MALWAREBYTES - BEWARE of this company and it’s practices, I did not want to renew my subscription which was not due until 18th August 2019, I e-mailled Malwarebytes in plenty of time with the instruction to canel my subscription and not charge my credit card for another years subscription, just got a reply from Malwarebytes saying they cannot cancel my subscription due to payment being taken by a third party company and I contact them instead. They gave me no contact info for this company. I eventually found a customer support (JOKE) email for them, they are sending me back to Malwarebytes, I suspect something is not right here and both are blaming each other, I will complain to my credit card company if I am charged as surely this is Fraud. Sorry folks for the rant, just had to warn others about this company. I have never had this happen before with any other company’s subscription. Thanks
Sorry to hear that you’ve gone through this. I haven’t had problems with MalwareBytes, but have had similar issues with other companies. (In fact we just spent a month trying to get back over $4,000 from our previous insurance company that automatically withdrew our payment despite the fact that we had cancelled our renewal.)
While we can’t fix this particular situation, maybe it’s a good time to look at ways of managing subscriptions.
1. Use Your Calendar. One of the simplest things that I’ve done is that whenever I sign up for something with an annual subscription, I will immediately put it into a special calendar called “Recurring Costs”. I put in the renewal day and the price that I paid. Then I set an alarm for about 30 days ahead of when it will renew, which is usually plenty of time to deal with cancelling it.
2. Look for billing / renewal info in your account. For example, https://my.malwarebytes.com/en/payment-methods shows when my account will renew, and also shows payment info, but most companies have a similar page.
Pro-Tip: The easiest time to find that page is usually when you are first signing up for a new service. (Sometimes they don’t make it obvious later!) I always add the URL for billing/payment info into 1Password in the same entry with my username and password, so I can find it later. It’s also a good idea to make a note of how much you paid, so you can see if the price has gone up when you go to renew!
Of course they all enable automatic renewal by default, but you should be able to find a setting to disable automatic renewal and/or remove your payment information.
Few companies tell you when your renewal date is coming up if you are set for automatic renewal. (I’m sure we’ve all had the experience of getting a “Thanks for your payment of another year of service!” email and groaning because you had forgotten about something or meant to cancel it.) BUT if you are not signed up for automatic renewal, they will give you lots of warnings about when your current term is coming to an end, which gives you the opportunity to go in and renew…or not.
(Back when MobileMe was a thing, I used to buy it from Amazon every year for $79 instead of the $99 Apple charged. Because Apple didn’t have my credit card info, they’d email me about a month ahead of time to renew, which gave me time to order a new code from Amazon.)
Which reminds me… If given the option, I never have them save payment information, and prefer to re-enter it using 1Password. It’s a bit more of a hassle, but it also means that there are fewer places out there which have the chance of compromising my credit card number. Sometimes you won’t get asked if you want them to save your credit card info, but you can find it later and delete it. Being set up for auto-renewal without payment information is almost as good as turning off auto-renewal.
3. Use a credit card, not a debit card. Look, I realize some people have almost religious-like objections to credit cards, but giving someone your debit card number is giving them direct access to your money.
With a credit card, if you file a dispute with your credit card company, they will block the payment from going to the company, and you don’t have to pay unless the credit card company’s “investigation” rules against you – and you are their customer, and whatever company you are disputing charges with is most likely not their customer, so your credit card company is much more likely to want to keep you happy rather than them.
(I’ve been told that my anti-debit-card advice may only apply to people in the U.S. because we have such lousy consumer protections laws. So if you are outside the U.S. and live in a country that sucks less when it comes to how banks treat customers, feel free to ignore this one. But I’ve known people in the U.S. who have spent weeks or even months trying to get their money back after a company auto-renewed some payment on their debit card, and meanwhile that money was gone. The bank didn’t really seem to care and left it for them to sort out, so they had no advocate in their dispute.)
If you do use a credit card, don’t buy anything you couldn’t buy with cash and always pay it off every month. Do that and a credit card becomes just a tool of convenience and another layer of protection.
4. If they won’t refund what’s left of your year, cancel now! I do this with most of my iTunes/App Store subscriptions. I have a recurring task in OmniFocus (but you could do the same in any calendar app) to open https://apps.apple.com/account/subscriptions and look at my subscriptions list every month or so. If I am not 100% certain I want to renew something, I’ll cancel it. Apple doesn’t refund what you’ve paid, so you can continue to use the subscription, and you’ll get a reminder when the subscription is coming to an end. If you want to change your mind, that’s a good reminder to renew. If not, it’s easy enough to ignore!
5. When signing up for a new service, choose monthly instead of annually (at least at first). This is good advice that even I sometimes don’t follow: Every service out there wants you to sign up for a year, and to entice you, they offer some kind of discount. Don’t fall for it! First, sign up for one month, and see if you really like & use the app / service / whatever during that time. If you’re still using it after a month, you can sign up for a year when your first month is over. The difference for the first month is usually pretty small, and if this prevents you from renewing even one subscription that seemed like something you’d use but turned out to be a dud, you can save big time.
@tjluoma Wow thanks for taking the time to reply in such depth your advice is very much appreciated, thank you.
As far as Malwarebytes goes they seem to respond to customers ranting at them, my sub due on the 18th Aug seems to now be magically cancelled, I shall keep an on them just in case, they seem to take action quicker when the Fraud word is mentioned. Anyway thanks again
Click “Payment” tab at the top that is between “subscriptions” and “orders”.
Under “Active subscriptions” there is a link that says “Cancel subscription”. That is how you cancel the subscription.
Unfortunately most companies won’t let you cancel a subscription via email. They’d probably claim that it’s for security, but I suspect they don’t want to make it easy for people to cancel.
I don’t like “Social Media” but a complaint via Twitter of FB really gets their attention…
Just to add on to the subscription monitoring, Bobby is an app available that allows you to add all of your subscriptions and for a cheap one time purchase you can get many features of the app. I’ve had it for a while and always keeps my subscription information neatly organized, sorted and sends me a reminder in time for me to prepare and expect for it. It has touch/face ID so all your information is secured and even gives you some totals and averages for different time periods. Highly recommended.
Bobby can tally subscription costs so one can follow the money spent, which for some people would be useful, and I like that they don’t try to anonymize and compile subscription info and resell it.
For me, every time I buy a subscription to something I add the expiration/renewal notice to my calendar, usually with an alert set to 1-2 weeks before. Works well enough for my needs…