By 2015, over 40 percent of companies with media and digital products will use subscription services for billing and renewals. That’s huge profit potential for companies that are Internet-based, and for companies that can offer services and deals both online and in-store. But staking a significant portion of profits on Internet services means the most competitive companies must clearly outline usage and cancellation policies. Here’s a list of six companies that offer various monthly services, and still provide easy cancellation policies.
The biggest attention-grabbers for airline selection are which ones offer the cheapest flights, shortest flight times, and most reasonable baggage policies. When all those incentives look to be about the same, make your decision based on the best advertised cancellation policies. For domestic airlines, Southwest has the best change/cancellation policy. It has no fees for changing or canceling a flight. Other airlines allow you to cancel your flight within 24 hours of booking, but then you’ll be gouged with a $75-150 fee to change or cancel your flight after 24 hours. For a domestic flight that could be as little as $100 one-way, that’s a huge loss. The process for cancellation with Southwest is simple, by either contacting a service rep or canceling online. You’ll be awarded the full amount for credit to be used on a future flight.
2) Instant Checkmate
Since your interaction with online subscription-based services is limited to what you see on the website, the most effective cancellation policies should be easy to find and understand. Instant Checkmate, a background check service that compiles public records for paying members, has a very straightforward cancellation policy. You can cancel online, by phone, or by email.
3) Amazon Subscribe and Save
Entertainment, software, online subscriptions, accessories, and even groceries—you name it, Amazon’s probably got it. With such a comprehensive database of goods, Amazon’s got to have very straightforward user policies. To cancel any of their items that haven’t yet been shipped, just head to the order section of your account. For subscription-based services, you can cancel anytime by logging in, locating your subscription manager page, and clicking “cancel subscription.”
Airbnb is a website that allows travelers to book lodging directly from the owner. Airbnb doesn’t have one set cancellation policy, since that depends on conditions outlined by individual hosts. What’s great about their setup is that each cancellation policy is specific to each listing, listed in the Description tab, so you can easily compare policies per lodging. Airbnb also outlines a general guideline for types of cancellation policies offered by hosts. That way, if you need to cancel your reservation, you are well aware of the policy before you book, and you’ll be refunded according to the specific policy.
Netflix is an on-demand streaming service that gives you unlimited access to movies and TV shows. While other subscriptions for streaming content have competitive prices and services, Netflix lets you cancel your subscription at any time through an online process that takes just a few minutes. Best of all, it will store your account information for a full year.
To avoid losing profit on unfulfilled reservations, hotels are now creating more stringent cancellation policies. While most middle and lower-end hotels still allow you to cancel up to 24 hours before your arrival date, cancellation depends on the individual hotel’s policies, the type of deal you got, and the dates of your stay. Reservations during peak vacation and holiday periods, and ones that were booked with a specialized discount, will unlikely be refunded. Booking.com allows you to cancel at any time without charging any fees, and with a full refund of the prepayment. Just be sure to follow up with your hotel to see what fees they incur for cancelling a reservation.
Canceling Should Be Stress-Free
Cancelling or changing orders is the stuff of nightmares for some of us. At least with these six companies, you’ll sleep better at night knowing you’re not being swindled.