Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Free Trial - no charge (for 30 days)

Have you noticed a growing tendency for Internet services to be provided on a two-level basis: there's the completely free level of service that really looks and feels great. It has all the features you want and need. Except....

It migiht be a greeting card system that sends free birthday (or other) cards and is infinitely customizable but every time you customize a card, you have accessed a "Premium" service and you need to sign up for the service. Or a pop-up ad informs you that you can find anyone, an old school mate, a friend from the army, your sorority sister who's changed names 4 times by as many marriages. And it's free, free that is until you want to know any more details such as where they live, what their phone number or e-mail is. You can get that information FREE. Just sign up for our PREMIUM service. It's free, too, for 30 days.

They're clever about the 30 days as well. Advertisers are so anxious to get you to accept their advertisements that you can extend your free month to a free year if you'll just try out this service or that service at a greatly reduced trial rate.

Be careful about free deals with computer service or cable television. Your Internet Service Provider might offer you six months free of their Premium ultra fast 20 mb download speed. It's free, why not take advantage. You're a little skeptical so you check your next bill carefully. Sure enough, there's the premium service surcharge of $30 and a corresponding discount of $30. Next month looks the same. The following month the premium service charge is combined with the regular charge so all that stands out is the $30 discount. When the discount drops in the seventh month all you see is that you've lost a discount, NOT that your rate has gone up $30.

Watch out for Premium offerings and free trials. They rarely are free.

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