How to Cancel Subscriptions and Get Them Under Control

It seems like everything’s a subscription nowadays, from software to music to shaving razors. The rise of the subscription economy can be overwhelming for consumers, although charging for access at a recurring rate (especially when it comes to software) has benefits for both consumers and sellers.

One major problem for subscribers is figuring out how to cancel subscriptions. Sometimes a customer no longer needs the service provided by the subscription, or wants to try a new product. The trouble is that most subscriptions are connected to a customer’s credit card, and automatically withdraw the given rate each week, month, or year until explicitly canceled.

And, unsurprisingly, most subscription vendors aren’t keen on losing their regularly paying customers that easily. There are often plenty of obstacles to canceling subscriptions, like difficult-to-navigate payment portals, strange information requirements, and even the inability to cancel without actually calling the company’s customer service or sending a letter. There have been instances when I’ve figured it would be less trouble to just cancel the credit card I used for a subscription and cope with a new one rather than jump through all the hoops to cancel an existing subscription. Thankfully, there are better ways to address this problem going forward.

The Basics of How to Cancel Subscriptions

Given the wide variety of payment setups among subscription-based businesses, there’s no universal method of canceling subscriptions. However, there is a protocol you can follow to get to the bottom of it:

  1. If your subscription has an app or website, visit it and find a portal to sign in as a subscriber. Find a section of the app settings or website that covers payment- often titled “Payment Methods” or “Credit Card Info.” Search for an option to cancel or end the subscription, and if you find it, click and follow the directions.
  2. If there is no immediately available option in the payment settings to cancel the subscription, try to find the subscription website/app’s FAQs or instructions, and search for info on canceling there. In some cases a company requires subscribers to cancel by phone or even mail.
  3. If you still can’t find any information on how to cancel the subscription, call customer service and make it clear that you want to cancel immediately. Be polite but direct- it’s your money!
  4. If all else fails and you still can’t cancel the subscription, consider working through your bank to block the recurring charges, or even just cancel the corresponding credit card connected to the subscription. Remember that, if you cancel a card, you will need to input new information for all other subscriptions and payment settings that used that card.

How to Get Your Subscriptions Under Control

While those directions can help you cancel a subscription through the specific platform it’s offered on, there are better ways to prevent this problem and avoid jumping through all these hoops to cancel. NachoNacho puts all your subscriptions in one place, and uses a separate customizable virtual credit card for each subscription.

This means that you can place charge limits and set expiration dates to prevent being further charged. And with a click of the mouse you can immediately cancel a subscription, simply by canceling its given virtual credit card. There’s also an option to freeze and re-activate cards instead of permanently canceling them. 

With NachoNacho, you can completely sidestep the often frustrating cancellation processes of subscriptions companies and manage all your recurring charges in one place. To stay on top of subscriptions, just remember to label cards clearly and in detail, and set limits as needed. Keep an eye on payments using the NachoNacho app’s data visualization, and never lose money to forgotten, unused subscriptions!