We all know the struggle of subscribing to an app that gives users free trials for a month, and then we forget to unsubscribe before the free month is up. Some people are careful enough to set a reminder. However, chances are that the company would have probably charged you for the first month before you even realise. It can be spectacularly painful too when you have made plans for the money in your account.
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Netflix, Spotify, Deezer and Apple Music are only a few apps that offer free trials. They often ask for your payment details in order to sign you up. A good question will be why you even need to put in your card details in the first place if it is supposed to be free. However, it is very possible that the company is banking on the consumer forgetting so that they can stay subscribed.
To deliver us from this very important financial stress, a 22-year-old programmer has come to our rescue. Joshua Browder, who is also an entrepreneur at Stanford University, rolled out a new feature on its DoNotPay app. The feature, called the Free Trial Card, brings a solution to the problem of free trials.
What the app does is that it lets you sign up to a free trial service with a virtual credit card. Once the free period elapses, the app will also notify you that it is about to end. At this point, you can now decide if you want to continue with the subscription by adding your card information. If the user refuses to do the conversion to a real card, the card automatically declines and the subscription ends.
Do Not Pay
Browder speaks on why he developed the app. He said, “I was scammed, myself. I signed up for a gym membership at Planet Fitness and they lured me in with a free trial, took all my details. And I didn’t realise that every single month I was charged over $21.
“I felt scammed. I felt like all these companies were using deceptive practices and hoping people would forget before the companies got their money. It’s an industrialised scam,” he added.
The app does its good work by generating an email address that will forward mails to your real one after it has disabled location tracking and read receipts. According to them, the Visa card generated by the app uses random zip codes and is backed by multiple community banks. The card number given to each user is meant to free them from using their personal information.
The Visa card used by DoNotPay is also a legitimate business card backed by many banks. It makes them able to act as an agent on behalf of the customers to provide Free Trial Cards. Boulder says, “DoNotPay helps consumers fight for their rights and this free trial card is one of the many features we have.” They have also been able to save motorists an estimated £2 million within four months.