This is going to be a bit of a rant. Get ready, because I’m taking the gloves off on this one …
In my opinion, WebEx hates their customers, and this is why …
We sent an email to WebEx to cancel our account after we had completed our 12-month contract. They responded by trying to force us into a new contract via a missed notice period for cancelling.
They offer a service for online conferencing, and I think it sucks. We found the UI shockingly difficult to use and our recordings of sessions were of such poor quality that they were often un-usable.
My opinion is that companies should no longer be able to strong-arm their customers into putting up with sub-par services, just because their lawyers snuck some small-print clause into the contract.
Companies should always make it easy to cancel and they should never force you into staying with them if you don’t want to.
The simple rule is this: Your Customers are always right. No matter what the contract says. If they say your service is dog shit, refund their money and apologize. Alright, here we go …
Email to WebEx
Dear WebEx, With regards to our account: Account name: xxxxx Account number: xxxxx Our contract with you ends today. Please do not renew it, as we no longer require WebEx's services. Please confirm the cancellation of our account in writing. Sincerely, Ryan Carson
Email from WebEx
Greetings Ryan, As you may be aware, WebEx contracts are constructed with an initial term and an automatic renewal term. Your contract has an initial term of 12 months and a 12 month renewal term. Entering the renewal term can be prevented by submitting a cancellation notice at least 30 days before the end of your initial contract term on 8th March 2011. While we find it unfortunate to lose a customer for any reason, we are able to release you from a portion of your contractual obligation under our Early Termination Program. To comply with early termination, the following conditions must be met: 1. Full payment of any outstanding invoices. 2. Full payment of an early termination fee. The fee is equivalent to two (2) months of service fees. 3. Your WebEx services will continue to be available during the 2 month early termination period. 4. You will be responsible to pay for any per-use fees such as overage or teleconferencing. This scenario releases you from the contract a full 6 months early. Please signify your acceptance of our early termination offer by responding to this message. Assuming you accept, the cancellation date will be 8th September 2011. If you do not send a response, we have no choice but to assume that you wish to continue your services under the current contract length and scheduled cancellation date of 8th September 2011. WebEx appreciates the opportunity to have served as your web collaboration service provider and we look forward to hearing from you. Best Regards, [name withdrawn]
I’ve pulled out some parts of that email that I think display bad customer service …
While we find it unfortunate to lose a customer for any reason, we are able to release you from a portion of your contractual obligation under our Early Termination Program.
Full payment of an early termination fee. The fee is equivalent to two (2) months of service fees.
That’s two-months of fees we’re being charged after we have faithfully finished our 12-month agreed contract.
WebEx appreciates the opportunity to have served as your web collaboration service provider …
We have faithfully completed our 12-month contract. We actually stopped using the service months ago and still continued to pay. They are trying to sting us with a two-month penalty because we didn’t tell them early enough that we didn’t want the contract to auto-renew.
It’s clear to me that they’re using small-print cancellation policies to trick us into staying in a contract that we believed we had fulfilled. It wasn’t really a 12-month contract as they originally told us, it was a 14 month contract with the last two months hidden in the small print. I’ll call it what it is: strong-arming a small business into giving them two months more revenue for something they didn’t sign up for.
We waited three days and then sent this email:
Dear [name withdrawn] Please end our contract immediately. We will not be held hostage by your anti-customer policies. If you continue to charge us we will: 1. Not pay you 2. Report WebEx to the UK Consumer Protection Agency 3. Begin a social media attack on WebEx for your unfair and ridiculous cancellation policies. Sincerely, Ryan Carson