Real Secrets Trick of the Month Club...

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.

Postby Ian Kendall » 02/24/12 05:12 PM

Oops...

Isn't that because it's the login for the site? As in, you cannot let anyone use your login to get to the site?

I hope that's it...
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Postby Pete McCabe » 02/24/12 05:23 PM

"Naught naught naught, naught naught, naught naught naught two. Damn Roosevelt!"
C. Montgomery Burns
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/24/12 06:27 PM

My PayPal receipt says it's my order number, not my membership number. They wouldn't have a membership number that's just a few digits because it would be so easy to figure out.
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Postby RobertAllen » 02/25/12 01:57 AM

Smurf wrote:[size:11pt] We can tell you that it is people you know and trust. People like Steve Brooks....[/size]


Well there's a marketing faux pas.
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Postby Pete McCabe » 02/25/12 05:08 AM

"Who are you?"
"I am number 2."
"Who is number 1?"
"You are number 6."
"I am not a number. I am a free man!!!"

(I'm 143.)
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Postby Judah Vee » 02/25/12 05:51 AM

I guess I jumped on the wagon early.... I have a pretty low number, and seeing how high the numbers have gotten here, Seems that a decent amount of people have no issue taking a chance. I like a little feeling of wonder, as I lost alot of it over the years of learning magic. I always felt that was the worst part of being a magician....

-J-
Live life stupid happy...
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Postby Matthew Field » 02/25/12 07:20 AM

I broke down and placed my order (No. 144). And cancelled the automatic renewal, as I do with virually all automatic renewals. It's my birthday present (birthday is in June!). The people involved are too wonderful not to give it a shot.

When I was a kid, my parents bought me a sub to something called "Things of Science." Each month a blue box would arrive with stuff for some sort of experiment. I loved it.

While I'm afraid lots of the Real Secrets stuff will wind up in my ever-expanding magic drawer, I'm an old git and can play if I want to (in between practicing card magic and writing). The only thing I know of that's at all similar are the packages of magic which Karl Fulves sends out to accompany his periodicals, and I love those.

Matt Field
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Postby J-Mac » 02/25/12 12:16 PM

Nice, Pete! "The Prisoner" - I have the entire series on DVD. :)

Jim

Pete McCabe wrote:"Who are you?"
"I am number 2."
"Who is number 1?"
"You are number 6."
"I am not a number. I am a free man!!!"

(I'm 143.)
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Postby erdnasephile » 02/25/12 01:20 PM

Does anyone know if the creators named actually own or invest in the enterprise in question, or are they hired by the actual publisher?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/25/12 02:20 PM

Everyone's mouth is wired shut on this one.
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Postby AJM » 02/25/12 03:10 PM

Maybe the reason for all the lack of information is hidden within the title and premise of the project...

I could be wrong though.


Cheers

Andrew

(Now, will I or won't I?)
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Postby Pete McCabe » 02/25/12 06:13 PM

Hey MattI'm 1 cooler than you. Ha ha!
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Postby Matthew Field » 02/26/12 04:33 PM

Real Secrets threw a s#it fit about my cancelled automatic renewal. They said it was a condition of subscription. Now I've got to find out how to restore it on PayPal. Then remember to cancel at the proper time (or renew, at my option).

McCabe -- I always knew you were cooler.
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Postby AJM » 02/26/12 04:59 PM

Ok, I'm in.

But I'm not going to tell you my order number, cos it's a secret.

'I'm a member of Magic Circle, you know - in fact, I'm a member of the Secret Six.
It's so secret, I don't know who the other five are'
Tommy Cooper

Cheers

Andrew

P.S. I'll just have until next month to buy Mr Kendall's book. Incidentally, does anyone know if Kendall's on Kindle? (Boom boom)
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Postby erdnasephile » 02/26/12 05:02 PM

Matthew Field wrote:Real Secrets threw a s#it fit about my cancelled automatic renewal. They said it was a condition of subscription. Now I've got to find out how to restore it on PayPal. Then remember to cancel at the proper time (or renew, at my option).


I'm sorry to hear that, but I'm glad you reported it, Matt.

I was on the fence--I've prepaid for far too many projects from magic legends that I liked and respected. They had the best of intentions and plans, yet props were never built, and subscriptions were never fulfilled--leaving me (and others) holding the proverbial bag.

Matt's report, along with the publisher's decision to remain anonymous finally tipped me to the wait and see side.

