There was a death in the family recently.
At least that’s what I told the New York Times. See, you can’t just cancel your subscription to the Times, you have to “chat” online with a representative on why you decided to cancel.
Rather than tell them the real reason — that they had more than doubled the subscription rate compared to what I was paying, and that I found that most of the stories were too long, I told them that there was a death in the family.
This particular death, I lied, was horrible and noteworthy and that it had actual been the deceased’s account, not mine, that I was canceling.
“I’m very sorry to hear that,” they replied when I told them my uncle Randy had accidentally backed up to take a picture in Glacier National Park and had fallen into a crevasse, where a sharp rock had split his head completely in two and then he drowned, held upside down by his own safety rope as water rushed over his head.
“I’m closing the account on his behalf,” I said. “Randy really enjoyed reading the Times. It’s a very difficult situation for the family around the holidays.”
Then I asked for a refund.
The answer was yes, right away.
No one likes to argue with the grieving.
Now I know some may see this as unethical or downright fraudulent, but believe me, it works. I mean, the last time I tried to cancel something without the death excuse it was a chore and sharp words were exchanged over the phone.
It was over Dish TV.
The guy kept pestering me about what I didn’t like about the service and I finally had to tell him to shut it off or I was going to unbolt the lousy satellite dish from the house and personally walk to his office in Nebraska or wherever and throw it through the window.
The problem with the Dish is that I was paying more for tevee every month than I was for groceries, which didn’t seem quite right in the greater scheme of things.
Sure, I like ESPN as much as the other guy, but I don’t like it more than say, Fat Boys, which, like their name implies, are very good chunky ice cream sandwiches.
The problem with the Dish is that the actual dish is still bolted to the side of the house. I suppose I should take it down and throw it out. Without the electronic guts it’s pretty much worthless. If Uncle Randy knew that, he’d be fuming.
Chris Peterson is the editor of the Hungry Horse News.