Michael Buffington

When I Say Cancel, I Mean Cancel.

Wednesday, November 29 2006

Because we got rid of our television, we no longer need DirecTV or TiVo service, and so I set about to cancelling them today. In both cases, both companies tried to retain me, and the dialog went something like this:

>Retention Specialist: We’re sorry to hear that sir, is there a reason you’d like to cancel?
Me: Yes, we no longer have a television.
RT: Not even for the news?
Me: I’ve never depended on my television for the news, ever. Please cancel my service.
RT: Most people who get rid of their televisions end up getting new ones. Are you sure you want to cancel your service?
Me: I’m not sure how that’s relevant to me wanting to cancel my service. Could you please just do as I ask and cancel my service?
RT: We can lower your rate to n per month.
Me: That’s wonderful, but it’s not what I asked for. Cancel my service now please.
RT: long pause

This sort of struggle goes on for several minutes. In one case, the RT said “it’ll take me about 15 minutes to process this. Please remain on hold. There will be no hold music or background noise, so please do not assume I’ve hung up. In order for the cancellation to go through I must give you a confirmation number.” Right. He leaves his screen up, goes for a smoke break, and if I’ve had to the nerve to stick around pushes a single button and finally cancels my service, and he’s down a retention number.

Corporations, take note:

There is no way in hell that I will ever consider coming back to you as a customer if you put me through this. I am the customer, and when I want to cancel, it should take a seconds, and I shouldn’t have to listen to you retention strategies. I don’t dig layers and layers of phone systems to find the option to cancel on a whim.