E-vendors. Some are great, some are not. Today, Blue Mountain e-cards is added to my list of "not great" e-vendors.
Why? I've learned to live with vendors that clearly and in big letters insist you go on line, register with most of your life history, and then we must do all the typing in order to buy services that include an "automatic renewal" term of service (a/k/a contract of adhesion). With customers having done all of that once, the vendors could then at least make it easy to cancel service ( or return goods). In fact, a few do operate in that way But, too often, when a customer wants to cancel a service that uses an "automatic renewal" approach, the path to cancel service is often obscured behind multiple layers of screens and links, and the website fails to include or offer a "cancel service" option to match the ease of "unsubscribe" for emails.
One such vendor is Blue Mountain e-cards. Early this morning, the firm sent me a reminder email that our family account was about to renew for another year. My girls and I never send their cards anymore, so I decided to cancel. I then proceeded to click on the link in the email. That took me off on a goose chase to sign in and find the information on canceling (of course it was not an easy to find subject). After wasting a couple of minutes, I finally found the right spot. What did I see ? A message (see below) telling me that the only way to cancel is to make a phone call. So, why weren't those instructions and phone number placed in the email reminder about subscription renewal ? Obviously the needed instructions were omitted due to Blue Mountain's hope of obtaining another annual fee.
Worse yet, when I called to cancel, the process also was poor. To starty, a acouple fo minte wait, followed by an automated voice insisting that I tell it my home phone number so that I could be helped faster. So, I complied, but of course the call center person did not have access to the record despite my providing the number. Thus, more wasted time to repeat the process.
Blue Mountain of course will never ever generate more revenue from my family. My hope is that this quick rant in some way costs Blue Mountain some revenue by reaching someone who decides not to subscribe, or by encouraging someone else to cancel. I presume some financial engineers have concluded that revenue generated from unwanted renewals will exceed the revenue lost from making people mad, losing them forever, and causing them to rant. I hope their calculations are wrong - it's a lousy way to do business, in my book.
"To request a cancellation of a subscription, please contact our membership support center by calling 1-888-254-1450, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. EST.
Customers outside the United States and Canada should click here for further instructions