So I’m currently
enslavedemployed by a cable company, and I can offer a few pointers:
- Find a copy of the customer agreement online. Read it. Have the “big cats in boxes” YouTube video on standby so that you can renew your will to live periodically while reading it.
- Focus on the sections about cancellation
- Examine any terms regarding early termination fees, notice required, proration of the time between cancellation and the end of the billing period, and equipment return policies.
- Send a letter requesting cancellation to your carrier via certified mail. Include the date you wish for it to be cancelled. If you are not the account holder but have power of attorney, or the account holder has died and you are managing their estate, send copies of the relevant documentation with the letter.
- The day after, when it isn’t cancelled, call back. Ask for “retention” or “loyalty” and when asked why, state that you wish to cancel.
- They’ll ask you why you want to cancel. Say “I don’t want to discuss it, I just want to cancel my service.” (note: there are times when it pays to disclose your reasons; my company will waive all early termination fees and penalties if the account holder is being entering military deployment or a nursing home. Check their policies.)
- They’ll offer something nice. Bundles, discounts, free channels, etc. Say “as nice as that sounds, and as much as I appreciate the offer, I just need to cancel my service.”
- When they deflect again, ask how to return any leased equipment. They’ll launch into another spiel about that, thankful that you aren’t making them process the cancellation. Write down the process – they’ll either tell you to bring the equipment to a local office, or they’ll state that they are sending recovery kits. If it’s the latter, ask for the address that the recovery kits return to and write it down (you want to use the recovery kit if you get one, since it’s prepaid, but if they aren’t sent you’ll want to be able to return the equipment yourself.)
- After all of this has transpired, state “As I stated in the letter sent via certified mail on [date], I am ending our contractual relationship and terminating this subscription. Has my cancellation order been processed?”
- If the cancellation order has not been processed, tell them to process it. Listen to their spiel. Ask for the date that it will be terminated.
- Hang up, wait thirty minutes. Call back, ask if your account is pending cancellation or not. If not, ask to be transferred to retention and ask for a supervisor. Demand that your cancellation be processed and advise them that a complaint will be filed with the FCC if it is not.
- If more than an hour has been spent on the phone, file a complaint at FCC.gov. Forcing a customer to continue a service outside of the terms stipulated by the contract is illegal and the FCC hates it.