WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — New research suggests consumers are paying hundreds of dollars more than they expect for subscription services, according to a Chicago-based research firm.
C+R research indicated people underestimate monthly spending by $133 on average, adding that consumers are spending 2.5 times more each month than initially thought.
Automatic payments billed to your credit cards or pulled from checking accounts can add up. But consumers can save with simple reminders.
The survey pointed out the increasingly saturated streaming service market as payments go unnoticed, also citing subscriptions for clothes, makeup and food.
To prevent payments from going unnoticed, consumers can consider apps like Mint, Truebill, Trim and Rocket Money which keep track of upcoming and previous bills, as well as subscriptions. Personal finance apps also offer consumers to set budgets, and show spending trends.
“These services can go out, and use that same software that a marketing company might use to identify which services you have then come back with a report to you to say, ‘this is what we’ve got and here is the contact information for you to be able to cancel those subscriptions,” said Professor James Bailey at George Washington University’s School of Business. Personal finance trackers.
Bailey added companies aren’t required to tell subscribers when they could get a better deal on things like phone bills, insurance and if people are subscribed for a service they no longer use.
“Almost always” there are better deals, said Bailey who added, “it’s caveat emptor, baby. It is ‘buyer, beware.”