Monday, April 3rd, 2023

Why cancelling subscriptions sucks (and how to make it better)

Graphic showing two knights fighting with swords and a caption

I’ve been cutting back on my online accounts of late. For a start, there’s quite a few bits of software I seem to be paying for which don’t give much in return. I think I’ve moaned, I mean observed, before about the near-fetish for including a bit of cloud storage when a lot of us already have more space than we know what to do with. There’s also a bunch of things I didn’t realise I signed up for (thanks password manager for spotting them!)

More often than not it’s felt like a battle getting through the surveys, “save the sale” offers and begging for feedback. So here’s a few suggestions:

1. Cancel in the app. Don’t make me call a number [glares at EVERY UK bank I’ve ever dealt with]. Don’t make me send an email with a specific subject line. A big red button with “CANCEL ACCOUNT” will do nicely.

2. “Are you sure?” is a totally appropriate thing to ask me. 6 customer survey questions and a CAPTCHA not so.

3. If you do want my opinion, make it optional and ask for it after I’ve deleted my account. Otherwise I’m going to give you whatever answers I tap on to get me out fastest.

4. A “sorry to see you go” email is a nice touch, especially if you ask for a review. But that’s it. I don’t want a follow-up a week later. I’m not your customer any more.

I know we’re parting ways, but if you could leave me feeling good about the experience it’ll be in your favour if my needs change.

My name is Ross Hori

I'm a freelance writer, designer and photographer. By day I create articles, features and reports. At night I take photos and write fiction. Find out more.