Controversial customer retention strategy

Dear All,

I want to share the experience I’ve had trying to downgrade my wife’s premium account. LingQ learning style didn’t click for her. Nevertheless, there is (was) still a possibility she’d be back here.

You have simple choice: pay 24$/year or your data is deleted:

I felt pressure clicking the button “Delete My Data”, but still managed it.

LingQ refused to delete my data:

Essentially, the button “Delete My Data” doesn’t work. The customer have no choice but to accept the 2$ plan. Reluctantly I did.

I find such practices controversial, to say the least. It certainly doesn’t add to customer loyalty or what.

Now the funny part:

…nice options.

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I love LingQ. It fits my learning style and is my primary learning method. I’ve encouraged a number of friends and acquaintances to join. Customer support is good. And all the members of the LingQ team are pleasant and seem like very nice people.

That being said, I find distasteful some of their business practices. Namely, not providing an online way to discontinue a paid subscription. There’s no technical limitation involved, as most reputable sites offer an automated way to end a subscription. Forcing subscribers to send a customer service request to accomplish this is, in a word, disrespectful.

As for your experience with downgrading the account, I can see their argument for not storing data indefinitely for free, and the $2 per month fee does not seem unreasonable. The error message preventing you from accomplishing that is ridiculous, but I trust that this is more of a glitch than an intentional way to discourage cancelation.

Let’s hope management has a change of heart in the near future and makes the cancelation/downgrading process automated and simple.


I have yet to need to think about downgrading my account, but I am dreading the day that I do, because of the very frequent posts about how difficult it is. I also want to point out that this kind of thing is often complained about in other (quite popular) language learning forums, and gives LingQ a bad name in exactly the kinds of places where the LingQ team should want their product to have a good name. I really think that taking a kinder approach to downgrading could help the brand in the long run. Maybe the current approach makes sense from some perspective, but it obviously makes a lot of users unhappy, and word of that has spread.


Couldn’t you have just deleted the languages she was learning, then remove premium (and choose delete my data)? That would insure there were no imported lessons. For sure this isn’t convenient, but I’d be surprised if it didn’t work.

I think I could, but it is difficult to delete everything my wife was working on here. I still hope to keep at least the progress data. Having everything deleted, no way she’ll be back, ever.
What LingQ achieves by deleting progress data - is a lose-lose situation and something opposite to customer retention.


I downgraded my account, but my data doesnt seem to have been deleted, and i’m not paying 2 dollars a month. Perhaps I just got lucky, perhaps im foolish by saying this here…


A fair solution in my opinion would be a 1 year free period of hibernation. Thereafter, the data is either deleted or you pay them to keep the data alive. One solution for your wife could be to simply take a ascreenshot of her statistics and to export all lings. If she chooses to continue at some point she can simply upload all lingqs as one text and mark all words as known.


I dont think the problem here is customer retention, but more developer incompetence, sorry, but there have been way too many issues, most of them simple to fix and yet even after reporting no fix is seen for months

LingQ is just asking for competition… if it keeps going like this even with 5.0 then LingQ will be in trouble.