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Prices now have tax added on checkout!

AuthorMessage
A+ Student
Aug 03, 2014
1945
I'm hoping something has gone wrong and that it will be fixed...but suddenly when making a purchase instead of having the advertised amount come up on checkout, it is the price plus 20% tax. Is anyone else having this problem or is it only me? Is this just for people outside the USA or is it a UK thing or everyone...or (dare I hope) a mistake?

I was about to buy a much desired Shinobi Bundle and some crowns but the slap of 20% extra (on top of the bank charges I already have to pay) made me stop myself...I'm also concerned about how much my membership renewals will be now and I'm glad I saw this before it just comes out of my account without warning/choice.

I submitted a ticket to ask directly, but wanted to know if anyone else has this or if it's new? I also wanted people to be aware their payments may be higher than expected.

I feel sad now

A+ Student
Aug 03, 2014
1945
Victoria FireHeart on Jul 11, 2018 wrote:
I'm hoping something has gone wrong and that it will be fixed...but suddenly when making a purchase instead of having the advertised amount come up on checkout, it is the price plus 20% tax. Is anyone else having this problem or is it only me? Is this just for people outside the USA or is it a UK thing or everyone...or (dare I hope) a mistake?

I was about to buy a much desired Shinobi Bundle and some crowns but the slap of 20% extra (on top of the bank charges I already have to pay) made me stop myself...I'm also concerned about how much my membership renewals will be now and I'm glad I saw this before it just comes out of my account without warning/choice.

I submitted a ticket to ask directly, but wanted to know if anyone else has this or if it's new? I also wanted people to be aware their payments may be higher than expected.

I feel sad now
RESOLVED!!!

KI have confirmed it is just VAT being taken at the point of sale so I just don't pay it this end! It costs exactly the same as before

Thanks KI for your excellent customer service as always!

(I don't mind if this thread is removed)

Survivor
Oct 10, 2010
18
I now see 20% tax added but this does increase the total value of the purchase, so the prices are not the same as before. I just added the Empyrean Castaway Bundle to my cart but instead of being 39 it is going to add $7.80 tax making it $46.80 that my card will be charged. I expect to pay sales tax on physical purchases I make in the UK, and on items I personally import from abroad that exceed a certain amount, but this is an electronic purchase that never attracted tax before. What changed, were they really compelled by HM Customs and Excise to start charging and passing that sum over to them? I dread it being also added to my yearly membership. An uplift of 20% makes it suddenly very unattractive to continue playing.

A+ Student
Aug 03, 2014
1945
Marcus Shadowweave... on Jul 25, 2018 wrote:
I now see 20% tax added but this does increase the total value of the purchase, so the prices are not the same as before. I just added the Empyrean Castaway Bundle to my cart but instead of being 39 it is going to add $7.80 tax making it $46.80 that my card will be charged. I expect to pay sales tax on physical purchases I make in the UK, and on items I personally import from abroad that exceed a certain amount, but this is an electronic purchase that never attracted tax before. What changed, were they really compelled by HM Customs and Excise to start charging and passing that sum over to them? I dread it being also added to my yearly membership. An uplift of 20% makes it suddenly very unattractive to continue playing.
'What changed, were they really compelled by HM Customs and Excise to start charging and passing that sum over to them?'

HMRC are going after game companies and providers of online services etc demanding they take responsibility for UK VAT being paid instead of us having to sort it. It costs us the same, we just pay it to KI and they pass it to HMRC instead of us doing it through tax declarations. Now we know 'tax' is not referring to a tax in the USA and is the UK VAT we can just make the purchase and that's it done.

IDK why they're putting responsibility onto the non-UK-based company instead of the UK purchaser...it seems like a lot of hassle for the seller and they're not even benefiting from the services VAT pays for!

