Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Oh, the Hard Cancel!

I've had an eFax number for years. Great service, if a little pricey. However, I recently have discovered I have no more need for it. So, I tried to cancel.

First: No way to call or email them. They ONLY handle cancellations through chat. Ok, I start the chat in Firefox. It breaks. I move to IE; it requires an ActiveX control. I give permission for the control. Chat starts, tells me 5 minutes to wait. 5 minutes goes by, it breaks. I reload: 7 minute wait. 7 minutes goes by: it breaks. Finally, on the third try, it loads.

Here's the transcript. If you want to see a textbook example of the "hard cancel," here it is: look at what had to happen to cancel, and note the prepackaged explanations:

Welcome to chat.
{Kyle W.} Hello, Joshua. Welcome to j2 Global's online support. I am Kyle, your online Live Support Representative. How are you doing today?
{Joshua Tretakoff} Are you still there?
{Kyle W.} Yes, I am here.
{Joshua Tretakoff} Sorry; your chat thing broke the browser. Hello, I'd like to cancel my eFax account. eFax number XXX-XXX-XXXX.
{Kyle W.} I will take care of that for you. Could you please provide me your PIN for verification purposes?
{Joshua Tretakoff} YYYY
{Kyle W.} Thank you for the information. May I ask you why you are canceling your fax account ?
{Joshua Tretakoff} Yes. I now get the service through a unified communication package through SBC. I am already paying them; faxes are now included.
{Kyle W.} Joshua, I understand that you currently do not use the service very often. You are our valued customer & we really value your association with us and in order to extend our association, we will credit your eFax account with $25.90 so that you may utilize our services without being billed our monthly fee for the next two billing cycles. Hence, you will be able to use our service to its fullest capabilities. During this credit period, you will not be charged any monthly fee.
{Kyle W.} Your eFax account will be credited with $25.90 so that you may utilize our services without being billed our monthly fee for the next two billing cycles.
{Kyle W.} Maybe you may need this number in this period. After completion of two months, if you feel that the fax number does not serve your purpose, you can get back to us.
{Joshua Tretakoff} I appreciate that, but I do not foresee any need for your service in the next 2 months or beyond. With the new SBC services, you are a luxury I do not need.
{Kyle W.} Joshua, I surely understand your concern, but since you will not be charged any monthly fee for the next two months you may keep the account till then. If at all you find that you need our services during this period, then you will still have the account. If however, you still feel that you do not have any use for our services by the end of the two months credit period, then you can always contact us back anytime.
{Kyle W.} As a good will gesture to continue our association we will also offer you an additional gift balance of $10 along with the monthly credit, which will enable to send up to 100 additional, fax pages free of cost within U.S. & Canada.
{Kyle W.} After completion of the 2 months credit period, you can get back to us immediately without any further obligation to stay back. We are available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Please feel free to contact us at any time. We will immediately process your request.
{Joshua Tretakoff} Again, my thanks, but I prefer to cancel the service. My time is valuable, and I would prefer not to have to remember: I simply want to cancel.
{Kyle W.} Joshua, in this case, what we can also do is, I will set your account to close automatically at the end of 2 months credit period. If you wish to continue after the credit period, you just need to contact us or email us at help@mail.efax.com so that you can continue with the same account after the credit period. Other wise your account will be automatically closed after your 2 months credit period gets over.
{Kyle W.} You do not have to contact us again for cancellation of your account. Your account will automatically close after this 2 months credit period.
{Joshua Tretakoff} Will there by ANY charges to me between now and the two months? In other words, will I incur any charges, and will the account cancel without penalty or restarting service?
{Kyle W.} Joshua , please be assured that you will not be billed any monthly fee for next 2 months, but you will be charged for sending faxes, if the usage balance drops below $2.00. As I have provided you with $10 gift balance. Thus, if the usage is limited, there will be no charge on your credit card and it will be closed automatically at the end of the credit period.
{Kyle W.} I’m sure that you will have a great experience.
{Joshua Tretakoff} While I thank you for the generous offer, I'd prefer to cancel now. Please refund any outstanding prepaid amoutns to me.
{Kyle W.} All right, as per your wish, I will close your account right now.
{Kyle W.} We are sorry that you have decided to leave us. At eFax, we are continuously improving our products and services. Please do consider us if your faxing needs change in the future.

Man...and I thought magazines were tough!

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