I was reviewing my monthly expenses and decided to cancel my subscription to The Economist. I thought this would be simple to do online, just like signing up was. But for a paper that treats its readers like adults, I was surprised at just how annoying the process to unsubscribe was.

First I had to dig around on their website to find the following page to start the cancellation process:

Apart from the emotional appeal, the page employs the dark pattern of inverted button colours, so that the action you want to take is harder to see at the bottom of the page.

The next page reveals that chatting to a salesperson is the only way to cancel:

The customer retention sales strategies begin:

He finds a “better option” for me than cancellation. I can stay subscribed with an even better special offer than I was first given:

Not tempted by the “tremendous” deals I am being presented with, I state that I want to cancel my subscription for the fourth time. Finally the salesperson admits defeat:

I soon receive an email trying to get me to resubscribe:

I might have considered re-subscribing before, but won’t be after this experience. If customers can subscribe by submitting a form online, then they should be able to unsubscribe the same way too.