LearnI think WebEx hates their customers


writes on March 14, 2011

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.

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 …

My response

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.

Ryan Carson


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155 Responses to “I think WebEx hates their customers”

  1. WebEx software is completely outdated.
    WebEx does not properly work with current operative systems.
    We’ve been facing lots of technical issues lately (unresolved by Cisco).

  2. These guys are going to suffer in terms of customer loyalty. They make it impossible to cancel. No functionality on their website, no FAQs and help telling customers how to cancel and long wait lines on their queues and then finally systems problems – so voice recording! My vote is zero stars on Cisco and I will yelp about them.

  3. James Carver on July 22, 2013 at 12:48 pm said:

    I had a webexone account for 7 years. I was paying in 3 month increments.
    I attempted to cancel in May, 30 days prior to the end of my current cycle.
    Customer service said, give your phone number and somone will call you back. This continued 3 more times, with no call backs. Then I was told I had to submit a ticket. Then, on July 2, I get a cancellation confirmation, but…they went ahead and charge me for an additional 3 months.
    Im cancelled, yet they charged me 3 more months for a service I do not have.
    When inquiring about this, they informed me when I initially tried to cancel, they could not find some “id” number associated with the account as it was a webexone account and they are webex. I asked what happened to my account manager that I had spoken with over the years. Apparently there is no account manager anymore. These guys purposely delayed my cancellation in order to bill me for another quarter. It seems I have to cancel my bank card to prevent further charges. See, when I became a cleint of webexone, it was not owned by Cisco. Now customer service seems to be in India and we are all open for abuse.

  4. Ms.Alisha on July 19, 2013 at 9:53 am said:

    Hello Steve, can you please send me the email addresses you contacted concerning your problems? My email is abayless@dmp.com and I would really appreciate it!

  5. Jdasilva on April 27, 2011 at 3:39 pm said:

    Any update on status with Webex? I’ve just notified Webex of our cancelation after being a customer since 2009. I’ve been hit with ” 6 month penalty ” response.

  6. Markm_wilson on March 30, 2011 at 9:32 am said:

    I think a business-customer relationship is upheld by an agreement put in place, that serves the client with a solution and the business with revenue. Your statement “The simple rule is this: Your Customers are always right. No matter what the contract says” basically calls for their to be zero commitment or legal obligation from the customer side, which is ridiculous. The contract you sign clearly shows you the terms you are entering. I am a Webex client and very happy with the service, and the small print in not that small at the top of your contract, where it states your initial and renewable terms.

    It is ‘business minds’ like yours that will always fail to propser.

  7. Hi Ryan… I was seeing some of your posts and saw this one, which is in fact very funny.
    Firstly, WebEx belongs to CISCO, so your threats that ‘We will do a Social Media Attack’ has pretty NO EFFECT.
    Secondly, WebEx is actually complying with the contract. Let’s see in another way: Imagine that you wanted auto-renew… But they didn’t do it! Imagine they stopped providing you their service after the first 12 months… As it was in the contract you could just sue them.

    … That’s what will happen to you if you don’t pay… Either that or they won’t give a sh*t

  8. Charles K on March 25, 2011 at 8:56 pm said:

    We just siwtched from WebEx to Microsoft Live Meeting. We had a lot of problems with attendees joining our webex meetings and the recordings are poor quality. Further, webex customer service is very poor and unresponsive. Live Meeting is working flawlessly and the customer service is incredible.

  9. Zigzag Joey on March 24, 2011 at 8:43 pm said:

    What an immature whiny baby. A 12 month contract with a 30 day out…. Does not = a14 month contract in any way. If it was such a bad experience why did you not then read the termination clause? The auto renewal clause does cause some trouble for the uninformed, but was probably designed to prevent the termination of a subscription service with critical communication ramifications. You could have just went monthly or per minute even.again, what an immature whiny baby.

  10. nothing wrong with expecting companies to strive to deliver happiness to their clients, but overall – your actions seem naive – you’re not starting a relationship with a person – you’re entering a legal agreement with a company ( with shareholders ).

    I’m not defending their contract or service, but – as many other have pointed out, it’s not like you’ve got no experience in this field or being denies the tools to complete your own investigation.

    I’ll not even mention your plans for an online offensive!

    keep up the good work.

  11. Ryan:

    We had a similar experience that was amplified by their product’s latency. It was so bad that our customers complained that we were minutes ahead of their screens. We tried everything with our rep and his lame support team.

    I finally wrote an email to John Chambers (CEO). Within 48 hours I had five engineers and two marketing people trying to help us. Amazing the response! Sad but true that going as high and then raining down in Cisco works. Chambers actually reads his email.

    Eventually we canceled our account because they could NOT fix the problem. I still had to hammer their executives until our account was properly closed.

    I suggest emailing John and their other VP’s. Ping me I can pass long the email address.

  12. I’m really glad you made this post. The web company I work for is now looking into conferencing solutions, now that DimDim is officially dead (RIP), and this was on the list of companies to consider. I will keep everything you stated in mind and probably advise against WebEx. What they did was wrong. I’m still amazed when companies are not client-centric. Your clients don’t owe you anything to be your client (not meaning their payments), you owe them great service and transparency because they did YOU the favor of choosing your company over your competition. They didn’t have to. They could go somewhere else.

    I do not think what they did is right, and it shows me that customers are not first in their book. I don’t want the company I work for to be giving money to people who are questionable in their intent.

    I loathe slimy moves like the one they made, and in the end it will cost them more clients than the money that was made by their slight of hand.

  13. I have been using this webconference service and it worked quite good for me. They give you 6 months for free, so you might wanna take a look:

  14. Anonymous on March 16, 2011 at 1:34 pm said:

    I guess your hip design shop is too cool to read contracts.

    “Begin a social media attack on WebEx”

    Really? You think your shop has that much leverage to actually affect WebEx’s business. You must be crazy. Or crazy arrogant. Probably both.

  15. Bgardere on March 16, 2011 at 7:46 am said:

    Cie as WeBex love to put you into the grave alive !!!

  16. Things I learned from this…

    1) My customer service guys should ALWAYS move faster than my billing guys. If WebEx had immediately addressed the concerns, Ryan wouldn’t have been placed in a position to have to find a solution through the channels he controls.

    2) NEVER write your own responses when you are angry. Instead tell someone else on your team what the issue is and ask if they’d mind crafting the response. It is more important to be respected than to be technically right. Ryan, I’ve no doubt you were technically right in this situation. It hasn’t stopped me from losing a bit of respect for you.

  17. OK and what was done to improve the situations for others here? I think the best intention would be to remove the policy or this part of the fine print all together. Why keep it? Even if Ryan is quieted with his situation fixed doesn’t mean that the rest of us and our friends won’t have the same situation. That’s the point. The policy is wrong and so is the fine print.

