Red Envelope Madness!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Canceling

Why is it such a big deal to remember to cancel your free trial or upgrade? Thousands of people do it all the time! Some are saying that the Netflix lawsuit settlement is a scam because it "burdens" you with having to remember to cancel after your free one-month upgrade is over or you'll get "stuck" paying the additional fees. Why is it such a burden to cancel at the end of a month? If the money matters to you so much, you'll remember. If you forget to cancel, obviously, you can afford it.

Where's the personal responsibility? Why are we so dependent on everyone else to tell us what to do, and then we cry foul when they get in our business? I think it is reasonable to expect an adult citizen to be able to do the following things: get a rebate check, file an income tax return, vote, resist spam, resist a timeshare, and cancel a free trial.

If you hate having the government and corporations in your business, telling you what to do, then you have to be strong enough to take care of yourself. Governments take over where citizens are weak. You've got the power. Don't invite fascism into your life by giving up your power.

5 Comments:

  • At 1/16/2006 9:37 AM, Blogger manuel said…

    You could raise the same issue for movie rental late fees. Netflix advertises "no late fees."

     
  • At 1/16/2006 12:55 PM, Blogger Scott said…

    I agree...with Becky, not Manuel (what does this post have to do with late fees?!). It's not like Netflix requires its subsribers to call a customer service number to cancel. They're not AOL. All you have to do is click on one little button and then another to confirm your cancellation. If you can't remember to cancel before the month is over, well, that's your fault, not Netflix's or Blockbuster's or the Democrats' or the Republicans'.

     
  • At 1/16/2006 2:31 PM, Blogger Bullwinkle said…

    The problem is that opt-out programs are designed based on the fact that at least some percentage of the population will forget to cancel within the allotted time period. I agree that people need to take more personal responsibility, which is why my personal decision is to never accept any “free” offer that requires me to cancel or start paying at the end of the trial period.

    Memory is not tied money. People get busy and forget things. That doesn’t make it right for a company to take advantage of that and turn a settlement that is supposed to benefit the customer into a marketing ploy that ultimately benefits the company.

     
  • At 1/17/2006 3:20 PM, Blogger Chris Coyier said…

    People forgetting to cancel things is what makes it a valid business model. If you are an organized person, it only works to your advantage.

     
  • At 1/18/2006 4:08 PM, Blogger Bullwinkle said…

    I guess it comes down to ethics. Ethically, I can't get behind making money by taking advantage of people's weaknesses. I prefer a business model in which money is made because people get something they want, not because they forget to say they don't want something. If a product or service is good enough, people will pay for it. If it's not good enough, they must be tricked into paying for it.

    I don't think the issue at hand here is whether or not the free trial with opt-out is a "valid business model." The issue at hand is whether a settlement should be structured in such a way that it's a win-win for the company when it is supposed to make retributions to those who were supposedly wronged. If the settlement ultimately ends up benefiting the company, was retribution made?

     

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