Terminating SpamArrest – more difficult than you think

Spam Arrest is another one of those clueless companies that make it almost impossible to cancel the automatic renewal of your subscription. Like AOL, you have to search long and hard for a way to terminate your subscription.

I used to use SpamArrest to block the spam that was filling my inbox, but I stopped using it months ago when I realized that their challenge-response system was actually increasing my spam count.

I recently received a cleverly worded email notifying me that my subscription to Spamarrest was going to be automatically renewed:

Dear David,

Your Spam Arrest account is expiring soon.

We will attempt to auto-renew your account in 7 days, using
the credit card on file.

If you do not wish to renew your Spam Arrest account, you
must cancel your account before that time.

To change the credit card on file, or renew your account
immediately, please visit:

https://www.spamarrest.com/members/billing/pay.jsp

Thank You,

Spam Arrest
support@spamarrest.com

Do you see any option to terminate in this email? Do you see a link that can be used to terminate your subscription?

I went to their website and found this after a long search:

In order for your termination to be effective, you must provide notice by completing the "Termination of Service" form found on the Spam Arrest Web site at spamarrest.com. Spam Arrest will cease charging your credit card, if applicable, upon the effective date of the termination.

I searched the SpamArrest site for a "Termination of Service" and found nothing. After an even longer search I found this buried in a Help Section FAQ:

To disable Auto-Renew please see: http://www.spamarrest.com/members/billing/autorenew.jsp

I selected the radio button that will presumably disable their auto renew feature. I say presumably because the selection gives you no feedback. I will be watching my credit card charges to see if SpamArrest attempts to auto renew me.

Things must be pretty bad at SpamArrest if they are resorting to this tired old scam to hang on to customers. I found their service to be cumbersome and essentially self-defeating, because their challenge message signals a spammer that there is a live address here which can be added to the mailing list and sent spam forever.

I now use Gmail which reduces my spam to manageable levels and does not generate messages which cause spammers to contimue sending spam. If you are considering SpamArrest, I suggest you check out alternative solutions.

UPDATE – Success!:

I finally wrote this email using one of the contact forms on the SpamArrest website:

Do not attempt to renew my account.
I wish to terminate my account immediately.
Any attempt to renew my account automatically will result in my blogging this entire transaction on my weblog.

Please confirm in writing that you are terminating my account.

David St Lawrence

I received this reply the next day:

Hello and thank you for writing to Spam Arrest, Your Spam Arrest account has been cancelled. Spam Arrest is no longer downloading and/or filtering your email.
Thank you for using Spam Arrest. We look forward to serving you in the future!

Spam Arrest Support

Live communication accomplishes miracles. SpamArrest should encourage more of it, but at least they responded when I was able to get through to them. Now, if they would only take the next step and allow subscribers to cancel when they wish to.

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