I'm getting fed up with Sam's Club. For those not familiar, it's a warehouse store that you pay an annual membership in order to be able to shop there. There's no long term contracts or anything; if you let your membership lapse you can't shop there until you renew it.
Well, my 12 month membership expires in March. I honestly haven't used it too much, and I can get most stuff cheaper by shopping sales. I've decided not to renew, but I am going to continue using it for the 12 months I've already paid for (my favorite bread is seriously cheap there). The annoyance is that once your membership is 45 days from expiring Sam's starts the pressure to renew. By pressure, I mean automatically adding it to your order without asking. I'm lucky I noticed, honestly. Since Sam's is a warehouse store, you buy in bulk and it's not uncommon for me to end up spending $100-150 in a trip. Between my acceptance of a high total, not being the best about keeping more than a general idea of what's in the cart, and the 3 kids who start acting like insane, over caffeinated squirrel monkeys once we get to the check out, it would have been very easy for me to not notice the charge. Luckily the first time it came up I had run in for literally one thing and I got quite the sticker shock. I asked how that price was possible, and the cashier told me that my membership renewal was added on. When I told him I didn't want to renew (which was a bit awkward for me personally. I would rather just let the membership quietly lapse as opposed to having to tell the employee every time that I don't care to shop there anymore), he couldn't just take it off. He had to call a supervisor over to remove the charge.
The next time I went in I told the cashier I wasn't renewing today, but it was put on again. And again the supervisor had to come over and take it off. It's a hassle and a pain at this point, and I was actually considering just ending my membership that day and seeing if they'll give me a prorated refund for the last month. This is all going through my head while I waited for the supervisor to come over. The supervisor asked the cashier what she needed, cashier told her I wanted the renewal taken off, and that's when Supervisor seriously annoyed me. She looked at me and explained, as if I were just a bit dense, that they bill---they BILL--45 days out to avoid any interruption in service, and that it was going to keep popping up until I took care of it. That really grates my cheese. This isn't a "bill". I don't owe Sam's Club a dang thing! I've paid for my 12 months, that's all I want. I'm doing a poor job of explaining, but her tone was really one of "well you need to pay it, this isn't just going to go away. You need to live up to your obligations." Now, if this was the electric company, I could see them getting firm with someone who wasn't paying for their service. If I was under contract, like with the phone company, I could see them making sure I pay on time. But this is a voluntary prepaid account. I have no obligation to renew, I have no need to be scolded like an irresponsible deadbeat.
If Sam's simply offered the option of renewing, or if the cashier pointed out that my membership was about to expire, I would have absolutely no problem with that. Honestly, I would view that as good customer service. It's just the way they're doing it that makes me see red.