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The Automatic Renewal Gimmick on the Internet

The internet world does everything possible to get your credit card number and then rope you into some monthly subscription.  I ran into that problem yesterday.  I wanted to stop my subscription at a Kindle-competitor for one new audiobook per month.  It was difficult to cancel.  My reaction was panic and anger.

Fortunately it all worked out.  The customer does not lose access to their library of previously bought audiobooks just because they have cancelled their subscription.  But this is something that must be investigated fully before ever signing up with a new subscription service.

What a perverse model the subscription model is, to the customer!  I have had problems with anti-virus software making you pay more if you check the box to block automatic renewal.  The "box" is usually hidden so that you won't find it.  

Likewise, I have had problems with Patreon trying the same trick on me.  So I cancelled my support for the writer or vlogger in question.

Be clear, I am not promoting the idea of freebies for customers.  I want the internet to be part of the economy.  I like making a discretionary decision to buy something, and then enjoy it.  But each of these monthly charges is like drilling a small hole in the hull of a ship.  The ocean loves it.

This is especially important to customers during times of rampant inflation.  You need to go on the warpath against automatic charges.



You are exactly correct on this issue.
Barney, I figured you for a guy who disliked monthly information-rent and automatic renewals! (grin)
Mark in Kansas said…
I don’t subscribe to magazines unless they make a provision for me to mail them a check.
Mark, checks would certainly solve the problem. I am surprised they haven't stop issuing them.