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What You Can Learn from how Costco and Consumer Reports Deal With Quitters

I’ve been simplifying my life, which included a cancellation binge. I cancelled my Consumer Reports subscription, and allowed my Costco membership to lapse.

Deafening Silence

Costco logoI was puzzled that Costco never made any effort to find out why I was no longer a member, and never even acknowledged my departure as a customer. Their emails kept coming, and when I unsubscribed from those there was again a deafening silence.

My experience with Consumer Reports was completely the opposite. I unsubscribed online and was immediately surveyed as to why I was leaving, how they could do better, and whether I’d consider coming back. They even asked if I’d be interested in joining a focus group with fellow ex-subscribers.

Though Costco’s email system asked me to click one or more boxes as to why I was opting-out of receiving future emails, there was still no reaction or follow-up when I clicked the box to indicate that I was no longer a member.

The Mystery Check

I was puzzled to receive a dividend check from Costco a few months after I allowed my membership to lapse. Oddly, the letter it was attached-to indicated that I’d downgraded my membership rather than having left. I wasn’t aware I had any Costco membership anymore, and started to wonder whether they had charged me for another year. I called Costco to verify that my account was closed. The friendly customer service person on the other side confirmed I was no longer a member, concurred the letter was confusing, and again didn’t make any effort to find out why I’d left.

As Christmas rolled around, I half expected a letter in the mail offering me half-off on a 55 gallon drum of Miracle Whip – or something more fitting for gift-giving. Still nothing.

Quitters – A Missed Opportunity

Does your organization check with departing customers to find out why they’re leaving? Why or why not?

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