Monday, January 14, 2013

Canceling my digital WSJ subscription

Email from Wall Street Journal:

Dow Jones is always concerned when a subscriber comes to this decision; however, for security reasons, your subscription cannot be canceled by email or online. 
Customer Service
The Wall Street Journal. Digital Network 

... Not all that digital, it seems. Tons of other companies have no trouble letting customers securely sign up and cancel, online. (Methinks it may be more to do with not making it too easy to cancel... ?)

By the way, I told my credit card company (Post Office in the UK, mc) to cancel payments to this rebilled subscription, last month. They said they would "tell the company to stop billing", but I'm still being billed. Whu? Can't the credit company stop payments if the merchant doesn't agree??


DaveP said...

Follow the crowd. Cancel your credit card, move to another supplier? The banks will soon realise it is your money, not the wise ... that take it from the account. DD is too crude by half.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...


Bruce W. said...

As a retired Bank employee (a major US bank) NEVER EVER give anyone the authority to re-bill to your credit card or withdraw from your checking account. I cannot count how many of this identical problems we saw. It came to the point that when a customer complained, we just got them a new credit card and/or checking account number. It was the only reliable way to stop the rebilling.

Instead use the "bill pay" feature that many banks and financial service companies offer. These will make the recurring payments for you, and you can control it, usually from your computer.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Thanks, Bruce.

I haven't had those issues, it's new to me, and pretty incredible. But it explains why so many people really don't want to use re-billing. That's one of the best bits of advice I got in the beginning, to have single-billed options on my site.

(I'd rather not get a new card, I'd have to update on Amazon, the supermarket, etc.)

ttl said...

So how does the WSJ expect you to cancel the subscription then? By visiting their offices in person?

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

I guess that would be best, but they do allow use of the telephone.

Thinking of it, shouldn't it be signing *up* (using money) which required the more secure method, not vice versa?
(Disregarding why they would consider phone more secure.)

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

... Just tried that, and of course, neither the US number nor the int. number they give me work!
This is getting almost as idiotic as my O2 subscription.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

... Now I called the Post Office again (I don't even know if they have any connection at all to Royal Mail, prob not). They actually had a record of me trying to cancel this a few months ago, and I was told now they would do a charge-back on the amounts billed since then. That sounds more like it will actually happen.

I'm also sending the WSJ head of customer service a copy of the email letting support know that their phone numbers don't work.
(That was also one of the same problems I had with O2 recently, they sent me a text that "my account was in arrears" because my card had expired, but the number they gave was closed.)

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

The manager mailed me, and it seems the phone thing is a hard rule, so they had a gal call me.
(They are hard-core on keeping their customers by the way, she told me all about the big tech news section etc.)
Even with my email addy, both my names, and my full credit card number, she could still not find me in the system!
But they'll try the UK office too...

Sarah said...

I wish I had read this before I signed up for the WSJ. I just went through a huge ordeal to get my digital subscription cancelled, they are refusing to refund me the interim charges while I tried to cancel, and it was all just so I could read ONE article.

Who doesn't let you cancel online??? Or at least by email. I also just went back to look at their signup form and it says you also can't cancel during the free trial window - like, at all. You get 2 months for $1 (or 1 euro) BUT they force you to incur the renewal charge for the first month before they will let you cancel!

Unbelievable! I'm waiting for a manager to call me

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

That is indeed incredible!