Subscription services are very convenient and can be a fantastic way to save money too…
Take our affordable home (Infinity) & business (MY Print Service) printing services as examples. If you have school aged children, some artistic hobby (photography or design) or run a business, school or charity. Chances are you are going to print scan & copy quite a bit of stuff. Which is costing a small fortune in replacement printer cartridges. Let alone the price of replacing your printer every 18 months or so too.
For a fixed & affordable monthly subscription our print services provide the latest ‘fit for purpose’ printer & unlimited replacement cartridges. Together with a service guarantee (fix or replace) & a fixed priced guarantee (no price increases). On average saving up to 60% against other printing solutions.
But not all subscription services provide guarantees of certainty (this is something you don’t think about when you initially sign up). And it can take months (of paying) before you get round to identifying the 1’s that provide little or no value, even then, they can be very difficult to cancel too.
Ever signed up for a free trial, then missed the cut off to cancel it before the monthly charges start to rack up?
On 1 occasion this happened to me. But it was worse that I first thought. As hidden in the conditions was a 12-month minimum term if the free period was not cancelled in time. That mistake cost us over £100 for little value in return.
And we didn’t learn our lesson. Since then we’ve had free trials with Netflix, Amazon prime (although I’m never buying off Amazon again) and Spotify. Each time forgetting to cancel & being charged at least a month or 2 before spotting our mistake & eventually working out a way to cancel them.
When it comes to subscriptions ‘smartphones’ have a lot to answer for. They make it so simple to register and sign up for all sorts of things. And it’s usually when we’re chilling out at home or waiting around at kids clubs, that our fingers start to tap.
So maybe now. Coming to the start of another new year. Is the perfect time to evaluate which subscription you should keep & those that need to be cancelled. Freeing up some extra holiday cash for the summer…
Check here for the major subscription culprits
Apple has pushed app subscriptions for the past couple years & made it very difficult to find the list of apps you’re subscribed to. But to find out go into your iPhone’s settings and scroll down to iTunes & App Store. Tap on that, then tap on your Apple ID at the top of the screen. tap ‘view Apple ID’ (you’ll probably have to sign in) & scroll down to ‘subscriptions’. Decide which subscriptions to cancel, click on them and a ‘cancel subscription’ option should be available.
Not everyone knows this. But you can apply restrictions at the operating system level of your phone to prevent anyone making in-app purchases. On Apple you can find it by going to settings, click on ‘general’, then click on ‘restrictions’ and scroll down to ‘in app purchases’ where you have the option to turn it off. On Android, go into ‘Play Store’ settings and ‘require a pass-code or fingerprint’ for any purchases.
Amazon’s Memberships & Subscriptions section isn’t the only place you should check for services either. You also need to check your Games and Software library. Found by going to ‘Your Account’ and going to the ‘Digital Content and Devices’ box.
Facebook also has the ability to maintain subscriptions for apps & games. So it wise to dig through Facebook’s settings to see if you’re being charged for any games you’re no longer playing too. From the home page on your smart phone, go to Settings by clicking on the menu in the bottom right of the screen, click on ‘setting & privacy’ and click on ‘settings’. Then go to ‘payments’ & you can deactivate any subscriptions for games under ‘active subscriptions’.
Unbelievably. If this all sounds like a lot of work. There are app’s that can manage your subscriptions for you. App’s such as Truebill, Bobby, SubscriptMe & Trim. They claim to identify all the subscription services you’re paying for & could be helpful in spotting other kinds of subscriptions you’ve even forgotten about.
The last resort
Failing that, print off as many bank statements as you need (no extra charge) on your Infinity printing service, grab a couple of high-lighters and mark off the subscriptions you want to cancel. Then schedule in your task list the time to ring each organisation an cancel them. 1 word of warning. If you don’t schedule the time to ring and cancel. If your anything like me. You’ll never do it!