Just Say No . . . To Free Trial Offers

Just Say No

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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.


Comments

  1. Yeah, unfortunately there’s a lot of predatory sales practices out there. I dread calling my cable company for customer service. My phone service is not bundled, and this drives them crazy. About six months ago, I had to call about the box. The guy tries to sell me the phone service, trying me to make me sound stupid because I’m not saving money on this awesome deal. Four times I told him specifically, “No, I’m not switching.” He offers a deal for the premium channels that sounds like something I want — and he made it sound like I didn’t need the phone service to get it. Technician shows up: “I’m here to switch your phone.” I was furious because the sales man clearly lied, so I told the technician phone service wasn’t what I requested and sent him on his way. I bet they get a lot of people who convert even though they haven’t ordered it.

    A month ago, I had to call them again about the box. They try to sell me the phone service again. I turn it down. Box gets fixed on the phone, and they tell me someone will be calling for a survey. Yup, they lied. It was another attempt to get me to bundle the service. I sat there and told her, “You guys lied to me. Why should I trust anything you say?” Saleswoman ignores what I am saying and says, “It costs a little more, but you’ll save money.” Then she said the most ridiculous thing of all: “We can come install the phone and you don’t have to use it.” I hung up on her. The sales tactic are horrible, and the worst part is that the reason they exist is that some people are fooled by them.
    Linda Maye Adams recently posted…The Army Private and the PotatoMy Profile

    • Wow, Linda. That’s terrible! And you’re right, some people are fooled by them. When they knock on the door to install something you didn’t order, a lot of people let them.

      • I’m too much like my father. I’ll send them away. The only time he bought something from a door to door salesman was because the guy would not leave. As soon as the guy left with the sale in hand, my father called and canceled the order and told them why.
        Linda Maye Adams recently posted…When Kittens Attack – VideoMy Profile

  2. This is so true!! I need to print this out and refer back to it from time to time. Nothing makes me angrier than solicitors. I have two signs on my door that say “no soliciting” and there are still some people who knock and claim they’re not selling anything. I will not answer the door to anyone I don’t know…I don’t care if they see me through the windows! My home is a place for me and my family; I get so angry when people invade my privacy in person or by phone.

    • I feel that way, too. In the “old days”, it was still annoying but now it feels like an intrusion.

      What amazes me is when they tell me “I’m not selling anything.” You know they are or they wouldn’t be calling. Being lied to makes me even angrier.

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