I canceled our Zendesk subscription today as my Tattly support team prefers HelpScout. I personally think Zendeks is a great support ticketing service, I especially like their iPad app. I had nothing bad to say about Zendesk, until I canceled my account a minute ago and got the above cancelation screen. Ouch! Talk about harsh and undesigned. Don’t slam the door into a former customer’s face. Just don’t. Be thoughtful, courteous and graceful until the very end. Please.

Update: Thanks for all your comments. I added a response below as well.

38 Comments leave a comment below

  1. ouch. that’s quite unnecessary. If anything I’d use this space to try and win back your loyalty. There’s much opportunity in an exit page like this.

  2. Godspeed means “success or good fortune”

    What’s so terrible?

  3. I think it’s hilarious!! I don’t think it was aimed to offend, I think it was intended to be a joke. Sorry it upset you though – that’s not nice or funny.

  4. Godspeed means “success or good fortune”
    What’s so terrible?


  5. the more offensive thing is the punctuation. Where’s the comma?

  6. I don’t find this negative or patronizing at all

  7. Undesigned, yes. Offensive, no. “Godspeed” is a blessing, more or less. I think it’s actually quite harsh that you’ve used your platform to call them out this way. Send an email next time, you clearly had other positive experiences with them.

  8. I missed the offense in this too! Interesting that in the same inbox this morning, the Daily Love post is about the lens through which we see the world. I LOVE your site Swiss Miss, and thank you for sharing this experience for many layers of learning….

  9. I think its humorous, while being simple and too the point.

    The overall effect could be enhanced with a little bit of illustrative design to enhance it, but how much fluffy BS do you need during your transactions?

    God speed.

  10. Your initial reaction, Swiss Miss, was to take offense. Is it possible, however, that no offense was intended? The term ‘Godspeed’ is used to wish someone well, to be a blessing, a benediction of safety and good fortune.

    So… you were offended. You now have opportunity to step beyond your initial reaction. Please consider accepting ‘Godspeed’ as a lovely gift from Zendesk.

  11. Based on the comments, this has now become one of your most interesting posts!!!
    Maybe there was confusion due to Swiss-American cultural differences?
    Due to English as a second language?
    Due to the fact that the term “Godspeed” is not prevalent in the current texting lexicon?
    Separately, @Dodie brings up the whole Zen concept of “the lens through which we see the world.”
    Another interesting point is that many say that if you want to do interesting things, you will have to live with the fact that someone, someplace will be offended by what you do.
    Much to think about from this post. Thanks.

  12. How you deliver a message accounts for a big part of the message itself. I think they meant nothing wrong, but they didn’t nail it just right.

    While “Your account has been cancelled. Godspeed my friend.” just confirms your action (good), and wishes you well (also good), the fact that it is displayed on an otherwise empty page, plain black text on white background can come through as : “we’re a bit pissed off that you’re leaving, we’re being polite, but since we aren’t friends anymore we’re letting you know by sending you to a dead end.

    It’s not unlike having a non-standard 404 page (which is what this one really looks like) : don’t let people through a door leading to some bleak back-alley.

  13. I think a lot of people missing the point here. There’s nothing wrong with wishing someone well on their way out, but the page dumps you at a dead end. It’s not even branded. It looks like an accident, or an afterthought.

    “You cancelled your account? We’re done here. Thanks.” Is how this comes across.

  14. Well your account has been canceled, what else would you need to do on the site? Close the window and enjoy your day.

  15. Straightforward and to the point. I love it’s simplicity. What more is there to say except “Godspeed my friend”.

  16. Is “godspeed” intended to be provocative or is it simply an innocent farewell? What is definitely is, is something too easily misconstrued.

    I like that on Zendesk’s main page there is a link to an infographic: “How much does good service really matter? The impact of positive and negative customer service experiences.” Hmm. Maybe they should take a look at that.

