Recently I had a less than pleasant experience trying to cancel a certain service that was set up as recurring monthly billing. I’ve learned from reading consumer complaints online that many people are suspicious of giving their credit card information up for some sort of recurring billing. My experience demonstrates why people have this fear.
I first contacted the site owner via their web form, which was their preferred method. No response. Then I dug up an email address I had from the site owner and emailed him directly asking him to cancel. No response.
Then I called their customer service phone number. The rep I spoke with told me to submit my request on their web form. (Talk about going around in circles)! After I explained to her that I had indeed already done that, she took my information and promised to pass it along to the right party for me. A week went by and no response.
Finally I called the number on my credit card bill and the owner himself picked up. I assume this might be the home office of a home based business. Fortunately he was congenial and agreed to cancel my service on the spot.
Now I feel that I should not have had to go through that kind of routine just to get my service canceled. A take away from this experience is this: if you are going to have a home business based on a recurring billing of some kind (like a subscription service), make it easy for people to cancel.
Making it hard for people to cancel might mean more revenue for your business but it will mean unhappy customers. The subscription / recurring billing business model is great for revenue, but few things go on forever. Sooner or later people are going to want to discontinue it. Don’t make it hard for them.
The harder it is for them cancel, the more likely they will be to go post their experience online and probably use your name. That kind of “buzz” is generally not good for business. In my case, I left his name off and kept it generic, but I could have just as easily used it. In today’s online world of social network, tweets, blogs, and viral videos, bad practices like this can damage your business and your name!