Our app allows users to interact with multiple accounts. When any one account has outlived it's usefulness, it can be deactivated. Although users can still navigate to deactivated accounts, most other functionality within them is disabled.
The main focus of our account page is to display all the interactions within your account. One choice is to place the deactivation function at the bottom of our account the page, below all the records of interactions. We're talking near the footer at the bottom of the usable screen height. Users with accounts with many records would need to scroll all the way to the bottom to find this function.
After using the account for some time, it is natural that the account would have many records and this function would be pushed pretty far down the page. Probably 4 or more viewport heights.
Another choice is to place deactivate where users would not have to scroll to find it. Perhaps in a menu spawned by clicking on a gear icon, or just a dim button near the account details at the top of the page. Suggestions have been made that it's valuable to assure users do not have to hunt for such a function when it's needed.
We've also seen deactivate/delete/pause account functions placed toward the bottom of an account page before as in the 37 Signals basecamp tool and hidden behind configuration icons in Google tools, opposite examples.
Here are some facts about our function's deactivate behavior: 1) To reverse this action requires the help of tech-support 2) We expect the function to be used only once, at the end of this interface's useful life
Is there an accepted practice or design pattern for the placement of such a function of consequence like "disable/deactivate account"?
I've included a sample of what we're using now down below for clarity.