Survivor
Oct 10, 2010
18
When I started playing there was only the option to join the US server - Gameforge hadn't set up the UK version. I don't see why HMRC should benefit from collecting sales tax on a virtual product like an online game when there wasn't even a UK equivalent in existence when I joined. Even when it did start, there was a massive opportunity missed to implement a way for European players to pay a one off fee to transfer their accounts over. That would have made it a legitimate UK service I was purchasing and could have been priced to take sales tax into account. There's little incentive to start from scratch on the UK server, even with the option to purchase Bundles for Crowns which we currently miss out on when first released to the US market because we can't visit the physical shops that sell them. That's because the UK game charges in Euros so UK players still get hit for currency conversion charges as we do when paying dollars for the US game. That's disgusting exploitation. Make the European players have a currency conversion from their precious Euro to pounds sterling. Perhaps that will even happen once we finally extricate ourselves from Europe.
But right now the only hope I have is that KI and Gameforge will sort out a mechanism for a one off charge to transfer account and game character information from the US server to the UK one. I accept the concept of paying sales tax on things I purchase in this country. Even on physical things I choose to buy from outside and personally import. But to suddenly have my leisure time pursuit of a game leap by 20% is untenable and will drive me away from playing Wizard101 in future. I cannot justify the extra cost to me for no benefit whatsoever.

Survivor
Oct 10, 2010
18
In a previous post that has yet to appear as it is to this moderated thread said that the UK game charged in Euros. Well, it shows its prices in Euros, not unreasonable as it is a German company, but it seems if you identify yourself as being in the UK you do get charged in Pounds and the price is fair, attractive (since our exchange rate to US$ is worse than it was when I started playing), and there's no sales tax issue due to it already being taken into account in the offered price.
So now all I need is for KI and Gameforge to have discussions about a mechanism to transfer the data that represents the accounts and game data from one server to another. I worked as an I.T. professional for over 35 years and I really can't see that it is that hard. The two databases obviously have the same layout so it's not like there's conversion work to be done.
True, we'd now be customers of Gameforge instead of KI, but I'm sure there is a financial benefit to KI in retaining players one a franchised platform as opposed to losing them completely. Which I regret to say will happen, as I've just worked out the cost increase over a year's play with the three accounts I have and it just isn't within my leisure budget.

A+ Student
Aug 03, 2014
1945
Marcus Shadowweave... on Jul 29, 2018 wrote:
When I started playing there was only the option to join the US server - Gameforge hadn't set up the UK version. I don't see why HMRC should benefit from collecting sales tax on a virtual product like an online game when there wasn't even a UK equivalent in existence when I joined. Even when it did start, there was a massive opportunity missed to implement a way for European players to pay a one off fee to transfer their accounts over. That would have made it a legitimate UK service I was purchasing and could have been priced to take sales tax into account. There's little incentive to start from scratch on the UK server, even with the option to purchase Bundles for Crowns which we currently miss out on when first released to the US market because we can't visit the physical shops that sell them. That's because the UK game charges in Euros so UK players still get hit for currency conversion charges as we do when paying dollars for the US game. That's disgusting exploitation. Make the European players have a currency conversion from their precious Euro to pounds sterling. Perhaps that will even happen once we finally extricate ourselves from Europe.
But right now the only hope I have is that KI and Gameforge will sort out a mechanism for a one off charge to transfer account and game character information from the US server to the UK one. I accept the concept of paying sales tax on things I purchase in this country. Even on physical things I choose to buy from outside and personally import. But to suddenly have my leisure time pursuit of a game leap by 20% is untenable and will drive me away from playing Wizard101 in future. I cannot justify the extra cost to me for no benefit whatsoever.
VAT is due on any product or service we use/enjoy in the UK. HMRC don't 'benefit' from us paying our taxes; society benefits from it. Taxes are important for a healthy, productive society and we are part of that society. We directly benefit from things paid for with taxes.

If you haven't been paying VAT until now, instead of looking at it as 20% extra perhaps look at all previous purchases being cheaper than they should have been?

