Back in March, I posted about Spirit Airlines’ $9 fare club, which charges a $29.95 annual fee to provide members with access to “private” sale fares, apparently as low as $9 each way. In recent weeks, I’ve been receiving multiple e-mails requesting that **I** cancel someone else’s membership in the Spirit $9 club.

Letters start like “I am being charged at $29.95 fee for membership in Spirit Club. I do not remember joining this and I need to be removed/canceled immediately.”

Huh?? Why are you asking ME? I mean, I’d love to help, but shouldn’t the question be addressed to the airline? What’s going on here?

A few web searches and clicks, and I think I’ve found the answer.

1) If you do a Google search for “Spirit Airlines $9 club” or “Spirit $9 club,” the top-ranked search result isn’t Spirit’s own page for their club. It’s this site. This post. (Interestingly, if you add the word “fare” to your search terms, such as “Spirit $9 fare club,” you actually do get the Spirit Airlines website. The quirks of Google!)

But surely people can see from the content of that post that Upgrade: Travel Better is not the same as Spirit Airlines? For pete’s sake, the post even skeptically suggests that you shouldn’t waste your money on their club membership. I guess people don’t read.

2) More importantly, why are so many people complaining about memberships that they say they didn’t purchase? Is Spirit automatically signing people up for this club without their consent?

Again, it seems that people don’t read. Here’s what I think is happening:

If you go to the Spirit Airlines website and select flights for purchase, you get a summary page that presents your selected itinerary. On that page, there is also the following text:

spirit fare club optout This is not the Spirit Airlines website and I cant cancel your club membership.  So why are people asking ME for refunds?

Aha! The dreaded opt-out. If you don’t uncheck the boxes, you automatically buy travel insurance and join the $9 club, which automatically renews for $29.95 a year. Very sneaky, questionably ethical, and clearly designed to prey on the folks who don’t read things carefully — the same people who don’t notice that this site isn’t Spirit Airlines.

So, what do you do if you were careless and signed up for the $9 club? You can certainly cancel, but you may be out of luck in getting a refund. The terms and conditions of the $9 club state:

1.3. A Member may cancel his or her membership in the Club at any time by selecting the unsubscribe option within their FREE SPIRIT account profile
[...]
3.2. After 3 months after initial enrollment in the Club, and on each anniversary thereafter, Members will be automatically charged an annual fee of $29.95 for membership in the Club. Annual fees are non-refundable, notwithstanding Member’s cancellation of membership in the Club.
[...]
3.5. A Member will not be entitled to any refund of any membership fees upon cancellation of membership in the Club.
(emphasis added)

By forcing people to opt out, instead of opting in, to join the club, and by then making refunds impossible, it’s clear that those club memberships are designed to be pure profit, preying on the careless. Classy as always, Spirit!

Disgruntled club members may not get a refund, but should be sure to follow the instructions above and cancel their memberships. But I’m afraid I can’t help anyone do that.

Related:
- Is Spirit Airlines’ new club worth joining?
- Downgrades: Spirit Airlines to charge for ALL luggage, coffee, and soda
- Spirit Airlines to Democrats: Drop Dead

pixel This is not the Spirit Airlines website and I cant cancel your club membership.  So why are people asking ME for refunds?
Categorized in: reader mail, Spirit Airlines

23 Responses to “This is not the Spirit Airlines website and I can’t cancel your club membership. So why are people asking ME for refunds?”

  1. Bane Says:

    I’m pretty sure people don’t read. I’m reminded of another blog that had a post on WalMart jobs whose comments section became flooded by people seeking employment. The amount of resumes and personal information that were actually posted as comments made it a sad sight to behold.

  2. Mark Ashley Says:

    You’re right, Bane, it’s sad. I’ve redacted or deleted a number of comments on the other Spirit thread already. People were posting their names, addresses, credit card numbers, etc. For their sake, I hope that I was able to delete things before someone grabbed that info and abused it.

  3. Flight Wisdom Guru Says:

    I get the same thing for Spirit and other things. I pretty much ignore them. Perhaps you should try this in the footer…

    Upgrade Travel: Better is not affiliated with any airline or travel organization.

  4. Mark Ashley Says:

    I can’t entirely ignore people’s pleas. After all, these folks think they’re doing something about their problem, and I want them to know they need to keep trying. Besides, it’s happened so often, I have a template now. ;)

    Incidentally, not one person has ever replied to my e-mails, thanking me or otherwise even acknowledging that I informed them how they should really go about fixing the club membership issue. Not one. A “thank you” might be nice.

    Good idea re: the disclaimer, but do you think the people who ask me to refund their money will actually read that? They’re not reading now! I have a disclaimer in the “about” page already, but that’s one further step removed.

