Just some points to be mindful about to enjoy your subscriptions
A subscription is usually an affordable payment to access a product or service instantly from a provider or company and is paid at regular intervals such as monthly or yearly. Subscriptions are getting more popular with increasing online purchases. There is still some pitfall which you can avoid if you are aware of it.
As they say when it is too good to be true, it is too good to be true. When I first signed up with hosting for a website, it seemed like a great bargain for two years. In the interim, a “monthly registration fee’” was imposed, and a ‘protective policy’ was added without my permission and knowledge and I was billed.
When I received an email regarding renewal, it was too late as it had fallen outside the grace period during which you have to inform them about not wanting to renew. The subscription rate was increased by more than 100%. The honeymoon was over.
Well, as a consumer, one is obliged to read the Terms and Conditions these days very carefully so that there is no oversight. I am at fault too. Now, navigating through the convoluted T&C was frustrating. It sounded like a legal document. Since I was in this subscription trap, I tried to get in touch with them and it was tough!
Apparently, I could not cancel the subscription from their email which notified me in my email simply, “ Thank you for your payment” on the day the renewal grace period lapsed. It would be a good service if they had notified way before it expired and let me make an informed choice.
I found that the cancellation may only be submitted through another link after spending a lot of time on the website. This link was another labyrinth. First, there was a filter for exact requests that led to questions about your problem and finally a Start Chat. Only that it never started and the page is still downloading.
Incidentally, the reply to the email that announced my payment deduction did not reply when I wrote in to ask for immediate cancellation and refund of the balance amount. I had to copy and paste my requests to their multiple email addresses hoping for a reply.
I informed the bank of this “unsolicited transaction” but they required me to speak to them, the merchant.
I suppose the worst-case scenario would be to let it run for another two years and then inform them ( I don’t know which email can reach them) or cancel my card before the next renewal.
It was with a stroke of good luck after trying for two hours that I finally got connected to the Chat-group. The staff on duty was very helpful and offered to reduce the subscription amount. I decided to terminate and asked for a refund and surprisingly, he was willing to help even though the grace period had expired.
This is just to highlight to would-be subscribers to minimize their possibility of being trapped by subscriptions in the event that they are not so tech-savvy. From my experience, making an overseas call may be a laborious and costly way too. Hence, knowing what to do before hitting the subscription button may help.
The following steps might help;
1 Read Terms and Conditions carefully before subscribing. A bargain at the beginning does not mean it lasts forever. The price may double or triple after the first year subscription.
2 Be mindful of their terms especially when it comes to cancellation and renewal. How to cancel or set the renewal manually
3 Check out their tech support on the website to see how responsive they are like testing their chat group as it may not be easy to get the support you need once you are subscribed.
3 Read reviews about the company. I am sure there are other reputed ones or ask around with your friends.
It is the same with credit cards too. While they are very convenient instead of carrying too much cash around and allows redemption of vouchers and points for your expenses, annual fee renewals are climbing and can be very exorbitant.
Finance charge and late fees are also costly so it bodes well to pay on time. However, they are much easier to cancel as long as the arrears are managed.
These days, many companies are asking for subscriptions. The initial bait is attractive but terms can change along the way. Enjoy access to the products and services but the key is to know how to get out of it when you want to and be organized enough to notify yourself about renewal.