    The cancellation policy for this platform makes no sense. It costs you nothing to do the right thing here.

  18. Glenn Bray on March 16, 2011 at 4:34 am said:

    Hello, my name is Glenn Bray and I lead Operations and Customer Success for WebEx.

    I had a chance to exchange messages with Ryan earlier today, and I wanted to thank everyone for both their support and criticism of our policies. Let me say unequivocally that we do care about our customers and we take feedback very seriously.

    First, this situation took longer to resolve than anyone would like. This isn’t the standard we hold ourselves to, but sometimes we miss the mark despite our best intentions.

    Our cancellation policy includes a short window to address any issues that could make a customer want to cancel their service. Our primary intent is to create satisfied, long-term customers. That said, we are always looking for opportunities to improve. Given Ryan’s feedback and the lively discussion on this forum, we intend to revisit our renewal termination policy to look for opportunities to improve customer satisfaction. We will also explore whether we can better highlight key terms and conditions to avoid any misunderstandings.

    We want to make sure everyone knows that we want to hear from you to make a better experience. If someone needs assistance, please feel free to reach out to us at http://www.webex.com.

    Glenn Bray on behalf of the WebEx Team

  19. i have to use webex to do my job and it it crap

  20. Anonymous on March 15, 2011 at 9:20 pm said:

    Just give me the nod and I’ll pop down there with the boys and have a quiet word in their ear 😉

  21. HaterGunnaHate on March 15, 2011 at 8:38 pm said:

    WebEx is a terrible product. The End.

  22. Elmorto on March 15, 2011 at 8:13 pm said:

    “Entering the renewal term can be prevented by submitting a cancellation notice at least 30 days
    before the end of your initial contract term”

    u should have cancelled when u stopped using it.

    Read before u sign.

    Arrogant twitter hog.

    Webex works great, when it doesnt, it is user error.


    bite me.

  23. A 30-day notice requirement makes sense for something like an apartment, where a landlord will be sitting on a property they want to rent before you move out, to avoid paying their mortgage out of pocket.

    A 30-day notice requirement for software WebEx can sell to an unlimited number of people while you are also a customer makes no sense, other than maybe lead time they need to cancel the auto-charge before it occurs. But I doubt their costs to reverse the charge are as high as two month’s worth of service fees.

  24. Darkrising2k5 on March 15, 2011 at 5:57 pm said:

    I would have to say that both parties are at fault in this given scenario. However, the customer is *always* right and should be allowed to cancel services that they are unsatisfied with. Especially upon fulfilling a contractual agreement, regardless of fine print. It’s just good practice. The fact that so many folks have sided with the company and their contract in this case, goes to show where the world has gone with regards to “customer service.” It is rarely the focus of *anyone’s* business now a days. 40 years ago, vendors recognized that the customer is the very reason you are able to put food on your table and treated them with a certain level of respect, understanding and integrity. People were proud to own a business they could stand behind, back with their personal guarantee, and provide services you could count on. Those days are slowly coming to an end, and it is sad.

  25. Irrespective of where you fall in this debate, and i’m siding with @ryancarson, WebEx forgot that it’s important to make not just the first experience, but the LAST experience a positive one. At that moment, Ryan was still a customer. Even though Ryan had an issue with the service, if the cancellation had been a positive experience, it would have been the last experience that Ryan remembered. It’s also fair to say, that in the months to come, if Ryan was thinking about trying out a web conferencing company again, he may have considered WebEx. It’s a good lesson to learn for all brands.

  26. Rzbaker on March 15, 2011 at 4:57 pm said:

    Have you ever tried Glance? We try to be much friendlier on customer service issues.

  27. This is so true. Not only do they have an unhappy customer that wishes to end their contract, but now they have an angry customer that will now go out of their way to tell others not to partner with them. They were ahead by giving you a bad product with good customer service. Now they lost a customer with a side of distain and bad PR.

  28. Ryan, as a customer I deal with lots of contracts. As customers we end up as a football between two teams of lawyers generally trying to out do each other with their ability to craft sentences that are difficult to interpret.

    I’ve retained lawyers to analyse and negotiate on bigger contracts for us, because that’s what they do well. Almost without exception a vendors contract will be stacked heavily in their favour. For bigger more important contracts you should negotiate the clauses. Many companies will refuse to negotiate their terms particularly where they have masses of customers.

    I understand your frustration but feel that most companies don’t have your enligtened ethics with respect to providing serivce to customers. For the moment perhaps we have to live with paying a cancelation cost after the term we’ve paid for runs out. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be encouraging vendors to provide us with fairer Ts&Cs.

    The one area that really annoys me is companies who send out their annual invoice for the next contractual year 2 months before the invoice is due. When you get this notice it is at that point you recall that the notice period on the contract is 3 months. Why can’t they send their renewal notices 3.5 months before so customers have a choice on whether or not to continue the contract for a further year? This is quite a common situation and more often than not I’d be willing to bet that lots of companies who enter into contracts don’t actually know or have a record of when contracts actually started.

    Right now there is no easy answer other than to continue to encourage companies to be fairer with their Ts&Cs. I hope you have some success with Cisco, it will be interesting to see how they respond in light of the publicity you will generate.

  29. DutchMax on March 15, 2011 at 1:17 pm said:

    WOW…. errr Ryan, then renewal term is in huge blod letter at the top of the contract you signed.
    I am a WebEx customer and have no issues…. why sign for 12 months why you can do it monthly??

  30. Totally agree with you Ryan, however as others have suggested, the situation could have been handled a little more gracefully – which probably accounts for some of the backlash in the comments.

    Some steps I use when frustration takes over:
    1. Draft and send your email to yourself and your colleagues for feedback
    2. Wait a day and read email again
    3. Edit email
    4. Send email

    There’s no justifiable reason for WebEx’s cancellation policy (or actions) other than to take advantage of its clients. Truly despicable on their behalf.

    We’ve all experienced corporate bullying in some form. As part of my Fido cellphone contract, I was forced to call on the exact day the contract ended to avoid early cancelation fees and the infamous ‘automatic renewal’ with no option to avoid automatic renewal.

    Needless to say, I missed the cancellation day 3 months later and ended up paying for another 3 months on the contract as penalty.

  31. Wow. With all the time wasted with this rant, the author could have likely done enough real work to pay the early termination fees and be done with it. Thanks for spamming my otherwise useful Think Vitamin feed.

  32. Tim Wright on March 15, 2011 at 12:37 pm said:

    ( this may be a repeat thought, I didn’t read all 88 comments ) Looks like an inherit problem with “auto-renewing” services like this. I totally get it for something required by law, like auto-renewing my car insurance, but certainly not for something like WebEx (unless you opt-in to it, I guess).

