Category Archives: Business

Gotcha Cancellation Policy

I recently canceled my account with Vonage and on behalf of Space Shot canceled our contract with Custom Weather upon switching to AccuWeather which is free. It took about fifteen minutes to navigate all of the extra offers that Vonage wanted to make me to try to retain me. It may be good short-term business, but I felt their hard-sell tactics alienate me. I draw the line if an organization asks me “are you sure?” after I have already said I don’t want something, I complain to their customer service for being rude. They may be retaining a few extra customers, but I’ll remember how long it took to cancel the service and be less likely to buy again given the “exit tax”. These last few customers seem sub prime.

Space Shot also canceled its contract with Custom Weather. What do you think this term in my contract with them says?

…this Agreement will continue for further successive one year periods until it is terminated by either party giving to the other not less than 90 days written notice prior to the end of the initial one year period or on any subsequent anniversary of the Effective Date…

I think it means Space Shot can cancel with no notice on its second and subsequent anniversary with no notice. Space Shot also requested early termination of the current year contract which is in no way prohibited and a refund which is also consistent with policy as reported in the contract. Not acknowledged.

Custom Weather CEO, Geoff Flint wrote me:

I apologize if our lawyers did not make that clause clear enough since the “or” that you refer to is associated with the last verb which was “giving” in the clause “giving to the other not less than 90 days written notice.”

Continue reading Gotcha Cancellation Policy


Here’s evidence that my skepticism about rebates is warranted:

I am staring at more than 1,300 rebate requests sent to Vastech on Bonaventura Drive in San Jose. The envelopes were tossed – unopened – into a garbage dumpster near Vastech. I have two boxes of envelopes that were thrown out without being processed. In all of my years of reporting, I have never encountered such outrageous behavior against consumers.

An employee of nearby Dominion Enterprises found the letters, along with hundreds of others addressed to Vastech, at his company’s dumpster. He turned them over to his boss, Joel Schwartz, who gave them to me. All of the letters were addressed to UR-04 Rebate or some variation of the product name at the Vastech address.

The problem is that it’s no skin off Fry’s or Best Buy’s nose if people don’t get their rebates. They just claim that it’s up to the manufacturer. So the fraud will continue. And I’ll continue to ignore the rebates.