    Perhaps this company should realize that messaging plays a vital part of the “customer service experience,” and that yes, Swiss Miss, they should be “thoughtful… until the very end.” Being thoughtful would definitely include being considerate of their closing remarks so that they couldn’t be perceived as insulting if that’s not their intention. And if they are intended to be insulting, well then… it’s a good thing you aren’t doing business with them any more!

  17. Pretty sure it was intended to be lighthearted in nature. At least that’s the way I took it. In fact, it #mademesmile when I looked at the image and honestly thought you were going to post about having a similar reaction. I wouldn’t take it as “don’t let the door hit you on the way out”.

  18. Definitely undesigned, but if someone wished me Godspeed and then referred to me as “my friend” I think that was sweet and start missing them immediately. RKT nailed it.

  19. I thought you were going to post #mademesmile too. Underdesigned yes, but harsh or insulting? I wouldn’t take it that way.

  20. Yeah, definitely awesome. Not harsh at all.

  21. I appreciate everyone’s response here. Now that I know the meaning of godspeed, I agree, my reaction might have been too harsh. Given that English is not my mother-tongue and I didn’t get this as being humorous, I can’t help but think I might not be the only one that would be surprised by this.

    Still, I am holding on to the notion that a ‘good bye page’ should have a feel of thoughtfulness to it. As a company owner, knowing that this is my last interaction with a customer I would try everything I can to make the last impression a good one.

    I remember canceling Netflix a few years back and I remember being incredibly impressed how generous the goodbye felt and how they made it clear that I am welcome anytime, my account ready to be activated again. Sure enough, two months later I was back.

    As stated in my post, I have nothing bad to say about Zendesk. It’s a great product and thoughtfully designed, they just left off pouring some love into the very last interaction with a customer. Easily fixed.

  22. I think a simple comma and exclamation point instead of two periods would have made it less harsh. I dont mind what they wrote, but dislike the poor execution, text on a blank page? it would have taken them very little time to integrate there branding, and then it would seem like the message was coming from the company, not the angry web developer.

  23. I’d lay big money that the person who wrote it never looked up the definition of Godspeed. They were trying to be glib.

    There are better ways to leave a customer this is just a lazy choice. It says, “you are leaving so we didn’t care to think about your experience further.”

  24. The spelling of cancelled is incorrect. I don’t think much thought, went into this, just some web dev putting in an ‘error’ message. Reach out to them and let them know.

  25. Definitely didn’t even consider this to be offensive. Also, jj, both “canceled” and “cancelled” are considered correct due to different English dialects. See your nearest dictionary for proof ;)

  26. I hear people say “under designed” – what happened to “less is more”? This stuff is true minimalism – I am sure the Swiss, if any, can appreciate that.

  27. Perhaps you should do a post regarding a nice dictionary…yikes.

    I agree – the site could use a little sprucing up on their exit page, but who cares? I wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s bad design as much as it might be good design with a poor message of “We don’t really care about you, either!”

    Funny, but maybe not the best business tactic. I find it refreshing in this overly bubble-gummy PC world. It comes across as fake and annoying. At least these guys are honest. Now they just need to find a design that is equally honest.

  28. How sadly sensitive you are, dear.

  29. I have no issues with this…straightforward and simple. Unlike many Unsubscribe pages that make you jump through hoops, only to be told it may take 10/20/30 days to make your unsubscribe take effect.

    YOU wanted to cancel, and they let you do it with no muss, no fuss.

    Sheesh, talk about a first world problem. :)

  30. As someone who understands the meaning of “godspeed” and is a writer, the lack of design and brevity on their goodbye page can be construed two ways:

    1. Oh, that’s nice. They didn’t try to beg (and bother) me to stay.

    2. “Godspeed”? Is that meant to be sarcastic?

    Say what you want about minimalist design, for a site like Zendesk that has great and non-minimalist design and a certain voice, this page is jarring and discomforting. My main issue is that Zendesk usually has tongue-in-cheek Buddhist references in their copy. Then this page suddenly references the Christian god? That’s… weird – and leaves me wondering if they’re insincere.

