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Free Services: Make Sure You Don’t Get Surprised!

TL:DR: Never give your Credit Card number when starting a free service.

Big Cajun Man (and many others)

I have just purchased an iPad Pro. This gift to myself comes with three different free services from Apple. These free services are only for three months. To start them up, I must give Apple my Credit Card or provide them access to a payment system. In my books, that isn’t free.

I learned my lesson many years ago. The Motley Fool offered me free access to one of their proprietary newsletters. I read it and got a little from it. I had given them my credit card number, but I had sent my cancellation email long before it was to be charged. The card was charged with a large amount for the subscription. I spent a long time arguing to get my money back, but I eventually did. From that day, I haven’t given out my credit card number unless I buy something.

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Conversely, I also give my credit card if a service I am buying offers a free trial period. I carefully note in my calendar when that free trial is completed. If you do this, you will know when the added charges arrive.

Free Service FAQ

Should you give your credit card details when trying out Gratis Services?

No. If you are planning to purchase the service, note when the Free Trial is complete

Are there any free services?

No, everyone needs to get paid. Do you work for free?

Do I have a vendetta against the Motley Fools?

No, I disagree with them, but their advice can be useful. I have a vendetta against their marketing group. Remember, everyone has got to get paid.

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