I used to pay a
monthly subscription fee to "Hand & Stone," a massage spa. That
monthly fee covered one massage per month, and possibly other discounts that I
never took advantage of.
Some months ago, I
cancelled my subscription since daily foam rolling eliminated my need for a
monthly massage. I had a lengthy conversation about this cancellation over the
telephone. This is to be expected, since the whole grift with subscription
services is that they want to keep you holding on to your subscription, no
matter what. After having settled the matter, though, we hung up the phone. As
far as subscription cancellations go, it was a pleasant conversation, and I
thought I'd heard the last of it.
The other day,
however, some three or four months later, I received a message asking me to
"update the credit card on my account."
I called them back,
and the manager answered the phone. When I explained that I had already
cancelled my account, and that there would be no need to update my credit card
or charge me again, she told me that she had no record of my cancellation.
Fine, I thought. That's just a misunderstanding. So I explained again that I
had cancelled my subscription, and she explained again that she didn't have
record of it.
Then she told me
that if I didn't update my credit card, I would be sent to collections.
Upon hearing this
last part, I had to interrupt her to verify what she had told me. I asked her
to confirm my understanding of the situation: That "Hand & Stone"
would continue to charge my credit card even though I had cancelled my account,
and that if I didn't pay them I would be sent to a collections agency. She
confirmed that this was correct.
At that point, I
told her, "Since you don't have a valid credit card on file, and I believe
I cancelled my account, why don't you just not
She told me the
reason was that she didn't have a record of it.
It is truly a
bewildering thing to behold a world in which you can verbally state to people
that you no longer wish to do business with a person -- a world in which a
person is incapable of doing business with you, because they do not have a
reliable way to charge you any money -- a world in which no actual services are
being rendered because you have not entered the business establishment to
collect those services -- and yet that person will nonetheless claim that they
are incapable of not charging you money,
incapable of not sending you to collections,
because they didn't update their records.
When did this happen
to human beings? When did we become so tied to paperwork that all action is
impossible without it?