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Why is Atlassian doing nothing after I asked them to delete my account?

Deleted user Nov 01, 2020

I get the dreaded

“This account is related to active accounts that are set to AUTO-RENEW
This account is the primary billing contact for one or more products.
This account is a technical contact for one or more products.
To continue deleting this account the account owner needs to visit my.atlassian.com and designate a different user as a billing and technical contact.”

Therefore, as suggested by Atlassian representatives in the forums, I openen a support ticket on Oct. 13 requesting the deletion of my account. I got a confirmation mail and I can access the ticket page, but nothing has happened since then. Why is deleting a (free) account so difficult? I think that by the GDPR it should be as simple as setting up an account.

Why does this have to be so difficult? Why does Atlassian waste my time like this?

1 answer

0 votes

Have you closed or transferred all your products to another person yet?

I can't. It is not applicable. It was a free account for personally trying out and using the platform. The ‘products’ to ‘close’ or ‘transfer’ only exist in Atlassian's administration and are on closing forced upon free account users for no good reason.

Please see https://community.atlassian.com/t5/Jira-questions/Why-can-t-I-delete-my-account/qaq-p/981782 for expressions of the frustration I'm also feeling.

When I read through that thread, you and colleagues come back again and again to this point that us affected users just need to follow instructions and misunderstand. But actually, it is the other way around, you seem to misunderstand that the instructions are not applicable. The whole concept of ‘closing’ and ‘transfering’ ‘products’ is a reflection of the convoluted mess Atlassian has administratively placed free users in.

The process should be as follows:

def delete_account():
    if (paying_account):
        [administration]
    elif (free_account):
        just_delete_it()

Ok, but that conversation tends to end with people eventually doing what they need to to enable cancellation.

To check this, please:

  1. Go to my.atlassian.com 
  2. Log in with the account you want to delete
  3. In the Licences section, what systems are showing with "request support" to the right of them?  (If there's no "request support", this is not a system preventing delete)
  4. Could you expand each one in turn and check what you have for their owners and status options?
  5. Do any of them have "cancel subscription" as an option?  Have you tried using that?
  6. For those that do have not "cancel", have you named another owner?

It's no good saying "you seem to misunderstand the instructions are inapplicable" - they absolutely are, but you've missed something (or possibly run into a bug)

Deleted user Nov 01, 2020

In my reading, the conversation ends with people sending a support request and (I guess) finally being rescued by a human being. That is what I was trying, but haven't yet gotten any response to.

  1. Done (back in October and again now.)
  2. Done (back in October and again now.)
  3. The single system is showing “request support”
  4. Done (back in October and again now.) [N.B.: There is no mention of the terms ‘owner’ or ‘status’ on the expanded system. (I searched with Ctrl-F.) Please use actionable terminology, not generic terms that may apply to some part or other of the page shown.]
  5. No.
  6. Please read what I have written before: “I can't. It is not applicable.” There is no possible ‘other owner’.

What is so hard to understand about ‘naming another owner’ possibly being inapplicable?

Really, I have read all the posts back in October and checked things back then. As I already said in my initial post, I followed the instructions I found in the forums to write a support request. Please realize that this thread is illustrating again painfully that you/Atlassian does not understand that this is not PEBKAC, but CADUFOU: Convoluted Administrative Design Unnecessarily Forced On Users.

The problem I have here is that I can do all of this in my account, and have done for other people.

It's not a problem on the Atlassian side from what I can see.  It's that you're not shutting down or transferring ownership.

The Atlassian support requests I've seen have lead to Atlassian having to hand-hold people through the ofloading of their accounts because they're not doing it in their account.

Deleted user Nov 01, 2020

The fact that people need handholding to delete an account should be an indicator that the process for doing so is problematic. Blaming the user is a cop-out.

In any case, if I can get rid of my account by having my hand held, I'd be grateful if someone does it. Below a screenshot of the screen where I can interact with my ‘product’.

Atlassian_account.png

I am not "blaming the user".  I am pointing out that the user is missing some important points. 

When you have made a contractual obligation to do something, most legal systems will hold you to it.  You have bought (yes, even when they're free) things that you agreed to pay for.

If you wish to delete the only means that someone has of identifying you as the person who is currently responsible for those things, then you are going to need to identify the new owner, or cancel them.

