Friday roast - Dear Bluehost, you suck for cancellations

Profile picture for user gonzodaddy By Den Howlett December 8, 2016
Canceling a subscription should be relatively straightforward but no, that's not the case with Bluehost.

I'm trying to cancel a long standing Bluehost account. It's been dormant for over a year and won't be reactivated any time soon. So - I get a notice saying it is up for renewal from Bluehost. Coincidentally, I get another notice saying it has been renewed. Duh?

Checking with the back end account section I see that the account was set to auto renew 15 days before it is actually due. I'm sure I must have set that at some time in the past but heh - getting two emails is confusing and with onset ADD, it is hard enough for me to remember what I did yesterday, let alone years ago.

Returning to the renewal email I ask Bluehost to cancel, explaining the site is no longer active and that the domain name will be left to lapse. If only life was that simple. Check this:

bluest - fail
What? the cancellations department has been walled off from email? What's that about?

I can guess that they want you to call so they can try prevent me from cancelling. Even so, let's play along.

Unfortunately, I am not in the US at the moment and trying to get through to 888 numbers is nigh on impossible. But heh, we have the live chat option. Not really.

This is what happens when I tried the chat option:


This appears after waiting about five minutes watching the count down bar. Fun isn't it?


Yes Bluehost, of course I've got an extra 14 minutes to wait.


This brings a whole new meaning to the expression: 'We are experiencing extremely heavy call volumes at the moment' and, quite frankly, it sucks.

I have since gone back to email and asked Bluehost to find a way of solving this for me because I REALLY don't have unlimited time to waste.

I'm also going back to Bluehost to see what else I have that's on some kind of auto renew and will squish those completely.

But the problem is much more than my being a tad annoyed. It's about the customer experience. I get that hosting companies want to keep customers on board as long as possible but one thing I learned a long time ago - make it easy for them to leave because when you do that, they always remember in the future. This is especially important in a situation where the reasons for leaving are outside the provider's control.

The paradox is that cancelling for the future IS easy on Bluehost. Why not the present?

In short, an inconsistent customer experience is very bad news and should have long since been consigned to the dustbin of crappy UIs.