The Times Online Paywall: How To Cancel Subscriptions

Last year, The Times & The Sunday Times introduced a paywall.

Buried in the small print is a nasty surprise. You can’t cancel your subscription without six business days between your request and the rebill.

That means eight full days notice in a typical week in order to cancel a 30 day subscription.

Not good enough.

When I tried to cancel my Times Plus subscription, the customer service rep told me I had to pay for another month first. Au contraire – more on that in a moment.

Missed what you agreed to? That’ll be because the clause in question is buried five pages deep in their 8,000+ words of terms and conditions.

Nowhere on Times Plus could I find any mention of updating billing/cancellations etc.

How to Cancel Times Plus

The good news is that The Times use the Direct Debit scheme to handle subscription payments.

Direct Debits are regulated and covered by the Direct Debit Guarantee.

In short: you can cancel any time by contacting your bank, and they are obliged to help you sort the mess out – even if The Times refuse to help.

So to avoid the rebill, just call your bank & request that the Direct Debit is cancelled their end.

They may ask you to contact the Times first, but if you explain the issue they are able to cancel without their agreement.

Here’s What The Times Say…

Dear Richard,

Thank you for your email. Once you have an active subscription, simply email us and let us know you wish to cancel the direct debit and we will action this for you.

However, please note we will only cancel the next direct debit if there is a gap of 6 Business days between request to cancel and request for next payment. If the next payment due is WITHIN 6 Business days, then we can only cancel the direct debit after the next payment has been taken.

This is as per our Terms and Conditions:

27.4 To cancel your subscription you must either email us at help@timesplus.co.uk or write to us at Customer Liaison, News International Limited, I Virginia Street, London, E98 1RL. You may cancel your subscription or registration at any time however except as specified in clause 27.3 above:
a) no refunds will be made in respect of your subscription or registration payments; and
b) payment of your next monthly subscription or registration payment shall be taken and not refunded where we receive your notice of cancellation less than six Business Days prior to the due date of payment of that monthly subscription or registration payment.

These can be found by clicking on the following link:

http://www.timesplus.co.uk/welcome/tp_terms.htm

Kind Regards

John Gill
Times+ Customer Services

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