Thought you would appreciate this, but I’m not certain which Cialdini practice this falls under.
Magazine subscriptions- auto renewal. I get it. People forget to cancel a subscription that they never wanted and actually may never have signed up for. However, the magazine sends you a notice saying you are on auto renewal and your subscription will automatically renew so that you don’t “Suffer the inconvenience of a missed month of women’s health” (Insert dramatic eye roll). Of course in really tiny print they say, contact this # to cancel your auto renewal.
I understand most people probably don’t cancel it. They think, oh I will read it at some point, it has articles, etc etc etc. I’m in grad school. My stack of HBR and Simple are getting to be a mile tall WITHOUT me adding Women’s Health and Harpo magazines to the pile. (Whoever the hell signed me up for Oprah is dead to me).
Anyway, I emailed (so I had a paper trail) to cancel my auto-renewal about 2 months prior to the due date so that they had no argument to continue sending them to me. These mother flowers continued to send me the magazine….they even tracked me down when we bought our new home and updated (NOT forwarded) our address!! Then they started sending the “bill” saying I was enrolled in auto-renewal.
Well, since we are finally on a break from school and I have time to catch up with all these important things in my life like Women’s-freakin-Health, I decided to arm myself and call the sales rep over at WH. Surprisingly, as I printed out my sent email cancellation, the guy was pretty nice about it. He said he didn’t know why it never got cancelled, but I should expect to see nothing more from them. (This I doubt, I’m sure I will get “great deals” sent to me).
But it got me thinking. They were nice. They didn’t bully me. They didn’t force me to prove I cancelled it. So is it all a ploy? Does everyone who cancels still receive the magazine for quite some time until they finally call and cancel again, or WORSE, feel such remorse for having read the damn thing for free for 5 months that they just send a check to pay for that year? And thus the cycle of swindling continues????
Well, Harpo and Women’s Health didn’t factor in this customer’s tendency to be ever controlling. I brought a spreadsheet to my last car purchase for God’s sake! Don’t think after my Sales class with Milovic, that I’m gonna be swindled!
Happy Wednesday! 🙂