Just Cancel The 32 Online Accounts

The editor of PC World signed up for 32 different online accounts and then tried to cancel them. As could be expected, the results weren’t pretty, with difficult to find cancellation instructions, options designed to mislead, and upselling exit interviews.

The worst offenders:

AOL
BlueMountain.com
Classmates.com
ESPN
MSN Internet
Napster.com
NetZero
Real Rhapsody
Real SuperPass
True.com

Only Consumer Reports Online and The New York Times TimesSelect received flawless score, “setting a standard that other services would do well to emulate.” — BEN POPKEN

Just Cancel the @#%$* Account! [PC World] (Thanks to Karl, Susan and Octavia!)

Comments

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  1. lostsynapse says:

    That kind of experience with RealNetworks was not just a one time thing. I had signed up for two accounts by mistake. (Never use a credit card online when your evening refreshments have made the screen too blurry to read properly.) I managed to cancel the first after being put through a very hard sell. On the second attempt I tried to tell the guy that I no longer had internet access and would not have it for at least a year. He still did a hard sell on their other services.

  2. sassenach says:

    Oy…NetZero cancellations require one to say “Cancel my account” repeatedly while a perky 1/2 human/1/2 automaton tries in vain to convince you to stay.

  3. billhelm says:

    I can vouch for the ESPN account cancellation experience. you have to call an 800 number where they hard sell and stonewall you to death. there’s no online cancelation process. Additionally, they kept telling me that they have old credit card expiration date on file last year and I didn’t update it thinking they wouldn’t charge, but somehow they charged anyway. I replied to the email asking them to cancel the account and an account rep directed me to the 800 number telling me she couldn’t do anything about it.

    It tells me their run rate is obscene, because the product is not worth what it once was.

  4. timmus says:

    It’s really amazing how much outright theft a big company can get away with… if one person ran their sole proprietorship the way AOL did, they’d immediately lose their merchant account and would possibly in jail. It truly proves that “he who has the gold…”

  5. wenhaver says:

    I was able to cancel my emusic.com account fairly easily last month, and fully online. So, props to them, even though they weren’t listed in the article.

    I have been unable to terminate my Vonage account, which really sucks because I was willing to pay the early termination fee to just not have to deal with them anymore. I was never able to get the service to work well, and often found that it was easier to go sit in my car with my cell phone (which doesn’t work in my house either) than it was to try to make myself understood over Vonage. I’ve tried calling and emailing them, to no avail. Finally, I just changed my credit card number to one that doesn’t work. Wish I had the same experience cancelling with them as the author of that article did.

  6. kenposan says:

    Lostsynapse, I feel your pain. My wife “signed up” for Real Superpass. Still don’t know how that happened. But since we were signed up and being charged, I decided to download some songs. Yeah, I didn’t log in correctly (something I am guessing is common) so I was charged for the songs.

    Then it took three different calls to finally get the account closed. I do have to admit that I was given a full refund (two months) but it was a fight to get it.

  7. I still get emails from Classmates.com

  8. Deryn says:

    Isn’t anyone else horrified by the True.com story? First, charging him $150 instead of $50 by hiding the consent to do so in the TOS, then putting in the same TOS that he’s liable for $1,000 if he tries to do a chargeback? Eesh. Frightening.

  9. acambras says:

    About the True.com thing — can they legally get away with burying a clause in the TOS that basically has you give up your rights as a cardholder to exercise the chargeback?

    Lawyers out there, does True.com have a legal leg to stand on with that maneuver?