Free Trial Subscriptions – When free is not free after all

in LeoFinancelast month

I just want to share with you an experience I had with an image provider that offered trails subscriptions and which proved a bad choice for me. This happened few months ago when I saw the Adobe Stock promotion and as I was working on building a website and didn't do my due diligence I've opted in for the "Get 10 Adobe Stock standard assets with your free 30-day trial".

I've registered my account, put my card on file as it was a requirement for the trial and said to myself that I will enhance my website with some neat photos and than cancel the subscription. The plan was safe enough, but at some point things got crazy at work, I didn't have time to complete the website anymore and as you can imagine I've forgotten also about the trial.

So time passed, I worked hard at work and in about 2-3 months things got a lot calmer so I would have the time to think also about other things. And getting back to my website I've remembers about my subscription and I've panicked at the thought of being charged without using a service. And my worst fears came true as when I looked over my banking account I was seeing that in 2 months I was charged about 100$ each. I couldn't believe how easy I could throw those money after working for them so much.

I called the Adobe support and asked for them to terminate my account. My luck was that after paying two months for thin air my card expired and I was missing a payment for another 100$. The guy from support wanted me to pay than and also a penalty for stopping the contract which if not canceled would renew itself for one year. I said that I cannot do that, I cannot afford it and that I forgot about canceling it and it shouldn't have continued automaticaly. As probably he knew it was something fishy in this practice, he agreed to cancel my subscription and void any pending invoices as I didn't even used their services for about 3 months.

So my lesson from this and advice for anyone that is reading this is that sometimes is not worth to try something if you need to enroll to any payment scheme that they might have. The devil is in details and they might try to get you afterwards if you don't pay attention or if you just don't cancel their services in time. Also some other platforms require you to call on phone to cancel subscriptions (1000$ a month for a Stocks platform) which I experiences as well and learned my lessons. Keep it simple, don't give any payment details and stay safe.

Don't get hooked on free trials...free is never free!

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This is why I never use these free trials... never remember to cancel them before paying and when I do there is often a "mistake" and I still end up paying.

I feel ya. 😌

That's why I don't mind belonging to the 0.1%.

The 0.1% who read the terms.

But as a general rule: if a card is required for a trial... set a reminder to cancel it. You WILL be charged otherwise. Better even, just don't bother. Those corporations do make a mint of forgotten trials.

It happened to me more than once.
Until I learned my lesson - never send out my VISA numbers to anywhere, no matter how sweet that free 30d trial seems

In general (in a real world) I always turn around, once I see smth FREE. But online....those 30 day cancelation tricks has screwed me several times.
How many years I'm keep saying this?>>

  • There is no free lunch
  • Free cheese is only for the second mouse.

Online world need to develop new habits

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Yeap you are right on that but until somebody tells you to your face not to do it as you will get screwed, you don't feel the danger.
Anyhow, I've learned my lesson :)

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Thanks for the warning about "Free Trials" I am sure we have all fallen into this trap at one time or another.

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You are right. I am one of the people who are so careful about involving in any payment scheme because I beleive nothing is free in this world we are in.
We need to be careful about the site we dump our details.

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I also got a one big bill for "Free" trial.

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Not a happy moment when that happens and you feel that you were tricked.

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And you can do nothing, just pay up and get out of subscription. It is also important to glance your Credit card, Debit card and bank spending at least once in a month to see if there are some unusual charges.