Marco's Blog

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Cancel online?

2006-06-25 2 min read Web marco

I have been in a Netflix hole. That’s when you put movies on your list that you don’t really want to watch, and then they sit at home. You feel too guilty to send them back, and they just sit there. When it’s one, no problem, you watch the other two. Then it becomes two, and you exchange only the third movie. Finally, the third dud arrives, and you are in a Netflix hole.

It’s been three months, now, and I decided to cancel my subscription. I go to the site, hit “My Account”, move on to the Cancel link, and there it is: the dreaded phone number.

I’ve found that with several subscription services (most notoriously Yahoo!): it’s extremely easy to sign up, but to cancel the subscription you have to do strange things. You are told to call a number that is always busy, or that has strange hours, or you have to do something on the web and on the phone at the same time.

Now, the lady I talked with from Netflix was really nice and all, but when she asked me if there was something she could have me do to make me continue subscribing, I couldn’t resist telling her that just the fact I had to call was reason enough for me to cancel. And never do business with Netflix again.

There it is: web subscription services should be required to either disclose they are making canceling harder than subscribing, or they should allow for simple cancellation.