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How to unsubscribe from the Los Angeles Times and Cancel the Digital Access Subscription [SOLVED]

UPDATE: 23 Oct 2020

After more than a year, the Los Angeles Times has finally corrected this issue. As of 23 Oct 2020, one of our site visitors reports:

They appear to have listened to the feedback – You can cancel via the Account Management page now: https://myaccount2.latimes.com/SecurePage/StopSubscription.aspx 

Below is the original post from 19 Jun 2019.


Summary

Social media serves up an endless flow of stories targeted to our interests and this is causing many people to encounter ‘paywall’ pages when we exceed the number of free stories per month from various news sources. The initial subscription offers are enticing and require just a few clicks to get started.

The New York Times digital access, for example, is $4 per month and then goes up 300% to $16 per month after a one-year introductory offer.

The Los Angeles Times Digital Access has an introductory rate of $3.96 per month – for one month only. Then the rate doubles.

While it’s easy to subscribe to these offers, it can be very difficult to unsubscribe. The Los Angeles Times is an example of a very poor customer experience when it comes to the subscription process.

Federal Trade Commission Advisory

As you’ll see below, the Los Angeles Times subscription cancellation process seems to be intentionally confusing and difficult. Such practices have been the focus of numerous class action lawsuits and fit this description provided by the Federal Trade Commission: “Some dishonest businesses make it tough to cancel…” [Source: Federal Trade Commission]

Note: When the Los Angeles Times provides an easy online subscription cancellation option, we will plan to update this page.

How to Unsubscribe from the Los Angeles Times

As you’ll see below, there’s an intentionally confusing maze that people will go through in attempting to unsubscribe. To save some time, skip ahead to Step #6 below.

  1. If you’re trying to unsubscribe from the Los Angeles Times Digital Access, you will likely go to the LA Times websites at LATimes.com. You won’t find a link for cancelling your subscription on the main page of the website.
  2. You might access your Profile page to find some information about how to cancel. You won’t find it there.
  3. Next, you might try looking on the LA Times Contact Page. Under the Customer Service hading you’ll see a link to edit your account, www.myaccount2.latimes.com – but that page does not have any option to cancel. If you use the ‘find’ feature in your browser to search for the word ‘cancel’ on the page, you won’t find it.
  4. There’s a difficult to find page from August 2014 called Subscription management that isn’t linked from the main hep pages. Buried on that page is a Q&A addressing cancellation with a suggestion to call the LA Times customer service number at 800-88-TIMES.
  5. When you call 800-88-TIMES, you might get an after hours recording. You can only request the hours of operation for the following day. For example, if you call after hours on a Saturday, you’ll get the hours for Sunday which are 7am-12pm PT. In other words, customer service is not available 24/7. Also, the recorded after hours menu indicates that you can take care of everything you need by using the My Account page – which actually isn’t true.
  6. When you’re able to call 800-88-TIMES during normal hours of operations, you’ll get an automated menu. You’ll need to press 6 and then 3 (unless their options change). The goal is to get to a customer service person who can help with cancelling the subscription.
  7. When you finally get through to a person at a call center, they will be reading from a script trying very hard to keep you from cancelling your subscription by offering you a better offer on the subscription rate. When you decline that offer. They will give you others for different kinds of lower cost subscriptions and newsletters. Only when you persist will they allow you to cancel your subscription.

There Is a Better Way

There are numerous other subscription systems that can be easily turned on and off from within the account settings such as Hulu or Netflix. Why can’t the Los Angeles Times provide similar convenience?

Page Visits

The maps below show anonymized location information for recent visitors to this page from all over the world, with a concentration of people around the Los Angeles area. The high interest in this article suggests that there are many people having a difficult time canceling their subscription to the Los Angeles Times. These maps were last updated on 7 Apr 2020 at 8:22 PM CT and show the most recent 200 visitors to this page. Click any image below for a larger gallery view.

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com

14 comments

  1. Cancel my subscription starting July 22
    We do NOT like your Editorials or reporting! JUST BIAS
    We are going to the Wall Street Journal.

  2. Hi Ana,

    This article and website are not managed by the Los Angeles Times. You’ll need to contact the Los Angeles Times as described in the instructions to get your subscription cancelled. It’s really disappointing that they make it so hard for people to unsubscribe. We are getting people from all over the world coming to this page as a result of what seems to be intentional negligence on their part and an unwillingness to make the unsubscribe process easier and more intuitive. Thanks for taking time to read our article and comment.

    Regards,
    Greg Johnson, Director
    ResourcesForLife.com

  3. When subscribing to LA times be advised that is extremely difficult to unsubscribe to LA Times. Your patience at the limit and nerve to keep calm will be tested. Phone reps speaks Chinese and only English as a second language. With all due respect, (only speaking here as a customer) this makes it hard to keep a conversation with them.

  4. LA times lost me forever. I got roped into a $1 for 8 week subscription and somehow signed up through my yahoo “social media” account? What even is that? So I could never log in to use the subscription but I didn’t care since it was $1 and I forgot about it. Until two months later, I’m being billed $16 a month for the full subscription. And I still can’t log in. It sent me in this circuitous route of saying my account was linked to Yahoo, so sign in through Yahoo, but when I did, it said I had to create a new password, which it then rejected and said I had to sign in through Yahoo.

    So I couldn’t use this link to cancel. Had to call,was on hold for 20 minutes before getting someone. They tried to give me a more favorable rate, I said no, just cancel. Well we have to transfer you to the digital department. ON HOLD FOR AN HOUR. Got someone who said they had to transfer me back to the person I was talking to before. On hold for half an hour. Same person who started it all answers and finally cancels.

    That said I got my confirmation # and no email confirming, so I followed up asking them via email to confirm. Because otherwise I have a sneaking suspicion I’ll keep getting charged.

    I mean, wtf is this what the LA times has been reduced to? Some crappy rip-off subscription scam? LA resident and deeply disappointed, to put it kindly.

  5. Totally horrible customer service. Don’t subscribe to this paper. You can’t get anyone to help you cancel. Total garbage. Bill C. in Kingston, Wa.

  6. It’s a very difficult ordeal to cancel the LA times. You have to go through a menu tree and then you finally get an option to cancel where you wait for a long time for someone to pick up. Finally a person in the Philippines with a very thick accent and a very bad line answers the phone.
    They look up your phone number and get your account information but they can’t cancel your account they have to send you to the cancellation center, however nobody picks up half the time and you have to go through this entire process again and again.
    This is all by design by the LA Times to discourage you from canceling. Expect to go through this for at least 30 – 45 minutes.
    This is a very disgusting and dishonest, biased newspaper.

  7. I just cancelled my LA Times paper subscription via phone. Call the toll free number and at first didn’t hear an option to cancel. Chose option 1 for vacation hold/new subscription, then option 6, then finally option to cancel. Talked to customer rep and he offered different discounts with various delivery frequencies. Just kept insisting on cancelling and then was given a cancellation date effective 2 weeks from today. I believe that’s before my next billing cycle so hopefully will not be charged anymore. Hope this helps other who wants to cancel the paper subscription.

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