Canceling Fax Service Like Passing Gallstones

L.S. writes that she had a devil of a time trying to cancel her service with J2, an online fax and voicemail service. The cancellation info was buried deep in the website and several links and phone numbers were only dead-ends bedecked with red herrings.

Finally, she got through to a chat-based CSR and that’s where the fun really began.

What came first, the anal retentive or the customer retention?

Find out, after the jump…

{Sharon W.} Hello, Laura. Welcome to j2 Global online support. I am Sharon, your Online Live Support Representative. How may I assist you today?

{LS} I would like to cancel my service. My J2 number is XXX-XXX-XXXX

{Sharon W.} I am sorry to hear that you wish to cancel your account. Could you please provide me with your PIN for verification?

{LS} XXXX

{Sharon W.} Thank you for the information. Please give me a moment while I quickly check your account. In the meanwhile, may I ask why you are canceling your fax account?

{LS} I had a second line put in my house, so I don’t need the online service any more.

{Sharon W.} Laura , I can understand that currently you do not need the service. In the current situation as a special consideration, we will waive off the monthly fee for two months. You can use the fax service without paying any monthly fees for the next two billing cycles. Only the usage charges are applicable. Please feel free to contact us at any time. This way you will be able to keep your local fax number, which will enable you to send and receive any pending faxes with your number. You can use it for any of your future commitments. You can always use it as a backup number while you are mobile.

{Sharon W.} Your j2 account will be credited with $30.00 so that you may utilize our services without being billed our monthly fee for the next two billing cycles.

{Sharon W.} Since you will not be charged any monthly fees for the next two months you may keep the account till then. If at all you find that you need our services during this period, then you will still have the account. If however, you still feel that you do not have any use for our services by the end of the two months credit period, then you can always contact us back anytime.

{LS} I just want to cancel. I had to make a phone call and then was misdirected by the other chat service twice. This is wasting my time. Please just cancel my service and stop harassing me.

{Sharon W.} Laura , we completely understand your wish to discontinue, since you have already paid for the month, I suggest you to retain this number at least till the end of two months credit offer as you will not be charged any monthly fee for the two months. As a goodwill gesture for our further association, I would also provide you with an additional gift balance of $5.00 with which you can send up to 50 pages of faxes for free (per page per minute within US & Canada) along with the monthly credit.

{Sharon W.} During this two months credit period, you can keep this service active and if you use it once in these two months we will be more than happy that we were able to serve you. Trust me there are no hidden traits and you will not be charged any monthly fees for this account during this period.

{Sharon W.} Before completion of the 2 months credit period, if you feel that the fax number does not serve your purpose, you can get back to us immediately without any further obligation to stay back. We are available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Please feel free to contact us at any time.

{Sharon W.} As this will also give you time to receive all of your pending faxes and you can also inform your relatives and contacts regarding your decision.

{LS} IT HAS BEEN A HUGE PAIN IN THE NECK TO CONTACT YOU ABOUT THIS CANCELLATION. I WANT OUR RELATIONSHIP OVER NOW. GET IT????!!!! I DO NOT WANT THE SERVICE ANY MORE!!!!!!!!! I DO NOT WANT TO HAVE TO CONTACT YOU AGAIN!!!! I WAS A HAPPY CUSTOMER, BUT NOW I DON’T NEED YOU ANY MORE, GET IT????? I WANT YOU TO CANCEL MY SERVICE NOW.

{Sharon W.} pdc

{Sharon W.} I am sorry for the earlier response.

{Sharon W.} In this case, what we can also do is, I will set your account to close automatically at the end of 2 months credit period. If you wish to continue after the credit period, you just need to contact us or email us at help@mail.efax.com before 03/26/2006 so that you can continue with the same account after the credit period. Will this be fine with you?

{Sharon W.} This way even if you forget to contact us on time to cancel the account, the account will stand automatically cancelled and all billings will cease once the account is closed automatically.

{LS} I have no idea what “pdc” means. The extreme annoyance of this “customer service” experience has cancelled out years of a good business relationship. I DON’T WANT THE TWO MONTHS. I WANT YOU TO CANCEL THE ACCOUNT NOW AND I WANT AN E-MAIL CONFIRMATION OF THIS TRANSACTION, SINCE YOU OBVIOUSLY ARE INCAPABLE OF ACTUALLY PAYING ATTENTION TO WHAT THE OTHER PERSON IS ASKING FOR.

{Sharon W.} All right, as per your wish, I will immediately cancel the account for you.
We are sorry that you have decided to leave us. However, if your faxing needs do change in the future, we would be more than happy to have you back. Thank you for being with us and using our service.

{Sharon W.} We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused to you.

{Sharon W.} Is there anything else I can assist you with?

{LS} I had to call twice on the phone, then use the other chat service three times to get a URL which worked to get me to you, and then this experience. I am glad to be rid of your company and will not be back.

{Sharon W.} Thank you for contacting j2 Global online support. Goodbye and have a nice time.