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Advice: Don’t sign up for Napster

by Brandon on April 30th, 2007

Without knowing how hard it is to leave…

Months and months ago I stopped using Napster To Go.  Urge is just infinitely better.  Yet until today I was still paying for it.  I was frustrated to find that there’s no way to cancel online, despite the fact that I signed up over the web.  Personally, I think there should be a law requiring that companies permit you to cancel a subscription via the same mechanism by which they lured you into it.  They accept subscriptions online, 24-hours-a-day.  They accept cancellations over the phone, during their east coast business hours. 

After several attempts to call and cancel, I finally got through to a real person after being on hold (and my tolerance for static-filled country music was at its end when she picked up).  The actual cancellation process wasn’t as bad as some of those AOL horror stories.  She did insist on offering me a free month even after I complained about the cancellation process when she asked what I didn’t like about the service.  Sigh…

The other thing that bothered me a great deal is that my credit card address changed last summer.  I never once updated my information with Napster.  But unlike some other services which e-mailed me and said I’d need to update my information to continue service, Napster has sent something each month since the move to the effect, “We noticed your billing information seems to have changed.  Normally this would prevent us from charging you.  But we think you might be trying to escape our service without sitting on hold for the required period of time, so we charged your card anyway, sucker.”

Okay, maybe it wasn’t worded quite like that.  But that’s pretty much how I read it.  Maybe I’m just oversensitive to these things, or just too damn lazy.  Either way, be careful what you sign up for.  Leaving is rarely as easy as joining.

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  1. Dan permalink

    Tip: Your credit card company will probably not have a problem denying payments to a company you name to them (well, past whenever your last payment should be, check your contract).

    Then all you do is call the company and cancel your service. If they try and convince you otherwise, tell them you’ve already told your credit card company to deny them future payments, so you ARE canceled; on your end at least.

    I forget where I read this (think it was in conjunction with the mentioned AOL thing) and it seems to me it could be useful as leverage if they just won’t give up.

  2. Jeremy permalink

    I had to cancel AOL once. The lady on the other end of the phone kept hassling me. I insisted to her that I was moving to somewhere that didn’t have a phone line or electricity even (which was a lie) I was just trying to make the cancelation even easier for me (so I thought) She had the tact to recommend a gasoline powered generator and a satellite based Internet service so I can continue on with AOL. After I finally convinced her that wasn’t going to happen, the service was cancelled. For good measure, the debit card I paid with…I reported it as stolen so I would get a new one with a different number so they would stop charging me. I also returned all their “Please come back to AOL” mail return to sender. persistent.

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