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Leaving Classmates.com
Ed Kohler
It's never easy to watch people leave a service you've created online. Surely, it's worth trying to figure out why people have decided to leave so you can try to serve remaining users better and potential win back those who've left. But that doesn't justifying requiring people leaving your service to explain why they're leaving:
Classmates.com Removal
Find a better way to gather then information you need to make your service valuable.



Comments

1. Posted by: Patrick on May 2, 2009 1:13 PM:

I can't understand how Classmates.com is still around with Facebook. I signed up for the free version of Classmates (which really does nothing but tease you) I have rekindled more classmate connections from high school and college. They may be 3 or 4 people from classmates.com who have looked at my profile but I'm not about to pay them any money to know who it is. I know one of them is already active on Facebook, Twitter and Myspace. I plan on going to classmates.com right not and stopping free account. No sense in getting teased any longer. Who has time for that. Facebook should look into buying classmates.com and put them out of their misery.




2. Posted by: Justin Chen on May 2, 2009 5:39 PM:

I like how they have the option of "too many email messages received". Basically they know they spam and people have complained about it, but they just want to see if that's why you're leaving.




3. Posted by: robert beasley on May 6, 2009 7:23 AM:

wrong person, never had account and it will not stop




4. Posted by: Greg Swan on May 11, 2009 10:08 PM:

I signed up for Classmates around 2000 when it was still free and posted, "Greg passed away on December 5th, 2000" as a joke. I thought it was funny at the time and still kind of do -- anyone who really knows me from high school can pretty easily find me on Facebook. Otherwise, I'm fine with them thinking I'm dead.

From what I understand, I would have to pay to be able to change it, so I'm fine with being technically dead on Classmates.




5. Posted by: steve jenings on May 13, 2009 2:56 AM:

Yes always good to get feedback to modify your products.




6. Posted by: Sandy on May 22, 2009 7:58 PM:

First you need to read "Who Moved My Cheese" because your cheese has clearly moved. Then you need to get on Facebook and check out your competition. Once you understand Facebook you can play on their weakness and create something superior and survive and once again dominate. Also, it wouldn't hurt for you to check out Twitter and myspace. If you aren't familar with these sites I suggest you google them.




7. Posted by: Phoenix advertising agency on May 26, 2009 6:38 PM:

feedback can never be a bad idea




8. Posted by: techhairball on June 3, 2009 3:56 PM:

Feedback is always appreciated and never a bad idea.




9. Posted by: Gabe on June 8, 2009 1:43 PM:

It's a bit old now, But the Onion nailed it.




10. Posted by: Sarah on June 15, 2009 1:28 AM:

For me, the reason is "others" and by others , i mean, i am fed up of online communities!




11. Posted by: Sarah on June 15, 2009 1:32 AM:

For me, the reason is "others" and by others , i mean, i am fed up of online communities!




12. Posted by: Bruce on June 22, 2009 1:52 PM:

I have had to cancel this three years running and the assholes still bill me year after year. This is a great scam for the pepole who run it // try calling their 206-301-5900 number and you get a "to busy to do anything"and go to their internet address // only problem is if you are not a member and have no password you can't get online to complain!! // THE 206 NUMBER HAS NO ROUTING TO AN OPERATOR OR HELP DEPARTMENT // same with United which owns this joke.




13. Posted by: Scott on July 7, 2009 10:41 AM:

I enjoyed your blog post about leaving classmates.com, but I haven't seen a spec of new content since. Did you leave Technology Evangelist at the same time? Your RSS feed is taking up real estate on my iGoogle, I'm about to click the X button.




14. Posted by: ajolie11 on July 8, 2009 2:53 PM:

How can you be such an idiot. Classmates.com is nothing but spam. You just don't understand customers or how to manage a service. Classmates is run like a 1990's web company - spit out spam.




15. Posted by: manuel on July 15, 2009 8:02 AM:

who would want to pay for a service that you can get somewhere else for free? my alumni group started out with classmates.com but have since switched to facebook after reaching a concensus that it's not worth paying access in a social networking site just to say hello to old schoolmates. classmates.com is so darn stubborn for insisting their business platform.




