Advice on Subscriptions with Auto-Renewals
If you’re happy with a subscription and want to continue with it, auto-renewals can be convenient. On the subscription’s expiration day, your credit or debit card gets charged, and the subscription is automatically renewed for another term.
Here are three things to keep in mind about subscription auto-renewals:
- Before a company can auto-renew your subscription, they have to send you a renewal notice. This isn’t a bill or an invoice, so it shouldn’t ask for your credit card information. A renewal notice is simply a reminder about when your subscription expires and that you’ll be automatically charged when it does. If you get a renewal notice that asks for your credit card information, stop! Read the notice carefully as the company may be trying to get you to renew an old subscription that you canceled, or it could be a scammer trying to get your credit card information.
- Check that the cost is what you expected. Sometimes when the renewal automatically happens, you’re charged more than you were last time. This could happen if you initially had a promotional rate. When you get your renewal notice, read it closely to confirm that the rate you’re getting is what you expected. If it isn’t, or if the notice doesn’t say how much you’ll pay, call the company right away. See if they can lower the rate or cancel your subscription if that’s what you want. You may be able to cancel a subscription and re-subscribe for a better promotional rate. Take note of the promotional period end date, mark it on your calendar and know when and how much you’ll be charged when the promotion ends.
- Scammers sometimes send fake renewal notices to get your financial information. If you get a renewal notice for a subscription you don’t have, it’s probably from a scammer or a dishonest company trying to get you to give them your credit card number or other personal information. Don’t call the number on the notice or click on any email or text message link. Search online for the company name with the words “scam” or “complaint” to see if other people received the same fake renewal notice. If it’s a company you do business with, contact the company at the number you know is correct to see if the renewal notice is real. Otherwise, just ignore it.
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