I have a huge respect to companies that allow users to try their premium subscriptions. This allows users to get a taste of what the premium services actually are, and how they can benefit them.
I really hate when a company offers a free version but put limitation in the free version and you never get to experience the premium version.
There are also some companies that would trick you into signing up for the trial period, and will charge the annual subscription on your credit card. And you can’t really do about it because, they have already put the terms & conditions that if you do not cancel it yourself the plan gets renewed automatically.
So, if you are using a few trial trial accounts from different companies, it’s tough to track all of them. But here is how you can do it the right way so that you never get charged and always get notified to cancel the subscription.
Use Virtual Credit Cards
There are Virtual Credit Cards (VCCs) provided by mostly all the banks. If you have internet banking enabled for your bank account, you can check whether your bank offers VCC.
If it doesn’t, you can check the banks available in your area that offer this feature. Simple google search will give you many options.
If it does, you can create a lower value VCC that you use for signing up the trial accounts. So even if the company tries to charge you, there isn’t enough money in it.
What if it doesn’t work? Check out the other option
Create Zero Balance Bank Accounts
A lot of banks have already started offering their users an easy way to open a bank account where you don’t have to visit the branch. Everything is done online and you also get a zero balance bank account.
I created Kotak Zero Balance bank account and it got activated within 24 hours. It gives a Debit Card which can be used internationally. I am sure there may be other banks that offer the same kind of service.
Idea is to use the Debit Card like a VCC. Not actually abuse it, but put some value in it and sign up for the trial periods you really want to try.
This will save you from getting over charged but you will still be charged for or transaction failure. For kotak it is Rs 32 or something, but that can add up to become a big amount if you are using it for several trial accounts. So here goes my another suggestion.
Use Gmail’s Snooze Feature
There are few amazing features offered by gmail to tackle your emails, one of the feature is Snooze feature, where you can and temporary archive the email and give it a date to reappear in your Inbox.
This is amazing for tackling emails which you do not want to tackle at the moment. But it is also amazing for or getting notified of the trial period ending.
Whenever you get a welcome email or trial period confirmation receipt, Snooze that email to just two or three days prior to your trial period ending. This page you will get notified in your email when the trial period is ending and you will be able to cancel it.
But here is an even better option
There are services that offer trial periods but would still allow you to use the entire trial period even if you cancel the trial period just a few minutes after subscribing to it.
For example there are many apps in the app store that allow 3 day or 7 day trial period, but you will still be able to use it for 3 days or 7 days even after you cancel it just a few minutes after starting the trial period.
Other than apple there are many other companies that do similar kind of thing where it will let you use the entire trial period even if you cancel it just a few moments after.
So these are the steps that will prevent over charge on your credit or debit card. I am sure if you are curious techie person who wants to try everything that is being offered for free, you will really appreciate this article.
Apart from allowing you to use trial periods without worrying about getting over charged on your Credit Card, this also prevents your real Credit Card from getting stolen in cyber attacks, or on phishing sites.