Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Monday, March 09, 2009

Don't Forget to Cancel Recurring Payments

I have a feeling I’m not the only one who hates it when you purchase something and a year later find out you signed up for a recurring subscription.  I’m sure there’s a reason why they include this in the fine print.

Typically, most of the complaints I get are from some of the well known security suites. Many come with new PC’s and 30 day trials. It’s also not uncommon for other web based services. Many of these may only be $5 or $10 EURO or USD but they add up. Some companies have business plans based on people not regularly checking their credit card bills.

This week it happen to me again.  Last year I tried out something called TrackPass from NASCAR.  I had to check it out because it was pretty much the same application we pitched to NASCAR about 7 years ago when I was with the ABC Enhanced TV group.

I was impressed with NASCAR TrackPass even though most weeks I watched the Sprint Cup race delayed a little bit on my TiVo. I wasn’t really thrilled with the $79 cost.  I was even less thrilled when my PayPal account was charged another $79 this year without any warning. I’ve written to the folks at NASCAR but they haven’t replied. Looks like I’ll be seeing how the PayPal resolution service works.

I thought this would be a good time to check and see if I had any other recurring payments saved in my PayPal account.  I recommend you all do the same.

It took me about five minutes but I finally found the following PayPal help.

PayPal Help

When you get to the Profile page, you’ll see the following in the middle column of the page.

PayPal recoccurring payments

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Blogger Richard said...

I think its a bad idea to have any recurring payments debited from your bank account (or from PayPal - same concept). I have 2 credit cards that let you create one-use account numbers on the fly, and that's what I use for any merchant that I am not 100% comfortable with. That way - no surprise billings at some future time. I also do read the fine print when considering whether to sign up for a new service. I really detest evergreen billing policies. Sometimes, the presence of such a policy will be the one factor that tips the scale in favor of not making a purchase. Magazines are particularly bad about this.

3:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the tips I always give my clients and on my personal finance blog is to take advantage of credit cards that have a temporary number feature (this is becoming a lot more common). Then, the number expires before any "automatic renews" can happen and then they have to come get a new number which instead of giving them, you just tell them to cancel.
Not much help for Paypal, but works great for all of those "trial offers" you see on the Internet.

11:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quit making payments that way. Use a virtual credit card that allows you to limit the amount and the time that virtual account number is valid.

Problem solved since there's nothing that can be charged since the card number is no longer valid when a subscription expires.

1:31 AM  

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