    2 months to cancel a contract of any size is unreasonable (even that the contract exists is unreasonable); I get just as pissed when I unsubscribe to a mailing list and get a message telling me it will take 4-6 weeks until I stop receiving e-mails. Really? How bad can an IT department be when it takes 4-6 weeks to delete a database record?

    Anyway, I’m all for people taking stands against poor customer service, I wish we could go after cell phone contracts as well.


  33. It’s not the first time I’ve heard this. Why wouldn’t they just say “OK, sad to see you go – oh by the way your feedback as to why would be really great! Whether it’s down to our product, pricing, people, processes, or whatever – what could we have done better?”

    Surely with a recurring revenue model it’s up to “the company” to do everything they can to make a customer want to continue rather than feel that they are locked in and therefore have to continue. We’re in the same boat and sometimes it’s just the way it is and there will always be churn. But at least an ex-customer saying “Wow give these guys a try, they really try to help when things aren’t going to plan and provide a great personal service where nothinig seems to be too much trouble.” is better than someone feeling the way you do Ryan – and letting a small portion of the world know about it.

    Some would say that taking the “Everyone likes a nice guy” stand is a bit out-dated but it doesnt’ need to be so.

  34. Ryan, as you seem to be taking a particularly strong stance on the practice of anti-customer policies by other companies I thought I’d draw your attention to one of your own policies from the Think Vitamin Membership T&Cs.

    4. Charges and payment
    2. …Any reduction in the monthly membership price (for example, where you downgrade to a lower-priced package or reduce the number of users on your account) will take effect in your next membership month following notification. Any increase in the monthly membership price (for example, where you upgrade your package or add additional users) will take effect from the date of notification (so that a pro-rata payment shall be made for the remainder of the current payment month, with the full monthly payment to be made from the beginning of the following month).

    If you truly wanted to be a champion in the face of the anti-customer policies perhaps you should start charging your members less the moment they downgrade an account rather waiting until the next billing month? It wouldn’t be a particularly easy change for you to implement but your stance against Webex would seem to suggest that you care passionately about putting customers before profits.

    • Hey Adam. Fair question so thanks for asking.

      The reason we don’t start charging them less immediately when the downgrade is because they’ve already paid.

      I’d like to point out that we always pro-actively refund our Member’s money when possible. We gave over $9,000 of credits in January because we had to take a week off from video production to do team training.

      Another example is this: we *never* take anyone’s money unless they are happy with our service. All a customer has to do is email us and ask for a refund and it’s done. No questions asked and we do it happily.

      Neither of those things were required by our T&C’s but we do them because our goal is to *serve* our Members, not screw them over in any way we can.

      • Yep, I understand that your customers have already paid so it’s impossible to charge them less until you take their next payment so why don’t you do just that? Given that you operate a pro-rata scheme for upgrades surely you could charge users the pro-rata difference for their downgrade on that next payment?

        eg. If I downgrade from Gold to Silver mid January then the service I’ve chosen to take is half a month at Gold level ($49÷2) and half at Silver ($25÷2) totalling $37. You *could* then take $12 off my February membership meaning that it would cost me $13

        I’m not seriously suggesting that you do the above as it would be pretty complex to operate (and to explain) but I think you went waaaaay too far in what you wrote above, especially in threatening them with internet justice. Your articles aggressively decries companies for using age old (and familiar to most) contract policies to “trap” customers while Carsonified has two obviously conflicting policies for money coming in versus going out. Surely this contradicts your goal of serving your members rather than screwing them over?

        • I’m a TVM member and I’m cool the the terms.

          On the fly upgrading and downgrading would cause quite a few problems. For instance members could upgrade for 2 or 3 days just to view new master classes and then down grade. TMV is selling a monthly service not a daily or weekly one so the down grade happen in the next cycle. This would cause a lot of accounting problems.

          Most places won’t upgrade you until the next billing cycle but TVM does it on the fly, why, to give the customer what they want. By doing so users get access to the content that they want instantly. So I feel that TMV changed part of the standard billing/upgrade practice to better serve users.

          WebEx on the other hand is trying to take advantage of there users and trying to get them/Ryan to pay for services that have not been rendered. If I have to notify you 30 days better the end of my 12 month contract that I want to cancel the contract then it is really a 11 month contract. If Ryan was a day into the next 12 months I would say pay the fee but being charged a cancellation fee for canceling a contract when the contract is up is ricockulous.

          • My point was mainly that the terms of any contract can be seen from varying perspectives depending on whether an individual is benefiting or suffering as a result of them.

            No-one likes to suddenly realise that they want to cancel a service but have missed the deadline to do so, that’s a given, and not many people like to sign up to long contracts even when there are clear cost benefits to doing so. Missing that deadline, being allowed to breach the terms of the contract by the supplier and then publishing a rant on the internet about not getting things exactly as he wanted just doesn’t do Ryan any favours. Loudly banging a drum while yelling “I DIDN’T READ YOUR TERMS” is no defence.

  35. I’m with you on this one.

    This is a common trap IMO, companies make it real quick, easy, simple and inviting to sign-up, only to be armed with certain ammunition when you decide to pull out, or try to pull-out outside of some ridiculous time window. I can’t for the life of me think why they need 2 months membership for cancellation? Seriously, how much effort and cost really gets incurred when closing a customer account (sorry, clicking a button)?

    This seems quite archaic and a throw-back to the days when people in the back-office would be shuffling pieces of paper around and having to spend siginificant time (and therefore cost) in closing an account; nowadays it’s click a few buttons and you’re away.

    Auto-renew is also a dirty tactic too, I take it you ‘had’ to accept that when you signed-up? It would be nice sometimes to have a choice where-by they ‘remind you’ when the contract is up, after all, they could automate this their end, something you can’t do, I hate having the onus placed on the customer, it’s wrong.

    • Thanks for the support.

      I agree, there isn’t any reason they need ‘notice’ that I want to cancel my account. It’s a click of the button. It’s clearly a tactic to rope customers into paying an additional 16% revenue.

  36. Anonymous on March 15, 2011 at 10:28 am said:

    Will you keep us posted as the situation develops?

  37. Your assertion is that small print (or Terms and Conditions, or Terms of Service, or whatever you want to call them) are by nature anti-consumer and are not enforceable if the customer does not like them, having already agreed to them.

    Now, I happen to agree with you that in general policies like this are anti-consumer and are a pure revenue-maximisation move by the providing company. I also agree that the best companies offer minimum-commitment services that retain customers through quality over lock-in tactics. However, I do not agree that contracts become unenforceable if you either stop liking them or fail to read them in the first place. We all know that nobody reads the T&C’s, and we all know that everybody should, because usually there’s some gems in there that aren’t advertised up-front on the features and signup page. Pretending otherwise is disingenuous in the extreme.

