Let’s face it, some of us are so busy these days – with pandemics and presidential elections and attempts to overthrow the government – that we don’t pay enough attention to what we subscribe to (and pay for). Especially with more and more streaming services competing for our attention, it’s easy to go for a trial subscription, or decide to subscribe ‘for a few months’ and then forget about it altogether. In the meantime, your charge card is pinged every month.
For example, Matthew Inman, the artist who makes comics site The Oatmeal, recently reported (to his obvious annoyance) that he̵
Today Netflix was kind enough to let me know that I accidentally paid for a DVD subscription for THIRTEEN FUCKING YEARS.
Since then I have been renting imaginary DVDs
George Bush was president.
The lesson here: keep an eye on your subscriptions. And vote Obama 2008. pic.twitter.com/iNtpuKzkdD
– The Oatmeal (@Oatmeal) January 12, 2021
(For our younger readers, yes, Netflix started out as a DVD rental service and then moved on to the streaming service it is today.)
So it might be a good idea, especially if your income is a bit tight, to check your current streaming subscriptions and drop the ones you haven’t used for several months. (After all, unless you got a particularly good deal – and that’s happening less and less these days – you can always come back again if there’s something on the service you want to check out.)
One thing to be aware of: During the process of canceling a streaming service, you may have to go through several pages or popups urging you not to cancel or at least settle for a cheaper (and usually less) full of features) version of the service. According to the BBC, several lawsuits from organizations such as The Norwegian Consumer Council and Public Citizen in the US even claim that Amazon Prime’s cancellation process is manipulating consumers to keep their subscriptions. So be prepared.
This is where you can go to cancel some of the more popular streaming services.
You can find your current subscription status with Netflix by clicking your personal icon in the top right corner and choosing ‘Account’. The second section should be “Plan Details”, and not only will you be able to change your plan, but you will immediately see if you have a live DVD plan.
If you want to leave the service completely, there is a ‘Cancel Membership’ button on the left in the ‘Membership and Billing’ section. ”
If you are a monthly member of Amazon Prime and decide you want to cancel, you can go to this page and click the “End Membership” button.
On the other hand, if you paid for an annual membership, you can only cancel within three days of registration. You can also cancel that paid annual membership if you’ve just switched from a free trial or “ if you and your account haven’t made any eligible purchases or taken advantage of Prime benefits since your last Prime membership cost ” (with other words, if you’ve never used any of your Prime benefits since you paid for it).
If you want to close your Amazon account completely and delete all your data, then go to this page.
HBO Max can be subscribed on its own or through a number of different providers such as the Apple App Store, Google Play, Roku, and a lot of others. The best way to find out how to drop the service is to visit HBO’s help page about canceling your subscription or trial and click the appropriate link for directions.
According to HBO, you should try to cancel one or two days before your billing cycle renews, and if you cancel mid-month, you will still have access to HBO Max until the month is up.
Apple TV Plus
As with HBO Max, your Apple TV Plus subscription is usable until the end of the billing cycle, even after you cancel it.
You can find instructions on how to cancel your Apple subscriptions here. In brief:
- To cancel on your Mac, go to the App Store, click your name (bottom of page), then “View Information” (top). Go to ‘Subscriptions’> ‘Manage’. Click on ‘Edit’ next to the subscription you want to cancel and select ‘Cancel subscription’.
- On an iPhone or iPad, go to ‘Settings’, select your name and then ‘Subscriptions’. Select the subscription you want to leave and tap Cancel subscription.
Like Apple TV Plus and HBO Max, your canceled subscription will run until the end of your billing cycle.
Hulu provides cancellation instructions here. Since chances are, like HBO Max, you signed up through a third party like Amazon, Verizon or Sprint, there are several links on the page where you can get specific instructions.
Interestingly, you can cancel or pause your YouTube TV subscription (links for both processes are on the same page). Taking breaks is a good option if for some reason (vacation, work project, temporary financial difficulties) you don’t want to use the subscription between four weeks and six months. You cannot use the service to watch or record during that time, but your already recorded content will be saved. Once the break is over (either via a pre-selected date or if you manually end the break), your billing will restart.
If you want to leave YouTube TV entirely, select ‘Cancel now’ on that same page. You still have service until the end of your payment period; then you have another 21 days to watch the recorded shows in your library.
To cancel your Disney Plus subscription on the website, go to your profile icon in the top right corner and then click on ‘Account’. Find your subscription level under the subhead ‘Subscription’, click on it and scroll down to ‘Cancel subscription’. As with most other services, you can still access Disney Plus until the end of your billing cycle.
Keep in mind that canceling Disney Plus TV will not cancel your general Disney account.
ESPN Plus is another of those services available from a number of third-party sources such as Roku, Amazon, Apple Pay, and iTunes.
If you subscribed directly over the Internet and want to cancel your subscription, log in and select ‘Manage’> ‘Cancel subscription’. Otherwise, if you signed up through any of the services listed above, it’s best to visit this page, which provides links to all the ways you can cancel depending on how you originally signed up.