Auo-renewal… they’re at it again!

After the aggravation I went through when Webroot wanted to auto-renew my Webroot SpySweeper license, I thought I had said goodbye to all of that. Well now PCTools is on my case to… yes you’ve guessed it, automatically renew my license for Registry Mechanic.

“We hope you’ve enjoyed your subscription to PC Tools Registry Mechanic and trust it has been a valuable tool in protecting your privacy and security in the past year. We’ve made some significant changes to Registry Mechanic in the last 12 months. To read about all the benefits and features available for Registry Mechanic click here. To ensure you have the latest version of Registry Mechanic, click here.

We see from our records that your subscription to Registry Mechanic is due to end on June 22, 2009. Based on your current auto-renewal status, we will renew your subscription to Registry Mechanic using the account information you provided. This is scheduled to occur approximately on June 02, 2009 and there is no further action required on your part.”

Great! However, nowhere in the email does it even mention the fact that I might not want to renew! So off to the website I go, and login to my account. After ten minutes of searching – nothing. The FAQs tell me everything except how to cancel the auto-renewal. Nowhere is there a button or a link labelled ‘Click here if you wish to cancel your auto-renewal’. I mean it would be so simple to do, but I guess they’d rather make it difficult by either leaving details of how to cancel off the website altogether or burying the information so deep you stand little hope of finding it.Closest I got was a page showing me my Registry Mechanic license details, with a promising field labelled ‘Subscription status:’ followed by the words ‘Active – auto renewal set (modify)’ and the word modify was a link… great! Oh… all it does is take me back to the page showing me the license details. Dead end.

As of today – Saturday May 23rd at 15:30 GMT I have posted a ‘general enquiry’ using the form on the PCTools website, asking them to cancel the renewal. Let’s see how this one goes.

So, if you are switching to a Mac, make sure you get on top of any automated renewals for Windows software you’ve purchased in the past because the general approach these companies take seems to be to make it difficult or at least very onerous to cancel. If you are one of said companies, then PLEASE do two things:

  1. Make ‘automated renewal’ an opt-in choice, rather than forcing people to sign up for auto renewal when they buy your software.
  2. Make it clear, easy and straightforward for people who do want to cancel.

Now why do I get the feeling that last plea will fall on deaf ears…?


Hats off to PCTools – they emailed me within 24 hours to confirm that they have cancelled the automated renewal as follows:

After reading your email, I understand that you wish to cancel your automatic renewal for Registry Mechanic.

We have now processed your request to cancel the automatic renewal for your subscription. For your records, your Registry Mechanic subscription is active until 22-Jun-2009.

Please note that you may receive a reminder notice via email towards the end of your subscription period regarding renewals.

Note:  Should you wish to renew your subscription manually, you may do so by following the link below:

If you require further assistance on this specific request, please reply to this email.

Kind Regards,

Sure it would have been nice if there was actually a ‘cancel my subscription’ button somewhere on their website, but at least they responded quickly and I would have no hesitation in recommending them to Windows users who need such software.

3 Responses

  1. I E mailed you the first of january to cancel me, in march I received a bill for $29.95. I tried to call you people, but the number is not listed on my credit card invoice. I also tried to contact you by your watts line,again I hit a brick wall. I am letting you know now I refuse to pay another bill.

  2. I’ve been reading a few posts and genuinely and enjoy your writing. I’m just setting up my own blog and only hope that I can write as well and give the reader so much insight.

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