    You’re trying to back out of a deal you made. Yeah, it’s a crappy deal, but nevertheless, you made it.

    • Anonymous on March 15, 2011 at 11:23 am said:

      I agree with your last sentence, it happens, we’ve all been there, but it doesn’t change the fact that companies enforce these types of conditions in order to maximise revenue, how much do you think the company made last year just based on the 2 month penalty?

    • Anonymous on March 15, 2011 at 11:23 am said:

      I agree with your last sentence, it happens, we’ve all been there, but it doesn’t change the fact that companies enforce these types of conditions in order to maximise revenue, how much do you think the company made last year just based on the 2 month penalty?

    • The funny thing is that I’m not trying to “back out of a deal I made”. We fulfilled our 12-month contract, even though we weren’t using the service.

      The problem is that they snuck a notification period onto their auto-renewal clause that is meant to specifically catch customers out. It’s a dirty tactic.

      I know I “agreed” to their T&C but that doesn’t make these tactics OK.

      The point of the post is to raise awareness about companies who are strong-arming their customers into paying at least 16% more revenue then they originally agreed.

      The thing that really frustrates me about our lawyer-driven culture is that this auto-renewal notification period is technically legal, but it goes against the good-will contract that every customer makes with a company: that their primary goal is to serve their customers and take care of them.

      The way we handle these type of things on Think Vitamin Membership is very simple: Don’t make people pay for something they don’t want. If they got charged because they forgot to cancel, we refund their money, even though we don’t have to legally.

      The difference is the mentality. I’d like to see this changed in the big corporate lawyer-driven companies around the world.

    • Yeah he made it and NOW he has every right to put pressure on the company for being cunts.

      Webex will happily take 2 months of service fees when even though it’s unwanted because they can get away with it. And then people will self-impose a gag order because hey a contract was involved.

      Welcome to the internet. Where you fuck with the wrong guys and then you look bad to a hundred others. FUCK WebEx. Boom a few hundred people will not put up with WebEx shit after this blog viewing. Hope that 2 months of rape money WebEx made bought their CIO a delicious lunch, some chocolate salty balls.

  38. To be honest I think your reaction comes off as a bit juvenile playground “I’ll call on you” behaviour even if you’re right. I think as a business owner (and one that has some influence in our industry) you could do better.

    On the other hand, you make it sound (from your email excerpts) that you asked WebEx to cancel your service on the day your contract ends. Every contract-based service I know of, be it technology based services, magazine subscriptions, etc… have clear notice periods before they auto-renew. If you did forget about that (and its stated in their contract) you can’t really complain. And you really should’ve read the contract — especially the small print

  39. Ren Ondska on March 15, 2011 at 8:58 am said:

    And ? And? Need the follow up 🙂

  40. Regardless of wether or not Ryan should have read the contract (It’s one of those things we *say* we do, but do we really thoroughly read & process them?) and regardless of wether Ryans response was, in everyones opinion, fair and measured, surely the kind of debate the situation has stimulated is a positive step towards:
    1) Warning consumers of the dangers around sneaky small print
    2) Warning organisations that if they are a little sneaky, they may get called on it.

  41. No harm in telling it how it is, but …

    I think “begin a social media attack on WebEx for your unfair and ridiculous cancellation policies” should perhaps have been something like “air our grievances through our social media networks – in-which we have a large following – for your unfair and ridiculous cancellation policies”

    Same thing, but isn’t the threat of an “attack”.

  42. It is in my opinion that companies such as the above, should be introduced to the “Thank You Economy” A book about economic survival (maybe even evolution) in the Social Media Age by Gary Vaynerchuck! His blog may be found here –> http://garyvaynerchuk.com/

    I am also pleased to see this article by Ryan calling them out! I think everyone in possession of a blog should be doing exactly the same thing relating to unacceptable practice by companies, so that we the consumer can gain a type of ownership of the product / service and not be afraid to say no to these types of tactics.

    Further more all companies should make the changes required so as to empower their customers to help in the evolution and continued improvement of their services / products thereby creating a win-win senario for both the consumer and the company, and not via the use of strong-arm tactics!

    One last thought, isn’t that the way the dinosaurs became exstinct, by not being able to evolve? 😉

  43. It is in my opinion that companies such as the above, should be introduced to the “Thank You Economy” A book about economic survival (maybe even evolution) in the Social Media Age by Gary Vaynerchuck! His blog may be found here –> http://garyvaynerchuk.com/

    I am also pleased to see this article by Ryan calling them out! I think everyone in possession of a blog should be doing exactly the same thing relating to unacceptable practice by companies, so that we the consumer can gain a type of ownership of the product / service and not be afraid to say no to these types of tactics.

    Further more all companies should make the changes required so as to empower their customers to help in the evolution and continued improvement of their services / products thereby creating a win-win senario for both the consumer and the company, and not via the use of strong-arm tactics!

    One last thought, isn’t that the way the dinosaurs became exstinct, by not being able to evolve? 😉

  44. Anonymous on March 15, 2011 at 8:23 am said:

    I think that it’s fine to have a rant about pretty much whatever you like – it certainly got quite a few people interested, so it must have some worth.

    I think that the best of your suggestions is to just not pay up.

    I would be quite surprised if they came after you for the two months fees, the legal costs would be quite high and they know that you could always just pay up just prior to any proceedings, and they would be put of pocket to their lawyers and that might feel quite good!

  45. Here here!!

    This kind a service is bad for the consumers but more bad for the company itself.
    You will never compliment about their service to your friends nor will you recommend the service to anybody else!

  46. You did the right thing Ryan. I hate it when companies trick you with small print. I don’t think it is childish to boycott WebEx at all. If they want to undermine their own customers by tricking them just to make a few extra bucks, they deserve this.

    The fine print should become obsolete since the WebEx gave bad service in the first place, by providing a “faulty product”. Man up WebEx, admit you were wrong and stop this nonsense.

  47. “3. Begin a social media attack on WebEx for your unfair and ridiculous
    cancellation policies.”

    I agree with your anger and standing up to them, but the last point is just a counter-threat, not unlike – if not worse – than them keeping you contract-hostage.. Eye for an eye-ish 🙂

    • Nope it’s right in line. A social media attack is about hurting reputation. They may be legally capable of keeping the money, but the reputation of a corporation is something that consumers can control. You can say eye for eye, but it’s webex who took the first eye. So time to get punished via the attack on reputation.

      • I’m not disagreeing with the action at all.. I would be pissed myself (and am at my network provider too at the moment). I’m just throwing the consideration out there, if you retaliate you just need to be aware of the consequences and moral implications. It was mostly a provocative thought 🙂 Let’s take ’em down!