  5. Ian Evans Says:

    I run an entertainment news site. No matter what I post on our “Email Us”, people still write directly to celebrities on our site.

    It’s amazing the number of “Billy Bob, you owe my cousin money for the house you damaged during filming…” type messages we have to wade through.

  6. Mark Ashley Says:

    Those sound like news tips or leads. ;)

  7. Ian Evans Says:

    I wish they were…our “email us” page specifically lists the things we won’t do (give out celebrity emails, do people’s homework assignments, etc.) but, as your thread suggests, people just don’t read…or it doesn’t apply to THEM: “I know you can’t give out emails, but we’re having a fundraiser…”

    After telling a commenter that you’re not Spirit, have you ever had someone reply back with, “Oh yes, I understand but can you still ask them to cancel my membership?”

    Oh well, sometimes people are worth a chuckle. ;)

  8. Mark Ashley Says:

    After telling a commenter that you’re not Spirit, have you ever had someone reply back with, “Oh yes, I understand but can you still ask them to cancel my membership?”

    Not yet! No one has ever replied in any way whatsoever. Maybe they’re too embarrassed. Or maybe they didn’t read the reply.

  9. Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah Says:

    This same thing happened to me!

    I’ve been trying to clear this up for days.

    Did you notice if you hit option 3 for customer service you get hung up on? What a bunch of crooks.

  10. A. Whyte Says:

    Well! I was thinking of signing up for Spirit membership club even though I unclick out of the insurance and membership club each time I use spirit. But after having read your comments and double checked some of the “Finer Details/Small Print” I think not.

    Thanks for posting this INFO.

  11. A. Whyte Says:

    Hey,

    Thanks for the info. Have reconsidered joining Spirit membership club after having read your blog. Even though I have used them before and unclick the insurance and membership. I was not aware of the $29.95 annual fees. That is realy “Crookish of Spirit” really low. But then again that why we should all read!

    Thanks alot for sharing info again.

    A. Whyte

  12. A. Whyte Says:

    Sorry about double comment. An error.

    bye

  13. Tim Says:

    Yes, I agree that they ARE preying on the non-attentive including a stickler for details like my self. I did follow the “My Account” option and edited my membership. There is a direct button you can press to “Cancel Your Membership”. And its over like that (hopefully).

  14. abby Says:

    I just spoke to Spirit customer service rep Niurka Paulino (who can be reached at 954-447-7965 x 1711) she goes by the name “Nikki”. she cancelled my $9 fare account (I tried 4 times in the past 2 days to do it on-line and it never went through).

  15. Margaret Says:

    Wanted to let you know that the reason why people are asking you to cancel their membership(s) to the $9 club is that in one of the posts, someone provided a link to your website (stating to cancel your membership, click here) – you might want to remove that post, then the problem should stop. As far as the $9 Club is concerned, DON’T PURCHASE THIS MEMBERSHIP!!!

  16. Margaret Says:

    Wanted to let you know that the reason why people are asking you to cancel their membership(s) to the $9 club is that in one of the posts, someone provided a link to your website (stating to cancel your membership, click here) – you might want to remove that post, then the problem should stop. As far as the $9 Club is concerned, DON’T PURCHASE THIS MEMBERSHIP!!! The membership gets you NOTHING! I tried to book immediately after receiving their $9 Fare notice, I was able to select a $19.00 flight (which would have been available to anyone) and could not purchased the other $19.00 return flight (it was curious to note that as I clicked on the page, the $19.00 flight came up, but IMMEDIATELY changed to $118.00 – then when I tried to actually book the flight at these prices, their system sent me an error message and kicked me out, once I returned, these low price flights were GONE!!!! In addition, they make it so very difficult to find the $9 flights in the first place, and how is $19 , $9????? BE FOREWARNED, DO NOT PURCHASE THE $9 FARE CLUB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Pet Memorial Says:

    This was a very easy and fun to read article. I will definetly be checking your site often.

  18. Spirit Airlines’ boardgame-playing CEO celebrates his company’s business practices: A rebuttal | Upgrade: Travel Better Says:

    [...] company has been using deceptive practices to get consumers to buy their stuff. There’s the fare club that customers automatically (and often unwittingly) signed up for. Another example: [C]ustomers [...]

  19. John Says:

    One of my favorite customer service quotes is “The way to gain a good reputation, is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.” -SOCRATES

  20. carole frome Says:

    In one of your blogs you posted an email address for Spirit Airlines customer service. Since the email option on Spirit’s website doesn’t work, please send me the email address that you have for them. Thank you. Carole

  21. Bless your hearts, Sprit Airlines customers… | Upgrade: Travel Better Says:

    [...] to squeeze money from the customer post-purchase and being absolutely horrendous when anything goes wrong and customer service — or even politeness — is [...]

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