A rolling contract suggests convenience and less work for customers in terms of keeping track of end dates. However, this appearance of convenience can lead to one big headache when it comes to a customer wanting to leave. Which is why it’s important to read your contract thoroughly. 

Here at PBS Creative, we believe that if you’re happy with our service then you’ll stay! If for some reason, you did choose to leave us, then you’re free to do so. Unfortunately, we know this is not such a simple process in other companies.

Why they can be frustrating

In our industry, several internet service providers don’t think the same way we do. In fact, they do the opposite by making it harder for customers to leave. This is practiced through their business models in which they collate a large number of customers and bind them into contracts which can be restrictive. Trying to leave these contracts can be tricky and frustrating if customers don’t read the small legal print. 

A common way in which customers can be fooled is by a hidden caveat that states the customer must give a specific period of notice before the renewal date. This can be any period between 3 months up to 12! 

So, if this information is overlooked, the customer is stuck in a rolling contract (usually without notification of a renewal option) potentially for another year.

Some people in the industry defend the rolling contract as a professional and corporate contract. But at PBS Creative, we think it’s an underhanded sales tactic that will essentially lead to a negative customer experience and a poor impression of your company – which is hard to bounce back from.

A lesson learned

The most frustrating example of this we have witnessed was by an American company who are a major Content Delivery Network service provider. Our client signed up to an annual contract with the company with monthly payments and a minimal bandwidth usage commitment. 

After some months of use the client site was not close to using the bandwidth the provider had suggested they subscribe to, but they were not allowed to reduce this cost as it was agreed for 12-months. They put it down to a lesson learned and decided to reduce it at the end of the period. 

During this time, we found other providers who could supply a similar service at a lower price with no commitment. It was decided that they would cancel their existing service and save a substantial amount of money. 

However, one month before the renewal when the client contacted the provider to request cancellation – they were told cancellation was not possible. The reason being that they needed to give three months notification before the renewal date!

There are of course instances where this type of contract makes sense; the provider has to make an annual commitment to an upstream provider for example. But in our experience, this is extremely rare in this industry. In this example, there were no obvious reasons for restrictions as setup costs were minimal and it was a self-managed service.

What can be done?

  • Always read the small print

  • Shop around for providers

  • Don’t assume they will notify you before renewal - set your own reminders

The PBS Creative way

We’ve yet to lose a client through any fault of our own, but if you feel it’s time to say goodbye, we won’t hold any hard feelings. Neither will we try and retain you through complicated restrictions.

Here at PBS Creative, we don’t use providers who require commitment for longer than a month and preferably with no notification period. Instead of trying to “trap” clients in order to retain them, we provide them with fantastic service so that they want to stay!