"Hi, I have moved to a different state and just wanted to cancel my gym membership"
"Okay, can you come in tomorrow?"
"Um, like I said, I have already moved so I cannot come in, which is why I want to cancel my membership"
"Oh - well the only way to cancel it is to come in person. Can you come in this week?"
"Maybe you can write us a letter and send it in the mail so we can cancel your membership"
"Can't you do it over the phone or over email? Why do I have to send you a letter - that sounds ridiculous"
"We are only authorized to cancel your subscription if you are here in person or a signed letter in the mail"
"Wait so I signed up and paid for my membership all online easily, but I need to come in person and handwrite a letter to cancel? "🤔🤔🤔
This is a real conversation I had with my gym back in California. I had a no-contract month-to-month membership which has now become incredibly annoying to cancel. I remember being pleasantly surprised at how frictionless it was to sign up and pay for membership online. More and more companies have now started 'growth hacking' their exit processes to add unnecessary friction to squeeze out a few extra drops of monthly recurring revenue.
This problem isn't limited to pesky gym memberships, SaaS products and service providers are frequent culprits. The New York Times is famous for asking people to call to unsubscribe. Similarly, a SaaS product like Hootsuite has been guilty of making the down-sell/exit process challenging and frustrating.
This ensures that I am unlikely to restart my subscription (or membership). Furthermore, I am unlikely to recommend your product or service to anyone.
Customers churn for a variety of reasons - don't make the exit experience so bad that churned customers become detractors.
While researching this topic, I found YC-Backed Truebill that claims to seamlessly cancel my unwanted subscriptions. Let's see if my gym membership proves to be an insurmountable challenge.