Brits are paying out an astonishing £338m every month in unused subscription fees – including for ex-partners – and women are the worst culprits.
Around 45% of women have continued to pay for subscriptions that they no longer need or use compared to 38% of men, according to data from TopCashback, with gym memberships being the most paid for and forgotten, followed by magazine and newspaper subscriptions, credit reports, TV streaming services, and music streaming plans.
More than a quarter of us have kept paying for a subscription that is rarely used for at least four months, with around one in six of us paying for more than a year. Even after setting a calendar reminder to do so, nearly a third of us failed to cancel a subscription that was no longer needed, while nearly half of us signed up to a free subscription that they then forgot to cancel before they were charged.
Unbelievably, 5% of people were still paying a subscription for an ex-partner after they had split up.
Natasha Rachel Smith, consumer affairs editor for TopCashback, said: “Our research highlights that as more and more services become available to us, the costs are going unnoticed in our bank accounts. However, whether it’s an often-used subscription, or a newbie, it’s important to review any subscription fee each month and ask the following questions: do I still use this service? Has the cost increased? Can I still afford it?
“When it comes to initially free subscriptions, especially those in which you have to enter bank account details, it’s worth setting calendar reminders or putting a post-it note on your fridge door well within the free trial period to ensure there’s plenty of time to review the service and cancel if necessary.
“Taking advantage of new sign-up discounts and cashback offers help consumers save on their subscription services’ fees so it’s well worth doing them provided you’re prepared to be a defensive consumer and stay vigilant.”