3 Things You Need to Know About Subscription Services
- You’re paying more than you think. The price of convenience is high. Unfortunately, most American consumers don’t know how much they’re actually overpaying. A recent study established that 84 percent of consumers underestimated how much they spend on subscription services and of that 84 percent, more than a quarter were off by $100-199. In many cases, they were off by almost double.
- Subscription services are on the rise. The subscription service industry is more than just your monthly magazine subscription. Now it’s your mobile phone service, WiFi, TV/movie services, music streaming, Amazon Prime, beauty subscription boxes, home security, pet subscription boxes, meal services, cloud services, and even cars. And there’s no ceiling in sight. Companies that offer subscription services are profitable and thriving.
- Subscription services can be deceptive. According to a CNBC investigation, online subscription companies use confusing, sneaky business practices to profit from their customers. For example, some companies opt customers into recurring charges without their knowledge and furthermore, make it very difficult for them to opt out. Prominent, successful companies like Apple and eHarmony have settled suits relating to accusations that they renewed customers’ subscriptions without consent. Now a popular lingerie company, Adore Me, is being accused of having a misleading membership model and making it virtually impossible to cancel their VIP monthly service. According to the investigation, former employees of the company shared their tactics: try to negotiate a deal with the customer and keep them on hold as long as possible. For customers who felt blindsided by the recurring charges, the additional frustration of trying, unsuccessfully, to get their money back is overwhelming. According to James Kohm, assistant director of enforcement at the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, subscription service companies are being closely watched. In fact, according to Kohm, “it’s an area that’s rife with problems right now.”
If you’re drowning in an ocean of monthly bills and recurring subscription charges, Billshark can help. We’ll cancel your subscriptions or, if you just want a better rate, we can negotiate a lower price. Let our Sharks do the talking for you.