How many times have you signed up for a trial subscription service and forgotten to cancel the payment?
Everyone is guilty, but now a new app is about to offer a controversial answer to the problem of losing money through forgetfulness.
FreeTrialSurfing already has 10,000 sign ups in the States and is set to open in Britain.
The concept is simple.
The app has agreed a dummy credit card number and personal details with a bank.
To sign up for the free trail, simple input the phoney details to the subscription service, so when the trial period runs out, the business cannot take any cash from your account.
Money for nothing
However, you offer your own email so you get updates from the business and can go back to change the payment details if you want to keep the subscription.
The card is blocked from making other purchases.
The iPhone app is the brain child of entrepreneur Joshua Browder, founder of another popular app DoNotPay, which is a robot legal service that helps users reclaim parking fines and bank charges.
FreeTrialSurfing is currently accessed through the DoNotPay app.
“The idea for this product came when I realised I was being charged for a £18 gym membership from over a year ago that I was never using,” he said.
“In fact, I had completely forgotten that I had signed up for a free trial in the first place. Constantly trying to keep track of when a ‘free trial’ period ends is annoying and time-consuming.”
Porn and Netflix
Browder says people with free trials to streaming TV and movie service Netflix and porn sites are the biggest users of his service.
However, a point to watch is if the app is ethical as using FreeTrialSurfing to take a service probably means the user is unlikely to continue with the subscription once the trial period ends.
If the app starts making a dent into business subscription models, expect technology solutions, such as checking and rejecting the card as payment.
Browder, aged 22, was born in London but studies at Stanford University, California, USA, and developed the apps in his spare time.
In 2015, DoNotPay claimed to have overturned 30,000 parking tickets and saved motorists £2 million in fines.