  48. I do hate these kind of tactics. The telecoms companies are the worst, especially when they sting you by giving you something “free”, which in the small-print extends your contract period.

    Thankfully Ofcom appears to have grown some balls and are looking to ban that practice.

    TalkTalk will never get my custom again, not because of their generally poor service (which was actually improving) but the fact it took them nine months and countless calls to actually close my account when I moved in with my girlfriend.

    The difference between a merely dissatisfied ex-customer, and an unhappy, pissed-off, and probably-going-to-tell-all-their-friends-about-it ex-customer is what their last experience of you is.

  49. FWIW Ofcom and co. have reviewed mobile phone providers who do this auto-renewal crap, and ruled against them. I don’t see how this is different. Thanks for the heads-up re WebEx, I’ll continue to avoid them.

  50. I am ABSOLUTELY SHOCKED by the amount of commenter’s that are on the side of the company and not the customer. Kinda of speechless really….

    Ryan if I was in your shoes I wouldn’t do anything differently.

    Keep us posted on the problem please!

  51. 3. Begin a social media attack on WebEx for your unfair and ridiculous
    cancellation policies.

    This is unnecessary and juvenile. You have many methods and strategies to pull from in making them see your side and not charging you two extra months; why resort to threats? Your explanation within your post convinced me, why not explain that to them? Further, why wait three days? Why use email? Pick up a phone, make them speak to you *today* and not let someone off the hook until it is resolved.

    • Why use a phone? Email is a valid format of communication which WebEx should be more than capable of replying with. If you were to call by phone, you would probably just be told the exact same thing as the reply they received as you would be speaking to a customer service representative and no-one with real muscle within the company.

  52. Ryan,
    I understand you being upset with them. The cancellation policy is very strange indeed. When I signed up with them for a trial period, I asked them what their cancellation policy was. True to form, they told me I had to tell them two weeks before the trial ended to cancel, otherwise I would be automatically renewed and billed accordingly. Realizing how fast time flies, and not wanting to miss the deadline, I did the unusual, I signed up AND canceled at the same time. My contract contained my start and end date, along with a cancellation notice.

  53. Why did you sign the contract in the first place? There are superior offerings out there which you certainly have the expertise to identify. Plus, the areas where WebEx is lacking that you chose to deride should have been easily detected under the trial they offer. I think this one’s on you.

    • “This one’s on you”

      yeah it’s on him to do and say whatever the F– he wants about WebEx. And maybe he’s allowed your unhelpful comment as a good citizen of the internet. WebEx clearly isn’t a good citizen and needs to be shamed. Contract DOESN’T matter here this is the walk of shame for WebEx. No contract can save them here. That’s the point.

  54. Completely agree with you. They claim to support Linux…. but that failed miserably for two of my developers. After numerous auto bot responses from their customer support “team” I decided to cancel our monthly subscription – one week after subscribing initally.

    They then caught me on the “we need 1 calendar months” notice therefore, you have to pay for a second month!!! I was super annoyed… and I will never ever go back.

    They should listen to your FOWA Dublin 2009 talk – “you should make it really easy to refund your customer from within your app”

    I feel your pain/frustration. 🙁

    • Just a quick note – 4 years later, in December 2015 ;

      WebEx *still* doesn’t work on Linux.

      I do occasionally have to use it, as one of the major voices in my business community uses WebEx to do webinars.

      As a 64-bit OS user, I did go through all the rigmarole of setting up a 32-bit set of Firefox and Java for WebEx to use (as it links to 32-bit libraries for things like audio and screen sharing).

      Alas, this no longer works. It’s sad that WebEx and GotoMeeting can still get away with this crap in a day and age when every modern browser has an inbuilt facility for doing this stuff (WebRTC). They don’t even use their Java client on Windows any more, from what I can tell.

      I say roll on services like https://rocket.chat , https://appear.in/ , and https://talky.io/ eating their lunch.. (shame they still have the marketing budget..)

  55. Ricardo on March 15, 2011 at 1:35 am said:

    I think the reaction is good. I have to say you always have to read contracts (not that I do)… in the end, these companies are throwing their brand away to make an extra buck… seems not like the service you “hired” but lawyers business… Opt out should be a standard and little type clauses are just tricky, and should be ilegal.

    Please do consider removing the term social media attack (or how you wrote it)… and replace it with other words… like Tell the story on my blog… etc.

  56. @Johnathan and Travis,

    Sign up for and use the service and you’ll quickly figure out the difference between being a whiny bitch showing off how popular you are differs from being underwhelmed with the service, the interface and customer service as well as being forced to sign a contract written by lawyers with the specific intent of obfuscating the true terms.

    If you had signed up for the service, with your own money I may add, you would realize that having a voice and the willingness to use it is the only way too air your grievances and warn others of the experience.

    Granted, the contract is very large but it’s like trying to read “War and Peace” in Russian with no more than a cursory understanding of the language.

    Ryan’s point is that the contract is intentionally obtuse and the service is not in keeping with the service represented outside of the contract.

    The contract is used as a smarmy vehicle to pad business revenue at the expense of their customers who, for what ever reason, are no longer interested in the product.

    In addition he contends that this practice is antiquated and fosters the degree of mediocrity (I wish it was that good) that is so rampant not only in WebEx’s industry but those of many, many others.

    To put it another way; It’s like finding out your new girlfriend was once named Steve and her telling you that you should have noticed the scars.

  57. Brndnwmg on March 15, 2011 at 1:10 am said:


    When you sign, you can’t complaint.
    You’re stupid but don’i make it public.

  58. Web conferencing and screen sharing remains a wide open category for a new entrant. Gotomypc is no better.

  59. While I also agree that this seems a tad whiny, the fact that you can’t cancel right on your cancellation period is absurd. Now, had they provided you with a notice 2 and a half months before your contract was up and said,
    “Hey, your contract is due to expire by date _____. If you plan on canceling your contract, you will need to let us know by two months ahead of that date. Thanks!”
    then that would have been the right thing to do. B2B companies are one of the most painful things to deal with. It’s like they think that the only way to make money is by duping the other with contracts.

  60. Irrespective of what other people are saying with respect to your perceived obligations to read the fine print before agreeing to a contract, I have to side with you here mainly on the grounds that the whole point of a contract in this day and age for a web-based service like this has become irrelevant.

    Enforcing a contract on a customer generally (as I understand it) was because in return for enslaving the customer to your terms for a minimum period of time, you would in return provide them with a discounted rate or some other benefit such as exclusivity that wouldn’t be viable without that contract.

    The fact that WebEx carry over a contract-based business model when your status as their customer has very little bearing on the viability of their business model and does not provide you or them any elevated status derived from some form of exclusivity suggests that they are less interested in being a great company to do business with and more interested in simply sucking as much cash out of the contract victims as possible.

