Television and film subscription services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ have grown over the last year where on-demand viewing has become crucial for Britons who are spending more time at home due to the pandemic. The subscription services, which charge customers via a monthly direct debit will also often offer free trials for new customers.
Monthly subscriptions have also become increasingly popular for items like food, clothing and even beauty products.
However Martin Lewis recently issues an important warning to those customers who are signed up to these subscription based services.
Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live last month, the Money Saving Expert said: “We’ve obviously seen a huge growth in subscriptions from food boxes to dry-cleaning to flowers to the obvious Netflix and Amazon Primes out there and Disney+.
“A lot of people, I have to day, are saying they know they shouldn’t have them and they don’t watch that much but they don’t cancel.
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Martin added: “There’s a more powerful psychology at play and I call that the ‘inertia dividend’. That’s because we human beings are naturally predisposed to not liking to lose something that we have.
“There are many who wouldn’t sign up to a movie service they don’t really need if they had to pay for it but they would do it for a free trial
“They go in with a view to cancelling it when their trial ends but at that point they’ve already become accustomed to it and getting rid of it means it’s a loss. And we as human beings don’t like loss.”
The expert explained that this type of subscription can be compared to a gym membership where people like to keep their membership even if they don’t actually use it.
He said: “So what we have to do is be clinical and recognise our own emotional biases.
“It’s important to try and revert your mindset back to when you first signed up for the product. Knowing what you know now, ask yourself, ‘If I didn’t have this, would I pay for it?’ and if the answer to that is ‘no’, then be clinical and ditch it.”
Netflix also recently hiked the price of its UK subscriptions which means customers will now pay £9.99 for its standard monthly package instead of £8.99 and its premium plan has risen to £13.99 from £11.99.
Its basic plan remains at £5.99 and Netflix said the increase in price reflects the money spent on new content.
In one of Martin Lewis’ live shows, he explained how Britons can access some Netflix shows free of charge.
Speaking on The Martin Lewis Money Show in January, the expert said: “And, what you may also not know about Netflix, is you can go to Netflix.com/watch-free and it has some of its shows available for free there and you don’t have to pay.”