The 'Free Trial Trap' and how you can avoid it.
Not so long ago I was looking for a cloud file sharing platform. As I was researching through all the different offerings from different companies, the one that looked like the best fit for us was Dropbox for Business.
So, I signed up for a trial to check it out and sure enough it asked for my credit card details. “But don’t worry, if you cancel your trial before the end date, we absolutely guarantee that no money will be taken from your credit card”. I looked for an option to trial without the credit card being entered, but alas there wasn’t.
That’s okay I thought. I’ll try it out in the next week and make my decision and if it’s no, then I’ll just cancel it.
As you are reading this you probably thinking to yourself “I can guess what happened”. You are right. Life was busy and I forgot about it, and at the end of the 1 month free trial the $850 annual subscription got taken from my credit card.
Now luckily for me it turns out that Dropbox worked perfectly for us and we continue to use it today, however – it was a very rude awakening for me on the dangers of free trials.
This experience made me go through and check all my other subscriptions. Specifically, the subscriptions that I didn’t need any more and were small enough in value that I didn’t notice them coming off the credit card.
I found 3!!!
I cancelled them immediately and saved myself $40 per month!
Avoiding the free trial trap is actually really easy. You just need to remember you have a trial and cancel it. But as we all know, that is easier said than done.
Set a reminder
I know this sounds so simple and obvious, but how many people actually do it?
The one thing that now saves me every time is setting up a reminder immediately after signing up so that a few days out from its expiry I know I need to act immediately if I don’t want to proceed with the subscription. Saves me every time now.
There is no doubt about it. Free trials and reduced cost trials are absolutely fantastic. They enable you to test out a service and see if it is right for you before committing to it.
The challenge is, in our busy world it is so easy to forget about them – and that will cost you money.