Yes, I'll miss out on the real secrets, but since I'm going to take that $$$ and buy the Pat Page book, I imagine I'll soon be privy to plenty of secrets to keep me busy for a long time. :)

Good luck, everybody!

PS: I wanted to make it clear that my comment on what has happened to me in the past in no way reflects my feelings/beliefs regarding the named magicians associated with the project under discussion (none of whom have ever ripped me off). I just wanted to cite my past experience with others to give context to my post.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/26/12 05:07 PM

Not a word to me about cancelling the automatic renewal, which I did immediately.

I don't think it's legal to force someone into not being able to cancel an auto-renew option as a condition of purchasing something.
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Postby Jeff Eline » 02/26/12 10:08 PM

I cancelled my automatic renewal and this is what I received:

We received notice that you cancelled the automatic payment feature of your application.

Membership is, in part, based upon this traditional recurring subscription structure.

You will not be billed until the appropriate time for renewal.

Please advise whether you would like to restore this mandatory feature or would prefer to have your application for membership and fee returned in full.

The Real Secrets Team


I think it's pretty [censored] to require mandatory automatic billing.
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Postby Bob Cunningham » 02/26/12 10:35 PM

If a company engages in a business practice that I consider unethical then I do not do business with that company.

In my opinion, requiring annual automatic billing is at best "customer unfriendly" and at worst unethical. I gave some thought to signing up for this site, but not now.
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Postby Jeff Eline » 02/27/12 12:54 AM

I think it's funny that you Richard, didn't receive a similar email when you cancelled the automatic payment. Guess the adage "Never pick a fight with a guy that buys ink by the barrel" applies here.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/27/12 01:09 AM

Not only do I suspect that the mandatory automatic rebilling might be illegal, but doing it selectively would certainly seem to be.
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Postby Ted M » 02/27/12 01:17 AM

I was about to sign up, but being locked unto an auto-billed perpetual subscription is enraging.

It also doesn't speak well of the creators' confidence in their product. If it's good, customers want to renew.

This is a pig in a poke to begin with. I was going to go in for a year based on the good names of the creators involved. But a renewal does need to be earned.

Demanding this perpetual renewal is way over the line.
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Postby RobertAllen » 02/27/12 01:42 AM

RobertAllen wrote:[size:11pt] We can tell you that it is people you know and trust. People like Steve Brooks....[/size]


Sounds like that know and trust thing isn't working out so well...

The best way to sucker magicians in to something is to say it's a big secret, and to charge a high price. It never fails.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/27/12 01:53 AM

"If it's good, customers want to renew."

BINGO.
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Postby Bill Marquardt » 02/27/12 02:14 AM

Mr. Kaufman, if you have any idea who these people are, please speak with them. I just received the same email demanding that I reinstate the auto-renewal feature. Funny thing is that their email is a "do not reply" email.

I broke down and signed up based on the good names of the few magicians who have been named and now I feel like a fool. Do they really expect us to sign up for life? They made a point of saying we could cancel the subscription if we were not happy with the product, so I cannot see their point in making autopay a requirement.

If I were to cancel autopay after six months, would they revoke my membership then?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/27/12 02:41 AM

I didn't see anything in their terms requiring that you commit to paying for several years as a requirement to receive the first year. I have never heard of a business that required auto-renewal for multiple years (rather than simply selling you a multiple year subscription) in order to subscribe for its first year.

I don't know who the people are in charge. I just know some of the contributors, but none of them have discussed any of this with me.

If they had said upfront that we MUST subscribe for two years at a cost of $288, and the second year's portion won't be billed until the end of the first year, then this wouldn't be happening. But they realize, it would seem (and rightfully so), that seeing a figure of $288 is going to put some folks off.

Most of use who've sent the money would probably go for a second year without thinking twice if they deliver on their promises regarding the quality of the material, but removing our choice to renew for the second year seems like a bad psychological business decision. Suppose you don't have the $144 to spare in a year? You've lost your job? Spouse lost a job. Who knows?
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Postby Bill Marquardt » 02/27/12 02:51 AM

If I understand their email correctly, they are saying that my Paypal payment will not be processed until I reinstate automatic renewal. I am guessing they see that as their way out of a dispute. Regardless, unless they alter their policy, I will initiate a formal complaint with Paypal and encourage others to do the same.
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Postby AJM » 02/27/12 03:21 AM

Given the recent comments I've just cancelled my recurring payment.

They can have a year's subscription from me or none at all.

Their choice.

