Strategic cancellation

Threatening to cancel will often give you a better offer.
strategic cancellation
strategic cancellation

Websites often offer discounts for new subscribers, but over time the advantages will disappear, and you will pay the full price. Except, if you threaten with a cancellation. It does not matter if you really consider cancelling, because the website does not know if you are serious not.

Therefore it’s a common practice in the world of negotiations to threaten to cancel a service or subscription in order to receive a better offer. This tactic can work wonders, but it can also backfire if not executed properly. The idea behind threatening to cancel is that it puts pressure on the other party to make a better offer. After all, they don’t want to lose your business altogether.

This is particularly effective in industries with a lot of competition, like cable or internet providers. If one provider is offering a better deal, you can use that as leverage to negotiate with your current provider.

There are a number of reasons to try 'strategic cancellations':

  • Saves you money: By threatening to cancel a service, you are putting pressure on the provider to offer you a better deal, which could save you money in the long run.

  • Provides negotiating power: When you threaten to cancel, you are demonstrating that you are willing to take your business elsewhere. This gives you negotiating power and can help you get a better deal.

  • Helps you get more value for your money: Not all website may offer a discount. But by negotiating a better deal, you can get an upgrade and more value for the same money and possibly access additional services or features.

  • Can lead to better customer service: Providers may be more responsive and provide better customer service when they know that their customers are considering cancelling their service.

  • Externalise the decision: If you are not sure whether to cancel or not, just threaten to cancel and see if the new offer is better. If not, just cancel.

  • You simply may feel better. It is understandable that you are annoyed that repeat customers pay more, and you rather expect a fidelity discount and not to pay more.

However, there are some potential drawbacks:

  • Some companies will not take your threat seriously and not offer any discount or upgrade.

  • Threatening with a cancellation and negotiating takes a bit of time.

  • If you feel the service is worth the money you pay and the website deserves support, you may feel bad to cancel or negotiate.

To use strategic cancellations effectively, you need to be prepared. Before you make the call, do your research and find out what other providers are offering, and if there are user reports on successful renegotiations. This will give you a better idea of what kind of deal you can realistically expect. When you do call, be polite but firm. Explain that you’re considering cancelling and why, and ask if there’s anything they can do to keep your business.