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Town Clarify Direct Debit Opt Out
Thursday, 3rd Apr 2014 18:00

Town have sought to clarify the situation regarding season ticket holders who pay via direct debit having to opt out of becoming Academy Friends in the wake of a lengthy TWTD Forum thread earlier today.

Season ticket holders who join the Academy Association as Academy Friends at a cost of £10 a month will be entitled to a free season ticket for 2015/16 if Town are promoted in the season ahead

According to the club, there was a printing error on the application form sent out to existing season ticket holders renewing by direct debit which suggested those who wanted to sign up for the Academy Association needed to tick a box to opt in.

This tick box should not have appeared on the direct debit renewal form, although it did correctly appear on non-season ticket holder application forms.

When the direct debit payment schedule, which marks out the payments supporters will make over the next 12 months, was sent out the opt out was highlighted twice. Season ticket holders have until April 17th to notify the club that they want to opt out with the first payments due to go out on May 1st. Those who wish to opt out can do so via

A club spokesperson told TWTD: “Many of our fans have been incredibly generous and continue to financially support the Ipswich Town Academy by making payments, including regular monthly donations, to the Academy.

“For those that have renewed their season ticket with us on an interest-free monthly repayment basis, our direct debit payment schedule clearly sets out that if our fans do not wish to provide a donation to the Academy and take up the chance of a ‘free’ season ticket if we are promoted to the Premier League next season, they can remove this donation by advising us and accordingly a revised payment schedule will be issued.”

Photo: Action Images

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itfcjoe added 18:06 - Apr 3
Not good enough, very poor practice.

Michael11 added 18:11 - Apr 3
This is disgusting!! Conning the fans who already put their hard earned money into watching us (which has been dire for 5 years previous to now) is not what Ipswich Town is about. You wouldn't even mind so much, if our own manager actually gave a toss about the U21 league, but he doesn't!

BlueandTruesince82 added 18:17 - Apr 3
Great offer. Free season of prem football if we get there, cant be bad. Easy to opt out too. Excellent.

Jon_456 added 18:18 - Apr 3
Cheeky B*****ds

reesoid added 18:27 - Apr 3
So it's been 'incorrectly' printed in more than one place? Good one.

AndySullivan added 18:29 - Apr 3
Academy Sponsorship Manager missing his targets??

Marcus added 18:31 - Apr 3
I've just sent a rather terse email to the ticket office on this and the fact that for a second year they sent out passwords in a mail shot. This is a clear breach of laws on false advertising and information security.

stuyarmouthblue added 18:34 - Apr 3
trying to spot a "sorry" in that response

SouperJim added 18:42 - Apr 3
There are 2 problems with this;

1- In the season tickets booklet (inside back cover) it clearly states "you will have the option on your Season Ticket application form to choose to become an ITFC Academy Association Ramsey Friend". This matches up with the opt IN box on the form. NOWHERE in the booklet can I find any mention of direct debit "customers" needing to opt OUT.

2- The booklet states direct debit "customers" will receive their payment schedule 10 working days prior to the first payment date, 1st May 2014. If only this payment schedule has the correct information about needing to opt OUT, and I receive it 10 working days before the first payment date, that is April 17th which is the deadline for the opt out!

So if you're not a TWTD reader, it is literally impossible for you to receive the correct information in time to opt out.

To say that this makes the club look like money grabbing so-and-so's who are willing to abuse their "customers" is an understatement. Regardless of how attractive the deal might be, to take money off people via direct debit without their approval quite frankly should be criminal. The club need to U turn on this fast or the backlash could be considerable.

factual_blue added 18:48 - Apr 3
I was about to sign up to be an academy sponsor. But that was going to be MY decision.

Now I'm going to opt out of having this automatically added to my season ticket cost.

This is, however you try to dress it up, one step away from theft and a blatant abuse of the direct debit system.

billlm added 18:57 - Apr 3
there out of order in the way they have managed this, but 120 pounds for a free ticket I sit upper north how much would that be if we got promoted difficult decision gamble

SouperJim added 19:08 - Apr 3
If you're only interested in the gamble and not supporting the academy, put £120 on us to be promoted. If it comes in you'll net far more than the cost of your season ticket.

wokingblue added 19:11 - Apr 3
OMG Stop making such a fuss.

