I’m finding that one good measure of a company or service is how easily they’ll let you quit.
If they’re a great company, they make it easy to leave because they’re confident you’ll stick around.
If they’re a bad company, they’ll create and enforce terms to force you to stick with them whether you want to or not.
Gyms are a famous example of this, as humorized by “Friends” years ago:
Gyms make it as easy as possible to join, as they should, but then it’s much more difficult to quit. Related, gyms don’t want people to come and work out, they just want them to sign up and stay home. On the Retire by 40 blog, they say:
Gyms have way more members that they can accommodate. Planet Fitness, a gym on the show, has 6,500 members and the space can accommodate a few hundred at best. Half of the members never step in the door and most of the rest don’t show up very often. If everyone shows up then the cost of maintaining the gym would shoot way up. Equipment will need a lot more cleaning and maintenance. They’d need a lot more space as well. Gyms count on their members not to show up.
I remember when I tried to close my AOL account years ago, they made it exceptionally difficult to cancel. I kind of can’t blame them, as they had no real future, but it still wasn’t much fun.
I see similar with web hosting. Company like GoDaddy, that generally aren’t the best for hosting your website, lock you into years-long contracts so you can’t leave. More reputable hosts, like WP Engine, allow you to leave whenever you want. If you’ve hosted with either of those two before, though, you know that WP Engine is a place that you’ll choose to stay and GoDaddy is the kind that you want to leave.
At our agency, we try to stay firmly in the “easy to leave” space, and then work very hard so that our clients want to stick around for years. We don’t host client websites on our server, we don’t have term lengths on our marketing contracts, and we train clients on how to use their own website. We’re super easy to leave, but we do everything we can to make it so people never want to leave.
Does your company work to trap clients so they can’t leave? When I see that kind of behavior, it makes me question if it’s worth doing business with that kind of company in the first place.