Here is Microsoft’s new business model. Make it so damned difficult to cancel your windows phone dev account subscription, that you will just give up trying and pay as the easy route out.
Very sad that it has come to this. Usually I would not approach an open forum such as my site for such issues, but the sad state of their affairs leaves me with no choice.
Here is the issue, last year, I opened a WPDev account, for which you have to pay.
Seeing that its been a year, I haven’t submitted anything, I didn’t want to renew my account and pay the fee. I guess if I ever write a WP app, I will reopen the subscription.
Sounds about right huh? fair?
So, what would you expect? Login to your account, find the subscription, hit cancel! Right?
No not really!
First of all, I challenge you to find the right place to login. Is it the windows store? windows phone store? No, not really. You go to dev.windowsphone.com.
Okay, no big deal, a quick Google search, and I was there. Logged in. I see 5 options there, Design/Develop/Publish/Community/Dashboard.
Hmm .. click click click .. maybe its dashboard? Under Dashboard, I see 3 options, Apps, Reports, Account.
AHA! Must be account. Click on account (is that even clickable, Bad UI, they must hire professionals to make these sites hard to use).
What do I see under account? Account Info, Tax Profile, Ad Network, Payment account, Contact Info.
Well .. where is the cancel subscription link?
Feeling helpless! I clicked around this whole damn portal (I do have better things to do), can’t find the option to cancel my account.
So I Google for “how to delete windows phone developer account”. Completely useless. I’ve been at this for about 1/2 an hour now. Yeah I tried bing too. Save the snarky comments fanboys.
So I click on the “Community” link in the dev.windowsphone.com site. And I see that I’m not alone. Seriously, have a look.
etc. etc. etc.
I cannot believe, a company that makes technology solutions for the entire world, can’t figure out how to give a simple CANCEL SUBSCRIPTION button. For God’s sake EVEN COMCAST has such an option.
So they say, contact support. I can’t believe this, but it looks like my only choice.
So I contacted support. Sent a couple of emails, no response. Tried chatting, couldn’t find the right category.
There is a Windows Phone category, but its more tech support for your phone – NOT about cancelling your Windows Phone developer account.
Anyway, I did find someone to chat with. Here is the chat transcript, he is just as clueless as me. To be fair, he did try to help. He just doesn’t know WTF to do .. like me. Unfortunately, it’s my credit card on file, not his.
Here is the full chat transcript, you be the judge,
You are now chatting with 'Andrew C'.
Sahil: Hi Andrew
Andrew C: Thank you for contacting Microsoft Billing Support my name is Andrew, am i speaking with Sahil?
Sahil: Yes I am Sahil
Andrew C: Sahil, i see you would like to cancel you account. correct?
Sahil: Okay I am trying to do something very simple, but can't seem to figure it out easily enough from your various websites/portals. I would like to not renew my "Windows Phone ISV Annual Subscription" subscription.
Sahil: Yes - I would like to cancel that subscription (not autorenew it or cancel, whicever is easier).
Andrew C: As i only support the billing for Office 365 & Windows 8 application purchases threw the Marketplace on the computer i believe you would need to speak with Windows Phone support.
Andrew C: I will do my best to support you though.
Sahil: There is no option online to contact Windows Phone support
Andrew C: Are you able to sign into commerce.microsoft.com?
Sahil: let me try
Andrew C: Ok
Sahil: okay signed in .. where do I go from there?
Andrew C: Do you see "subscriptions?"
Sahil: I do .. clicked onit
Sahil: I see the following, manage view history contact support
Sahil: Windows Phone ISV Annual Subscription
Sahil: Description: The annual Windows Phone Dev Center subscription is USD 19 (plus applicable taxes). It will automatically renew after one year.
Sahil: I don't see an option to cancel it ..
Andrew C: To tell you the truth i have never heard of "Windows Phone ISV" as a subscription, let me check something for you.
