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 (

1 comment:

Scott said...

I recently canceled at&t dsl. I told them their service was terrible and I wanted it canceled without any sales pitches. It went well and was fast. I even got confirmation that they didn't want the router/modem back.

Fast forward a month. I get billed for the router/modem. $100. I call again and argue. 30 minutes of arguing, escalations, and no resolution. Apparently it is IMPOSSIBLE to get the charge removed, even though I was previously told it was not my responsibility.

So, I put it on the back burner because I don't want to have to think about at&t for now. A month later I get a new bill. The $100 charge is gone and now I have a $3 credit. I don't know why. A few months later and they still have not sent me the $3.

Moral: You may be feeling good about yourself, but remember that it's never over with a telecom.