It is a truth universally acknowledged that a woman who signs up to a free trial will forget to cancel her subscription. The free trial subscription is a curse that affects us all, lurking silently in a folder of neglected apps before gleefully sucking up £6.99 a month until further notice. Before you know it, one drunkenly downloaded karaoke app has accumulated six months' worth of charges. That's one expensive hangover. While we'd all love to be the kind of person who either sets an alarm in their calendar or regularly checks their bank statements (not both – let's be realistic here), it's the kind of task that sits way, way down on your to-do list. It's important admin, but it's easy to neglect.
Thankfully, though, there's finally an app for that.
'Free Trial Surfing' is a new feature of the DoNotPay app which automatically cancels subscriptions at the end of the free trial, and it launches in the UK today. It is not linked to a customer's bank account or credit card, but according to the developer Josh Browder, is in partnership with a major bank. Which major bank, he declines to say.
The app is currently only available via Apple's app store, so is not compatible with Android phones. To get access, you need to download the DoNotPay app. Each customer will receive a virtual credit card number and invented name, which they can use to sign up for a service. It appears simple enough, and will enable you to use free trials to your heart's content (the most common subscriptions are to porn platforms followed by Netflix, by the way).
When you set it up, you will be asked for your own, actual credit card details, which may give people pause. Also, somewhat ironically, developer Josh has said that some day he may charge a subscription to use the service (though it's currently free).
With all that in mind, this app may be too good to be true. But on the other hand, think of all the money you could save from that neglected gym membership...