Auto Subscribe Makes Bad Service Pay — Several years ago we accepted an offer from AOL, found the service lacking and went on with our lives. Months later we noticed their charges continued to appear on our credit card statements and tried to cancel. We found we couldn’t do it due to long waits and disconnections and such. We resorted to going to our credit card company and having them stop the automatic payments.
AOL, wouldn’t take no, however, and sent us threatening letters. It only backed off after we made a complaint to the state attorney general’s office.
What brings back these memories is a brief blurb in the December/January Popular Mechanics called “The Impossible Cancellation” in which Gary Dell’Abate describes the difficulty he had in cancelling the $7 month fee he was paying to Microsoft for his son’s Xbox Live account. He said the hold times were eternal. He eventually resorted to cancelling it through his credit card company as we did.
Corporate pigs have obviously found a way to make bad service pay.
Or a market solution could be pursued. Credit card companies could separate automatic payments on their bills and put them in bigger type while informing sellers than the customer will always be considered right in any auto-payment disputes.
Regardless bad service should never be rewarded.