When you make a promise to a customer, it’s important to remember what channel you’re making that promise from and to whom you’re making it. Recently I tried to cancel my NY Times “web + Smartphone app” subscription. $15/month isn’t such a great deal if you’re tied down to one app and one website. If I had access via an iPad app as well, it might have been a better deal, at $35/month for all device access, I think they need to rethink their model. Be that as it is, I had concerns with canceling when I saw this screen:
It always feels a bit “scammy” when you’re online and have an online subscription, but have to cancel by calling in. However, in December, I called their 800 number and canceled my account. After rebuffing their approaches for “more time”, I was able to cancel my account. Only, it wasn’t canceled.
I called again in January twice and then a few weeks ago. All 3 times, I was assured my account had been canceled, but it wasn’t. Here’s the problem. I had no proof, no email confirmation that I canceled my account. I was at the mercy of their account reps, who apparently have been told never to cancel accounts…I was told, “well you had access for the past few months, so we can’t credit your account.” The problem is, I deleted the app from my iPhone when I thought I was canceled so I didn’t access the site. Somehow, they were not able to make that connection.
Thank goodness for American Express, who does have good customer support. After being told by the Times I, “never called to cancel,” American Express stepped in and is crediting back the amount that the NYTimes took out of my account.
Here’s the thing, if you’re going into this brave new world of the internet, please make sure to have the technology to keep up.