Please Cancel My Account

by Kay Lynn

Earlier in the year I saw where I could get three bags of coffee and a nice travel mug for $3 with no further obligation.

Coffee and Milk

It sounded like a good deal and I wanted to know if the Gevalia coffee was good.  It was an easy process to sign up online and my package was on its way.

The travel mug was damaged in transit so they sent another one promptly. So far so good.

But there was a problem.  We were underwhelmed by the coffee.  It was…ordinary.  Admittedly our expectations might be high because we drink Starbucks roasted coffee every day.

Unfortunately, canceling was much harder than signing up for their program.  It is not possible to cancel online requiring a call to customer service.

Being the good procrastinator that I am, I used the feature to reschedule the next shipment until September so I could call them later.

Fortunately, they sent an email warning that the shipment needed to be changed by a certain date or it was coming.  That motivated me to finally call customer service and cancel the account.

Two weeks later the package arrived.  Despite cancelling before the no later than date, they still shipped the next order of coffee.  I refused the package and had the post office return it.

I’d like to say I’ve learned my lesson and won’t sign up for anymore products with automatic shipments.  But in the past I’ve had the following products on an automatic plan: books, CDs,  hosiery and DVDs.

Have you signed up for recurring shipments with a company?  Were you happy?

photo credit: Chaval Brasil

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa Morosky October 8, 2010 at 5:41 am

I know when I was in high school, my mom signed up for one of those “get a DVD/CD every month and you need to buy 10 by the end of the year” clubs – because they had those killer “sign up now and get 10 DVDs free” deals. She wanted to scream all the time because of the amount of strings attached. So I learned from her to never do that. 🙂

About Gevalia though – my husband worked at a telemarketing place while we were in college and that’s one of the things he sold. Your post brought back memories from that time and the stories/frustrations he would share with me after his shift. 🙂

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Dr Dean October 8, 2010 at 6:47 am

I had a Survey Monkey acct. that I let stay active for about 8 weeks too long. But that was because I kept forgetting to download the survey’s I had done to my hard-drive.

I am not a fan of those accounts, as I am terrible at remembering to cancel. So I just don’t join.

It is a great business model though!!!!

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Carol@inthetrenches October 8, 2010 at 7:52 am

Sounds like fishing. Once the hook is set the fish has to fight to get away.

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Aloysa October 8, 2010 at 11:07 am

My parents used to order Gevalia. I actually liked it. But I drink Starbucks only as a treat and we buy cheap coffee, so Gevalia was great. I do remember my stepfather having problems with cancellation. I guess they just use really pushy marketing/selling techniques.

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Jennifer @ CouponMommie.com October 8, 2010 at 5:12 pm

How odd to hear you say that. My grandmother and mom actually did the Gevalia did and I cancelled both of their accounts for them with no problems.

On another note, I actually work in customer service and I will work harder and help my callers faster if they are upfront, nice, patient and sound grateful.

I think it’s luck of the draw who you get on the phone. Sorry you had troubles getting your subscription cancelled.

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Amanda L. Grossman October 8, 2010 at 6:29 pm

Hello!

I definitely have signed up for things for free trials and was put on an automatic shipment schedule. One time it was with a coffee company (the name escapes me), and I was sent two more shipments before they finally cancelled my account. The upside? They let me keep the coffee!

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Roshawn @ Watson Inc October 8, 2010 at 8:07 pm

I guess the old adage applies here: if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. I remember signing up for the AOL free trial that never seemed to end (once you threaten cancellation). They ultimately got sued because of this business practice (making it difficult to cancel.

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Squirrelers October 8, 2010 at 9:08 pm

I have heard of this same type of thing happening to people, though not to me as far as I can remember. The stories I have hear were consistent, with the ordering part being quite easy, but the canceling part being extremely difficult – requiring perseverence to get it done. Funny how it’s designed that way:)

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Freddie @ Real Estate Investing October 9, 2010 at 7:44 am

I have been pretty good about not signing up for things like that, but I was inticed by a free iphone offer not to long ago if you sign up for 3 other offers. I did it, something went wrong with the system after completing third sign up. Needless to say, I got all the other bs stuff I signed up for, but no iphone. no number to follow up and get my iphone. But got billed for the crap that I signed up for cause I am a great procrastinator as well. I ended up cancelling the credit card to make sure I wouldn’t get charged again.

Lesson: I am not signing up for anything else on the Internet!!…..i hope. 🙂

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Andrew @ Money Crashers October 9, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Yeah, these automatic delivery services are dangerous…The smartest thing you could have done was reject the delivery….I’ve tried to get smarter and smarter lately about not just signing up for things just for some free products because I’ve ended up with some bogus charges in the past.

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Jolyn@Budgets are the New Black October 9, 2010 at 8:26 pm

How funny, we used to go back and forth with gevalia years ago. We’d get free coffeepots and all sorts of things and get on a schedule that worked for our consumption (which is high). I canceled for the last time, though, years ago, just to simplify our finances. We don’t drink Starbuck’s on a regular basis and thought Gevalia was pretty good. We’d get their beans and grind them ourselves. Nowadays I buy beans at the commissary and ground them on site. I don’t want to hassle with a bean grinder every morning.

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Charles October 10, 2010 at 7:05 pm

automatic shipments suck! i hate them. But i use proactiv. They don’t even work, but i still use them. what’s wrong with me?? I think i’m in for two more months since they ship in 3 months worth of supply. i’ll be sure to cancel by then!

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Barb Friedberg October 13, 2010 at 5:32 pm

Your experience is exactly why I am hesitant to sign up for anything that I later have to cancel to get out of. I’m too lazy (and overcommitted) to follow up on these “great offers.” Good luck getting out!

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