Just Cancel the @#%$* Account!

Some Hassles

EarthLink

I had been a customer of EarthLink's dial-up Internet access for less than 30 days when I attempted to cancel. Discovering the necessary procedure required some sleuthing on my part of EarthLink.com's customer service section. After clicking around the support section and finding nothing about canceling, I choose 'get live help'. After typing in my request, the Live Help representative pointed me to a drop-down menu with 'cancel' as an option at the bottom of the list. The page that appeared when I clicked the link directed me to call a toll-free number.

I called the number and spoke with a rep who asked me twice why I was switching services. I said there was nothing wrong and that I just wanted to get a refund and quit. She said I was not eligible for a refund. Earthlink's terms-of-service agreement mentions a "30-day money back guarantee." I called back and spoke with someone else who said that I could get a 100 percent refund because I wasn't happy with the service and had canceled within 30 days of signing up. The rep promised me a refund within the week, and I received it. Refunds requested after 30 days of service, I was told, are handled case-by-case.

Equifax

I tried to cancel my Equifax Credit Watch Gold membership after less than two weeks on board. I couldn't find anything in the site's member services section about how to cancel my account, so I used a generic "contact us" Web form.

I received an e-mail informing me that Equifax would honor my cancel request, but also that I would continue to be billed for three months, as there was a three-month minimum commitment.

Equifax spokesperson Jennifer Costello said, "We make it as easy for consumers as possible to cancela?|Our cancellation process is clearly stated in the terms of service." She directed me to a 3903-word document. About halfway through the document, I encountered a single sentence stating that subscribers must call customer service to cancel.

Flickr.com

I found no information on the Flickr site about canceling my Flickr Pro Account. The only information about leaving that Flickr provided was details on how to delete my account.

My goal, however, was not to delete my account, but to downgrade from a paid account (at $24.95 per year) to a free, basic one. I called the company and asked about its cancellation policy. Flickr said that it didn't offer a cancellation option; and at the end of my annual paid membership, my account would have to be renewed. If I chose at that time not to renew it, I would in affect be canceling my account.

GameSpy Arcade

I failed to find any information in the GameSpy Arcade software about canceling my GameSpy Arcade subscription. When I visited the GameSpy Web site for Arcade, the cancellation instructions were nearly impossible to find. Finally, I tried searching the site's "knowledge base," where I managed to locate cancellation instructions. As I cancelled online, the site nagged me to keep my account.

MLB.com

I signed up for a monthly $14.95 MLB TV subscription and canceled after two weeks. Finding the cancellation option wasn't easy--and the procedure called for telephoning the company, rather than canceling online. I canceled over the phone as instructed, but I never received the confirmation-of-cancellation e-mail that I requested.

Netflix

On the 14th day of a 14-day Netflix trial membership, I found a notice on the site informing me that I had to call if I wanted to cancel. Although I canceled within the terms of the free trial, Netflix charged me $15.74 for a month of service anyway. I called to contest the charge, and a customer service representative told me that it was a mistake, and gave me a refund.

RapidFax

On the day that I intended to cancel my RapidFax account, technical issues that are still unclear to me prevented me from doing so. I was unable to log onto my account successfully that day at all. Consequently, I decided to e-mail my cancellation request to RapidFax. The company honored my e-mail request under the circumstances, but it said that usually it requires customers to cancel by phone.

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