Here's what Basecamp did:
* on their monthly receipt email, they have a link directly to the cancel option.
* They remind you to get your data on the way out, and give a link, right there, to go get it
* They give you your data
* They cancel straight away, and ask if it's ok to survey you (optional).
After reading the book It doesn't have to be crazy at work (https://basecamp.com/books/calm ) I understood the mentality perfectly. I wish them all the best for their product.
Todoist is another such company. I tried their premium plan a while back and it wasn't what I was looking for. It was remarkably easy to cancel. Work changed, and I didn't hesitate to buy a subscription.
> I wish them all the best for their product.
That's their win. And actually your whole post in itself. Wouldnt' be surprised if someone else starts buying their service thanks to a comment like this one or you mentioning it to a friend.
Thx for the example!
I've gone out of my way to cancel (and permanently ignore) certain services in the past when I discovered how difficult it was to cancel (and port my data).
I've lived one place and needed an internet connection, moved in with someone so I didn't need an internet connection, moved again and I needed a connection again.
I've used Trello, closed my account in preference for Jira, then later in a different job with different needs used Trello again.
Hell, for a lot of products I'd say that former customers - who have a proven need for the thing the product does, and a proven willingness to pay for a product that does it - are probably the single demographic most likely to be future customers.
And our remembrance of a thing is heavily weighted by the last or most recent part of the experience.
Businesses will go to any lengths to get a good review on Yelp or whatever, but are happy to permanently contaminate the experiences of every single one of their experienced customers by making it really hard and painful to leave. This is crazy.
If you make it hard for me to leave, I'm less likely to come back. If you make it hard for me to leave, I won't recommend you to my friends. If I hear that you make it hard for me to leave, I'm less likely to sign up in teh first place.
The ironic example of an organisation that made it hard for me to leave was Which?, which is similar to Consumer Reports I think. It's a self declared "champion of consumer rights" etc. I signed up when we were buying a load of appliances for a new kitchen. I had to google how to cancel my subscription and involved sending an email to the right address and eventually someone would get round to it. Ridiculously hypocritical.
Surprisingly painless, given their website says you need to phone .
Agreed though, the sensible rule would be that method of cancellation matches method of subscription.
Thx for the example. Surely we can learn from it. But as I mentioned above, I do see the value in it for those who do it in a dying industry. Obviously value for them, not for the end consumer — I naturally don't stand up for doing that given what I written in the article. It's as if they're trying to cling to every last penny they could get in the short-term because there's no more long-term
I don't mind them making mistakes — everyone does. Will they blame it on me without even listening or will there be a mature human being with whom I can talk?
We buy systems we know are going to die. Sometimes they even die because the supplier build something completely new, but mostly it happens when we go to the competition. In either case we still need to be able to migrate our data and business logic seamlessly, and the companies who can’t show us an exit-strategy up front, putting it to contract 4-5 years before we need it, are much less likely to get our business.
That's what I say in some other written pieces of mine — even if it's B2B, it's still people behind it when deals are closed and hands are shaken.
> In either case we still need to be able to migrate our data and business logic seamlessly
In a sense it's about honour. Think samurais.
If the company you're doing business with helps you even when you move away from them, they're indirectly saying they respect an unspoken code of honour, which leads to
> putting it to contract 4-5 years before we need it, are much less likely to get our business.
getting your trust. thx for the comment!
Because of this, one of the first features I build in my CMS was a full export function. All your templates, all your data and all your files.
Why? Because when you put money, time and effort into building a site you want your clients to feel good about this decision in every way. I don't want people to even _feel_ trapped, even if they aren't.
Trapping people breeds animosity, I don't see how it could ever help. But I am not sure that providing an RMA with every purchase is even needed if you can get them one easily enough if they ask. Maybe I missed something in this article?
