After reading posts about people who have had to beg to be disconnected from AOL, J2, and Sky TV, I saw the following advice:
I’ve worked for a telecommunications company that I would prefer to go unnamed, and I’d like to offer some tips to anyone trying to disconnect a service they no longer want. The biggest tip is to call well outside of normal business hours — in my company, customer service was open 24/7, but the retention department closed in the evening. If you call, say, before bed, or during the middle of the night, you’ll just be talking to a regular CS rep who has no incentive whatsoever to keep you as a customer. It can turn a twenty minute phone call into a two minute phone call.
Second, if you get a rude rep, hang up and call right back. Some reps, especially in commission driven departments like sales and retention, are especially pushy, where as if you call back you might get someone who is right at the end of his shift and just wants to get you off of his phone.
Third, there is one reason for disconnection that will work for almost every service–moving. Tell them you’re moving out of the service area, or moving in with someone who already has the same service, and they should be required to cancel everything for you.
Also, it would be helpful to remember that the representatives in retention are paid to retain you as customers–threatening to record the call, asking for their name or ID, or asking for a supervisor will not do anything. All calls are recorded and the representatives have responses they are required to give for every customer question or complaint. The rep who actually gets in trouble will be the one who disconnects you immediately without trying to retain you, not the one who spends twenty minutes using every tactic in the book the company wrote for him.