Well I’ve finally got some clear information and here it is.
To begin at the beginning, I originally sent in a support ticket (before starting this thread) as follows:
[quote]Hello Dreamhost Support. I would like my hosting plan to terminate when the current subscription runs out. So, I tried to edit the plan settings so that it does not auto-renew. However, there does not appear to be an option to switch off auto-renew.
Please could you ensure that my hosting plan terminates when the subscription runs out and you do not re-bill me.
By the way, no complaints! I hope to remain as a Dreamhost customer (of your registration services, for example). I just want to stop the hosting plan.[/quote]
The answer came back that there is no way I can switch off auto-renew, and I must cancel the service in the panel on the date I wish the service to stop. So then I tried that, with the result described in the opening post of this thread. At bobocat’s suggestion I then sent in another support ticket, but the reply was unclear. So I then sent in a third support ticket, as follows:
[quote]Thanks for your reply, but I still don’t understand how best to proceed. Basically, my question is: given that I don’t owe Dreamhost anything, how do I simply close my account, or let it run out, without thereby incurring a charge?
Much appreciating your help.[/quote]
and finally a clear reply has arrived:
[quote]I see that your Happy Hosting plan will autorenew on 1/31/2015. You can
wait until that day to cancel your account and you should not be charged
for the domain. You can then cancel in the panel under Billing and
Account > Manage account.
Let us know if you have any more questions.[/quote]
So Dreamhost allows one day on which I can cancel my hosting plan without penalty. If I forget on that day, or if I don’t have internet access on that day, then they will re-bill me for a year of hosting, which of course I will refuse to pay. (I have already deleted all my hosted domains and linux users). Then presumably my account will go into delinquency and at some point my panel access will be blocked, and I will no longer be able to manage my registrations. (As a precaution, I have already transferred all my registrations away from Dreamhost).
Is this really the way it has to be? I think it’s crazy.