Just Cancel the @#%$* Account!

Did You Say 'Cancel'?

The second True.com screen that appears after you select an option to cancel still tries to dissuade you from closing your account.
The second True.com screen that appears after you select an option to cancel still tries to dissuade you from closing your account.
Thinking that I had properly canceled my contract with the dating service True.com within two weeks of signing up, I expected to be charged for one month of service: $50. Two months later, however, my credit card statement showed $153 in True.com charges. It turns out that rather than canceling my account, I had merely suspended it temporarily--and in the process, I had also unwittingly signed up for an additional True.com service to help me improve my profile, at $1 per month.

Clicking 'Continue' here only suspends the account temporarily. To cancel, you have to click the small link and then call the company.
Clicking 'Continue' here only suspends the account temporarily. To cancel, you have to click the small link and then call the company.
Here's where I went wrong: When I went to True.com's Customer Care page to unsubscribe, I selected 'Cancel' and the programmed instructions prompted me to type a cancellation request into a text field. After doing as instructed, I clicked 'Continue'; the next screen then asked, 'Are you sure you want to cancel?' In response I clicked yet another link labeled 'Click here to cancel your membership'.

On the next screen, instead asking me again if I wanted to cancel my membership, the routine asked me if I wanted to "suspend" my subscription. At the bottom of the window was a big 'Continue' button, and below that--in gray (not black) type in the smallest font on the page--was a link labeled 'Cancel my subscription'. I clicked the 'Continue' button, not realizing that by doing so I had merely suspended my account for seven days.

When I called True.com to ask why I had been charged, a customer service representative named Jeff noted that there is a difference between suspend and cancel. I complained about the cancellation process and pushed for a refund. Jeff agreed to reduce the outstanding charges by $50.

I might have faced additional hassles if I had disputed the charge with my credit card company. When I belatedly examined True.com's terms-of-service agreement, I found a section stipulating that if I were to "fraudulent[ly] report an authorized charge by True.com" as "unauthorized," I could be held liable for $1000 per incident in damages. I call that tough love.

True.com's president, Ruben Buell, told me that if I had followed the trail of cancellation links for one more page past the 'Suspend' turnoff, I would have been prompted to call the company's customer support line. So after all that effort, I still would have had to pick up the phone.

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