It’s not unusual for online services that require some payment be it a one-time purchase or a recurring subscription, to offer a free trial period. After all, unlike physical products you can touch and see, there is really no way to gauge digital products without trying them first. For a time, Netflix offered such trials in varying lengths but now it seems that the streaming service has become confident enough to ask new users for payment right from the start without even sampling the goods.
Of course, there is no legal requirement for services, online or otherwise, to provide a free trial period but it has become a common business practice across the world. In fact, some have even made such trial periods a selling point, like money-back guarantees, to entice new customers. Netflix may think it is now too big for that even need that.
The video-on-demand streaming service previously offered free trials ranging from a week to three months, depending on the promotional campaign. Now you can no longer find that on Netflix’s home page and the service’s help page does confirm that. Instead, Netflix says subscribers can cancel anytime they want with no fees. You just won’t get your money back but you can still use Netflix until the end of your billing period.
The TV Answer Man was able to get a statement from Netflix about the sudden and silent change. According to the streaming giant, it’s simply looking at other marketing promotion strategies in the US to attract new subscribers. Clearly, it doesn’t see those free trial offers as an important part of that.
Netflix is, after all, facing tougher competition these days, especially from the likes of Disney+. It’s not surprising if it feels the free trials will be abused by freeloaders who have no intention of signing up anyway. It’s probably also confident that everyone already knows what it has to offer and no one needs to try out those videos anyway.