Teddy Towncrier's Web Oasis.

February 20, 2009

The steamroller threat of negative option billing.

Filed under: Uncategorized — teddytowncrier @ 6:05 pm

Negative option billing is a blight in modern business fuelled by the ease of electronic payment and when I discover someone subscribing to this pernicious practice; I promptly dump them and tell all my friends what I’ve done & why. …. (It’s one of the reasons that I became my own Telephone Company).

In case the term “Negative option billing” isn’t familiar …. It means that the vendor conveys to the reader that they’re getting one product or service for $x amount when in fact the small print (AKA “Terms of Service”) may say that the vendor has the option to supply additional goods and/or services at additional charge.

Merchants using negative option billing strategies have often employed the best brains in the world to tell their story which is frequently loaded with subliminal and psychological triggers. … They have big marketing guns and they’re aimed at you.

The process for halting this reoccurring debit that you may have agreed to; Is frequently, not as easy to get out of as the initial transaction.

There are respectable business folks who will offer a sample at reduced cost to tempt us further to buy the whole package and I do that to give readers a taste of my book How I dumped the Phone Co. and became my own telephone supplier.

Please remember … The devil is in the details. …. When entering into a transaction … Make sure you read and understand the fine print. … I even go so far as to take the document package home with me and study at my leisure. …. and that’s whether buying a house, a car or a washing machine.

Merchants frequently will be using an emotional strategy as a sales tool and don’t like us taking our time. …. On many occasions; I’ve saved tens of thousands of dollars by taking the documents home and making small changes to the paper work.

It may be time to start living by the other golden rule ….. “He who has the gold, rules”.   and doing our homework.

…. and will it kill ya’ to give me a Stumble or add a comment?


Teddy Towncrier CPP Towncrier-Media.com Supercharging Your Visions.

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  1. Yes this is a less than ethical business practice.

    A good example would be the system used by many gyms –
    that are simple to get into and can be all but impossible to
    opt out of. A notarised letter to resign from a gym membership?
    What a load of malarky!

    And yet it happens.


    Comment by Lindy Asimus — February 20, 2009 @ 8:15 pm | Reply

  2. Yes, I agree one should always read the fine print, TOS and Privacy Notice. However, sometimes even reading such information can leave confused. Where do you go for clarification?

    Lamar Morgan

    Comment by Lamar Morgan — February 22, 2009 @ 10:53 pm | Reply

  3. I think negative option is fantastic, good luck to any business that uses it. around 9 out of 10 members of the public are complete helmets and deserve what they get.

    I would never fall for this, as anytime im requested to pay anything to anyone i always read the terms and conditions, and if i didnt! like all these so called victims didnt then i would only have myself to blame.

    To all negative option billing companies “Good luck and keep up the good work” fantastic!

    Comment by steve carruthers — April 8, 2011 @ 7:09 am | Reply

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