Mordakai - yes, you've understood it correctly.
You have to ensure you can pay for your sub at the start, just to get your free 30 days. Most ppl are getting the pre-authorization funds back like they should, but this is the 1st MMO I've come across that requires you to have the funds for the sub fee when you 1st create your account. And if you can't use paypal and/or CC for whatever reason, you can use time-cards.... but good luck getting a hold of them as apparently they haven't been shipped yet to most placed.
And yes, if you cancel your account with 29 days or less remaining of play time you agree that they can still charge you for the next payment - as you agreed to the TOS, whether you actually read it or not. Now because the free time that ppl got from purchasing apparently starts with "29 days remaining"... this means that according to the TOS, every single account created can be charged for the sub they selected irrespective of when they hit the cancel button. It also means that since most ppl usually cancel in the last week or 2 of their sub, this will catch all the 3 & 6 month subber's... who will find themselves paying for another 3 or 6 month sub fee.
Reading the official forums... there is a lot of anger about the pre-authorization issue. Very little being said about the TOS issue... but then again, most ppl don't read the TOS so are likely unaware... I'm sure in 3-4 weeks time when the free 30 days is up, and all the ppl who decide to quit the game get charged anyways for the 1st sub time, we'll get lots and lots of angry posting about this. Well, assuming they do go ahead and charge ppl for the 1st sub time even though they cancelled their account/subscription.
If they do charge ppl.... they will get money they normally wouldn't, and can lie about their sub #'s. It'll be interesting to see what happens. Makes me really glad I was put off enough by my time in the beta's not to buy into this.
Edit - holy crap. I decided to go read the support forums a bit more... and o_O
Apparently quite a few ppl are actually being fully charged for their sub choice. This is not what Zenimax have claimed should happen - they stated ppl should only get a pre-authorization hold, after it's done successfully the hold is supposed to be released and the money becomes available for the person to use again. However, it seems they are now just outright charging ppl fully for the sub fee selected.
So yes, to get your 30 'free' days... you need to buy the game AND pay for the 1st month. Pfft.
Looks like the backlash regarding all the issue's this game is having at launch - bugs, dungeon stuff, authorization garbage, terrible ui, anti-social game, no group support, etc - has got them scared and they are changing the TOS and official post's and news stories to reflect the changes.... and grabbing as much money from as many ppl as they can, while they still can.
Based on this... F2P or closed before the end of the year. Heck, the rate they appear to be getting so desperate for money... F2P within 3-6 month's.
Just to quote changes they have made:
"Players who purchase the physical Standard Edition (PC/Mac) of The Elder Scrolls Online will have 30 days of unlimited play before being required to activate a subscription.
Players who purchase the physical Imperial Edition (PC/Mac) of The Elder Scrolls Online will have 30 days of unlimited play before being required to activate a subscription
, as well as an exclusive collection of in-game rewards and premium physical items."
"Once players purchase the game, they will have unlimited access for the first 30 days and can continue beyond that with a subscription
of $14.99/30 days (€12.99 / £8.99). The first 30 days begin at or after the official launch of the game when players select their preferred subscription
That's one huge massive change right there - going from being able to play with the 3 days with no sub selected, like virtually all MMO's, to having to setup a sub before you get to access the free days.
And just for more lol's. all the threads from ppl getting banned.... including ppl who haven't been able to pass the pre-authorization step - which means they haven't even been able to fully activate their accounts, but still got banned from the game. Oh and one person had a CS rep tell them "You were banned, but no reason stated as to why you were banned". So they got banned... for who knows what reason. Pfft.
Edited by Kamatsu, 08 April 2014 - 04:47 AM.