There are some people in this world who can say “yes” to one of the many free trial offers available and then actually remember to call ahead of time to cancel.
You know what I’m talking about – “I’m calling to offer you a free three month trial to XYZ. At the end of three months, if you aren’t completely satisfied or don’t want to continue, just call and cancel. No questions asked.”
Have you ever said yes to one of those? What happened? If you’re one of those people I described above, you were able to benefit from three months of a free service and then cancelled without consequences.
Unfortunately, that does NOT describe most people. And if you’ve messed up on one of these deals, it doesn’t mean you’re unorganized or inefficient. Usually it simply means you had too much other stuff to do to mess with it. And that’s exactly why you should JUST SAY NO to trial offers that require follow-up.
Here are more reasons to say no:
1. You have to remember to cancel the trial offer before they begin charging you. Usually that means several days or weeks before the end of the trial period.
2. Sometimes you have to provide billing information even though you know you’re going to cancel before the trial period is over. With identify theft so common these days, the fewer people and/or companies that have your credit information the better.
3. Sometimes the companies mess up and don’t actually cancel the trial and you get charged even though you called and cancelled. That requires another phone call.
4. You have to CALL to cancel the offer, and when you do, not only do they try to talk you out of it, but you have to listen to more sales pitches. And who has time or energy to make that kind of call.
5. If you forget to cancel, you end up paying for a service you didn’t want.
I never take advantage of trial offers. Some of them have seemed like good deals but I don’t want the hassle of follow-up.
However, I discovered earlier this week that I had indeed been the recipient of a trial offer only I didn’t know it. When I signed up for cable at our new house, they GAVE us three months of free HBO/Cinemax. I assumed (never assume anything) that when the three months were over, they would take it off. I assumed wrong. When the three months were over, they began charging us. Since I hadn’t agreed to a three month trial, I was pretty irritated that now I had to take the time to call and cancel the extra channels that I didn’t ask for. And, of course, I had to listen to sales spiels for other products that were also available.
So the next time you’re offered a free trial, think about what it will cost you and JUST SAY NO!!!
Have you ever taken advantage of a free trial? Did you remember to cancel before the time was up?
Other articles about money are available in the Money Index.