16. Posted by: Mark on August 6, 2009 8:48 AM:

Classmates.com is not worth $15 a month. You can not send am email to someone unless they are a paying member. You can not put your email in a message or they block your message. The site is antiquated. Facebook is free and so much more creative. it is much easier to find someone on facebook and to communicate to them.




17. Posted by: Mark on August 6, 2009 8:48 AM:

Classmates.com is not worth $15 a month. You can not send am email to someone unless they are a paying member. You can not put your email in a message or they block your message. The site is antiquated. Facebook is free and so much more creative. it is much easier to find someone on facebook and to communicate to them.




18. Posted by: Mark on August 6, 2009 8:49 AM:

Classmates.com is not worth $15 a month. You can not send am email to someone unless they are a paying member. You can not put your email in a message or they block your message. The site is antiquated. Facebook is free and so much more creative. it is much easier to find someone on facebook and to communicate to them.




19. Posted by: Gary on August 8, 2009 3:23 PM:

Classmates.com has the worse customer support I've ever seen. I decided to go ahead and pay for 1 year. Their system is suppose to email your information automatically. HA!!! They can't even get that right. I've been trying for an whole week just to get the information emailed to me as stated when you first sign up.
Did I mention...... I still can't log in and still have not received an email?

Don't waste your money with Classmates.com.




20. Posted by: Karren on November 2, 2009 11:48 AM:

What a rip off... How can a company charge you for a renewal when you didn't authorize it? NO REFUNDS is what I was told by Lashawn. I didn't like the site, didn't want to renew, yet they have my charge card, so they help themselves...




21. Posted by: Joyce on December 6, 2009 10:50 AM:

Like all the others! I have been trying to cancel and like always it never happens. They are takeing money out of my bank account but it has been closed for only savings....well they did it again and that caused a overdraft and it was taken out of my savings...... Please help me get it stopped




22. Posted by: Joyce on December 6, 2009 10:51 AM:

Like all the others! I have been trying to cancel and like always it never happens. They are takeing money out of my bank account but it has been closed for only savings....well they did it again and that caused a overdraft and it was taken out of my savings...... Please help me get it stopped




23. Posted by: ann miele on December 17, 2009 7:25 AM:

As all the above I have had my subscription automatically deducted without my approval. I have been dissatisfied with Classmates from the beginning. Most of the times when I tried to view a classmate's file I was directed to another person-always the same person who had never attended my school. I managed to contact one classmate with whom I now correspond via Facebook. I've removed my credit card number and hope I'll hear no more from this fraudulent organization. Now I've been told that the subscription fee in not refundable is this legal?




24. Posted by: Tim Greer on December 17, 2009 7:36 PM:

I'm looking to start a class action law suit against Classmates.com

I never use this site, but signed up for a Gold membership to contact friends a couple of years ago, having used the site for free since 2003 or so. They had my card on file and charged it without telling me in advance they would (either by postal mail, email or a phone call or notice at all), claiming that when you sign up online you agree to have them auto-renew your account. I ensured my account was set to manual, so it wouldn't renew. They did it anyway without notice. I saw a pending transaction on my online bank account. I called them and explained that I didn't agree to this and didn't want to be forced to have another two years of this service. They said "Too bad, your card has been changed, we don't refund". I filed a charge back with my bank and credit card company (Chase/MasterCard) and Classmates disputed it saying I agreed, per their terms.

I DO NOT want this service, they are charging me BEFORE I have the service, and I TOLD them that I DON'T WANT it, but this is how they make their money, by forcing people to renew, even if you didn't set it to renew or agree, nor be notified they would. Then they tell your CC provider that you agreed to their terms so you don't get CC protection. They can steal your money if you ever sign up. They don't even have an option to cancel your account if you want, so they tell your CC company that you have an "active account" with them, and use that to justify the charge for the "membership renewal", and your CC company will say "You have an active account and per their terms, you have it auto-renew". I did NOT, however! Even IF I did, that's for ease of future payments, and it's not supposed to be a way to FORCE you to use their service! It's ridiculous, because there's NO way to PROVE you didn't go in and set it to manual so it wouldn't auto charge your card without any notice to you.