Here's what I think it's been going through their mind. Probably (idk, I'm not the owner of Asos or another big retailer) they wanted to avoid the situation in which someone says "fuck it, it wasn't that expensive anyways, I'd rather keep/donate the clothes rather than return them" - and then never shop again
As opposed to "okay, returning takes 30 minutes less because I have the return labels" which, in turn, can mean more business. Because the relationship is trying to be built
My thought was simply that through the years of online shopping I have never seen a return label in a package that I can recall, but getting an RMA has rarely been an issue. (we are careful where we shop though)
If these guys are making RMA's hard that is totally different.
Edit: I may be confusing RMA (a request) with an actual "shipping label".
The cancellation was so difficult; pick up the phone and wait on hold a while, that I will never go back. Even though I might want the service again, I lost faith in the company.
I've never bought a car from a used car yard or new car dealership, so I can't talk from experience.
In Australia, residential real estate sales contract have a mandatory 28 day minimum cooling off period. I don't know anything about commercial real estate, so can't comment on that.
In a way it makes some sense that the other large purchase(s) in life should have a somewhat protracted sales experience. If you could walk in to a car sales yard and just buy a car chip and pin style, I suspect things could go downhill quite rapidly.
I haven't really thought this through very much, so I'm wide open to head different perspectives.
I'm just wondering whether there's scope for a cooling off period for vehicle purchases?
I have at least one friend who might have benefited from such a thing.
Ordering online, I had a period where I could cancel the order with no penalty.
that's what's the loveliest thing about the internet - for a shitton of things, the cost of entry is 0 now
They will happily let you add new services to your account, but to remove or cancel anything? You need to call or visit a service center.
Full disclosure: I'm married two years now.
but just like the other answer to your comment, it's more about when companies spend time to make it hard. Like those people you may have seen in your life who are living through hell — but it's a certain level of hell that can't be achieved without their effort.
what's your industry, if you feel like sharing? competitive, by chance?
I probably don't hate you, but if you make this as an interruption to me cancelling, I very well just might.
Also, I think having just a free-form text box is best. The text of options in the radio list of reasons tells a lot about the mindset of the company. Quite often, not the nicest things.
That way your cancel's done and dusted but with the option to feedback if you fancy it
I've seen a few sites that don't make it clear that you have successfully cancelled and act as though the survey is still required, so don't do that. Make it clear the user has finished cancelling and this is an extra step they can take if they'd like.
Caring is important, even if you're caring about your business in the grand scheme of things
The overwhelming majority of sites that have some kind of information about me do not have options to close accounts directly through the website. I was under the impression it was illegal to prevent someone from closing an account / hold data indefinitely, so I have to assume there's some way to call in or email to have this done, but any additional outreach just feels like giving them more information about myself and I'd rather just ghost.
You use dark patterns/make it hard to cancel that might help you this quarter but ultimately you're dragging your business's reputation through the mud. Once those customers leave they aren't likely to return ever.
What's interesting is that businesses KNOW THIS, it isn't some secret voodoo, they know aggressive retention strategies result in long term dissatisfaction. But the way upper tier compensation is structured many executives can ride the short bump to bonuses, then get the gold parachute out the door as things implode.
In essence bosses are current incentivized to burn long term viability for short term bumps, and this is just one of many side-effects.
Of course the real lock-in with social networks is the connections with other people there, which is why everybody is staying on Facebook despite its universally agreed awfulness. To fight that, you need something like Hubzilla's nomadic identity.
I wanted to provide one bit of close critique on a small part of the post:
> And look, I’m no social justice warrior (or so I hope) to go and bash people on the internet for whatever they’ve done wrongfully.
yikes. General suggestion for technical bloggers: please don't make vague references to internet culture wars (even in passing) in your posts unless they are central to your thesis.
This kind of stuff is at best distracting, and at worst can cause major misunderstandings. For me it engenders a certain kind of distrust: is the author trying to purposefully rile me or anyone else in their audience? It feels quite unprofessional as a whole.
Thx for the comment. Maybe we have to go through an unpleasant experience once to understand what you’ve resonated with from the article and what I wrote. Or maybe multiple times. Who knows
Regarding the quote, what I meant was that I’m no social justice warrior to go on and leave 1-star reviews to that company because they didn’t cancel my subscription.