Andrew
Last edited by AJM on 02/27/12 03:22 AM, edited 0 times in total.
Reason: typo
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Postby Bill Marquardt » 02/27/12 03:27 AM

Sorry to keep posting, but I want to correct a misstatement on my part. Apparently the "do not reply" comment was part of the Paypal message that was copied into the email from the Real Secrets team and did not refer to their email. I have replied to them and await their response.

it isn't easy spending $144.00 these days. I can remember when businesses wanted to make money.
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Postby mrgoat » 02/27/12 06:11 AM

If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck and smells like a duck...
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Postby AJM » 02/27/12 07:57 AM

Yes, I agree.

Having now received 'the e-mail' after cancelling the recurring payment option earlier, I shall be telling them to duck off shortly.

A.
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Postby PickaCard » 02/27/12 08:39 AM

Wow.

I would hate to have to make a living selling to magicians.

I have subscribed for a year with renewal. The automated email from Real Secrets states that they will make every attempt to satisfy us.

I have no concern that if I am not satisfied that I will be able to cancel before the automatic renewal kicks in.

Either jump on board or not. Don't spend your time raining on my parade before it even starts.
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Postby mrgoat » 02/27/12 09:50 AM

Yeah. imagine magicians discussing a new thing and being sceptical because many many have been burnt from similar things in the past.

Shame on us all.
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Postby Jeff Eline » 02/27/12 09:55 AM

PickaCard wrote:Either jump on board or not. Don't spend your time raining on my parade before it even starts.


If you want your parade to be bathed in constant sunshine, then don't read or research anything your about to purchase or undertake.

I will, however, give my honest opinion of a product or company when applicable - both good and bad.

Making automatic billing of a product or service is at the least bad business, and at the worst illegal. I certainly believe selectively applying the condition is illegal.

This seems to me, as a friend of mine put it, a lame attempt to create an annuity for themselves, not based on quality but on peoples natural but unfortunate habit of forgetfulness.
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Postby mrgoat » 02/27/12 10:39 AM

Jeff Eline wrote:
If you want your parade to be bathed in constant sunshine, then don't read or research anything your about to purchase or undertake.


To be fair, I imagine threads like this would be swiftly deleted at the cafe, so he could hang out there.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/27/12 11:39 AM

The only problem from my point of view is the "quiet" way in which they've made it mandatory to subscribe for a minimum of two years.

Either tell us we have to subscribe for two years or don't make us subscribe for two years.

And I'm only using "two" years as an example. What if I wanted to cancel the automatic payment during year two and am told I can't do that--it has to continue for year three or I won't get the rest of year two?
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Postby Pete McCabe » 02/27/12 11:55 AM

I don't understand. In 11 months, if I don't want to renew, I cancel then. I appreciate that this is not customer-friendly, but in what way is it mandatory for me to subscribe for 2 years?
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Postby Steve Bryant » 02/27/12 12:02 PM

If you don't subscribe for two years, then you might not learn the secret value of that stamp you got the first year.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/27/12 12:02 PM

The reason companies do auto-renewals is because customers forget to renew. However, most people also forget to cancel if they wanted to, so it works both ways.

By making auto-renewal compulsory, companies are betting that you'll forget to cancel.
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Postby PickaCard » 02/27/12 12:38 PM

I doubt the people who are whinning about auto renewal will forget to cancel as they will get a monthly reminder in the mail.

As for me, I prefer to not miss out on any of the months if it is any good. If it sucks I will probably ask for the balance of my money back half way through the year.

I am betting I will be satisfied.
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Postby J-Mac » 02/27/12 12:55 PM

I would guess that they dont want Automatic Renewal removed ever. This is, unfortunately, common with most online subscriptions to which I have subscribed. Also, there was a time when certain subscriptions did not have anyway to remove the Automatic part on PayPal; I think that the option to remove that is a relatively recent addition to PayPal.

Another example is Dropbox. They are even more of a pain in the ass about this. Not only do they set you up for automatic renewal when you purchase a "Pro" subscription, but they do not send any notifications at all; nothing telling you your subscription is about to renew, and nothing telling you that they charged you for another year. If you dont remember on your own you dont see the charge coming. BTW, they do this whether you use PayPal or your credit card.

When I first discovered automatic renewal subscriptions, there were some things I allowed to stay automatic, and some I dropped immediately! Depends on how much I trust the vendor. Most customers though use "How bad do I want this?" as their criteria for allowing the automatic renewal flag.

Jim
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