Cancelling Accounts

One thing that drives me nuts is services that make it really easy to sign up, but difficult to cancel.  There are some great stories of people trying to cancel AOL accounts

I signed up for CNN Pipeline when it came out because I like the idea of streaming video news on my PC, but I guess I’m spoiled by Flash Video:  I found it takes too long for the stream to actually start, so I ended up not using it.  Their website makes it very easy to cancel.

And I signed up for a GameSpot account so I could watch their live broadcast of their first experiences with Oblivion.  Again, when I decided to cancel, it wasn’t hard to find.

When I canceled my EverQuest II account, they had a questionnaire for me to fill out, and then when I submitted it, they generated a page that addressed all the things I’d said I didn’t like.  It was pretty well done, but they couldn’t address the one thing that made me want to quit:  Lack of time to play it.  But they did let me cancel online.

As a result, I wouldn’t hesitate to sign up for these services again.  If I want to play EQ2 for a month or two, I know I’m not going to have to fight to get them to stop the recurring charges on my credit card.  Good job guys.

I know customer retention is important, and you don’t want to let people go easily.  Vonage actually talked me into staying with them a bit longer when I called them to cancel (because I was forced to), but it bugs me that you can do absolutely everything on their website except cancel.  When I do cancel, I probably won’t be coming back.

That’s the message that the customer retention guys need to get:  If you make it difficult for me to cancel, you’re burning the bridge.  I won’t be back.