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What You Need To Do Before Signing Up For A Free Trial

Updated on September 8, 2014

1. Know the facts:

Is it really a free trial? Some free trials can state they're free trials without actually being free trials.

Free trials should just be that: FREE.

No payment needed on your part whatsoever for the duration of the free trial.

If you see a trial stating that it's "free" and yet asking you to pay $1.00 or so to try out, it is not a free trial.

2. Stay Ahead of The Game:

Research your trial first

When signing up for a free trial you should always research first. You do not want to put yourself in a situation where you're paying hundreds of dollars on the trial service just, because you did not read the fine print.

To keep yourself from facing this reality that many have faced before the following is suggested:

Look up your free trial to make sure that it mostly has positive feedback. If the trial you are trying to sign up for has about 80% negative feedback then I suggest moving on. 99.9% of the time trials with a high percentage of negative feedback are most likely scams, and will steal your money.

To look up your free trial Google or Bing the following, "(name of free trial here) reviews."

If other people have tried out the free trial product or service then it's likely to have a few reviews.

If most of the reviews you see have 1 star then give up on the free trial.

If the free trial you intend to sign up for has no reviews then check out the FAQ section to see its policies.

Can you cancel without any issues?

Some trials can end up being your worst enemy as some of the numbers given to cancel your trial may be invalid and not work or the trial itself may be a scam in disguise.

To avoid this you can look in the FAQ section of the free trial, and see the ways that you may be able to cancel the trial (online or by phone). You can also call the number given by the service to make sure it works, and talk to one of the representatives about your concerns.

Some free trials may charge you to cancel!

Disney's movie club charges you a fee of 4 full DVD movie prices in order to cancel your trial. While on the other hand some services charge you a fee of $0.99 to cancel your trial online.

Most free trials should enable you to cancel for free, so before signing up make sure to research the cancellation issues of the trial (you do not want to end up having to pay to cancel).

3. Expect what's to be expected:

Most free trials will most likely ask you to sign up with a credit/debit card or PayPal account so you should expect to do so. A few free trials allow you to sign up without the above (these sites are mostly preferred), but that is less likely to happen.

What you should be a bit on alert about is being charged on the spot for your free trial. A lot of online services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Gamefly (Gamefly charges the full $15.00) usually charge you right away to verify that your credit/debit card is in fact real. These charges are usually set for security measures and should be refunded in a day or two. They usually tell you that you will be charged, and that the money will be refunded ASAP.

Though there are a few services say that you will not be charged at all for the free trial, but at the end of the day you see a charge on your credit card. When this occurs you should most likely contact support or call to make them aware of this.

To steer clear of this problem, and know whether you will have a temporary charge on your cc you should call the company ahead of time to expect what's expected.

4. Set up a calendar:

Most free trials will charge you if you do not cancel on time. Free trials usually give you a time limit on how long you have before you cancel.

If you do not cancel on time some free trial services will give you a refund for this common mistake while others may tell you to deal with it—it's their money now.

To avoid paying the full price of a trial that you no longer plan on continuing mark your calendar as to when you should cancel.

You can write it on post it notes across your fridge, room, door, or steering wheel (whichever place keeps you from forgetting). You can write it on memopads or your phone; maybe tell your friends to remind you or even tattoo it (Henna) on your wrist.

Just make sure that you don't forget to cancel (this is the most crucial part that so many have failed at).


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