If you spend your money in the UK instead you're still paying 20% VAT...it's just hidden in the price.

Survivor
Oct 10, 2010
18
Your comment that society benefits presumes that the high rate of sales tax collected from UK residents on almost everything we consume is spent wisely by our government.

That aside, although I accept your viewpoint that it's a benefit my purchases didn't attract tax until now it is somewhat irrelevant to my main issue that a sudden 20% price hike means that it is now financially unattractive to continue playing on the US server and I will regrettably have to cancel my subscriptions. I already pay sales tax on everything else I consume, most of which being physical purchases, I happily accept. The point is that the addition of 20% on a game priced for the US market is now too expensive compared to the pricing on the European server that now exists.

If KI were to invest some IT effort into a transfer option for accounts and their related wizard inventories to be moved to the Gameforge servers it would go a long way towards retaining brand loyalty. I would have thought the deal with Gameforge was not a 'one off' franchise purchase and that there are ongoing licencing fees, probably linked to number of players. Wouldn't Gameforge help KI with those costs anyway, as they will be benefitting from the extra user base and ongoing subscriptions?

So surely there is a cost benefit to KI to provide a paid transfer mechanism which will allow European players to continue on the more conveniently priced server that includes sales tax in their pricing, and reduces the amount of unpaid tax collection KI are doing for overseas governments.

The only difficulty I can see is if the European game is lagging behind the US one and some data relating to tasks completed and wizard inventory would be invalidated in the transfer.

How about it KI? Help us to continue to save the spiral, or lose customers?

A+ Student
Aug 03, 2014
1945
Marcus Shadowweave... on Aug 1, 2018 wrote:
Your comment that society benefits presumes that the high rate of sales tax collected from UK residents on almost everything we consume is spent wisely by our government.

That aside, although I accept your viewpoint that it's a benefit my purchases didn't attract tax until now it is somewhat irrelevant to my main issue that a sudden 20% price hike means that it is now financially unattractive to continue playing on the US server and I will regrettably have to cancel my subscriptions. I already pay sales tax on everything else I consume, most of which being physical purchases, I happily accept. The point is that the addition of 20% on a game priced for the US market is now too expensive compared to the pricing on the European server that now exists.

If KI were to invest some IT effort into a transfer option for accounts and their related wizard inventories to be moved to the Gameforge servers it would go a long way towards retaining brand loyalty. I would have thought the deal with Gameforge was not a 'one off' franchise purchase and that there are ongoing licencing fees, probably linked to number of players. Wouldn't Gameforge help KI with those costs anyway, as they will be benefitting from the extra user base and ongoing subscriptions?

So surely there is a cost benefit to KI to provide a paid transfer mechanism which will allow European players to continue on the more conveniently priced server that includes sales tax in their pricing, and reduces the amount of unpaid tax collection KI are doing for overseas governments.

The only difficulty I can see is if the European game is lagging behind the US one and some data relating to tasks completed and wizard inventory would be invalidated in the transfer.

How about it KI? Help us to continue to save the spiral, or lose customers?
Why would/should KI spend money to save us paying tax that is due in our own country for services that benefit us?

I don't always agree with everything our taxes are used for, but I am grateful to live in a country that has an NHS, education system, police and judicial system, public transport etc that is available to everyone, not only the super rich. If you're so rich you pay for all this privately you can surely cope with 20% extra on your wizard. If not, well it's a drop in the ocean if you ever need to use any of the services it helps pay for.

PS. Even the super rich need the services provided by taxation on occasion!

Explorer
Nov 18, 2010
99
Yeah I noticed this recently when it didn't do it before. Now everything costs more, whereas before we benefited from cheaper membership due to the conversion rate to USD. Also a few months ago I asked an American friend to buy me a combo card and I would pay her through Paypal- well now Paypal charges me to send money outside of the UK. Was a new law passed or something?

Administrator
Closing issue as the original question was resolved. Let's not debate tax policies here please.