Saturday, March 23, 2019

Apple Subscriptions - Fixing a Hostile Consumer Experience

I know Apple cares about my experience as a customer beyond just the UX of an app or the physical design of a device or even the packaging. It's this care about me, my privacy, me experience that keeps me as such a loyal fanboy.
I have been posting a lot on LinkedIn these days and LinkedIn extended an offer for a free trial of LinkedIn Premium. The offer said, “After your one month trial, we will automatically charge you….” I figured I wouldn’t do it. It seemed obvious it was going to require my credit card and then the only way I could cancel would be to call them. That is the standard, user-hostile approach to subscription retention. Even in my teenage years, as someone who DESPISED calling on the phone, I was able to work up the courage from time-to-time to do the free AOL trial and then end the month with the 20 minute phone call to cancel.
For the LinkedIn offer I curiously tapped and saw that it was an App Store subscription. “Oh, done!” I thought. For an App Store subscription I don’t have provide LinkedIn my credit card. I was able to do the subscription, and then immediately after the trial started I could cancel the subscription with Apple without ever having to call anyone. I get to experience this trial and I have 100% faith that I’m not going to get charged because I forget to cancel later. Thanks Apple! Love it.
It's an example Apple at it's greatest. Find a bad user experience, in the case a very common hostile user experience, and banish it. You want to play in the App Store ecosystem of subscriptions then you have to play fair with your consumers.