The original intention of “Digital Ants” is to create a space to bring some in depth analysis on digital matters, something that I think is somehow lacking nowadays in the World Wide Web. But, I find myself postponing my next post on Groupon and the Online Deals Market due to what could be a five minute interruption and LinkedIn has decided to make a little bit of a tedious process.
I’m a big fan of LinkedIn and think it is, by far, the best professional network and market recruitment tool out there. In my opinion, no one comes even close to this product. Yet, as many companies in e-business, they seem to be struggling with their business model and are probably finding trouble monetizing their fantastic system, which in its premium modes I find completely overpriced. I haven´t plunged into their data since this post is unfortunately not intended to provide an analysis of the product but to point out a negligence which I sadly believe is completely deliberate.
It should come as no surprise that this omission comes once you enter the digits of your credit card account in their system. In fact the problem arises when you have already done so and wish to go back to the free services mode from a Premium Account model. Instead of making it easy for the user facilitating a quick opt out option, LinkedIn has decided to make it a hassle. The user has to send an email to customer service 3-5 days prior to the end of the monthly subscription, which, otherwise, will be automatically renewed.
If someone wants to cancel a service, especially in a technological advanced environment, they should be able to do so instantaneously and without having to give explanations or writing emails to no one. Furthermore, as I read in some forums, customers are often ignored in their queries and have to contact their bank and block payments as to put an end to their subscription.
First, you have those people who don’t want to go thru the trouble of contacting their bank for perhaps just one month they didn´t want to subscribe for. If you add to that LinkedIn’s last campaign to “invite” users (who have previously entered their card number) to try their premium services “for free” for a month who then, find themselves stuck for at least the next month (not free anymore..) it ads up to a big pile of cash.
Hello?? Unhappy users!!!
One tends to think that things are done differently in the digital scene, that we’ve learned from mistakes made before the web was there for unhappy users to express themselves. Today is very different and digital companies, especially big companies such as LinkedIn should be the first to understand this. It could be that financial results pressure post-IPO could have more weight than customer satisfaction but frankly, it’s a model than I don’t foresee succeeding in the long run…
Luckily enough, not all renowned companies in the web are doing these kind of practices, so negative for the sector as a whole. The only online company to receive a recurring monthly payment from my part, Spotify, leaves the door wide open and positions you one click away to cancel your subscription and go back to their free service. I sincerely hope LinkedIn changes its attitude towards this issue, although, after 8 years in the market and with the new pressure of publishing its accounts periodically it doesn’t seem very likely. What a shame.