Sunday, March 1, 2015

Cancelling services

I'm addicted to podcasts. One of my favorites is Freakonomics. I was listening to this one this morning and found it to be fascinating: Basically, it tells how companies are using behavioral economics to manipulate people.

The story starts off in a call center for a UK newspaper company. The staff are trained with these techniques which often result in people not cancelling.

In the real world, cancelling can be miserable. This audio clip went viral a few months ago when a dude tried to cancel his Comcast service: It's pretty awesome.

I recently switched internet providers, from Comcast to Time Warner. When I called up Comcast, I didn't have the energy to battle for 20 minutes, so I adopted a new technique.

So, hypothetically speaking, if you ever need to cancel a service like Comcast, if you hypothetically tell them that you're moving out of the country tomorrow and you need your service disconnected, a 20 minute call from hell is magically transformed into a 30 second "have fun abroad" conversation.

In your face, behavioral economics.

If you think I'm a horrible person, listen to

By the way, 2 meg/s download + 1 meg/s upload has worked remarkably well. It does streaming pretty well. It does VOIP well. What it fails to do well is multitasking (streaming + voip). It's definitely something I can live with for $15/month (