If someone is unhappy with your service and wants to stop doing business with you after you’ve tried to resolve the issue get over it and move on. Don’t try to be tricky or evasive, especially if you accept cancellations online.
A little over three months ago I received an email from Classmates.com telling me an old (as in from a long time ago) girlfriend had sent me a note. Great! From time to time I’ve thought about her. There was only one catch (isn’t there always?) I needed to upgrade my free account to a “Gold” Membership. For only fifteen dollars for 3 months I would be able to read about her life, family, and career. I wasn’t about to pay an annual fee since I’d gotten along fine with a free membership for 5 or 6 years. Her note read, “Hi, I saw your name and wondered what you were up to” so much for her $15 autobiography.
Last week I received another email from Classmates thanking me for my membership renewal. “What’s This?” I log on sing in and find that somehow I have an automatic renewal. Actually the automatic renewal is the default setting. The language on the billing page is a little tricky. But I will accept full responsibility for not paying attention.
I went to the FAQ page for information on how to cancel my Gold Membership. Seemed easy enough. Said to contact member services. Unfortunately there is no link, no apparent way to contact customer service via the website. I felt myself sinking into the muck. I couldn’t find a phone number an email or regular address for customer service. Help me! I'm sinking! I'd had enough and decided to cancel everything including my free membership. There isn't wasn't a "I'M POD" box to check for the reason for the cancellation so I checked "other." Evidently I’m not the only one taken in by their marketing practices or they can read minds because the next day I received an email, which stated in part:
Thank you for contacting Classmates. I'd be more than happy to assist you.
While purchasing your Gold membership, you were enrolled in the automatic renewal program so that you wouldn’t experience any interruption to your Gold membership benefits. The automatic renewal information was provided to you on the credit card payment page of the Gold membership purchase process. We leave it up to each member to remove themselves from this program if they do not wish to participate by making the change in their "my account" area.
Now I had thought I had already cancelled my membership but a bit later on in the email….
You may cancel your Gold membership at any time by responding to this email; however, per the Terms of Service, you will forfeit your membership fee and your Gold membership benefits.
Welcome to my nightmare. I think I’m out of Classmates Gold, but I’m still not 100% certain.
I don’t like losing customers but relationships don’t always work out. I’ve only had three clients fire me in the last 5 years and I had to pull the plug on three who weren’t living up to their end of the agreement. Even though my paperwork requires written notice I’ve never made it an issue. It’s bad enough to go through a divorce without toss gasoline on the fire.
When a customer wants to leave, make it as easy as possible. Perhaps they’ll remember the good rather than the bad times.