WheelsAtLarge 4 days ago

Yes, it's unethical but it's a common business revenue model that many companies employ. Some companies will give a free x months of service with the hope that people will forget to cancel. That's why most companies that do this will require a credit card to sign-up.

Unethical does not always mean illegal so many people will just do it and hope the consequences are small.

  • HeyLaughingBoy 4 days ago

    That's completely different. Requiring a credit card to sign up for a "free" service and they starting to bill the card after x months without warning or reminder is both scammy and scummy.

    But after I've decided to pay for a service, it's not up to you to decide that I need to be reminded to use the service. I'm an adult, I can take care of that all on my own, thank you.

IceMetalPunk 4 days ago

I think it's a gray area, and requires balance. Just because someone hasn't used the app in a month doesn't mean they forgot about it. Too frequent notifications like this would be obnoxious. On the other hand, if they did forget about it, then you should definitely let them know they're still paying for it. Honestly, the best way to go about it might just be to split the subscription model into monthly payments (even if it's an annual subscription, for instance) and then send a notification whenever they're charged. That way it's the same reminder, but it's more of "hey, here's something for your records, we've taken your money" instead of "hey, hey, poke poke, use our app".

takinola 4 days ago

When I ran a SaaS business, I didn't have the analytics to find out if a customer was using the product or not but I never hesitated to give customers refunds if they claimed to have signed up and forgotten to cancel or something. It's not worth the hassle to take people's money if you are not delivering any value to them. You can't build a sustainable business on that model so why bother trying.

butz 4 days ago

For paid applications getting a monthly bill is a great reminder. If we are talking about free application, where subscription == registration, take caution and inform only users that actually have confirmed their email and actually did some meaningful interactions with your app. I tend to forget all apps I've subscribed to when frantically searching for a tool or something similar, or use it once and forget, because my needs have changed. The correct way would be to inform user about account being unused for a year or so and then delete all its data, if user does not take any action.

pacarvalho 4 days ago

Slack has an interesting model where the license count charged to the company only includes active users which is a subset of those that are registered.

bediger4000 4 days ago

Yes, definitely. 100% unethical.