Signing Off Made Simple
Last week, I had to make one last call to tech support at Presto, the "e-mail for people without computers" service that I recently wrote about. I needed to cancel my Presto account before the conclusion of the 90-day free trial provided by the company's PR department, after which my credit card would have been dinged for the monthly fee.
So I called the number for customer support, gave my name to the rep who answered, explained my situation and said I'd like to end the service--and after a few moments of typing, he said my account had been canceled. That was it: No "are you sure you really want to leave us?" interrogation, no attempted bribery with another three months of free service, just prompt fulfillment of my request. Amazing. It was the opposite of the experiences I've had canceling accounts with AOL.
I wouldn't have minded being asked a question or two about why I was leaving--you want to see a company make an honest effort to learn why customers are leaving--but Presto didn't even subject me to that.
A lot of tech companies go to extremes to keep their users on one leash or another. They'll offer them bundles of related services (so you can't change TV services without switching Internet providers too), encourage them to set up automatic payments from their checking accounts (ever tried to unwind one of these arrangements?), and sign them to long-term contracts with steep cancellation penalties.
Is there value in a service that doesn't indulge in any of these tactics? You tell me--and please, name names. I'd like to know of other companies that don't lock their exits.
(Or, if you have gotten the runaround from Presto when canceling service, tell me about that too.)
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