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I am angry about subscriptions

Sep. 15th, 2017 01:13 pm
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When I rule the world the mechanism for cancelling a subscription will have to be at least as easy as the mechanism for setting one up.

So, for example*, if you can take out a subscription to the Financial Times online in about 30 seconds online, by clicking on a few options, then you should be able to cancel your subscription by clicking on something on your subscription details on their site. And they should not require you to email their support desk, reply with a second email explaining why you don't want it any more, and then answer a phone call wherein they offer it to you cheaper and then have to insist that, no, really, you don't want it any more.

The rule shall, instead, be that if ten random people take longer to unsubscribe than they did to subscribe that your home page will be replaced by a big flashing sign reading "We will treat you badly in the hope of holding on to your money."

Secondary rule: No introductory offers. Free trials are allowed (but must be easily cancellable, as above), but you can't offer new people a better deal than your existing customers. Introductory offers are a way of tricking people into signing up, and then hanging onto them when inertia stops them from cancelling/moving. Instead you must offer a good deal in the first place, which is sustainable, and which is easily compared to your competitors. I know this makes life harder for companies who are trying to hide long-term costs from their customers. I really, really, don't care.


*Or, possibly, exactly what happened to me at lunchtime.

Interesting Links for 15-09-2017

Sep. 15th, 2017 12:00 pm
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Sep. 14th, 2017 12:00 pm
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Interesting Links for 11-09-2017

Sep. 11th, 2017 12:00 pm
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Kate G took me to see Fleabag at the Fringe. It was incredibly well written, as you can tell from the Guardian's write-up of a different production. And the performance I saw, although not performed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, was still magnificent. Bleak, funny, touching, and at one point had me cringing horribly in my seat. Totally worth seeing if any productions come anywhere near you.

And then Jane and I watched the TV series. Which was not _quite_ as bleak at the play, but did a fantastic job of turning a 1-hour play into two and a half hours of TV. Well worth tracking down, and I'm looking forward to seeing what she does with season two.

The Galloway Hoard at the National Museum of Scotland. Jane and I have memberships, so we went to see a talk on this, and then went back a few days later to see the hoard itself. It's a remarkable find, and one of the most significant Viking finds ever in Scotland. They're trying to raise the money to keep it in public hands, so if you'd like to help with that click here. While we were there we also went to see the Bonnie Prince Charlie exhibition, which made me realise how little I knew about that chunk of Scottish history. Fascinating stuff, particularly starting from a position of no knowledge. I must do some reading.

The Great British Bake-Off. Scandalously, I'd never watched any of this, so Jane introduced me to season two before we watched the new season, so I could see what it was like before it moved to Channel 4. I enjoyed it, and am now enjoying the new season just as much. I know that the faithful will be missing Mel and Sue dreadfully, but I'm quite enjoying the Sandi Toskvig/Noel Fielding relationship, and the only real negative to me is having to fast-forward through the advertising.

Wind River. Gorgeously shot and acted, this is a solid thriller/crime story set in beautiful countryside. A death in a Native American reservation in snow-covered Wyoming provides an excuse to dig under the surface of what the bleak surroundings do to people lives and relationships. It's not quite as good as it could be, but it's solidly entertaining. The main drawback is that they've dropped two white people into the central roles, and the female roles are all weaker than the male ones. I was hoping, at least, for Elizabeth Olsen's FBI agent to be an equal partner with Jeremy Renner's tracker, and for the two of them to fill in each other's weaknesses. As it was, you could have removed her from the film and not lost a huge amount of the plot. And you could have made him a Native American without losing anything from the plot. Still worth seeing, but could have been done better.

Interesting Links for 08-09-2017

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Sep. 7th, 2017 12:00 pm
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