Thursday, February 21, 2008

Ban 'opt out' business solicitations

I got a phone call from my cell phone provider today. Because I'm such a good customer [grin], they wanted to offer me a special package for free for one month. This package would contain the services I already have, in addition..... and that's when I blacked out. So when I was asked if I wanted to accept that special offer, I only had one question. What happens at the end of the month? Well, I go on using these new services as per normal. Ah, yes, but what happens to my account charges? This is where the salesperson started with the avoidance measures. There was talk of 'savings' and 'less than what you pay now', but those were slight untruths. They almost had me accepting the offer until I heard the words fourteen dollars. I said hold on a second, fourteen dollars - I could have sworn you said my account fee would not go up?

Anyway - long story short, they were playing the old 'opt out' trick on me - offer the customer some free extras and force THEM to opt out by month end in order not to get charged more money. I said, I am not interested in any offer that forces me to do something at the end of the trial if I don't want those extras. The sales person got very aggressive and insisted that it was in my best interest to accept. I made it clear that the only offer I'd be interested in was one that required me to 'opt in' if I wanted to pay for the extra services once the promotion was over, not one that required me to 'opt out'. We talked in circles for another minute, then I said to just drop the offer.

Then I called customer service and complained that I wasn't happy with their new 'opt out' tactic. I made it clear that if they tried that trick again, I will be switching providers. Isn't the 'opt out' tactic outlawed somewhere? If not, it should be. I won't drag the name of the provider into the mud, but if you're from Canada, the picture should clue you in as to who it was. But I'm guessing they're not the only ones who pull this stunt.....


Anonymous said...

Yeah I used to have a phone with them and they tried that crap all the time, to the point of "accidentally" removing my voice mail and then offering to re-connect it for a low fee. Oh and then I bought out my contract and they continued to bill me for 4 months after which would of been fine if I caught it but I moved shortly after that and then only found out about it when they sent me to collections. It took 8 months to get their credit department to sort out the whole debacle.

Carla said...

Man, I hate that crap. good luck!