    And any WebEx stakeholder reading this should consider that cancellation of a service like this should be as simple as emailing support, requesting a cancellation and having the customer support person hit a button to disable the user account and stop further billing. Case closed. “30 days notice” is for companies with horrendously-archaic processes that actually need a reasonable amount of time in order to complete.

    I say WebEx can stick their contract terms where the sun don’t shine.

  61. Any decent company would have also sent some kind of renewal notice in the months leading up to the time when the contract is due to renew. I’m guessing WebEx didn’t do this? Even insurance companies do this, so that the customer is aware of the stage they are at in their contract.

    I’ve read here people saying it is up to you to read the small print, which is true enough. But it’s underhand of companies to put these clauses tucked away in small print, where you cannot always find them. There are many companies over the years that have been reprimanded for these tactics, particularly banking institutions.

  62. Vamsmack on March 15, 2011 at 12:32 am said:

    Clearly you’re wrong here Ryan. I mean being that you run a subscription service you know how hard it is to stop a subscription/end a contract, it takes MONTHS to click a button or at worst manually remove your details from a database, how dare you expect something which is 100% web based be any more agile than that.

    In other news I had 6 months on my phone contract and I got bored of my iPhone and my carrier cancelled my old contract and gave me an iPhone 4 with a new contract and no penalty so apparently WebEx is even worse than a mobile phone carrier. Must be hard to suck that much.

  63. Its like dealing with mobile phone companies. Catch ’em n trap ’em.

  64. I definitely see the reason behind your grievances, but saying that you are going to “begin a social media attack” on another company is, in no way, going to make you (or Carsonified) look good. You are, in essence, threatening harm to another company because you didn’t pay attention to the agreement that you made with them.

    Better to take the high road.

    • Not true. They’re trying to make us pay two months of fees after we have fulfilled our contract with them. It’s BS.

    • why are so many people squeamish on the word “attack” it’s an attack on reputation and it’s well deserved. It’s an effective recourse here. Everyone needs to embrace the attack. The contract here may have been signed but that doesn’t make it the right way to do business.

      get it? Why would anyone tell another person they have to bend over and take it when we all have our right to speak out. Attack is right on.

  65. Regardless of whether or not the response was appropriately or not (I think it was fine coming from a corporate customer for a virtual product), these things usually just hit some lowly paid customer support rep, who neither cares enough, nor has the authority to make an exception to ward off a social media attack. When you cheese them off by making their lives even harder, they’re going to do the only small piece of power that their dead end job gives them: Stick it to the customer even more and make their life miserable too.

    That’s not to say you shouldn’t have done what you did. The reason this is likely going to work is not because the initial rep understood the power of social media and elevated it, but because someone else at WebEx heard about it and understands the potential damage. As Think Vitamin etc, you’re more like to be heard by that person than the average consumer.

    Curious to see how this turns out. Please do post a follow-up in a separate post, so I see it in my feed reader.

  66. With all respect: you’re out of line here. You agreed upon a contract for their service, and now you’re blaming them for not making you aware of things that are clearly in your contract. Pro tip: don’t agree with stuff you don’t want. And don’t whine like a little kid afterwards if you didn’t… jesus.

    • They’re trying to make us pay two months of fees after we have fulfilled our contract with them.

      Find it strange you’re sticking up for companies who strong-arm their customers to pay them more money, even after they’ve faithfully completed their contract.

    • Try putting yourself in Ryan’s shoes. If you have COMPLETED a contract with a company and wish to cancel, and yet they are saying you have to pay more, wouldn’t you be angry? Just because it’s in fine print doesn’t make it right. WebEx are basically saying “You want to cancel cause you don’t like our service? Well in that case we will screw you because we already know your not coming back”

    • Nope he’s not out of line. No more than you commenting back to him. He has every right to shame them. You call it whining when it’s just communication. Smart emotional communication brought webex here to put out the fire. They deserve to be shamed and deserve more because their contract is useless. Cancel end. They know how to calculate usage to seconds and they can bill that way. They get away with the contract thing but shouldn’t.

      That’s why they deserve shame and bad PR and hopefully lost business, which is the only shame sociopaths understand.

  67. Anonymous on March 15, 2011 at 12:04 am said:

    shit developers, good lawyers.

  68. I agree with this entire article. The problem spreads further than just Web Companies. Here in Australia, telecommunication companies lock you into contracts for 12-24 months which you cannot exit without paying out the entire contract. Having now run into some issues with these contracts, I hate them 🙂

  69. I think this is:

    a) Premature – You’ve made your position clear but haven’t given them a chance to respond before “Naming and shaming”. I would like to see their response.
    b) Your own fault – I understand you don’t want to read a contract in its entirety, but surely you read the termination part, especially when you are presumably paying more than a few dollars a month. If you sign up to a mobile phone contract would you just “assume” you can cancel when you want without penalty?
    c) Over the top – they’re saying you need to pay 2 months to get out of a 12 month contract early – personally I don’t see that as completely unreasonable.

    I understand your frustration – but it should be that in that you didn’t read the contract – I’m afraid that is just the way it is. If the contract for a service is as long as you say, its all the more reason to read it as its more likely to have something in there they don’t want you to see.

    Lastly I think that telling people to “Boycott WebEx” is a very childish way to play it. You could tell people this is “How not to do customer service” or, “How WebEx tried to do us out of 2 months subscription money” but boycotting – this is what I’d expect if it had turned out they were abusing kids in africa to give you your service.

    Morale of the story in my opinion? Read contracts, and if you don’t – be prepared to put up with the conditions they have in them.

    • We’ve waited three days for a response and received nothing.

      Why shouldn’t we call for a boycott on a company that tricks their customers with fine-print cancellation clauses. The whole thing is anti-customer, and if a company isn’t in business to serve their customers, what are they doing?

      We let people out of contracts if they’re not happy. Why? Because we’re not in business to force people to pay for something they don’t like. We’d rather delight them with something amazing.

      • Don’t get me wrong – I would absolutely go for a service with limited T&C’s and contracts, and in most cases do – thinking with my feet and all. And I don’t disagree that you should be disgruntled by their way of doing things, I think it sucks too. But I also think you are as much to blame as they are – you made a mistake by not reading the cancellation terms of your contract – this surely you have to acknowledge.

        While I wish you luck on your endeavour to change Cisco/WebEx as a company, to me this just feels like someone complaining in the hope of not having to pay the 2 month penalty fee they’ve been landed with since they didn’t read a contract (granted this could be due to tone rather than content).

        People will ultimately think with their feet, but with just a small search on Google you could have avoided all of this and seen that WebEx have received complaints since 2005 for their customer service and contract exits. Due diligence should be standard in a company that values these things as much as yours does.

