By Roseann Freitas
Better Business Bureau 

Be mindful when gifting services, enrollments


March 1, 2024 | View PDF

If you’re considering purchasing a subscription service as a gift, there are a few things you need to know before you start. Whether you're looking to elevate someone’s entertainment, simplify their mealtime, or pamper them with the latest trends, subscription services have got you covered. But be sure you’re making a wise investment.

Do your research

Research the company you're interested in by checking their social media accounts, consumer reviews and business ratings on Be sure to look for any red flags, such as complaints or scams, before signing up.

Free trials?

If you're considering a free trial, understand how it works.

Find out how long the trial period lasts.

Read the terms of the agreement.

Learn how and when to cancel.

Always be cautious of companies that offer something for free but require payment for access. It's important to read the fine print and be suspicious of any deals that seem too good to be true.

Understand auto-renewals

Auto-renewals can be a convenient way to keep your subscription current but be sure you understand how they work. Companies must send you a renewal notice ahead of time, and you should always check your bank and credit card statements to ensure the cost is what you expect. If you notice a price jump, it could mean that you were signed up for a promotional period that ended.

Stopping a subscription

Knowing how to stop a subscription is crucial. There are three ways to stop automatic payments from your bank account:

Contact the company to revoke payment authorization.

Call and write your bank or credit union, informing them you've revoked payment authorization.

Give your bank a "stop payment order".

Monitor your bank statements closely and take further action if you still see unwanted charges.

Cancel unwanted subscriptions

By canceling early, you’ll avoid paying for an extra subscription term. Also, periodically review your active subscriptions to ensure you're still using them. If you're signed up for multiple subscriptions, a subscription management app can help you track and manage them.

Watch out for scams

Scammers may offer you free trials or deals on subscriptions that seem too good to be true, hoping you'll sign up with your credit card number. Don't believe deals that seem outrageously good. Always contact the company directly to verify suspicious messages.

In conclusion, gifting a subscription service can be a thoughtful and practical gift. By following these tips, you can ensure that your loved ones receive a gift that keeps giving without any unwanted surprises.

Roseann Freitas is a former PR & Communications Manager for the Better Business Bureau Great West + Pacific region.


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