Last week I received this hoard of food. And it only cost me £1, rather than the regular £45. All thanks to a ‘free’ trial.
Forgetting to cancel and paying for stuff you don’t want or need is the biggest risk of trial subscriptions and memberships, but play it right and you can save.
Here are our tips to help take advantage of free trials and other offers:
1. Look For The Best Offer
Before signing up for any subscription, see if you can get a free or reduced trial. Then make sure that there aren’t any better offers. Two weeks free might sound good, but it might be a month free elsewhere.
We’ll feature any great offers we find in our deals section. A Sun+ trial we featured cost us £1 each and gave us £100 of Superdrug and Morrisons vouchers, plus four free Odeon tickets and some make up before cancelling. We’ll only feature something if we think it’s worth doing too!
If there’s a service you are interested in, sign up to mailing lists and newsletters to be sent special deals.
Timing can be key, as offers may be limited in numbers or time. I got such a good deal on the Hello Fresh food above because I was lucky to see an email offer as soon as it arrived in my inbox.
2. Check Terms & Conditions
The trial might seem a great deal, but check whether there are restrictions. You might not have access to all the benefits or full discounts.
Also find out how you cancel and when you need to do it. You may need to give a month’s notice – forcing you to commit to paying for the second month.
3. Choose The Best Time
There’s no point taking up the subscription if you’re on holiday for the bulk of it or have another service which will use up your time. Wait until you can take best advantage.
If it’s a TV streaming service like Netflix, and you’re waiting for a new series to be available, don’t just keep the service and watch trash for the sake of it. Cancel and resubscribe when there’s something decent. Read our 8 Ways To Save On Streaming guide for more tips.
4. Put A Note In Your Diary
If you think you might cancel after the trial, put a note to remind yourself when you need to cancel. Remember to include any notice period.
5. Remember To Cancel
I’ve lost count of the number of friends who are paying for Netflix or Amazon Prime because they keep forgetting to cancel it. It might only be £6 a month, but over a year that’s £72 you could have spent elsewhere.
If you forget, do it as soon as you remember – you’ll probably still have the full month/week etc you’ve paid for. Otherwise you’ll get stuck in a cycle and keep paying for something you don’t want or use.
If there are competing companies offering something similar, switch between them until you’ve used all your free trials. Then you can choose which (if any) you want to pay for. I did this with DVDs by post and got free rentals for nearly a year.
Let us know your best deals or cancellation nightmares in the comments section below.