Do You Fall for Free Trial Offers – Sales Tactics #7
October 9, 2007
Come on, sign up and give it a try. The first 30 days are free, if you don’t like it just bring it back.
Sound familiar? How many times have you been talked into signing up for a service or buying a subscription because they offer a free trial?
“I’ll just see what it’s like”, you tell yourself. “If I decide I don’t want it, I’ll just cancel.” The trial period goes by quickly, life gets busy, and suddenly the time to cancel has passed and you’ve been billed for the first month. You call back to cancel when you see the charge come through on your card. Sometimes they’ll give you a pro-rated refund other times they won’t give back a dime.
The free trial is an effective technique for sellers. Their ideal scenario is that you will fall in love with their product or service and decide you must have it. Another common situation is one where you aren’t really using their service but forget you signed up and the recurring payments on your credit card stay under your radar for a while before you cancel.
Of course a free trial can be a valuable offer to you as a consumer if there is a product or service you’d really like to try out before committing to it. Just be aware that companies can use the free trial offer to entice you into closing the deal.
• First 30 Days Free • Absolutely No Obligation
• Risk Free Trial • First Issue Free
Tactic In Action
When I bought my last cell phone several years ago Sprint PCS was offering a 30 day trial of their Vision service that allowed you to browse their online content with your phone. The salesperson convinced me to try the service when I activated my phone and sure enough the trial period came and went and I didn’t cancel.
Not only did I get charged after the 30 days were over, Sprint also billed me for my “free trial”, they “forgot” to give it to me for free. The half hour I had to spend on the phone convincing customer service they had billed me incorrectly for something that was suppose to be free was definitely not worth the few minutes of time I surfed around the web on my phone.
Protect Your Paycheck
Trial Period Reminder – As soon as you sign up for a trial period, mark on your calendar two days before it ends to remind yourself to cancel.
Beware the Asterisk – Many free trial ads are followed by an asterisk that give the fine print of the offer. Make sure you know the rules before giving anyone your credit card number.
Just Say No – Often times the process of canceling a free trial is more hassle than it’s worth. Unless you’re actively looking to review and buy a product or service, just say no to free trials.
Free Trial Offer is the 7th sales trick in the Sales Tactics Revealed series. Be sure to check out the first six if you haven’t already: Don’t Miss Out, You’ll Be Sorry, Buy Now, Pay Later, Rebate Ransom, Sales Events, and Preferred Customer.
All posts by Ben Edwards