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LinkedIn has the worst account downgrade workflow ever

A while back, I temporarily needed to upgrade my free LinkedIn account to a Premium account. Today, no longer needing the premium services, I visited LinkedIn intending to downgrade back to the free plan. What a nightmare.

I first visited the “Accounts” page.

From the Accounts page, I can upgrade to a more expensive plan with a click, but there’s no hint at how to downgrade to the Basic plan (and no indication that the Basic plan is even free.)

So, off to Google I go for help, finally finding this page at LinkedIn:

According to this page, I should be able to downgrade in the “Privacy & Settings” section. Let’s go there.

We’ve now arrived at the link-overloaded “Settings” area. Long story short (too late, I know), we don’t find downgrading under that big “Account” tab—that’d also make too much sense.

Instead, it’s that obscure little “Downgrade or cancel subscription” link at the top. Ok, so let’s go there.

And let’s all let out a collective W.T.F?!?

So from the area where I’m supposed to be able to downgrade to the free version, I find options to downgrade to a paid “Personal” account—i.e. an account option not even shown on that earlier paid-accounts screen!


OK, hold on—there is that “Cancel your premium account” text that somehow looks out of place. It kinda like the header to an empty disclosed area, since the disclosure arrow is pointing down.

Could that actually be a link? Click. Why, yes it is, leading to…

Uh oh—”Cancel” my account? I’m not sure I want to click that. Is that “deleting” or “downgrading”? Who knows! Where’s the option to just get back to the free version?

Ok, if it’s this hard, I’m just going to risk deleting the damn account. Click!…

“We’re sad to see you go.” Well, definitely look like I’m about to delete my account. One final click (expecting to be deleted forever from LinkedIn), and…

Lo-and-behold, my account is still there, now free, and with an “Upgrade” banner, urging me to upgrade to the Premium account—something I will never, ever do again.

So there you have it, to “Downgrade” your premium account to the free plan, the procedure (if you’re successful in even figuring it out!) is to click the “Cancel your premium account” link. To upgrade, you press links labeled, “upgrade”, but to “downgrade” you click a linked labeled “cancel account”.

Published inRants


  1. Bhaumik Mody Bhaumik Mody

    Thanks. Its indeed very bad and I felt cheated as they offered a free account and then started charging.

    • nancy demarchi nancy demarchi

      THANK YOU FOR THIS SITE! I am about to relaunch my company and $50 a month, for something I am currently not using… but will need premium benefits later.. “cancel=close” to me too! I would be horrified to lose those connections…. now i know they will be there. There is no place where it says I am downgraded as of my monthly “pay” date, only that my subscription as been cancelled…..NOV 7… we will see if that now means “closed”..which would mean 4 years of building connections …just when will need them…. GONE…. WILL be back on here if that happens… DISGUSTING.

  2. Nathalia Nathalia

    I know, same here, this is a total lack of respect !! unscrupulous, dishonest. Dorry I’m so angry ..and there is no way to call someone at a customer center.

    Thanks for this.


  3. Gerard Gerard

    Its common practice that websites use to get peoples money. Its called dark patterns. They make it really easy to get money for reoccurring purchases and make it very hard to cancel. In some cases you have to send a personal letter by mail to cancel an account. It may be easier to deal with the bank.

  4. Nitsiey Nitsiey

    I agree it’s worst User interface I have ever seen in my life… I was looking for cancelling my account but was struggling to do so. Also these people don;t have any contact number… The only way is to submit request, that also failed quite a few times… Next they are not processing any refunds even if you don’t use any of the premium features, by mistake my membership was auto renewed and I just could not close it in time…

  5. Jarmo Kinnula Jarmo Kinnula

    Many thks for this info, I was considering to upgrade but this ended that for good.

  6. Lindy Jones Lindy Jones

    Thank you for this, its a nightmare! As I have been charged for a service I thought I had cancelled!

  7. 555 555

    That’s disgusting behaviour from LinkedIn. Thanks for the account deletion tutorial.

