It’s a simple request. I just want to cancel my subscription. I might not have much of a life, but I still don’t want to spend the rest of it rifling through virtual paper just to cancel a service.
We know why it’s not simple. Vendors don’t want you to cancel. Cancelling is the opposite of their sales plan. When they have board meetings, they spend the whole thing talking about how to stop cancelling from happening. That is literally their only purpose. If my husband decided he wanted to quit showering I’d be like, ‘no’. That’s not what I want. I want you to keep showering, and I’m going to make your life miserable until you decide to stay clean.
Yeah, it’s sort of like that. So, no. Service providers are not going to let you go without a fight. But fight you must. We must maintain our freedom to cancel any service that no longer serves us.
When to Cancel
With PLENTY of time! Do not wait until the last minute of a trial, or the last day of the year to start the process. Make sure you allow yourself at least a few weeks, I would say at least a month.
It will depend on the service, but consider the possibilities.
- They don’t have a cancel button. Welcome to the cancel button scavenger hunt. Say goodbye to the rest of your plans today.
- They might put you through a ten-step ‘this page will never load’ process that involves a system’s crash. (This happens a lot and if I was a conspiracy theorist, I would theorise a conspiracy about this).
- You might have to email them directly: and you my friend are right down the bottom of the priorities list.
- You might find your request is never processed and you need to call them. I had a lovely help-desk person insist I had never verified my account (lies) and therefore they couldn’t process the cancellation (more lies). It took all my powers of persuasion to convince this help desk person that they really could do this, if they just believed in themselves. Also, I may have said something about telling their supervisor they were a glorified paper weight. I can’t remember.
So with all that in mind, give yourself ample time to get the cancellation to happen. You want it all sorted out before the next payment is debited. Before you are rolled over into another year. Before the free trial starts charging you.
The best way to make sure you cancel before you run out of time, is to set up an alert in your TrackMySubs account for that subscription. Have the alert sent to you well in advance; reminding you to do it straight away, or at least get the process started. That way you won’t miss it before the cut-off date.
How to Cancel
Firstly, it’s probably not going to be obvious.
I’ve listed the ways above you might be delayed in cancelling your subscription. It’s very much the same.
- If you can’t find a cancel button obviously placed, there are some places you can look. Try under your account settings. If not there, try every possible menu option until you find something.
Sometimes you need to look for a different word. For example; ‘delete’, ‘change’, ‘update’, ‘unsubscribe’ and ‘switch’ are some of the other possible words to look out for.
- Don’t be disheartened by a lengthy process. It’s done this way to keep you as a customer for longer. Don’t allow their sneaky tricks to sway you from your quest. You might well be up to the 4th time they’ve asked if you ‘are sure’, but keep on clicking. And if it does crash, let that light the fire in your belly.
- If you can’t find the cancel option, you might need to contact them via email. In your email make sure you include everything they could possibly need from you. Don’t send your password, but make sure your account number (or equivalent) and your need to cancel is clearly stated. Don’t forget to follow up on your email, daily if you must. Don’t let it go unattended. Squeaky wheel gets the grease.
- Try asking the website help desk. Each service provider should have a ‘Help’ menu option. Type into the help search every derivative of ‘cancel my account’ until you get an answer. If you still can’t find anything, and your emails aren’t answered, find the contact number and ring them. And stay on the phone until you reach your goals.
I think we can all appreciate the need to keep you on as a customer. That’s not the issue here. We know that businesses rely on their subscribers to keep them afloat. But part of good customer service is providing a logical cancellation process.
A customer that’s cancelled isn’t necessarily a customer lost forever. But I’m not resubscribing to some services simply because of the nightmare that cancelling was.
I now wait with dedicated patience for Game of Thrones to be released on DVD because I refuse to subject myself to our local pay TV service. Cancelling my free trial after binge-watching last season was a virtual ninja warrior course. And I can’t jog.
It’s so important to keep your TrackMySubs account up to date with all your rollover and expiry dates. Then you can set up as many alerts as you need. No point in forking out money for services you don’t want. Give yourself plenty of time to cancel the subscriptions, and don’t give up until you’ve succeeded.