Sahil: Okay thanks
Andrew C: https://login.live.com/login.srf?wa=wsignin1.0&rpsnv=11&ct=1381008554&rver=6.2.6289.0&wp=MBI_SSL&wreply=https:%2F%2Fdev.windowsphone.com%2Fwlid%2Fredirect.aspx%3Furl%3D%252fen-us%252fdashboard&lc=1033&id=284362
Andrew C: log in there please
Sahil: logged in
Andrew C: That says it for the "Dev Center dashboard."
Sahil: It says "Dashboard"
Sahil: Windows Phone | Dev Center at the top .. and Dashboard below it
Andrew C: Hm
Andrew C: Im gonna check something else.
Andrew C: One moment
Andrew C: On the dev website i see here it should give you the option to turn off the renewal at commerce.microsoft.com
Andrew C: If it doest you will need to contact developer support
Sahil: Okay I'm on the dashboard .. where do I go to see the turn off renewal ?
Sahil: I am contacting support right now .. UGH!!
Sahil: Who are you? Aren't you support?
Andrew C: Billing support for Office 365 & App purchases threw the PC.
Andrew C: Contact them at this link
Andrew C: https://getsupport.microsoft.com/default.aspx?supporttopic_L1=32136142&locale=EN-US&supportregion=EN-US&ccfcode=US&mkt=EN-US&pesid=14879&oaspworkflow=start_188.8.131.52&tenant=store&scrx=1&ccsid=635165804795467374
Sahil: Why in the world would you put Windows Phone support under Office 365 & App purchases through the PC???
Sahil: Okay I went to the link you suggested ..
Sahil: I see two dropdowns ..
Sahil: Problem Type
Sahil: and Category
Sahil: What do I pick?
Andrew C: Choose registration and your account for problem and renewing for category.
Sahil: I see 3 choices there
Sahil: Forums (which I've tried)
Sahil: start Email (which I've tried)
Sahil: and Chat with Microsoft - that button is disabled.
Andrew C: They are only open M-F for chat
Sahil: Okay I've sent them an email then ..
Andrew C: Did they respond to your email?
Andrew C: When was it sent?
Sahil: Earlier today
Andrew C: It does take 24 business hours.
Sahil: Okay well, why isn't there just a simple cancel button?
Sahil: This is robbery, charging people's credit cards without giving them an option to cancel
Sahil: Downright dishonest, I do not want this subscription, why not let me cancel it?
Andrew C: Like i said the website shows there should be one at commerce.microsoft.com
Sahil: No there isn't
Sahil: I am not the only one running into this, see this -http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/forums/en-us/08c602cd-c861-4ab2-9833-25754c7eb3ca/cancel-windows-phone-isv-annual-subscription-not-working?forum=wpregister
Sahil: There is NO OPTION ONLINE TO CANCEL IT!
Sahil: And support is not very helpful either (read through that thread)
Andrew C: Being i dont even support the Windows Phone i had to look thru the website like a consumer.
Sahil: Understood, anyway, I think you've tried your best to help me out .. the problem is with the system.
Andrew C: I would agree.
Sahil: So, not sure how much further you can help me out here .. I've sent them an email, I will wait for them to respond
Sahil: and hope and pray that they dont' renew my account.
Sahil: This is absolutely ridiculous frankly
Andrew C: Let the email agent know about it when they respond.
Sahil: If you are able to, you should raise it to someone internally. This is ABSURD
Andrew C: Like i said my department doesnt support these types of subscriptions but i will defiantly do so anyway.
Andrew C: Any other questions or concerns?
Sahil: Not really, concerns yes, but .. I'll wait for the email. Thanks for your help.
Andrew C: To end your chat session please click the above the chat window. If you have any additional questions after you disconnect, feel free to contact us again. Thank you for contacting Microsoft Billing Support.
WHAT THE HELL!?
Let me show you how your competition does it Microsoft.
Note that for an account that I AM PAYING FOR, why should it be so incredibly difficult to say “Hey my 1 year term is over, I wish to not continue”.
Microsoft, this is where you are screwing up. You don’t have things in order, you are pissing your customers off, you are pissing off your most loyal developers.
Wake up and smell the shit, you’re waist deep in it.