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Are “Free Trials” really free?

 We’ve all been there- you sign up for a 30-day free trial and input your credit card to get billed on the 31st day and you forget to cancel your trial. Yikes, there goes $60! With so many free trials out there, it’s important to understand what you may be getting yourself into if something like this situation occurs. 

Let’s start with an example.

Apple offered their customers who purchased a new iPhone received a one-year subscription to Apple TV+. Similarly, Verizon users on unlimited plans also received a one-year subscription to Disney Plus. When these customers sign up, they must agree to start paying for the services after a year. Many who sign up for these promotions likely have no intention of actually paying after the year is up. However, most of these customers forget to cancel and end up paying for the next year anyway. 

What’s even worse is that these customers might not realize they are paying for these subscriptions for months. What was once free, is now months of costly charges. 

How can you ensure your free trials are actually free?

Let’s start with how a free trial offer works.

Most free trials work on the idea that when you sign up for the free trial you put in some sort of personal information. For example, you see an ad on Amazon, and you are redirected to a page that contains fields for you to fill in. Once you have filled these in, you submit your information to receive the product or service. 

What most people skip on these pages are the terms and conditions. The terms and conditions typically state that if you do not return the item after 30 days or ca

ncel the trial, you will be charged in full. Leaving you to continue paying for the service or receiving another month’s worth of product. 

After the trial period has finished, and you’ve started on your 30-day plan, it can be extremely challenging to cancel. The cancellation policies may change after the free trial is up. Until you can cancel, you will be charged monthly or annually. 

How can you avoid free trial mishaps?

You must start by reading the terms and conditions before you sign up! Most companies don’t have your best interest in mind, which is exactly why you need to get all the information. Before your click ‘I agree’ take these tips into consideration…

Are “Free Trials” really free?

  • Free doesn’t always mean free. Inputting your credit card information is a sign that you’re probably signing up for something that isn’t free. If you do still want to continue with the free trial, understand exactly what those charges will be when they occur. 
  • Don’t forget to set a reminder once you sign up. LifeHound is a service that provides reminders when all your important documents, trials, and other important dates are coming up. 
  • Once again, don’t forget to check the terms and conditions before your sign up.
  • Lastly, if it seems too good to be true… it probably is. The products being offered may not always be up to the standard the ads are presenting. Stay on top of the trial dates to ensure you won’t be charged for a subpar product.

At LifeHound, our free trial is REALLY free. No credit card information is required. It’s time to stop falling into the ‘free trial’ trap. Keep track of your important trial dates in LifeHound and receive helpful reminders when it’s time to cancel.