  31. You are the one dumping them so why on earth should they care about you?

  32. I must disagree with most comment here. While some dictionary definitions may describe godspeed as not necessarily of any religious modern meaning, it is etymologically tied to religious meaning, and not really in a very subtle way.

    I say this not to imply that is somehow wrong, but it does seem just plain strange and off message. It does not make me feel offended, just scratch my head. If you were going to wish someone a cute blessing on the way out, it just seems odd to use this particular language, especially if ‘zen’ is in your name and imagery.

    The point is this message was written by someone representing a company that specializes in communication and customer service. It is unattractively presented, and written in a way that is off message and is slightly alienating.

    It is the sort of thing that I think people are ready to over-excuse as a matter of not wanting to seem politically correct. It can still be really strange and poorly executed even if its completely harmless. It is safe to assume they do hope people will come back, why not design it well?

  33. This is such an interesting thread! I write a lot of marketing copy and when I send along to friends and family, we regularly have just this kind of discussion.

    My take on the verbage is that it’s perfectly charming.

    Godspeed reads to me as sweetly anachronistic, and certainly not religious. (Contempory theists do not use the term as it does have a jokey inflection.) To my mind, it’s a tongue-in-cheek alternative to dull well-wishing.

    And I found the lack of a “please come back!” sentiment refreshing.

    But the misspelling is unfortunate and they could have done something with the styling.

    The use of language was a tad eccentric, and in my experience, using anything but straightforward language in business is risky. People like me will love it, but there will always be others who scratch their heads over it or worse.

  34. Given that they have a cleverly designed 404 page, they should have an equally cleverly designed cancellation page. It doesn’t have to beg you to stay or even be “nice.” To me, the issue is consistency. This page is inconsistent, which is a branding problem.

    I’m inclined to agree with Sean that this was likely built by a developer (i.e. someone who isn’t terribly concerned with branding).

  35. Certainly not offensive. Godspeed is such a beautiful, classic word. It’s not often used today, thus making it eclecticly charming and intriguing…perfect for a zen attitude. Adding “my friend” personalizes it. They’re saying “We still love you even though you no longer want our services.”

    I am definitely drawn to this company because of that simple phrase. Excellent marketing.

  36. I also love your blog, Swiss Miss, and was surprised by your reaction to the unsubscribe message.

    I’m not religious, and things that hint at religion usually leave me feeling slightly icky, but the message struck me as playful and humorous, austerity of design aside.

    As someone who’s written ad copy for 25+ years, I’ve learned that you can never please all the people, all the time. To try and do so inevitably results in a blahness of messaging. (And there will always be someone, somewhere who takes offense, no matter what you say.)

    We all filter information through our own unique experience. As long as a company isn’t malicious or rude, to each their own, in my humble opinion. I would be interested in Zendesk’s response to your post.

  37. Despite the update, your post continues to malign Zendesk.

    “I had nothing bad to say about Zendesk, until I canceled my account a minute ago and got the above cancelation screen. Be thoughtful, courteous and graceful until the very end. Please.”

    You are implying that Zendesk was NOT courteous. Although they clearly were.

    Sorry, but Zendesk is not responsible for your lack of reading comprehension. If you don’t understand an English word, then look it up in the dictionary first before writing a post complaining about something that it doesn’t mean.

    There is nothing wrong with Zendesk’s message to you. It confirms that what you wanted to happen actually happened. Your account is cancelled. AND it wishes you well.

    A reminder: You broke up with Zendesk.

    On top of that you’re complaining because, what? they didn’t beg you to come back?

    That’s really rich.

  38. Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts on this. I have given this post and comments *a lot* of thought. I admit, it has kept me up at night with a bad feeling in my stomach.

    I realize that it was inappropriate to call Zendesk out this way. And I apologize for that.

    I don’t take all of your criticism lightly. I care. And it will result in me being way more careful when I do critically voice my opinion. I can definitely file this under #lessonlearned.

    I will close this thread now. Thanks for being a reader.