The words “I wish I could quit you” take on a whole new meaning when you want out of a relationship with an Internet service. Sure, you once thought you and Facebook or Amazon or Netflix would be together forever, but terms of service change, end-user license agreements mature, and, well, you’re just not in the same place anymore.
Sadly, not all websites and social networks and online retailers are created equal when it comes to breaking up. With some, it takes only a couple of clicks to say goodbye. For a few sites, if you stop paying for the service, the site cuts ties fairly quickly. Others make you jump through more hoops than a tiger in a Vegas show. Even after you follow all of the required steps, some sites never quite leave you alone, with vestiges of your relationship around forever.
No matter what you call it—deleting, canceling, removing—when you want to be rid of an online account, many sites don’t make it easy. You don’t want to rush into a break-up, but if you’re ready, we’ve compiled the links, tips, and, in the most extreme cases, the phone numbers you need to sever ties. (And let’s be clear, there’s a difference between deleting an account and just deactivating it. We’ll spell out the differences for each in the next few pages, as needed.)
This list includes the big-name sites most people use. If you’re looking for a site that’s not on our list, check out AccountKiller.com, JustDelete.me, andDeleteYourAccount.com. All three sites serve the same purpose—to let you know what sites and services make it easy to leave, which make it difficult, and which make it damn-near impossible.
Did we miss a service you want to ditch? Let us know. And if you’ve managed to quit a service not in this story, be kind and share your tips.