It looks like you've cancelled the free ones, but not yet identified a new owner for, or cancelled the subscribed ones.  Have a look at "manage subscriptions" as well as naming the new owner if your bitbucket account (if appropriate).

There are options on that screen that you have not explored.  Please do so - you'll find you can cancel the subscriptions, and once that is done, you'll be able to delete your account without any blocks.

Deleted user Nov 02, 2020

First of all, please Mr. Brough, do not mention ‘naming the new owner’ or ‘transfering to a new owner’ again in this thread. I've very clearly mentioned that I cannot and so will not. It feels as if you're not taking my statements seriously and that is very frustrating.

Please realize that if the user is missing important points, it is because those points are not made clear. The solution is to make them stand out in the website. Insisting that the user go over the website again (and again) is effectively blaming the user for bad website design. It is clear that we users want to delete the account and have looked in many places. It is clear from user posts that the website(s) are not easy to navigate. (For example, I have not yet found a click-through way of accessing the ‘product’ page screenshotted above starting from the Bitbucket website, although I can get to the Atlassion account site.)

Regarding contractual obligations. Please be serious. No court is going to fault me for not being able to hand over ownership of a free account for an online service. Is this even in the Terms of Service that I should be able to do this? In any case, bringing this up is irrelevant, because neither I or Atlassian are going to go to court over this. In the worst case I'm filing some GDPR request/complaint and then both Atlassian and I lose some man-hours dealing with it. I just want to delete my account, which is not unreasonable, and Atlassian's processes make this frustratingly difficult. (I can compare: I've dealt with DNS, VPS, and all kinds of other providers as a paying customer even and cancelling those services and the associated account was as easy as clicking some links and buttons.)

You say that “It looks like you've cancelled the free ones, but not yet identified a new owner for, or cancelled the subscribed ones.”, but then I have to inform you that ‘the subscribed ones’ are ‘the free ones’. There was never any other. It's on some kind of auto-renew that cannot be stopped from my end. I'm apparently on some special (academic or community) plan, but that shouldn't matter, I'd think. I see that I can switch to a Free account; should I do that or will that complicate matters? When I click “manage subscriptions”, I get sent back to a page I came from before I was pointed to the ‘product’ page. 

When you say “There are options on that screen that you have not explored.”, why do you say that, knowing you don't know. I've clicked every link, button or whatever that looked clickable, but at no time did I get any closer to a solution.

I think I'll need more explicit, perhaps illustrated hand-holding.

There is no way to answer this (or do the hand-holding) without talking about the transfer to a new owner (or end the subscription)

You have to do that to enable accound deletion.

I apologise for being grumpy and blunt here, but as you're not getting it, I feel I have to simplify:

  • You signed up for a service
  • You agreed to have an account which allows you to maintain that service and for the vendor to use for billing, contact, and all the service provision side. 
  • You now want to delete that account
  • You are refusing to hand over responsibilities to other people, that are tied to that account.   (Or shut them down so there is no need to hand over)

GDPR is not on your side.  You have a right to delete the account and be forgotton, but only after the account ceases to be of material use.  Billing and tracing ownership of active systems and so-on is legally required (and GDPR actually reinforces that, not overrides it).  That right to delete can not apply until you have transferred (or shut down) responsibility for the systems.

If you've "clicked on everything" and read it properly, then you would be in a place where delete can happen.  I've been through this many times and although, yes, there can be a lot to do to hand over 18 services to someone else and unsubscribe from the other 4, it is all possible.  If you can't follow that, I'm stuck, and I am sorry that I can't help you.

Deleted user Nov 02, 2020

We've both made our points clear. Believe me that I've tried to do all that you said, but there are no other people tied to the account, so the whole transfer business does not apply. (Sorry for the repetition.) Nevertheless no cancellation possibility was there.

But, there is hope! I tried changing my account type from ‘community or academic’ to ‘free’. That worked. Now, I'm going to try to delete my account again. (In the spot where I previously got the dreaded message about AUTO-RENEW blabla…) If that works (and I'm gone here as well), that means that being on the community or academic account was the problem. That means that the whole business of cancelling or transfering ownership was not the problem, but the account type was and that no instructions are available for deleting such accounts. But then, rejoice, you've learned something that can help future users with this same problem instead of stubbornly not believing they did all they could and insultingly implying PEBKAC.

Deleted user Nov 02, 2020

It failed again with the same message. :-(

This is hell.

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