Marvel Unlimited Gets Slammed After SDCC14 Promotion

Last week I wrote a post about a special deal that Marvel was holding during San Diego Comic-Con. For the duration of the con (or a little longer, I don’t remember exactly), if you signed up for their Marvel Unlimited digital comics service using the coupon code SDCC14, you could get a whole month for just 99 cents as opposed to the usual $9.99.

Being a lifelong fan of comic books and Marvel in particular, I jumped at the chance and signed up myself right after writing the post, eager to dive into Marvel’s backlog. This was last Wednesday, July 23rd. You know how many comics I’ve been able to read since then? Zero. Zilch. Nada. If I sign into the Marvel website or the mobile app, it prompts me to subscribe to Marvel Unlimited. It would appear that my subscription isn’t working as advertised.

Yet my card was charged a total of six times. Three of those were for 99 cents, the price of the promotion. The other three charges were $1.00 exactly and I assume those were simply pre-authorization measures to make sure I had money in my account. I don’t fully understand why those were necessary when I was being charged anyway, but I admittedly understand little about these things. What I really didn’t understand was why there were three “pairs” of charges.

I emailed Marvel about my troubles and received a canned response telling me that the real response would be late due to overwhelming demand thanks to the comic-con promotion. A few days later, I receive a mass email telling me that they’re aware of the problem and addressing it.

Fast forward to today. I still can’t access my Marvel Unlimited subscription. All of the $1.00 charges expired like I expected them too, as well as one of the 99 cent charges. The remaining two 99 cent charges actually went through but have since been refunded. Marvel has now officially charged me nothing, so I can no longer complain about paying for a service that isn’t working.


It’s still frustrating, though, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. This is technically a rant, but I’m not angry with Marvel. I do wonder how they were overwhelmed when they’ve ran this exact promotion before, but maybe this was a fluke and there really were an unprecedented amount of sign-ups. I’m happy for them. Marvel Unlimited is a great service and boy do I wish I could use it. If you’re having a similar experience, feel free to comment and share your pain.

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