        A boycott should be left for companies that REALLY matter, like the way companies like Nike, Nestle, Coca Cola, Lockheed Martin and McDonalds of this world operate. This is something where someone with 50,000 followers could really do some good.

        • So CISCO is too good for a boycott. Yeah right. You’ve got your head unscrewed. WebEx is wrong here. They should suffer the consequences.

          Oh so it’s buyer beware and nevermind what the business gets away with. Jesus. Hey sorry you got raped but you WERE wearing those clothes. Should have read the travel guidebooks, you would have learned that this wasn’t a neighborhood to be walkin at night. Oh the rapist, yeah it’s not his fault, that’s how he does business.

      • I’m with you Ryan, I hate companies that punish you for not reading their long and tedious contract by charging you for something you are not receiving. That is in effect a penalty.

        It’s unfortunate that it is not in the Australian jurisdiction because our courts and our Govt take a pretty dim view of this type of corporate behaviour. The Govt is even developing national unfair contract terms, which includes this;

        “a term is deemed to be ‘unfair’ when it causes a significant imbalance in the parties’ rights and obligations arising under the contract and it is not reasonably necessary to protect the legitimate interests of the supplier;”

        The last bit “reasonably necessary” is a fail for WebEx.

    • NO the MORAL of the story here is clear. Moral means to abide by proper behavior that doesn’t cause harm to others. Taking something without providing a service is immoral. The contract here is immoral. And that’s why they need to be called out. If they don’t change their contract, they suffer embarrassment.

      WebEx is a turd. And boycotting is for anyone who sees good reasons to pressure bad business practices into reform. What are you talking about African kids about? WebEx is wrong, they deserve to look bad and they deserve to lose 10 times the business from their mistake over the small profit they stole from somebody for 2 months of undeserved extortion.

  70. You have clearly communicated your frustration and dissatisfaction with WebEx, and yet it is not clear whether you took any other actions before blackmailing your vendor.

    Have you tried explicitly listing your grievances, lodging complains/support issues, or otherwise informing the company of your dissatisfaction? The first email included in the post has no indicators or reasons for your cancellation and comes across as flippant – had you outlined your case, the tone and direction of their response could have been different.

    It does not matter whether their service does not meet your high standards or is objectively horrible – presumably you had done your due diligence before subscribing, took a free trial to minimise your risk, and decided that it is suitable for your purposes before signing the contract.

    Contracts and agreements are quickly dismissed by pure web services targeted at average consumers. But in the world of business-to-business commerce, contracts carry much more weight and are critical in almost every agreement. The same goes for ‘serious’ B2C services – imagine you took the same action with your cell phone or a car lease provider – “Who reads a contract? Let me out, or I’ll stop paying and start a smear campaign on Twitter”. That type of action is seldom justified, and almost never effective in the long run.

    • Why should I have to “explicitly list my grievances” if I want to end my contract after the agreed amount of time? It was a 12 month contract. I asked to not auto-renew the contract on the last day of the contract. They ambushed us with small-print that we didn’t see.

      Your mentality is the same as theirs: It was our responsibility to read the small-print.

      Wrong. It’s their responsibility to deliver a great service and if it doesn’t live up to that standard, let their customers cancel without penalty. Especially if that customer has filled their contract.

      Do you think they’re going to make more money by delighting their customers, or tricking them in to auto-renewal contracts for services that aren’t meeting their expectations?

      The answer is clear and now through Twitter, Facebook and blogs, companies can’t hide behind cleverly worded contracts. The best service will win, with our without contracts.

      • A contract exists for the mutual benefit of both parties.

        You willfully entered into a contract and signed on the dotted line. Your inability to understand the terms of a contract you have entered into would make me very hesitant to ever enter into a contract with *you*.

        You would like delighted clients without issue, so does this mean I could subscribe to Think Vitamin, and after one year of membership let you know I was not satisfied and not pay any my membership costs? Does this sound unreasonable? It is. Ambiguity like this is best solved with a contract. Read your next one a little closer next time.

        • I don’t think Ryan is debating the issue of a refund — he’s paid for the service he’s used so far. What he asked to do, as I understand it, is discontinue the service on the day it renewed.

          I’ve been paying out a contract for a home alarm service I don’t use now that I’ve moved. I pay it because I’m obligated by contract. But you can bet I’d write a post like this if they renewed it for another year because of some BS “30 day notice”.

      • Sure, it’s their *responsibility* to offer a good customer service, after all no one else can improve their service but them

        However that’s different from you having a *right* to good customer service – it’s not an expectation you can reasonably have on the web (if anywhere!). In fact, if you throw money at a company without checking what you’re throwing it at then I can’t see how it’s anyone else’s fault but yours. Certainly there’s already a lot of bad press already about WebEx.

  71. Good on you, Ryan. Their contract sounds archaic to me. The kind of thing telephone companies used to (and some still) do to their customers, especially when they were government owned and really had you over a barrel.

    I hope they come to their senses and treat you with some respect. Even more, I hope they change this out-of-date clause in their contract and start doing business like a modern web company. This is 2011.

  72. Their email isn’t very clear but it looks like they’re effectively asking for 2 month’s notice to get out of a 12 month contract. Apart from the crappy wording, that doesn’t sound like a particularly bad deal to me.

    As for the auto-renewal, what if you relied on their service and they didn’t renew it automatically? If it suddenly stopped working after 12 months just because you didn’t renew it you’d probably be pretty annoyed.

    And was the “we have 50,000 Twitter followers and a lot of contacts” bit you deleted included in the version of the email you sent to them? If so then I think you should put it back in the version you’ve posted here for the sake of a fair argument.

    • No, what they’re saying is you have to give a two-month notice to not auto-renew the contract.

      I changed this:

      3) Begin a social media attack on WebEx for your unfair and ridiculous cancellation policies. We have over 50,000 followers on Twitter and numerous contacts in the tech media.

      to this:

      3) Begin a social media attack on WebEx for your unfair and ridiculous cancellation policies.

      as it seemed arrogant and I didn’t want to distract people from the point. I included our number of Twitter followers in the email so they new we were serious.

    • Auto renewals are good, I’ve no problem with them apart from that fact that the vendor should notify the customer that the contract is coming up for renewal and they have the option of cancelling the contract before the renwal without incurring extra charges. If a customer chooses to ignore that communiction then the contract auto renews. At least then the customer will have had clarity on the cancellation option at the point in time they actually need to make that decision. See my earlier response for a more detailed example.

      A simple change in vendor behaviour would improve relations and if vendors want to keep their customers they should seek to provide excellent service. If they do that they’ll have much better loyalty and respect from their customers.

      • To be fair, we don’t know that WebEx didn’t send a reminder (which may have been caught by a spam filter, lost in the noise or just forgotten about).

