Lois Greene Stone, writer and poet, has been syndicated worldwide. Poetry and personal essays have been included in hard & softcover book anthologies. Collections of her personal items/ photos/ memorabilia are in major museums including twelve different divisions of The Smithsonian. The Smithsonian selected her photo to represent all teens from a specific decade.
‘Popular website, with excellent video how-to’s, can be yours minus those annoying ads; sign up for your free three-months trial!’ The ads are intrusive, and the web-place knows that. Is it because of missed revenue that there’s a fee to users who just want content? I accepted the no-ads examination, but decided, after a few sessions, the upcoming fee just wouldn’t be worth the little time I actually went to that site. Cancelling was so difficult that I had to call my savvy grandson 400 miles away to ‘take over my computer’ and figure out how to unsubscribe. Well, he probably was glad those 365 days of 2020 were over as he possibly cringed whenever he saw a text from me, and automatically pulled out my personal passwords to fix a glitch or my mind-confusion from something on my tablet or smartphone. 2021! Bold, fresh, showing twelve months of little daily-boxes waiting to be filled on the paper calendar that hangs from a cork bulletin board in my kitchen.
Okay. 2020, you are gone. A new year, and anticipation that staying-in-place might be exchanged for going maskless, being with family in person, actually doing my own grocery shopping, had me wanting to subscribe to 2021 with its thirty-day free trial. I checked ‘yes’ on January 1st. Oh, it is a 31-day month. Well, as these first thirty days of calendar pages are being tossed in the trash, it seems not too much is quickly going back to the former-normal, so I sent an email saying I’d like to cancel my subscription to 2021. I think the look of 2022 has a nicer presentation, and I’m certainly not going to void 2021 but just not be a paying subscriber.
Trying to annul 2021 turns out to be worse than the website that offered much but made it hard to cease being a participant. My inbox reply said:
“Dear Sir or Madam: While I received your request to cancel your subscription to 2021, due to high volume we are experiencing long waits and we cannot begin to even process your request until December. We know this is inconvenient, but so many wanted the free trial that our computers just couldn’t handle the overload. And, of course, we are short-staffed, due to the pandemic, although our operators do work out of their own homes. I realize you think a press of a computer key could initiate the process, but we outsource and the overseas operator is still learning how to do this in English, the language you requested; our employed operators in other parts of the world are undergoing training in reversing the subscription orders, which is very confusing to them. They’ve been trained to Process and not Reverse.
Bear with us for all these upcoming months; it’s possible you even might find that you actually begin to enjoy 2021 and be pleased that you are already a subscriber. Of course you realize that, after your thirty-day free trial, you will be automatically billed while your subscription is active; I assume you read the fine print offered in six different languages. Thank you for being a customer and allowing us to take our monthly fee from your bank account, which you provided in case you enjoyed your free trial. Once, in December, or so, when we’ve reduced our high volume waits, we will notify you that your subscription and payment has ended.”