Just Cancel the @#%$* Account!

Service Cancellation Woes

To research this story, I signed up for 32 popular online services and then attempted to cancel them. In grading how hard it was to unsubscribe, I used a point system based on 13 factors (see "Thirteen Strikes" for a complete listing of the criteria). Companies earned lots of hassle points if their Web sites provided no information on how to cancel or if they continued to bill me after I canceled. They got fewer points for less objectionable (but still annoying) behavior such as sending me e-mail messages after I'd quit.

Of course, not all of my experiences can be summed up in numbers alone. Lots of companies urged me to reconsider, for instance; but some were polite and took no for an answer, while others were infuriatingly persistent.

Here's the nitty-gritty on what happened to me with each of the services I canceled.

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