If you’re a former YouTube Premium subscriber who’s now suspended or terminated from the service, you may want to review your credit card bill. In a legally-questionable twist, YouTube now says that suspended customers cannot cancel their Premium subscription, which costs $12 a month.
Update: Google deleted its initial @TeamYouTube tweets and asked that affected users DM the @TeamYouTube Twitter account. It then responded to our request for comment with the following:
“We are working to address the situation and affected users should contact us. For the specific situation you reference, we updated our tweet upon further investigation.”
Review Geek is now requesting that Google clarify its comment—will it automatically unsubscribe suspended customers from Premium, as it should have in the first place?
Wait, How Do YouTube Suspensions Work?
Most people have never been suspended from YouTube, so let’s provide a bit of context. Suspended accounts or “channels” are temporarily deactivated, usually for breaking copyright, leaving offensive comments, or violating other YouTube rules.
Suspensions may last 30 days or longer, depending on the severity of your villainous rule-breaking activity. During this time, you cannot access your account or manage its settings.
But let’s say that you’ve broken a ton of YouTube’s rules. At that point, the service may permanently terminate your account. You will never regain access to the account, ever.
There are a ton of problems with YouTube’s suspension and termination protocols—accounts may be banned for unjustified copyright strikes, for example. But this new problem is more than just an annoyance; it’s practically robbery.
YouTube Continues Charging Suspended Customers
In a February 28th Twitter thread, a user named @xArtemisWolfx complained that they were still being charged for YouTube Premium after having their account terminated. The official @TeamYouTube account responded with a refund link and cancelation instructions, which simply redirected @xArtemisWolfx to a “your account is suspended page.”
The @TeamYouTube representative then explained that these links are inaccessible to suspended or terminated users. “If the channel’s suspended, you’ll have to resolve it before you can cancel YouTube Premium.”
Now, this presents a pretty huge problem. YouTube Premium users who are suspended will be charged at least $12 for a service they can’t use. And if you’re terminated, you’re screwed. Either you chew out YouTube’s social media and support employees (who seem pretty confused about this predicament), or you file a dispute with your bank.
What’s worse, this whole catch-22 thing isn’t new. Several customers have brought this problem to Google’s attention, yet it remains unresolved.
This Problem Goes Back Several Years
Let’s be honest; YouTube doesn’t gain a lot from robbing suspended users—very few people are affected, and $12 a month from this small group of people is a drop in the bucket. We’re looking at what’s probably just an oversight from the company. That said, it’s a massive and inexcusable oversight.
Suspended and terminated Premium customers have complained about this problem since at least 2019. In one Support thread, several users complained that calling and emailing Google did not resolve their issues or lead to refunds. This Support thread was closed without any comments from YouTube’s representatives.
It’s clear that YouTube has received plenty of complaints from suspended Premium customers who can’t cancel their service. This isn’t a situation where YouTube can justifiably claim ignorance. It needs to properly address this issue and immediately reimburse affected customers.