“Sir, are you sure you want to cancel?”

About a month ago I signed my dad up for the Vinesse Wine Club, which offered 4,800 Northwest miles for $42, plus the six bottles of wine they throw in (with free shipping). He thought the wine was ok, I thought the miles were great, so it was a win-win. The miles finally posted, so I called today to cancel, and what a pain in the rear it was. The conversation went something like this:

Me: “Hi, I’d like to cancel my membership please. My membership number is XXXXXX.”
Lady: “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. Why did you want to cancel?”
Me (not wanting to explain that I did it for the miles, since that would have only make it more confusing): “Well, to be honest the wine wasn’t that great, and by the time I factor in shipping for future orders it’s just not worth it.”
Lady: “Well, you know we have a money back guarantee, so you can send back the wine if you didn’t like it.”
Me: “Well, the wine was consumed, it just wasn’t that great.”
Lady: “It sounds like you might want to join our XYZ wine club then. It is meant for more educated palates.”
Me: “I’ll take a look online.”
Lady: “OK, so why did you want to cancel again?”
Me: “Because the wine wasn’t that good.”
Lady: “OK, so you want to cancel because you weren’t pleased with the quality of the wine.”
Me: “Eh, yea.”
Lady: “So you’re sure you want to cancel?”
Me: “Mhm.”

At that point I think she sensed I was getting a bit annoyed. Oh well, it was definitely worth it in the end.

Comments

  1. Should have tried “I was just laid off from my job and in these tough economic times I need to cut cost everywhere.”

    And if that doesn’t work, how about “I was also just diagnosed with XYZ and am no longer allowed to drink alcohol”.

  2. Another good one: “I’d like to change my mailing address. I’ll be residing at the Federal Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas. You do ship to inmates, right?”

  3. You have to cut them a bit of slack. I’m sure they don’t want to lose customers. I called to cancel last night myself and got a very pleasant woman. Hearing that I wished to cancel for financial reasons she suggested just putting it on hold till September. Why not, I thought. I wouldn’t mind reading their newsletter to see what it has to offer. I’ve already added an update to my calendar to remind me to cancel next month.

    Now cancelling credit cards is always an adventure. In fact, just activating a card can take time. I’ve gotten pretty good at cutting them off, confirming my card is registered for use, and then I say goodbye.

  4. I think call center personnel are trained to hear NO 3 times before they’re willing to cancel any type of club membership – part of customer retention strategy.

  5. @Rochester Rich — in my experience:

    Chase: just call from home phone, enter last four digits of card into machine, done. No human interaction, no sales pitch for credit monitoring service

    Citi: PITA… need to talk to guy who wants to sell you credit card monitoring service and won’t take no for an answer.

  6. I did it for the miles too. I kept the subscription just long enough for the first shipment.

    My sign-up bonus miles never posted. I called them and wrote to them and they were completely non-responsive.

    Good for you that you got their miles but these guys were NOT responsive to me and, for me, it’s not worth nagging and nagging htem for the bonues miles (2700 Alaska miles).

  7. @Ed — and that’s exactly why I didn’t sign up in the first place. Anything that’s likely going to cause me to spend time chasing after the miles and/or dealing with “lost cancellations” isn’t worth it.

  8. “I think call center personnel are trained to hear NO 3 times before they’re willing to cancel any type of club membership – part of customer retention strategy.”

    You didn’t know, third time is the charm

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