#loyaltymarketing #loyaltyprograms #autorenewal #customerconsent #transparency

Auto-Renewal of loyalty (or subscription) program memberships. Good or bad? On the face of it – makes things simpler for the organisation and the member. The dissonance comes with faulty execution.

Two recent examples: 1) Big Basket. BBstar. Membership was to expire. Having got no significant value out of it, had planned not to renew. Got a mail saying membership has been auto-renewed. I thought, ” Wow, nice! They’ve seen the value of my purchases and renewed!”. Till I went for my next purchase on the app and found that my wallet had been debited for the price of membership. Felt disappointed and betrayed. Called the call centre – a really good CCE convinced me to stay on by reiterating the benefits of the program. Now, why didn’t Big Basket do that in the first place when auto-renewing? Why couldn’t they make it transparent and honest?

2) WSJ. Wall Street Journal subscription. Same story. Auto-renewed without overt consent (hidden in t&cs), card debited. No way to cancel online. Only way is to call the wsj helpline in HK/SG! Do they think that by making it difficult, the member will stay on? Is holding a member prisoner better than giving them the choice of exit?