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Culling the auto-renewals and duplicate services
Old 08-28-2019, 08:02 AM   #1
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Culling the auto-renewals and duplicate services

Does anyone have a strategy for keeping control of auto-renewed "services" and "subscriptions"? I know you can buy a service that will take this over, but, I can't accept that! I am so careful about money, but these things start proliferating!

I want to start with AAA. I have had it for many years, have used it, am comfortable with it. BUT - my auto insurance covers roadside repairs, as does my car warranty for another couple of years. I never use the discounts - AARP accomplishes the exact same thing, I don't read the magazine, and I plan my own trips. But somehow, it hangs around. What have your experiences been with "other than AAA" roadside services?

And how do you keep control of the auto-renewals? I try to keep a spreadsheet with names of services, dates of payments, and dates of renewals, but I always seem to consult it too late.
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Old 08-28-2019, 08:15 AM   #2
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I have used the roadside service that Toyota offers with a new car and had a similar experience to AAA. I also have my auto insurance's towing plan but haven't needed to use it.
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Old 08-28-2019, 08:32 AM   #3
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Seems simple enough. Check your bank/visa statements, call the ones you want to cancel. Am I missing something here?
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Old 08-28-2019, 08:39 AM   #4
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Never sign up for auto-renewal in the first place.
Don't give them a credit card to re-bill against and never let anybody ACH/debt your checking account.
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Old 08-28-2019, 08:49 AM   #5
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Never sign up for auto-renewal in the first place.
Don't give them a credit card to re-bill against and never let anybody ACH/debt your checking account.
Exactly!

I am trying Amazon Prime. Will probably cancel, as I haven't watched TV at all and the soothing background music selection is not huge.

Now that storage unit for the rentals....
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Old 08-28-2019, 09:19 AM   #6
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I have Citibank credit cards that provide me with access to Virtual Account Numbers (VAN). I always use it when making purchases, renewing a subscription (i.e. XM Radio), etc. It’s amazing how frequently vendors attempt to re-use a one-time purchase about 2-3 months prior to the initial period expiry, followed by an ever-increasingly urgent series of messages that I should act NOW to ensure uninterrupted service! And, once they get your money, the odds of cancelling and getting a refund is almost exactly zero. Vendors HATE this, but I feel the same way about their no choice auto renewing subscriptions. It’s the game we must play...
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Old 08-28-2019, 09:31 AM   #7
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I generally refuse to sign up for anything that insists on setting up an auto-renewal. You can steal a lot of blood in little drips that are too small to fight over.

In the very rare cases where I find it necessary to sign up, most of these products have some kind of user preferences page where I can immediately cancel the auto renew. Which I do.

Where even that fails, I put a task in my calendar near the end of the subscription that reminds me to cancel.

Consumer Reports IIRC is a particularly bad actor. I sometimes subscribe for a month when I am looking at a major purchase. If, after subscribing, I cancel the recurring service they immediately remove my access regardless of the number of remaining days I have paid for. Grrr... So I put the cancellation reminder in my calendar.

@Pellice I realize that this does not help with your current pickle but maybe it can help looking forward. My most powerful weapon is to not sign up with egregious vendors in the first place.
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Old 08-28-2019, 09:37 AM   #8
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While there are reasons to not like PayPal, one good thing is if you give permission to periodically pay from PayPal, all of those permissions show in the same list and can all be revoked in one swell foop. If you give out your credit card info, it can be a challenge, depending on how slimy the vendor is. And giving out your bank account for ACH is the worst. But, yeah, PapPal with the ability to revoke centrally works for me.
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Old 08-28-2019, 09:55 AM   #9
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I have auto renewal set up several places, and I always get an email or post card telling me when they will be sending the charge through. That's the perfect time to cancel!
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Old 08-28-2019, 09:58 AM   #10
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For an infrequent auto-renewal, just set up a Google calendar email reminder for a week before it's due to renew. That gives you plenty of time to cancel.
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Old 08-28-2019, 11:55 AM   #11
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I have the ToyotaCare where they will come out and fix a flat tire. Last time I had a blowout, I really didn't have time to wait--or a cell phone to call with me. In Alabama, a flat tire brings strangers out of the woods to help you change a tire. I two guys stop to help me, but I had the job in hand.
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Old 08-28-2019, 09:42 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by justlikebike View Post
Seems simple enough. Check your bank/visa statements, call the ones you want to cancel. Am I missing something here?


+1
If you donít want/ donít need it, cancel now. Donít wait for the term to expire. Most places will refund unused dues. I generally only auto renew if there is an incentive to do so.
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Old 08-29-2019, 11:02 AM   #13
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Most online subscriptions I've used lately explicitly state they will auto-renew...so I use temporary credit card numbers (time & amount limited) generated off my Bank of America VISA.
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Old 09-01-2019, 09:20 AM   #14
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Most online subscriptions I've used lately explicitly state they will auto-renew...so I use temporary credit card numbers (time & amount limited) generated off my Bank of America VISA.
Temporary credit card numbers are a great defensive play. We have "Shopsafe" but I don't always remember to use it with those pesky things I buy with full intention to cancel.
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Old 09-01-2019, 03:39 PM   #15
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Thanks for all the great ideas! I'm not familiar with temporary credit card numbers. Are they widely available?
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Old 09-03-2019, 10:50 AM   #16
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Thanks for all the great ideas! I'm not familiar with temporary credit card numbers. Are they widely available?
Go to your credit card web site and look for it.


On Bank of America, it's called "ShopSafe", on Capital One it's called "Eno", Citi cards have an unnamed virtual card offering.
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