The Service Agreement You Can’t Cancel

Easy to sign up, impossible to exit

Andy Spears
3 min readNov 3, 2023
Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash

It all sounds great.

The free trial.

The easy access to a service you need.

The chance to decide if you want it.

And the promise of no obligation and easy cancellation.

Then, the reality hits. You see a charge on your bank statement and realize you forgot to cancel that service you’re not using or don’t want anymore.

There’s no email address. The click-to-cancel button takes you to a page with a bunch of words and no easy answers.

You can’t find a phone number. The site says you MUST call to cancel, though.

If you don’t give up and DO find a number, you tell the representative you want to cancel.

They make a sales pitch.

You still want to cancel.

Then . . . it happens. The charge is on your bank statement AGAIN.

I’ve written before about the insidious nature of companies that create memberships that are basically impossible to cancel.

A pair of recent stories about a phone service and a short-term loan product reminded me of this persistent issue.



Andy Spears

Writer and policy advocate living in Nashville, TN —Public Policy Ph.D. — writes on education policy, consumer affairs, and more . . .