Just for the Asking!

It seems many of the subscription services make it super easy to sign up, but not so easy to cancel your subscription. You just sign up on line, with no direct contact with a sales rep necessary. And they make it even easier to continue your subscription in the future by signing you up for automatic renewal. The automatic renewal is sometimes added without the subscriber being fully aware what they are signing up for because the agreement is included in some fine print with a selection box pre-checked or because the subscriber is enticed into agreeing with the arrangement based on a promotional price as long as they agree to the auto-renewal at the “regular subscription rate.”

Usually, there is a provision to cancel the automatic renewal prior to the renewal date. However, they aren’t going to make it as easy as it was to sign up. The instructions for cancelling are often very difficult to locate. In fact, I have had times where I check every menu I can find on the services website without success. I then do a web search with key words containing cancelling the particular service and eventually find the instructions for cancelling buried in some FAQ’s list somewhere. Then I find that cancellation usually involves having to call the service, and then during their “regular business hours.”

However, this can be worth the effort! For example, today I received an email that my subscription to a stock information service that I subscribe to was about to renew at the regular rate of $199 for 12 months. I called customer service to cancel the auto renewal, thinking that they would offer me a better rate once I let the membership lapse. After asking me why I didn’t wish to renew, the customer service rep immediately offered a discount rate of $119 for the year. I accepted, saving $80! Of course I had to agree to the auto renewal at the regular rate one year from now. But hey, we can play that game again! I don’t think an $80 discount is bad just for asking!


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