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The Most Common Mistake When Using Free Trials

free trial mistakesBy far, the most frequent mistake people make when using free trial offers is not canceling the service before the trial period expires. This typically results in the customer being billed at the end of the free trial, when their trial is converted into a regular membership. Many customers get very upset when they are billed because they were not expecting this to happen. Fortunately, this issue can be avoided altogether if you understand how most free trial offers work.

When you sign up for a free trial, the dead giveaway that you will be billed at some point is if you are asked to provide a credit card number. Typically, you will receive the product or service free for a specified period of time, such as 30 days. After this period is over, you will be billed. This does not mean you should never sign up for a free trial where credit card information is required, as many great free trial offers ask for this information. However, you do need to stay on top of things and cancel before the trial is over if you do not want to see an unexpected charge on your credit card statement.

Here are some ways for you to make sure you are not billed for a service after the free trial:

1. Read the terms and conditions.
This doesn't take as much time as you might think. You just need to scan the page really quickly and stop when you see information about billing. Usually it will state that you are going to be billed after the trial period ends. For obvious reasons, you do not have to check the terms and conditions if you were not asked for credit card information.

2. Cancel the service as soon as you sign up.
Most of the time, you will be able to continue using the service for the duration of the free trial even if you cancel the service right after signing up. By canceling immediately, you will ensure that you do not get billed later. If you decide you like the service and want to keep it, you can always return to your account page later to reactivate billing for your account.

3. Write down the day the free trial ends, and use email/sms reminders.
If you have a calendar or daily scheduler, simply write down the day the free trial will end. Alternatively, you can use Yahoo or Google calendar, and send yourself a text message or email a day or two before the free trial is over. This is a great option for people who have hectic lives and would otherwise forget about the free trials they have signed up for. If you don't want to use Yahoo or Google for whatever reason, Emailfuture.com and Memotome.com are two other sites you can use to send yourself email reminders. These sites are free and easy to use, so there is no reason not to take advantage of them.

Of course, we are all human, and there will be times when you forget to cancel a free trial and end up being charged. Don't fret when this happens, as you can frequently get the charges reversed. You will typically have to call customer service and explain to them that you simply forgot to cancel. Depending on how long it has been since you were billed, you may be able to convince them to refund your money. For the best results, try to do this within a couple days of being charged.

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