first-time subscriber, and you cancel in the first 30 days, you’re eligible for a full refund.

The only difference between cancel and pause I think, is that with pausing you can pick a specific # of weeks to pause for. If you cancel, you’re effectively paused until you re-signup. A monthly subscription makes more sense if you use the service less than 10 months per year.

You can cancel an annual membership, but that only means you are turning off auto-renewing at the end of your annual subscription – Just like cancelling a monthly, turns off auto-renewing at the end of your current month’s subscription. So really, the terms of either the Monthly or the Annual contracts are effectively similar. Just that up front you’re buying 1 month at a time, or buying 1 year at a time.

In other words, you failed to do due diligence to find out the terms and conditions, or read the FAQ that Zwift posted on their website.

2 Likes

Glad you mentioned due diligence. This allows me the opportunity to point users towards Section 20 of the terms of service “We reserve the right to modify our Platform or to suspend or stop providing all or portions of our Platform at any time………We are not responsible for any loss or harm related to your inability to access or use our Platform”

You always had the opportunity.

you bought an Annual membership so one would assume you’re going to use it 52 weeks of the year so why would you want to pause it or whatever, if you’re not going to zwift 52 weeks of the year, then just use the normal membership option that renews monthly

1 Like

He can still pause it for the next billing period. Same rights and features as monthly accounts. Just he’s chosen an annual billing period.

It would be nice for Zwift to allow people who switch to annual to revert to monthly or to cancel entirely before 30-days have expired, but picking annual means annual. I don’t see anything sneaky, hidden or illegal by Zwift here (though they do need to update their “Terms of Service” which talks about monthly accounts only (being dated 2022)).

As to the benefits to Zwift, I don’t think its anything to do with billing costs. Much more likely the benefit of having some element of stable income to underly the current highly volatile feast or famine monthly income they get from a largely northern hemisphere user base.

1 Like

They’ve also had years of people coming here to complain/beg/demand that Zwift implement a yearly payment plan, so maybe Zwift is planning on some of those people putting their money where their mouths have been and signing up for a full year instead of pausing for the summer. :slight_smile:

2 Likes

I don’t understand the issue. If you’re purchasing an annual membership, why would you want to pause it? Pause or no pause, it’s still an annual membership. What does pausing the membership buy you?

1 Like

But you’ve bought an annual subscription - one that lasts for twelve months from initiation to termination (or renewal). You haven’t bought 12 monthly subscriptions for the price of 10. That’s not what Zwift is selling.

3 Likes

Exactly. Pausing a monthly sub ‘for the next billing period’ would mean that your sub would run until the current billing period that you’ve paid for runs out, and then it would go on pause. Your account would stay active for the current month, and then pause. And you can pause it for as long as you’d like, resuming payments for full one-month periods at any time after that.

So pausing an annual sub ‘for the next billing period’ would mean you’d pause the sub when the current billing period runs out–meaning after the calendar year that you’ve paid for. You could pause for as long as you want, and resume payments for a full one-year period at any time after that.

You’re paying for a year, not 12 not-necessarily-contiguous-months.

1 Like

out of curiosity what is the difference between pausing and cancelling a monthly subscription?

Summary of Zwift info:

Instead of canceling, you can pause your monthly membership payments for 1-8 weeks.

When your pause duration ends, your subscription and billing will resume automatically.

My take is:
Cancel you start the re-billing process.
Pause Zwift start the re-billing process.

1 Like

He wants to have is nice 2 months discount and then pause for the summer, keeping his month remaining for after the summer. Basically the idea is to stretch the 12 month subscription into a 16/17 month subscription.

I’d say it’s up to OP to read what new contract he gets himself into. Which is basically what you’re doing when changing the payment.

1 Like

I have switched from a monthly to an annual payment method as recommended in a Neswletter. This saves me two months’ premiums, so I only pay 10 monthly premiums p.a. under monthly payment.

No, you haven’t. You have switched from an auto-recurring monthly subscription, where you subscribe for one month, at the end of which it automatically renews and you pay for another month, to a auto-recurring annual subscription, where you subscribe for one year, at the end of which it automatically renews and you pay for another year. The annual subscription is lower than the equivalent of 12 monthly subscriptiont.

Previously, I had paid monthly and had the right to pause my membership at any time and resume it after a or several weeks. After switching to annual membership, I realise that this right to pause has been removed.

Whatever the reason may be for this on Zwift’s part, I was not informed before I switched that I would no longer be able to pause, nor can I now return to the monthly billing period. After all, I might have to or want to pause again.

Yes … you “pause” your membership by stopping your monthly subscription and restarting it at some point in the future. When you pause, your subscription continues until the end of the month you have paid for and then does not recur.

Because you are not tied in to a contract period … each subscription lasts for one month … you are not pausing an ongoing arrangement, just not renewing it when it ends. Same applies to the annual version, except it will run for a full year before you can stop it recurring. If you committed to pay for 12 months at outsef and Zwift allowed you to pause it after 6, that would be different, but you are at no point committed to pay for more than a single month (or year, on an annual sub).

That means nothing has changed, and the switch has not disadvantaged you in any way.

In addition, I can’t find any reference to the changed payment terms and the option to pause in the currently valid terms of use in German.

Again … that would be because you are not pauing an ongoing contract … you are allowing the contract to run to its end and then not renewing it for a further month. The terminology (as already outlined above) is …

  • “Pausing” means you inform Zwift how long you wish to pause your subscriptions for and they will then resubscribe you for a new month at the end of that period.

  • “Cancelling” means you inform Zwift you no longer wish your subscription to be automatically renewed and you need to initiate the re-subscription yourself when you are ready .

In both cases, your data is retained and you carry on from where you left off when you re-start.

If you intend to only ride during the Winter, and will be using Zwift for less than 10 months of the year, it is cheaper to pay monthly. If, like me, you leave your subscription running all year anyway, it is now cheaper to take the annual subscription.

3 Likes

I think that sums it up nicely, couldn’t get a lot clearer :+1:

1 Like