This is a fantastic offer. Potentially a free season ticket to a premier league club. Doah! If you don't want to join the Acadamy Friends just tick the box and get on with your life.

Steelmonkey added 19:17 - Apr 3
Keep your "free" ticket, you can put it where the sun doesn't shine, can't anyone see that it's a con.
Raising the price of a season ticket by £120, by foul means - not fare.
If the Academy can't keep it's head above water, if indeed this money would go there, don't blackmail fans into paying for it.
Fine way to run a professional club.

jas0999 added 19:19 - Apr 3
Have to say this is rather devious of ITFC. Many people will not have seen the opt out clause (for a number of reasons). Have to say the literature reads that you can sit back, relax and do nothing and your ticket will be renewed. Then, bang you are signed up to paying into he academy. Not good enough this.

runaround added 19:25 - Apr 3
I have a horrible feeling the club knew exactly what they were doing & the only "error" is they have been found out. Seems a blatent attempt to try & catch fans out into paying more. I have already used the e-mail but will be nervous of still being charged extra until first payment is taken in May as I have lost all confidence in club getting this right. Such a shame when things on the pitch are better than recent years

RegencyBlue added 19:29 - Apr 3
This is a disgusting con trick Evans and not the sort of thing ITFC are known for!

I will always support the club but not the idiots who are now in control!!

PimsNumber1 added 19:34 - Apr 3
confused ? Ive got my renewal through and i have to do nothing with it to renew

BUT if i tick a box for a free season 14/15 PL ramsay academy I would have to pay £10 PM right ?? so if i dont return my renewal then no charges(£10) but if i do send it back with ramsey academy ticked I will pay an extra £10 PM as a gamble on a free e season .

So in a nutshell I ignore the renewal form (dont send it back ) that means Ive renewad by Direct debit AND NOT been charged the extra >?? Thanks

bluelodgeblue added 19:45 - Apr 3
Me thinks the guy who dreamt this one up also had a hand in pricing Englands shirts??

Marcus_Evans added 19:46 - Apr 3
Pimsnumber1 - no that isn't correct. For those of us who have been automatically renewed by direct debit an extra £10 a month has been added unless you opt out.

SouperJim added 19:56 - Apr 3
And there we have it, PimsNumber1's post is a fantastic case in point as to why this is such a terrible cack-up by the club. Yet in their statement above, they don't even offer a simple apology for the confusion, let alone do anything to rectify the problem.

Bergholtblue added 20:32 - Apr 3
I have read and re-read the renewal notice and as pointed out by SouperJim there is absolutely nothing about season ticket holders who have their tickets renewed automatically needing to opt out.

I await to receive my new payment with interest to see if it has been made clear on that.

I do wonder at the legality of what they are doing. Anyone spoken to Trading Standards about it?

Having said that, I was one who bemoaned the fact that we didn't go for category 1 status for the academy. Town have reiterated their aim to gain this by the end of the season and if more money is needed for this to happen I may take up the offer anyway. I just wish that Messrs Milne and Symonds had been more up front about it.

Bergholtblue added 20:34 - Apr 3
PS I couldn't get that "opt out" link to work. Phil are you sure it is correct?

blueboy1981 added 21:37 - Apr 3
......... can't see too much of a problem with this and some will see the potential benefit of the offer - however I think it shows, more than anything else, that ITFC is certainly more of a business proposition now, as opposed to the once caring Family Club it once was.
A move orchestrated by someone with a strict business head on their shoulders - unprofessional maybe, and certainly cheeky is how I view it - but most certainly a 'business' move.

I personally haven't a problem with it - easy enough to 'opt out' anyway, for those who desire to do just that.

Count_Arthur added 21:40 - Apr 3
Brilliant, not content to put the season ticket prices up when the gate is falling the 'bluesky' thinkers at ITFC try and con us out of more of our wages on the sly!

It's a good job I love the manager, the players and my fellow fans as there's precious little behind the scenes that inspires me to support the club.

"Going Forward" I would suggest the person(s) in charge of publicity as well as producing and PROOF READING the artwork for the season ticket renewal booklet at ITFC stick to something they know how to do!

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