Even IF you made a mistake and forgot, it's sleazy as hell for Classmates to take the money and FORCE you to use their service, when you tell them you don't WANT the service before you even use it. It's your RIGHT to change your mind or refuse the service or product BEFORE you get it or are sent it, or use it. This is a complete scam, they bank on making money from people forgetting or from their system glitch that doesn't HOLD ONTO the last selection to NOT auto-renew. Scum bags! I'm looking to start a class action law suit, as they are likely making millions from all of the users having this happen. How many people were FORCED to have another year or two membership that didn't want it, and didn't select Auto-renew for their CC on file!?

What's stop stop ANY site from charging you randomly for a service you don't want and just claim you agreed to it? They should happily and promptly reverse the charge, but they clearly make the bulk of their money from this from what I'm seeing. You have no way to prove otherwise! I run sites, I know how it works, and any site could then just rip you off and you'd have no recourse. They can't get away with this. It's like saying you ordered a stereo from an online site and two years later they send you a new stereo and charge you. You don't accept it because you NEVER agreed to it, and they say "Too bad, the stereo is yours and we've billed you!" What's to stop that from happening, just because at one point two years ago you did agree to buy the stereo?

This is ridiculous, it's a way to have them FORCE you into having an account at this worthless site. Classmates is a joke, hardly anyone uses it and they are desperate enough to rip off clients by putting terms that force you to renew and you can't dispute the charge? There's no way for me to prove I didn't select to NOT auto-renew, so Classmates has ripped me off! I'm looking to start a class action law suit to expose this scam they are running, so if this has happened to you, please contact me at tim (at) chatbase (dot) com. I'm spreading the word. Thank you.




25. Posted by: Tim Greer on December 17, 2009 7:37 PM:

I'm looking to start a class action law suit against Classmates.com

I never use this site, but signed up for a Gold membership to contact friends a couple of years ago, having used the site for free since 2003 or so. They had my card on file and charged it without telling me in advance they would (either by postal mail, email or a phone call or notice at all), claiming that when you sign up online you agree to have them auto-renew your account. I ensured my account was set to manual, so it wouldn't renew. They did it anyway without notice. I saw a pending transaction on my online bank account. I called them and explained that I didn't agree to this and didn't want to be forced to have another two years of this service. They said "Too bad, your card has been changed, we don't refund". I filed a charge back with my bank and credit card company (Chase/MasterCard) and Classmates disputed it saying I agreed, per their terms.

I DO NOT want this service, they are charging me BEFORE I have the service, and I TOLD them that I DON'T WANT it, but this is how they make their money, by forcing people to renew, even if you didn't set it to renew or agree, nor be notified they would. Then they tell your CC provider that you agreed to their terms so you don't get CC protection. They can steal your money if you ever sign up. They don't even have an option to cancel your account if you want, so they tell your CC company that you have an "active account" with them, and use that to justify the charge for the "membership renewal", and your CC company will say "You have an active account and per their terms, you have it auto-renew". I did NOT, however! Even IF I did, that's for ease of future payments, and it's not supposed to be a way to FORCE you to use their service! It's ridiculous, because there's NO way to PROVE you didn't go in and set it to manual so it wouldn't auto charge your card without any notice to you.

Even IF you made a mistake and forgot, it's sleazy as hell for Classmates to take the money and FORCE you to use their service, when you tell them you don't WANT the service before you even use it. It's your RIGHT to change your mind or refuse the service or product BEFORE you get it or are sent it, or use it. This is a complete scam, they bank on making money from people forgetting or from their system glitch that doesn't HOLD ONTO the last selection to NOT auto-renew. Scum bags! I'm looking to start a class action law suit, as they are likely making millions from all of the users having this happen. How many people were FORCED to have another year or two membership that didn't want it, and didn't select Auto-renew for their CC on file!?

What's stop stop ANY site from charging you randomly for a service you don't want and just claim you agreed to it? They should happily and promptly reverse the charge, but they clearly make the bulk of their money from this from what I'm seeing. You have no way to prove otherwise! I run sites, I know how it works, and any site could then just rip you off and you'd have no recourse. They can't get away with this. It's like saying you ordered a stereo from an online site and two years later they send you a new stereo and charge you. You don't accept it because you NEVER agreed to it, and they say "Too bad, the stereo is yours and we've billed you!" What's to stop that from happening, just because at one point two years ago you did agree to buy the stereo?