It’s just that I’d rather build more, instead of spending time to destroy what someone else did. Or, I’ve heard stories of people buying thousands of negative reviews, thus destroying reputations
I write as I’d be speaking and I use a lot of relaxed language. Sometimes it sets people off because it’s not professional and I understand, but the core of value is there (or at least I’m trying to make it so).
Thx for your comment! Any parts that stood out for you besides this one?
Real-world analogy: imagine you're a a businessman in a real-world place that has suddenly gone to war for some reason. Even though the shootouts and shellings are happening elsewhere, you probably don't want to wear what happens to be insignia or flag or the holy symbol of one of the sides. Not only would that risk one side shooting you for misappropriation, and the other for being an enemy symphatizer, your customers would probably not want to be anywhere near to you, lest they get shot by association. Doesn't matter that the symbol is just a cross, or just a bird. What matters is that there are two sides willing to beat other people up over it.
Or, put yet another way: you're poking a dragon. Don't. Especially if you're not getting anything out if it.
I give the example in the blog post about a .wordpress.com website that was made to boycott the said service. That means people are after you
I think we're losing the point here
Given that you have come here, one would assume, for the feedback, and that you self proclaim to run an experiences design agency that specialises on helping tech CEOs reduce user churn, it might pay to closely consider the feedback
you're getting here rather than repeatedly dismissing it with your comment leaving aside what we know for a moment.
It seems unlikely the middle 90% of readers are going to approach everything they read with all of their existing presumptions completely suspended.
Your HN bio then goes on to state:
We believe experiences are not only the reason why users choose not to leave but also what generates word of mouth. We’re building a credo around this belief — https://chagency.co.uk/blog* (emphasis mine).
From my perspective, it hurts your credibility to appear to be acting disingenuously.
Opinion: your reference to social justice warrior is fairly well unnecessary.
I wanted to add that I otherwise really enjoyed the article and agree with the sentiment. The outgoing experience can be the difference between me recommending a service or not. It's about maintaining respect for the user, and not burning the bridge at the very last opportunity.
> I think we're losing the point here
The point of this thread is that in the real world, the actual use of the term "SJW" is overwhelmingly by conservatives using it to dismissively label liberals, and using the term suggests a blatant political alignment that detracts from the substance of the article.
It's a politically loaded term that, regardless of your position on the subject, looks a little bit odd in an article about user offboarding.
But since it does, at least in American English, your readers are going to understand it a different way.
Or in other words, you get on the front page of HN and the first 20 or 30 posts are talking about social justice warriors and not how to provide good exit experiences for users :-)
In a different, but similar way it's easy to miss your readers when talking about technical subjects. For example, if you have a very deep insight into a technical matter, it's often difficult to understand why your readers don't understand what you are talking about. The trick to good writing is to approach your reader on their terms and invite them in. If you can explain something in terms that they relate to, then suddenly they can understand it, whereas before they couldn't. It's easy to think that the reader is uneducated and that's why they didn't understand. However, it is the purpose of the writing to educate the reader.
In the same way, you might think that the reader should not get distracted by an offhand comment. It might be easy to fault the reader for not being able to see it in the context that you see it. However, just like the uneducated reader that can't understand a technical topic, you can't expect your reader to understand your context without a considerable amount of effort to set the stage. As it is not the main topic of your thesis, it becomes a bridge too far for the reader and they miss your point entirely.
So far I have almost exclusively seen it used to attack women in computer games. This is the first time I have seen it used to refer to people 1-staring reviews.
Don't worry about them. Your statement was fine- you seem annoyed by a certain class of people and its fair for you to name them in your own blog.
However, it was a shame that we got into a bit of warfare around the semantics of a word when both I and these people who were analyzing my use of the word are most probably against people creating hate-blogs against someone's product :(
thx for taking time to write the comment, I appreciate it