How FREE are Free Trials?

We’ve all been there. Drawn into a “FREE TRIAL”. What can go wrong? Of course, I would like to try something for free, maybe for a day, maybe a week, sometimes longer. Who wouldn’t? Free trials are wonderful, they’re a great way to try out a product before splashing the cash or making a deeper commitment. Think of it like speed dating. You give it a shot, if it doesn’t work out, you move on to the next lucky suitor and hope for the best. No harm, no foul, maybe a few weirdo’s, maybe you’ll discover Prince Charming.

But, there’s a catch. These free trials require you to enter your credit card information, and if you don’t cancel before the end of the trial, whoopsy- daisy, you’ve been charged. Ouch. It has happened to all of us. We’ve heard stories (and by heard stories, some of us at Antennas Direct have actually experienced this) where we’ve signed up for a free trial and have gone months before realizing we never cancelled it. That means that free trial cost you $30+ dollars.

Here’s an example. Let’s say you decided you want to see what all the hoopla is about with CBS All Access. So, you download the 7-day free trial and think you’ll try and catch up on this season of The Good Wife. A couple episodes in, you discover that the latest season of the Good Wife is on Hulu, which you already have a subscription to, so you start watching it over there. It’s now 4 months later and you realize you forgot to cancel CBS All Access… dun dun DUN! You’ve been charged $40 for something you haven’t been watching.

So, are we saying you shouldn’t sign up for free trials? Not at all! We fully support them and think it’s a great way to discover what streaming service will work best for you along with your TV antenna. But be sure to mark your calendars, set an alarm or cover your mirror in sticky notes to remind you to CANCEL THAT TRIAL if you don’t watch that app! You can then go test out another service until you make your final decision and choose the lucky winner.

Do you have experience with a “free trial” that ended up costing you money? Be sure to share with us in the comments.

Best of luck on your “speed dating of steaming services”, and may the odds be ever in your favor.