What are your thoughts on forced continuity membership programs?  Are they a convenience or a nuisance?

A guru offers a free CD or book or something that needs to be shipped and all you need to do is pay for the shipping.  Next thing you know, you get a whopping $97 or more charged to your credit card and suddenly your blog income business has a debit line entry.  Outside of the internet world this is known as negative billing and companies that employ this tactic fall under heavy fire.

Last week when I attended the Financial Meetup, John Chow

John Chow & Bernadette Giet of Wealthy Wilmas

John Chow & Bernadette Giet of Wealthy Wilmas

spoke briefly about just this very subject – which can be even more insidious than I thought.  At least the offerings that come into your and my inbox have a respected name attached to them and the long sales letter that roped you in in the first place does mention that you can cancel at any time.

It is the trial period of time that I have an issue with – sometimes as short as 7 days.

But what if your keyword search landed you on just such a sales letter on the open world wide web.  No identity, no respected name behind, just a freebie offer that requires your credit card number and then whamo!  An unexpected charge for a substantial amount on your card.  According to John there are plenty of such freebies with negative billing programs out there, and, as he put it “just try and cancel.”

Having fallen prey to negative billing on more than one occasion the practice has left a bad taste in my mouth.  Of course you can get the freebie and cancel immediately after.  Most people don’t.  I know that when I purchase a freebie, I want to read or listen to the CD or watch the video before deciding on the continuity program.

My thinking here is that these gurus might get the first month’s continuity fee, perhaps even the second, but after that the attrition is significant.  I have heard it whispered in the  hollowed halls of the internet marketing world that the average life of a forced continuity member is four months.  Is it worth ticking off a whole lot of people just to get the 4 months of fees?  Doesn’t sound like the best way to build an online income.

Have you had any experience with forced continuity programs?  What are your thoughts.  Should the freeloader just suck it up when the charge appears on the credit card statement?  Is the onus on the new “subscriber” or should there be a box for an optional check mark to become a continuity member?

To Your Awesome Blog Income Life!


Forced continuity programs?  Stinky Cheese!

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