Thousands of Americans are being charged hundreds of dollars for unwanted services. These so-called “grey charges” usually happen when users sign up for services that are free for a limited amount of time, but quite pricey after that.
USA Today reports that these charges usually occur when people sign up for free online services that require the user’s credit card information. The problem is that these services are only free for a limited period of time, and companies won’t cancel them for you once these free trials end. Instead, these companies will charge their users for unwanted services until they cancel them.
A study done by BillGuard, an app that alerts users about these charges, revealed that Americans are being charged a total of $14.3 billion at an average of $215 per person for these unwanted services. The study was done over a year among 5,000 BillGuard users.
Most people fail to read the fine print on free trials like Amazon Prime, a service provided by Amazon (AMZN) which offers discounts and other benefits. The free trial lasts 30 days, but users get charged $79 after the initial month. Other companies such as LinkedIn (LNKD) are cashing in on similar offers.