Why I’ll Never Sign Up To A Subscription Service

Posted on by Anouschka in Product Reviews, Reviews

I wrote this post in anger. You know when your neck turns red, because you’re actually seething. So I thought, lets sleep on this one before posting (something Trump might want to do sometimes), and let’s see how I feel in the morning. I didn’t sleep very well as the ‘injustice’ of it and feeling of powerlessness just kept me up.  And, No, I’m not talking about some life shattering, horrific trauma to someone or something, I’m only talking about trying to cancel a subscription service that I didn’t want. But trust me, this in itself is anger inducing enough.


I’ve been receiving emails from a company that offers a subscription service. They do a great job at marketing their service and products and I’ve been tempted to buy, but kept stalling as soon as I had to fill in my credit card details. Now don’t get me wrong, I buy on-line ALL the time, but I don’t like recurring deductions (unless it’s for my favourite charities, where I WANT to give my money away to well deserving institutions, and I don’t want to forget to make the payments monthly). 


Anyway, for Valentine’s day they had a promo code, and I thought, ‘You know what, I’m going to give it a try. I’m gonna spoil myself!”


So I did. But it wasn’t a spoil, it was shite. I’m sorry but it was. I didn’t pay full price, as I used a R100 off voucher, but this is what I received which is supposed to be valued at R400, and others paid R249 for.


Little Red Valentines Bag

Revlon Colorburst Lipstick

Set of 5 earrings

Hamlet Chocolate Slab

Heart & Key-ring Set

Mine & Yours Coaster Set


Seriously? Seriously! Valued at R400?! But that’s not the point. The point is, I tried it, and didn’t want to buy it again. But here’s the catch!


Because I was so weary about recurring payments I made a note on my calendar to either continue or cancel my subscription once I received it on the 25th. The website mentioned deductions on the 28th of the month…


“All signups close by the last day of the month. If you sign up between the 1st and the 31st of the month, you will receive the following months bag. Your first deduction will be upon signup, thereafter on the 28th of the following month and every month thereafter on the 28th until cancellation. Bags are dispatched by the 15th of every month, and you should be receiving it by the 25th, like Christmas every month!”


I received my bag on the 21st, and was so shocked at what I had received that I immediately went onto the website to cancel. I finally found it under FAQ:


“Q: What is your cancellation policy?
A: Subscriptions for more than a month (e.g., 3- or 6-month subscriptions) cannot be canceled during the subscription period. Month-to-month subscriptions can be canceled during the subscription period, but only after the receipt of the first months bag. If you would like to cancel your month-to-month subscription after receiving the first bag, then make sure to do so before the 21th of the month when your next billing occurs. This is a notice period of 7 days prior to automated deductions. There are no cancellation fees. In order to cancel your subscription, simply notify us via email of your cancellation. If you have any questions, please contact us at hi@littleblackbag.co.za.Cancellation Notifications after the 21st of the month will not be taken into account and you will still receive the next months bag. The cancellation will then be activated the following month.”


Being the 21st I thought okay cool, on the cusp as it’s not after, so should be fine. No worries. I sent the email and received a response – 


1:39 “No problem, your subscription will be cancelled”.


At 4:09 however, I received this: 

“Hi hun

Im so sorry for the faulty reply, unfortunately all cancellations need to reach us before the 21st of the month.
Your cancellation will be scheduled as soon as the March bags have been sent.
Have a lovely evening.”
Firstly, I’m not having a lovely evening – I’m pissed off! This was my EXACT fear as to why I never subscribed to a recurring debit order service.
Secondly, your website is misleading and I recommend you do something about it. 
1) Make it VERY clear on the sign-up page of your website when one needs to cancel by. From your sign-up if sounds like the 28th is the cut off.
2) Communicate with your customers, on sign up, via email, when they need to cancel by.
3) Please can you show me how to go back in time. Customers are supposed to receive your first bag on the 25th, but you must cancel by the 21th (sic), but only after the receipt of the first months bag. Mmm, that’s not really playing fair. Is it? You’re basically forcing people to sign up for 2 months, even when they think they’re signing up for 1. I’m sure I’m not the first person to query this. 


So there you have it. Why I will never sign up to a recurring subscription order ever again. If you choose to do so, then make sure you find out EXACTLY when you need to cancel by BEFORE you order, as once they have your credit card details, you are at their mercy. Some services send out a PAUSE/RESUME email before the due date, which gives you a sense that they really are just trying to deliver a great service to those that want it, and are not just about the money.


I was torn as to whether or not I should name and shame them.

  1. That wasn’t the point of this post. This could refer to several other subscription sites, so it’s more about educating ourselves, before we give anyone our credit card details.
  2. I’m also pissed off with myself, as I fell for their marketing and I thought I was being smart about it by making a note in my calendar once I received it, to either continue or cancel. I should have found the fine print before ordering.
  3. So if you really want to know who I’m talking about, (this is a review site after all) just email me at anouschka@pampermenow.co.za and I’ll be happy to tell you.


UPDATE: After losing ‘all my shit’ with this company (I swear I never do this, but I was fuming), they did eventually come back and tell me that they would cancel after all. I was ready to call my bank and was willing to actually cancel my credit card, but luckily that wasn’t necessary in the end. They also said they’d update their website, so here’s hoping a bad situation can be improved upon, so no-one else has a crappy experience. 


I’m off to the gym to burn off some steam xxx


About Anouschka

Anouschka is a full time mom and part time Spa addict and pamper fanatic. After taking a 'mommy break' from working in the advertising industry, she started managing facebook fanpages for businesses and fell in love with social media. She divides her time writing for PamperMeNow!, managing the ‘ILoveBeingPampered’ fanpage, and running after her two young boys, with a little bit of Spa action in between.

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