Friday, March 16, 2007

HUGE pet peeve

A bit rambling, probably, but you should be able to figure out what I'm getting at:

This is a BIG pet peeve of mine...companies who have contracts (and automatic debits set up) with customers let the customers know that their accounts are about to expire, as they should. But then, instead of sending out a courtesy e-mail later, saying, "Your contract is about to expire: if you don't want this to happen please remember to upgrade (or whatever)"...

...they send out an e-mail at some point, easy to overlook, saying "We're going to be nice and upgrade you automatically, UNLESS you do x, y, or z," "x" being to make a cancel request, which takes any number of steps. And if you miss one of the steps, like confirming the cancel request, the cancel request is discarded, and you go on forever not noticing that you're still being charged.

I think companies make a lot of money because people don't notice the above. For instance, when my 1and1 (Website host) contract was going to expire in a few months, I chose not to renew my contract, at a now higher price. And, of course, nothing in those e-mails to me at the time said anything about the soon-to-come paragraph two above! I figured that I would choose not to renew and so my contract would end quietly at its expiration date.

Well, when the expiration date came, then I had to go through three or four steps to cancel what I thought should've been done automatically. I have to remember to be careful about these kinds of things.

Caveat emptor, for good reason.