Canceling My NY Times Subscription After Receiving My Free(ish) Google Home

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Cancelling The New York Times

Cancelling The New York Times

The New York Times had their version of a mistake fare of sorts two weeks ago.  They were offering a free Google Home if you signed up for a new subscription.  The offer was for the $16.99 monthly plan.  The New York Times changed their terms a few hours later and required a one year subscription.  I am not sure if this was because they had more response than expected or if they hadn’t fully thought it through.  They deactivated some people’s codes and even sent out codes that were not properly working. Several of which are still waiting for replacements after being promised they would be delivered within a few days.  If you were lucky enough to get in on the deal early you were essentially able to snag a $130 Google Home for $16.99. This is if you found no value in the subscription and decided to cancel.

Ways To Cancel The Subscription

I received my Google Home late last week and immediately started thinking about canceling my NY Times subscription.  I didn’t find value in the service after poking around the site.  The first, and only, stop I made was the help page on The New York Times website. There were three ways to contact them listed on the site:

  • Via their “Begin Chat” button – which was disabled when I visited the site on Monday.
  • If you are in the United States, call us at 800-NYTIMES (800-698-4637). The hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. E.T. Monday – Friday, and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. E.T. Saturday – Sunday.
  • Email them at Please note that it may take up to 48 hours for them to respond to your email.

Since the chat function was down, and I really didn’t want to wait on hold, I decided to send them an email.  Email was my first choice anyway because I wanted to have a good record of our communications in case I get billed later on down the road.

Cancellation Email

I sent out my cancellation email on October 9th without really knowing if they would respond or allow me to cancel via email. I expected them to email me back and saying I needed to call in to cancel.  This would give them the chance to give me a sales pitch or hassle me over getting the free Google Home.

On October 12th I got a response and it did include a sales pitch.  The rep gave me the normal response of we would hate to see you leave and offered me a reduced rate of $6 per month.  I responded thanks but no thanks please go ahead with the cancellation and expected it to take a few more days for a response.

It only took them a few hours to send me this:

Cancelling The New York Times


Mission accomplished – I was able to keep the Google Home as a gift for trying the service.  I am not sure if I will use it, give it as a gift, or look to sell it.

I think that email is the best route for cancellation because it is a legally accepted document and gives you proof of cancellation for your files. Email also is the most convenient since you can do it when you get a moment and you do not have to wait on a chat or phone rep.  However, if you are looking to get is done ASAP then chat would probably be your best course of action.


Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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  1. I’m now having to go the email route. I tried chat, it said there was 0 wait, but nobody ever signed on. I did texts, after I was transferred to cancellations they stopped responding. Overall no matter how you feel the company is being shady in making you call to cancel, if they have the ability to sign you up via a button, they can cancel it via a button. This is a shady gimmick just like gyms, cable companies and other sleazy sales tactics thrive under, and really doesn’t have a place for a legitimate business operation.

  2. Hi Mark:

    How did you find out about this deal? Did you just stumble into it or is there a site that helps you come across this kind of stuff.

  3. First question, what does jesus have to do with all this???
    Another question, to the people that do not enjoy Mark’s or anybody else’s posts and deals on this blog, why stay? Why read? Maybe you need to find a different place for your beliefs and needs…

  4. Mark Ostermann should be ashamed of himself for not only engaging in but promoting such unscrupulous and unethical behavior. Perhaps you’ve made Trump happy, but someone engaged in media to undermine such an important journalistic endeavor at a time when the First Amendment is under attack is inexcusable. I am very disappointed in you.

    • Unethical? NY Times put out an offer to gain readership. Maybe the offer was too generous but that is on them. I signed up, did not find the product worth $16.99, and decided to cancel. This was their terms…I followed them to a T. Maybe they need better people in the marketing department but that is not on me.

      • Your response trying to justify the righteousness of your behavior only illustrates a lack of understanding of ethical business behavior. How long did it take you to discern that the objective truth-delivering content of the Times conflicts with your interests? It is true that the New York Times targets college educated consumers who appreciate good journalism, but you knew that before your subterfuge. Would Jesus have done that? Would Trump? You’ve made your choice.

        • Stuart let me ask you this question – if the Times is filled with such brilliant people then why did they set up the offer in such a way? How is it subterfuge? Where is the deceit? They set up this offer…they put it out there for all to see. Why are you not taking up an issue with them? Write to their editor complaining that their marketing department is inept.

          And why are you treating this like it is some small mom and pop operation that is taking on the world? It is a billion dollar BUSINESS that is publicly traded. The largest stakeholder is one of the 5 wealthiest people in the world (used to be THE wealthiest). This isn’t a charity, they take people’s money in an attempt to turn a profit. This is not a non profit organization – if that were the case then maybe you would have a point.

          Get down off that high horse and take up your issues with the people that set up the program….your beloved Times.

  5. This is terrible. NY Times is not just a company, it is one of the defenders of democracy, the kind the orange dotard hates. Even if they made a mistake, it is a shame to take advantage. If your grandmother drops $100 and walks away, would it be OK for someone to snag it?

    • How was it a mistake? They had lawyers carefully craft terms which were two paragraphs long?!? Maybe it was a mistake in that they didn’t foresee how people would take advantage of the offer, but they offer itself definitely wasn’t a mistake.

    • The company offered an incentive to sign up. I didn’t find the product of value so I canceled it according to their terms. Terms in which they set.

  6. @ John – Kind of a stretch to say that everyone hates the NYT – I think it’s a fantastic newspaper.
    What’s more accurate is to say that everyone LOVES a good deal!

  7. You’re posting about how you cheated a company? They made a mistake, and you cheated them out of a device, and now you’re wondering if you should flip it for even more money. Comes off a bit distasteful.

    • They put an offer out there that I used. It was within the rules they set forth. How is it any different than signing up for a credit card for the bonus? Or buying something on clearance you know you can resell for a lot more? I speculated it was a mistake but maybe that was the intention but they received more interest then they expected and changed it.

    • They had very clear terms that stated there wasn’t a commitment. One could assert the NYT acted dishonestly by removing people’s codes from their emails and trying to tell people the terms were different than they were.

      Reading the fine print and working within it is not cheating.

  8. Thanks Mark – I got mine yesterday and I was avoiding the cancellation call. I’m emailing them now and should be a breeze. “Hey Google – Please order some champagne”!


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