This is ridiculous, it's a way to have them FORCE you into having an account at this worthless site. Classmates is a joke, hardly anyone uses it and they are desperate enough to rip off clients by putting terms that force you to renew and you can't dispute the charge? There's no way for me to prove I didn't select to NOT auto-renew, so Classmates has ripped me off! I'm looking to start a class action law suit to expose this scam they are running, so if this has happened to you, please contact me at tim (at) chatbase (dot) com. I'm spreading the word. Thank you.




26. Posted by: Tim Greer on December 17, 2009 7:40 PM:

Sorry about the double post, something weird was going on with the comment submission.




27. Posted by: Joe Black on December 18, 2009 9:53 AM:

A few years back, you could log on for free and set up a profile with your information. I did that, and it was kind of interesting to see what happened to various folks over the years - where they went to school, where they were working now, etc.

Then they decided that unless you paid, you could not put much information on your profile, or in fact do much of anything.

I really wasn't THAT interested in seeing what happened to old Fred from High school. And frankly, once you found out what happened to them, well, the reason for visiting the site sort of vanished.

Also, a lot of the profiles on the site have fake names, etc. I know that "Marlon Brando" for example, was never in my class of 75 students in 1978.

I think a lot of their audience is sexually related - the fantasy of "hooking up" with that girl in 3rd period French who had the big hooters under that angora sweater.

Here's the deal: she's a Lesbian living in Taos, NM now, with her cat "Gertrude". She ain't interested in you. Unless you are the girl's field hockey coach.

The reason d'etra for Classmates seems lacking. It seems more of a billing scam than anything. My high school class uses Reunion.com and also a website hosted by our school to post reunion information - for free.

So why on earth would you go to classmates.com? And PAY? Be serious....




28. Posted by: Joe Black on December 18, 2009 10:02 AM:


If you have been stung by the "negative option" renewal, there is not much you can do, except:

1. Don't bother calling the company. Like AOL did when their business model went bust, they will charge you and charge you, hoping you will not notice (many people do not read their credit card statements, believe it or not!)

2. Call your CREDIT CARD COMPANY and dispute the charge. It is likely they will reverse it. BUT, if not, you may have to close the credit card account and open another one. Seriously.

3. NEVER EVER sign up for "negative option" services. First three months free, then they charge your credit card unless you say otherwise IN WRITING. Guess what? They claim never to have received your letter.

4. You can buy prepaid credit cards almost anywhere (like Wal Mart). If you decide to try an online service, etc. get one with like $50 on it. That's the most they can steal from you.

$15 a MONTH for this service? I am somewhat shocked they can get away with charging that much.

Again, I think they survive on titillation - the naive hope that many have that they will be able to re-live their youth, only this time not get nervous when that cheerleader suggests a 3-way at her parent's lake house.

Just walk away from it. It ain't gonna happen.

With their last dying gasps, Classmates will do anything to keep those credit card charges coming in. Once you hand over the CC number, forgetaboutit!




29. Posted by: Joe Black on December 18, 2009 10:22 AM:

I just logged onto Classmates after a couple of years.

I see what you mean about the coding bugs.

If I click on the profile for one person "Sarah Green" from my school, it gives me the profile for "Alan Jones" from another State entirely. WTF?

Seems to be a consistent bug, too, not a flaky error.

Maybe Sarah had a sex change and didn't tell anyone?

Not sure I'd pay cash money for bad coding like that.

It is interesting to see which folks put up profiles, complete with pictures, though.

Funny they can't make a go of it on an advertising model alone. Too bad.




30. Posted by: Computer Repair on January 9, 2010 4:52 PM:

I agree with Patrick in comment #1... I signed up for Classmates before facebook began. Going to school halfway across the country, I thought it would be a great tool to stick together with friends. It never captured my attention, or made a ton of connections, yet bombarded me with wasteful emails. Facebook come along and has reconnected me with many.




31. Posted by: Computer Repair on January 9, 2010 4:52 PM:

I agree with Patrick in comment #1... I signed up for Classmates before facebook began. Going to school halfway across the country, I thought it would be a great tool to stick together with friends. It never captured my attention, or made a ton of connections, yet bombarded me with wasteful emails. Facebook come along and has reconnected me with many.




32. Posted by: Alice Spencer on January 22, 2010 1:06 AM:

Yes does seem rather uninformative.




