We all have them. Cable, gym memberships, magazines, and other subscription services. Some of these are hard to avoid each month, like cable television and cellular phones, but others, such as gym memberships and “mystery” box services aren’t. Today, I am encouraging you to re-think these purchases and here’s why.
Partly because of feasibility to consumers, partly because of convenience for both you and a service provider, subscription services thrive. But, there’s a darker side here, too. Service providers compel you to sign up and autopay with credit cards, debit cards, or checking withdrawls and then make it hard to cancel afterwards. In effect, it’s akin to getting users “hooked” so that it becomes difficult to break free. While many business wouldn’t exist without this model, I think it can be very unfair to consumers.
This subscription service tried to clean out my wallet
My wife and I were using a cleaning service that essentially advertised as the “Uber for home services.” Need a plumber, just sign up, need your house cleaned, just sign up. Here’s my problem with this particular company and why should review all of your banking statements to see what subscription services you have. After signing up with the company, we had an “ok” cleaning experience. Partly my fault, I didn’t realize that I actually inadvertently signed up for a re-curring cleaning. Two weeks after our initial cleaning, we received a note indicating that the cleaners were coming the next day. Cancel? Nope, too late. That would be a late fee. I realized that it was possible to schedule monthly visits, so I decided to keep them and try it out.
Let’s fast forward to my recent identity theft issue. After dealing with that nightmare and headache, I *thought* things were settled. I *thought* I had cancelled said cleaning service. Nope. They came back the other while we were gone. This time, things weren’t amiss, but the cleaning job was terrible and the services’ website still indicated that I was subscribed for another visit in a month. Even after trying to cancel again, I still couldn’t. One complaint later and I should be free now.
The point of all of this is, watch what you subscribe to. Read your statements frequently. And, be vigilant.