When AOL started bleeding dial-up subscribers to the likes of DSL and cable broadband services, they instituted policies that made it almost impossible to cancel. On Friday I decided to cancel my Vonage lines as they were no longer being used. With a new Cisco VOIP solution at work and many of my devices able to support Skype or Project Gizmo with voice-out minutes, I no longer needed Vonage.
I logged into the Vonage web site and found out that I can only cancel via telephone during normal business hours. I thought this was interesting as I can basically order hundreds of dollars of Vonage services via the web and my entire relationship with the company has been online, so it was surprising that I had to call them to cancel.
It turns out, the reason I had to call was to endure 48 minutes worth of what can best be described as “cancellation marketing”. No matter how many times I expressed my frustration with the call and indicated there was nothing they could do to keep me as a customer, they continued to make me new offers, ask questions I refused to answer, and basically ignored my request to cancel for as long as possible. For a similar experience, see this blog entry and these customer complaints (on my call, they made about 15 additional attempts to keep me as a customer, despite the fact that I kept asking to just proceed with the cancellation now).
This type of activity is despicable and is a demonstration that the company is bound for failure. I used to highly recommend Vonage services. I no longer will.