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Posted by: stak
Posted on: 2006-12-16 11:14:53

so recently (by recently, i mean over a month ago) i decided to go through my list of online accounts and close as many of them as i possibly could. i have accounts on all sorts of random things like the Intel Developer Network (from a random TopCoder SRM where they were giving away free laptops to randomly selected members) and E-fax (from back in the day when you could get a free one with a Yahoo! mail account).

anyway, so i went through my list, and decided to close down/deactivate anything i wasn't using. for some of the sites, there was an easy-to-find link somewhere in the account options or FAQ to close down the account, but for most of them, no such luck. in those cases, i dug around for a support form or e-mail address and requested my account to be deleted. a randomly selected sample of the more interesting ones:

  • E-fax had some sort of complicated support website with frames and java and javascript that didn't work properly in any of the 4 browsers I tried (including firefox), so I'm not sure if my request actually got through.
  • the forum flatly refused to delete the account. the best i could do was was empty all the "personal info" fields, and change the email address to one i use for spam (i still had to verify the email change).
  • Lycos/Tripod processed the request, but then created a new "support" account (independent of the original account) which i could use to monitor the original request. of course, they didn't bother telling me the username/password of the support account, so there's no way i can actually monitor the request.
  • the Intel Developer Network redirected me to a different support department, which then redirected me to a third support department, which finally did close my account. the thing that annoyed me about this one was in their reply, they just gave me the email address of the next department to contact, instead of just forwarding my request on themselves. basically all i did was hit the forward button on the reply i got and enter the new email address.
  • and finally, (and this is the one that prompted me to blog this), i just heard back from they claim that you'll receive a reply in two (2) business days, but they took twenty-two (22) business days to get back to me. their reply? "We are unable to cancel your account, however we will close the account if it is not being used for a period of time." almost amusing, considering i haven't used the account for at least 4 years.

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