33. Posted by: Alice Spencer on January 22, 2010 1:15 AM:

Yes does seem rather uninformative.




34. Posted by: ผู้ผลิต on January 29, 2010 5:18 AM:

I will never leave anyone. Yes, I have many classmates.




35. Posted by: สายสัญญาณ on January 30, 2010 12:49 PM:

Yes, I have so many friends, all of them are friendly and sincere to me.




36. Posted by: pos on February 4, 2010 10:02 AM:

Live is good with my friend.




37. Posted by: dave on February 6, 2010 12:57 PM:

I use classmates just to see what is there as far as photos and such.If people post pics fine if not ,oh well.Im happy using it for free.Anyone I care about, know how to reach me.As far as paying for a site,I always have a debit card I buy at the local Wal Mart and keep about 15 bucks on it.I search phone numbers for 98 cents and buy subs for 9 bucks,If theres an issue there is no money for any one of these shithead web thieves to get.Anyone that uses their high end credit card for these type of web purchases should know better than to buy itty bitty subscriptions from these web thieves.




38. Posted by: รับถ่ายวีดีโอ on February 8, 2010 9:23 AM:

Come on classmates, come to see me. ผลิตภัณฑ์ดูแลรถยนต์




39. Posted by: Sharon on February 9, 2010 3:55 PM:

Classmates - pathetic with a sense of humor!

I called the $@#&%*@# Customer Service, was not happy, they would refund the automic billing to my credit card because "it;s in the fine print that YOU have to intiated stopping the membership before the specific date your account will rebill." Long story short, and 3 people later I checked my graduating class roster. Some Classmate employee changed my 1st name to "F*CK You" and my last name to "Sharon" so my page distplayed "F*UCK YOU Sharon".

After the shock I died laughing. I closed the credit card they kept rebilling. Told the bank I had misplaced it so they reissued another ............




40. Posted by: jerry malcolm on March 1, 2010 10:42 AM:

is classmates still running, i can't get anywhere with the site asnymore?????????????




41. Posted by: วางระบบคอมพิวเตอร์ on March 26, 2010 3:47 AM:

Hello everyone.
Thank data. That lead to great no thanks.




42. Posted by: ดูแลระบบคอมพิวเตอร์ on March 26, 2010 4:05 AM:

Hello everyone.
Thank data. That lead to great no thanks.




43. Posted by: กาแฟ on March 26, 2010 4:29 AM:

Thank you for bring knowledge to share.ถ่ายภาพ




44. Posted by: เครื่องเขียน on March 26, 2010 4:39 AM:

Thank you for bring knowledge to share. Useful.
ปวดหลัง




45. Posted by: หางาน on March 26, 2010 4:52 AM:

Thank you for bring knowledge to share. Useful.
สมัครงาน




46. Posted by: ประกันภัยรถยนต์ on March 26, 2010 5:47 AM:

hi...all
Thank you for bring knowledge to share. Useful.
ประกันภัยรถ
:) :)




47. Posted by: arnold on April 3, 2010 7:09 AM:

come to see me..

"Have you heard about Mojofiti.com? http://www.mojofiti.com is a
website where anyone can get an international blog and every entry, email and group is translated into 28 different languages for free. It's awesome, finally a world without language barriers!"




48. Posted by: ของเล่นเด็ก on April 29, 2010 4:45 AM:

Wow the best I Spider beautiful rare photo was actually pretty toxic strains have silk. Thank you very much to bring an efficient data sharing policy Ct to thank.




49. Posted by: mohan on May 1, 2010 2:12 AM:

Classmates

I called the Customer Service, was not happy, they would refund the automic billing to my credit card because "it;s in the fine print that YOU have to intiated stopping the membership before the specific date your account will rebill." Long story short, and 3 people later I checked my graduating class roster. Some Classmate employee changed my 1st name to "F*CK You" and my last name to "Sharon" so my page distplayed "F*UCK YOU Sharon".

After the shock I died laughing. I closed the credit card they kept rebilling. Told the bank I had misplaced it so they reissued another ............




50. Posted by: Pissed Off on May 2, 2010 11:14 AM:

Classmates is a total rip off and should avoided at all costs. They have a reputation for overbilling their members, renewing memberships without consent of their members, and are facing a number of lawsuits. Just google customer complaints against classmates for further information.




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