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Autorenewed for ....my convenience??? Part Deux

As mentioned in the last post, I really hate the slimy tactic of providing "auto-renew" on a subscription purchased for an online service. In that post I didn't want to mention the company name that I was going to cancel since I didn't think it was a big deal (other than the mention of the so called "convenience" of auto renew) well today I nearly bursted an artery trying to cancel the auto renew on the month subscription I purchased from hotornot.com. The problem is the cancel process is a draconian mess. I should not have to be forced to go anywhere else to cancel the subscription. When I purchased I used my credit card to buy the simple plan to try out the service, it was easy to sign up it should be just as easy to sign off, but it is not.

The first problem with the way their cancellation process is designed is in the complete ommission of a clear and ready button on the user profile page that says "cancel subscription" , this is common sense and is the easiest way to allow a user to cancel the auto-renew on an account. If it had such a button, I would have clicked it...it would have removed the pending evil of the auto-renew and all would have been well but no, that isn't how the hotornot designers decided to do it. Instead, there is no option at all to cancel the subscription on any pages viewed by a paying user viewing their membership info! Believe it or not...here's a screen shot:

So I figured that the cancel button would be provided after clicking the button pointed to by the green arrow above, titled "payment history". I could only hope right? Well, clicking on that button takes you to the following image:

Yet again, no clearly labeled "cancel subscription button" instead two options present, the first left facing green arrow points toward the links I missed the first time I entered the page (since they are so small and are of simple script) the second down pointing arrow points to the button I actually clicked on thinking it would take me to the cancel page. Of course when I did that , It took me to a summary of the subscription that I had (star membership) with no option at all to cancel it (though they did provide an option to upgrade it to a more expensive option) ...after navigating back to this page I noticed the link (left facing arrow) and decided to click it, which took me to the next page shown in the image below. Cancellation here I come!!:




Not quite. Amazingly, the designers thought I wasn't quite ready to see a cancel button...so they present me with this. A survey on the service, this is in the wrong spot...the survey should come AFTER I've cancelled...that is what I am trying to do after all. Displaying this page only got me even more perplexed and annoyed than I already was. I took a deep breath and decided to give a doozie of a feedback letter. The site is infested by automated accounts that make the meeting experience, useless. You get contacted by bot accounts that I guess are there to harvest email addresses if you send that info in the messages. In the month I tested the service I received several dozen matches but the majority were bots and the ones that were not, were not desirable. They need to seriously clean out the bot accounts to make the service useable. Anyway...I filled in the feedback form and hit the button indicated by the arrow. Finally confident that I would be able to cancel....





Wrong again! Apparently I have only just now earned the honor of actually seeing a button labeled "cancel membership". I was shaking my head in disbelief that they would try to upsell me when I am trying to cancel the service but oh well. Now I would finally get to do it...or would I????





Amazing, yet another attempt to upsell me!!! Just in case I missed the first page and the oversized "buy now" button. Now I am just vexed, and almost lost it completely when I didn't see any more explicit "cancel subscription" button until I saw the tiny "click here" link:


"If you do not want to take advantage of this one-time offer, click here"

This type of sales tactic may work on some but it only succeeds in insulting my intelligence, and fraying my patience to the nubs. What is most egregious about this statement is it totally neglects to mention that not taking advantage of the offer leads to the actual cancellation process that I invoked 5 page views ago!!!!! This is the worst type of disengenuous marketing , tied together with horribly bad UI design ....I don't know which is worse, if they designed this circuitous Gordian monstrosity on purpose to delay the cancel process or if they are just bad UI designers. At this point I don't know what will happen after hitting "click here" as the site has shown that they don't do what the buttons state on their face all the time. So I went ahead and clicked hoping I'd actually get what I asked for 5 pages ago.


Miracle of miracles. It is actually done. Congratulations hot or not you finally figured it out and in the process gave me a memory of bad design that I won't soon forget.

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