Have you ever wondered how to cancel The New York Times subscription? This isn't as easy as you may think.
The New York Times uses the "Roach Motel" dark pattern by making the subscription process straightforward but making the cancellation process more cumbersome and difficult.
This approach is "successful" in retaining customers but is manipulative and disrespectful to the customer.
On the promotional page, The New York Times states, "No commitment required. Cancel anytime," but it is misleading as the only way to cancel the subscription is by following the link "Terms of sale" policy, which can be found below the title.
This is a clear example of how The New York Times uses dark patterns to deceive customers.
The "Terms of sale" policy states that customers must "change or cancel your digital subscription at any time by calling Customer Care." This is a classic example of the "Roach Motel" dark pattern, where it is easy to subscribe but much more difficult to cancel.
The requirement to call and wait for a customer representative to assist with cancellation is a deliberate design choice meant to make it harder for customers to unsubscribe and increase retention numbers.
But this approach is unethical as it violates the customer's right to cancel the subscription easily and will only be effective in the short term. If a company offers an online subscription process, it should also provide an easy and accessible process for cancellation.