January 28, 2015

Be Aware of Auto Renew!

We have all been there. You sign up for a new online service. You add your credit card details, scroll through the terms and conditions and tick the box at the bottom, which says, accept.

Anytime you hand over your credit card online, remember these two words: auto renew. Auto renew functions for online services act as a way to ensure uninterrupted service for products that you have purchased. But what happens when you are not able to opt out of auto renew system when you no longer need the service? Or if you don’t remember signing up for it in the first place? With companies based overseas and no customer service phone numbers, it can be a difficult situation to remedy.

Many online services have auto renew set up so it stores your payment details for future charges. Unfortunately there are cases of businesses automatically processing payments without issuing an email which states they are about to do so.

How do you best protect yourself against unknowingly signing up for auto renewal services? Read the terms and conditions that so many of us skim over. Look for words like ‘auto renewal’ and ‘opt out’. Services described as ‘opt out’ means you have to request to not have something happen. If you are not able to find the section of the website which addresses the opt out function, contact support and request they direct you to the appropriate section of the website.

One example of people having issues with the unwanted auto renew payments is with the Antivirus company Bitdefender. To make a thorny issue even more complicated, Bitdefender’s online payments are managed and processed on their behalf by another company Avangate. There has been a great deal of confusion and frustration through tardy or no responses for customers that are having issues attempting to cancel the automatic payment. This of course is an extreme case, but is good to be aware of. If you or someone you know has had issues with Bitdefender the company has set up a section on their website to allow people to opt out of their auto renewal. There are quite a few forums as well where people are posting their experiences.

It is important to always be aware what you are agreeing to when you sign up for a service. Be sure to have a look at the terms and conditions on a service provider’s website before you tick the accept box! Or if are you unsure about anything, you can always just ask us at Neo and we will be happy to help, no charge. No auto-renewing charge!


David Bower
Neo Technologies


Julie Dunmore

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