Yesterday I had the simple task of canceling a Microsoft subscription to SkyDrive. Last year I added 20gb for $10, mainly to try out the service. You have to cancel it before it renews, or it does so automatically and there are no refunds. So, since it is an online service that should be simple, right? No, despite what the help forums tell you, you have to call. That’s right, to cancel an online service you have to call someone in the Philippines. Wait, before you call, you have to verify your account, via a code they will text you.
Well, I didn’t want to do that, so I decided just to delete the payment method on the account so it wouldn’t be charged. You can’t do that… without calling the call center in the Philippines. So, I went through the process of selecting to have someone call me.
To their credit, someone called me within three minutes. Well, of course, he couldn’t talk to me without sending a code to my cell phone. It took me a minute to understand what the rep was saying because his English skills were a little limited. Finally, I understood, and read back the code. Shortly after I did, there was a loud buzz and the call disconnected. Yes, I had to go through the entire process again, only to get the loud buzz and be disconnected again. After the third times of entering codes, talking to someone, explaining why I wanted to cancel the subscription, and almost begging them to do so, it was done. Time spent: 40 minutes.
I had a similar experience when I went to install a new copy of Windows 8 on my computer. After installation, I received a notice that said I couldn’t activate online, they I had to CALL to verify. Evidently they thought I had stolen the copy of Windows. I had to read a string of numbers, and then enter a string of numbers.
What will drive people away from your company today is you hassling them. Don’t hassle me over a $10 online subscription, because if you do, I will never subscribe to anything again. Making me call to do something that should be done online is from 1990 and makes your company seem outdated.