        I think the problem here is that Cisco is an old company that’s used to doing things “the old way” and is too big to change quickly (see also Dustin Curtis’ adventures with American Airlines: http://www.dustincurtis.com/dear_american_airlines.html ). Working in the web industry, we’re so used to agile, dynamic businesses that help us get stuff done quickly and efficiently, running into an archaic behemoth like Cisco comes as a bit of a shock.

        This is a good thing for competition because it means that there’s room for other people to come along and do things better. An area where that’s already happening is accounts software – companies like FreeAgent, FreshBooks and Xero have been poaching customers from the established names like Sage and Quicken for a while now.

  73. Agree with all. It is kind of whiny, but since we lack an army of overpaid lawyers to do our whining for us, me must do what we can. Fine print is just as childish: it’s the printed equivalent of whispering ‘just kidding’ after you make a promise. Companies that hide bad policy behind small print deserve to be called out. After all, the fix is to be transparent and visible regarding your policies, particularly where money is involved. Seems reasonable to me.

  74. I feel like there’s a missing second half of this story; what happened after your second email that caused you to go public with the story?

  75. Despite “contracts”- most companies make the key points of their contracts easily accessible. Its just how the web is. Why should any service be ANY different. Good luck!

  76. Oh, and FYI Adobe Connect isn’t any better.

  77. Many companies pull the “trick” of having you call an 800 number instead of just sending an email and the like. Real Player is famous for that as is many others. Good for you to stand up to them. its just weird for them to act like that but I would suggest Skype. they have (finally) stepped up tot he plate and have a pretty cool expanded video product.

  78. “We have over 50,000 followers on Twitter”

    Seems a little bit arrogant to me. Anyway, its always a good thing fight against this kind of situation.

    Wish you good luck! Keep us informed.

  79. Anonymous on March 14, 2011 at 11:11 pm said:

    Your basically advertising Webex. All publicity is good publicity. I didn’t know about them before reading this.

  80. Levi Figueira on March 14, 2011 at 11:08 pm said:

    Sadly, we have the same experience with WebEx! Pre-contract signing they were really helpful. Post-signing, other than the annoying survey emails (that seem to be absolutely inconsequential) every small change to the service is met with contracts and rules that do not serve the customer in any way…

    Sadly, my bosses don’t have to deal with that and there are really not that many plausible alternatives… :/

  81. While I understand why you’re doing this, I think it’s a little childish.

    While they SHOULDN’T have the right to put these types of things in their contract, it’s your damn responsibility to research a company before you go into business with them.

    • I completely disagree with you. It’s NOT childish to expect companies to treat me with respect. Hiding stupid cancellation policies in small print isn’t the right thing to do. The service should be good enough that I want to continue paying them. Not because they tricked me into an auto-renewal policy.

      • I respect your opinion Ryan and hope I didn’t offend. Some casual discussion is all. 🙂

        I agree that companies should treat you with respect. In 2011 sadly, that is not the case. It’s unfortunate that the web has come to things like this.

        I see where you’re coming from and apologize. The thing I thought was childish was what Johnathan Barrett pointed out, the “showing off.”

        • Hey Jack. Don’t worry, I wasn’t angry, just disagreed with you 🙂 I’ve removed the bit you were referring to as on second reading, it did come across as arrogant, which wasn’t my intention.

          Thanks for reading!

          • what was the outcome after you sent the second email?

          • Nothing. Three days later and I haven’t received anything.

          • If I worked somewhere that allowed my CEO to write such inflammatory communications I would be walking out the door. I know you’ve somehow accidentally built a reputation for being ‘outspoken’ but that’s just being rude.

            We all get upset by situations such as this, I am stuck in a phone contract paying for a handset that doesn’t exist and a sim card that doesn’t exist until August this year – I’ve been paying it for 9 months now, it is a horrible position to be in. The difference between us is that I believe strongly in the power of communication, something I thought that ryancarson corp stood for so I did the gentlemanly thing of picking up a phone and talking to somebody so that my queries and requests couldn’t be misconstrued by the toneless approach of an impersonal email.

            personally, I think you were wrong to perform this action, I think that you have abused your ‘social status’ to get something for yourself and to me, that isn’t solving problems or helping because chances of anyone else being able to obtain the same treatment from that company or any other is slim.

      • Stop saying they TRICKED you. They didn’t. It was IN THE CONTRACT that you ADMIT you didn’t read. How is that THEIR fault?

        Next time, READ THE CONTRACT. That way you won’t be surprised about these things.

        • Their “fault” is bad customer service. And their trickery is in the fine print of an unnecessary contract that’s purposefully made tedious, laborious to read. WebEx doesn’t need a contract like this to operate. You should be able to click / cancel any time. The contract is a means to trick people, it intends to fake out somebody to believe that it’s some big agreement to log on to a system and do web chats. Oh boy.

          Companies are not to be trusted for this reason. Ryan learned a lesson here but more importantly let’s hope webex did.

  82. Anonymous on March 14, 2011 at 11:04 pm said:

    It’s always a shame when things get to these stages. I hope they see sense and sort it out so you can post an update explaining the end.

  83. You just sound like a whiny bitch showing off how popular you are. Reading that contract probably would have been a good idea.

    • Fair enough 🙂 I’ll edit that part out.

      That’s not what I intended – just trying to show them we meant business.

      Also, who reads fricken contracts? And should they have to read the fine print, or risk getting screwed?

    • And you’re a bitch little ginger troll.

      The issue is Webex is full of shit. There’s no reason to steal from customers. There’s no reason they do that other than greed. Greed deceitful devious sociopathic behavior.

      Absolutely no reason for a web service to do this. They can cancel instantly. With Telecom you get these kinds of admin fees but there are more things involved to cancel you, more regulation within telecom and other home utilities, more paperwork. With Webex, they literally can turn off a login instantly. Not only that, but a good company would see lack of use and send reminders checking on their quality of service. That’s what a good company is capable of.

      I will never use webex. Assholes.

      A friend of mine works for Cisco, too bad. I’ll have to give him an earful.

    • And you’re a bitch little ginger troll.

      The issue is Webex is full of shit. There’s no reason to steal from customers. There’s no reason they do that other than greed. Greed deceitful devious sociopathic behavior.

      Absolutely no reason for a web service to do this. They can cancel instantly. With Telecom you get these kinds of admin fees but there are more things involved to cancel you, more regulation within telecom and other home utilities, more paperwork. With Webex, they literally can turn off a login instantly. Not only that, but a good company would see lack of use and send reminders checking on their quality of service. That’s what a good company is capable of.

      I will never use webex. Assholes.

      A friend of mine works for Cisco, too bad. I’ll have to give him an earful.

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