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Received a comment this week that needed a bit more that a quick reply in the article – and thought this would make a good topic for a new post.

Joe has apparently been trying to stop paying for a LinkedIn account for a couple months now, so let’s see what advice we can offer him.

The comment…

Joe doesn’t pull any punches. This is his comment:

Joe McM

I made the mistake of joining the paid membership on LinkedIn!!

First of all, some of the things they promise such as priority customer service do not exist.

Second, once you realize that you don’t need the paid service, their is no way to undo it. I have been trying to cancel my subscription for about 3 months now. The only way to cancel is to send them an email. The problem is they don’t reply. So they keep charging your card month after month.

DO NOT PAY FOR LINKEDIN SUBSCRIPTIONS!!!

I’ll admit to taking out one harsh statement from his message, but I also corrected a couple typographical errors, so I think that works out about even. His points remain:

  • Inadequate customer service
  • Unresponsiveness
  • No end to his billing woes

That’s a situation that would make many people upset.

The concept

During March, I polled readers about paying for accounts and registered responses from those that had used a paid account, but no longer did so. Check the results of “Most Users Opt For Free Account“.

I stand behind my advice of “When to Pay for your LinkedIn Membership” – a paid account makes sense if and only if you need the features that you gain when you pay for the account.

That isn’t the case for many people. (as shown by the poll results)

Joining is easy

Isn’t that the way though – every vendor would like to setup a mechanism to auto-bill consumers, and makes it quite easy to do business.

Leaving – that is hardly ever easy.

  • There’s the pass-off to the manager to get approval
  • Asking if we could do anything to change your mind about it
  • And just plain failing to take action

Just join any promotion offered by your credit card company to get the full experience;-)

Way out

If you look through the LinkedIn Help Center, you can get to a page dealing with this topic:

Cancelling Your Premium Account

And Joe has accurately pointed out that clicking through their instructions involves filling out a form and sending it off. You’re not likely to find a phone number.

And since I have never done so, I can’t comment on the responsiveness of the LinkedIn team after that. At various times through LinkedIn’s history I have heard both good and awful reports in this area.

But that’s what should be done first – and take note of your correspondence. (screenshots are a handy tool…)

Other options

So let’s say you’re like Joe and you’ve done this and it hasn’t resulted in any success – what next?

Well don’t just stand there, get help from your friendly bank.

Two main thrusts – challenge the charges, and/or change the account.

I checked into the “ways to pay for your premium account” and see that LinkedIn only accepts four main credit cards. The first and foremost protection offered consumers is the ability to challenge transactions.

And I found this page has a very good explanation of how that works and instructions: How to Challenge a Credit Card Bill. The consumer contacts the credit card company and says “I didn’t order this” and provides backup material to prove it. In this case, you’d say “I asked them to stop, and they didn’t”. The key phrase to remember is “dispute”, as in “I dispute these charges”. (and consider my comment before – you’d like to have proof  that you asked them to stop, so that screenshot comes in handy now…)

So that gets your money back. Can Joe go back three months? I don’t know – I’d ask.

Next – you want to cutoff the continuing charges – even if LinkedIn doesn’t take the hint from the dispute. Ask to change the account / credit card number. When LinkedIn submits the account for billing, they’ll be denied.

Now – you may have to deal with LinkedIn saying “Hey, your credit card is no longer valid.” And your response is “Hey, I asked you to stop billing me and give me back a basic account and you didn’t”…

Either way – you’re not paying, and LinkedIn has a great deal of incentive to fix the situation. (It’s never a good idea to be billing credit card accounts that are not valid…)

But wait – protect yourself first

Oh – did I mention you should BACKUP YOUR PROFILE AND CONTACTS early on in the process – you never know how things could go, and I’d hate for you to have to start from scratch…

Personal experiences?

Hey, Joe can’t be alone out there – I’d love to add stories on both sides of this topic.

Have you stopped paying successfully? Have you had issues trying to cancel?

To your continued success,

steve

Steven Tylock
http://www.linkedinpersonaltrainer.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/stevetylock