7 November 2004

Dealing with the Corporate Mafia

I recently attempted to quit my subscription to Audible.com. So I went to the website and after spending 30 minutes going through every link on their site, found out that there was no way to quit my subscription. But they did have two phone numbers, so I called these repeatedly during the middle of a weekday and later the next day but of course no one answered. The company also leaves no address or other means to quit their service. So I had to call up my bank and go through their long list of computer options in order to quit my automated payment to Audible. It's likely that the company will probably still bill me and perhaps even threaten to report me to a collector. Last month, I had the same experience when trying to quit Verizon. I sent them two letters saying that I wanted to quit, called them repeatedly (getting no answer) and finally, after spending many hours of hassle, managed to get through to someone who finally processed my cancellation after I threatened to sue. I don't know if I'm just having bad luck, but it seems like corporations are reaching new lows these days in their attempts to take our dollars. I can imagine some young overpaid kid with a Ph.D. in marketing standing in some boardroom somewhere next to a graph saying, "If you make it impossible for people to cancel, you will, on average, receive an extra two weeks in payments as they go through the hassle of trying to quit their service. This translates into an extra 2% return per annum." I can imagine the fat CEO clapping before he gets up to go on his golfing vacation in the Bahamas. My solution is to disengage from the U.S. corporate economy as much as possible. This kind of thing really pisses me off and shows me that there's really something wrong with our current economic system. The free-market response is that I should vote with my dollar but I simply don't have enough time in my life to spend weeks investigating consumer reports everytime I subscribe to some monthly service.

1 comment:

kbonline said...

I agree wholeheartedly with this exception. It's not a marketing person up there. It's a 28 year old consultant with a freshly minted MBA who not only highlights how much increased revenue they raise but also points out the money they save by cutting the staff who handle customer service calls like yours.