If you’ve heard a lot about streaming and TV on-demand, maybe you’re ready to take the plunge. On one hand, you’re excited to cut the cord. On the other, streaming might be foreign territory and you may not know where to start. Don’t worry — guidance is available.
It’s hard to remember a time when there was only one streaming service to choose from. Today, we can choose from a huge selection of services and channels. This is good news, but comparing these services can be overwhelming. If your goal is saving money, you probably don’t want to subscribe to multiple channels, especially since monthly subscriptions can add up quickly.
Thankfully, many streaming channels offer customers a free preview or trial. These trials vary, but typically run between 7 and 30 days.
Free trials are a win-win for you and the streaming company. You’re able to explore channels to see whether you’ll benefit from a particular service; and by offering free trials, streaming services can reach customers they wouldn’t otherwise.
On-demand content can change how you watch TV. But before you sign up for a free trial, there are a few things you need to know.
1. You need a credit card.
When you sign up for a free trial, in most cases you’ll be asked to provide a credit card number. You’ll complete a sign-up process as if you were signing on as a new permanent customer. But don’t worry, the company doesn’t charge your credit card at this time.
A credit card is required because streaming services are different from subscribing to cable. With cable, you receive a bill in the mail, which can be paid online or by check. Most streaming channels automatically charge the monthly subscription fee to a credit card and some services give the option of an automatic draft from a bank account.
2. Don’t forget to cancel.
If you don’t know which streaming service to choose, signing up for multiple free trials lets you test out different services simultaneously. You can compare options to see where you’d rather spend your money.
If you decide that a particular service doesn’t work for you and your family, make sure you cancel within the free trial period to avoid being charged. Keep in mind that a free trial doesn’t automatically end after the trial period. The subscription continues until you cancel. Because the company has your credit card or bank account information, they’ll simply charge your account.
One benefit of signing up for a streaming channel is that there are no long-term contracts. So if you decide that you no longer need a service, you can cancel at any time.
3. You only get one free trial.
Understand that you’re only allowed one free trial with a streaming service. Let’s say you sign up for a free Hulu trial with your name, email address and credit card number, but cancel after the trial. You can sign up again at a later date, but you won’t qualify for the free trial. Many streaming channels maintain a record of customer information. So if you attempt another free trial, you’ll be unable to complete the request.
The only way to get another free trial is having someone else sign up with their email and credit card number.
Streaming can completely change the way you watch television. And, oftentimes, you’ll save money. But if you’re having difficulty deciding which streaming service to sign up for, a free trial is one of the best ways to preview your options. Sign up today so you can discover new content and start binge-watching you favorite shows.