Just Cancel the @#%$* Account!

Breakup Tips: Best Ways to Unload an Online Service

Breaking up with an online service doesn't have to mean an ugly divorce. Avoiding hassles just requires preparation and some postnup plotting.

  • Use a single credit card to conduct all your online transactions. This will allow you to monitor all of your subscriptions from one statement.
  • Before you become a subscriber, find out how easy it is to cancel. If you can't find a cancellation page on the site, ask the service how to find it.
  • Ask what the terms of service are, before you sign up. For example, Equifax's credit monitoring service requires a three-month minimum commitment.
  • Check with the Better Business Bureau to see how common billing or cancellation complaints are against the service you're considering subscribing to.
  • If you cancel, ask for a refund. AOL says that it provides a refund only to customers who request one; EarthLink and ESPN say that they issue refunds on a case-by-case basis to customers who ask.
  • Pay with a credit card that allows you to dispute charges. MasterCard offered to resolve my refund dispute with NetZero by reversing the charge.
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