  8. Zarly Doug Walker Zarly Doug Walker

    This is a great how to lesson. I also was trying to cancel my business plus plan and go back to the free plan. What a labyrinth of endless, misleading, unhelpful links. Like you, following their instructions to cancel didn’t help at all, and I thought I was going to have to keep paying, or delete my account. It’s really poor design and feels a little sketchy. Not to mention super overly priced. BUT there was a good ending for me. As I was struggling to find my way out a chat popped up and said “Hey do you need help upgrading your account” LOL. I said Hell yes! Then I had a live chat with a fellow called Robert who was very friendly and courteous. He cancelled my premium account for me and offered a refund. (Another thing I don’t like is turning a free trial into an automatic paid subscription, meh)

    So a big shout out to Robert, and a big boooooo to linkedin webpage design.

    The end.

  9. Philip Feghaly Philip Feghaly

    it took me 3 clicks to downgrade to free .. u just noob 😀

  10. patsaison patsaison

    I was looking to downgrade last year but missed the deadline because it was so difficult to do so, and it slipped and auto-renewed. I am trying to do it earlier now, thanks for posting this really helps.
    It is not a matter of poor design, but deliberately designed to make it difficult to downgrade. Borderline fraud. I have been very disappointed with LinkedIn, and its a bad on myself for getting enmeshed and believing all that hype, and letting myself be caught up in it. In retrospect, wasted a lot of precious time–would have been more productive watching no brainer TV and cheaper too.

    • Matthew Wilkinson Matthew Wilkinson

      I have just had the same experience, ran over into the second month of membership and I have been charged. Did you get in touch with LinkedIn to try for a refund or have they got a strict stance in this? I find this utterly ridiculous!

      • patsaison patsaison

        No I did not, but this year, I downgraded it to Free account immediately when they reminded me of my anniversary, and wanted me to upgrade. I did it–so what if it was one month before renewal.

  11. patsaison patsaison

    What they did was deliberate; legal but unscrupulous, and reflective of low ethics and morality–says a lot.

  12. Joel Joel

    Thank you for this post. I was lured into a premium account by accepting the one month free trial. I cancelled it before my one month was up only to find out that it had downgraded me to the job seeker account which was still $29.99. I tried clicking the ‘contact us’ link to discuss the issue and have them put me back to a basic account only to find out they disabled that link. This made it almost impossible to resolve the issue until a chat box suggestion popped up. As soon as I told the rep my issue, he immediately put me back to the basic account and refunded the money they took out of my account. I will never do a free trial or attempt to upgrade ever again!

  13. Shaun Snapp Shaun Snapp

    Linkedin is clearly sleazy. They are so money hungry they rely upon cancellation prevention rather than actually adding value to the Premium level.

  14. carloungaro carloungaro

    The system used is basically dishonest and impels me to leave the organization altogether – I hope this will into be as difficult. It is run as a racket and not as a social network

  15. Arpakorn Jitpongstaporn Arpakorn Jitpongstaporn

    Is it cancelled for me yet?

    • Matt Henderson Matt Henderson

      @arpakornjitpongstaporn:disqus You do realize I myself am NOT LinkedIn. I am just somebody who wrote a blog article about LinkedIn. I personally have no idea about the status of your personal account at LinkedIn.

  16. Arpakorn Jitpongstaporn Arpakorn Jitpongstaporn

    How I make sure?

  17. kasajian kasajian

    It’s really the worst website ever, with even a worse user interface. It’s going to take me a really long time to cancel my account because of the number of steps involved. For instance, at the present time I have a premium account that I’ve canceled, but it won’t take me back to having a basic account, and because of that, I’m unable to cancel my LinkedIn account altogether.

    I cannot wait to not have a LinkedIn account at all.

  18. Avor Avor

    Five years on and the issue has remained the same; if not worse.

    I am so fed up with LinkedIN.

    I upgraded to free trial account and cancelled auto-renewals through iTunes almost immediately so that I am not charged month over. At the end of the premium, when I want to close my account for good, I am told to contact Apple!!!!!!!

    Apple says “well, there is no subscription for us to cancel, go back to LinkedIN” – duh!

    I am this close to suing LinkedIN for holding my data against my will.

  19. Charles Charles

    I fell for this scam also. Consider that LinkedIn DOESN’T message when they debit from your account to pay for Premium. They could but they don’t. So no notification. Second they have receipt URL where you can view your payments… but finding it is hard – it certainly isn’t in your profile setting page. Or your not notified that your paying by virtue of a simple graphic indicating that. They send you an email that may or may not get to you depending on spam or other things. They own platform but they deliberately seem to conceal that you are paying.

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