***In case you're wondering what this has to do with memory training - everything! And I don't mean how to memorize the Weight Watchers program - I mean how to set yourself up so you don't get scammed by your own lack of attention...***
So, Buyer Beware BEFORE you sign up for ANYTHING, ANYWHERE, ANY COMPANY on the dotted line (or hit the agree button on the computer).
Four months ago I signed up for a three-month on-line Weight Watchers program. In a rush to get going on my diet plan, I failed to read the notice following the sign-up box; the notice that read:
"For your convenience, your subscription will be automatically renewed at the end of your payment plan at the standard monthly rate until you notify us."
If only I had read to the end of the page before signing up... If only I had translated the "continuing charges" message into bright red warning letters that would register in my brain so I would take action to prevent being automatically re-signed up and charged for addition time... If only I had paid attention!!!!!
An $18.75 mistake on my part. Would have cost more if I didn't catch it within month four.
If you're rushing, I'm going to give you the bottom line "how to make sure you pay for only what you want to get."
1) If you pay for any kind of subscription on-line with a credit card, be sure you take the time to find out if there's any automatic renewal, because there usually is.
2) Once you find the automatic renewal date, mark all the information on your calendar for at least four days prior to the renewal, so, if you wish to stop, you'll have ample time to cancel.
It's that simple. Just stop. Pay attention. Write it down. Read your calendar.
A good Memory Mindfulness habit to develop.
Now, back to the rest of my story:
It's not only Weight Watchers, it applies to any company that has automatic sign-up. Did you ever get one of these responses?
"Thank you for your inquiry regarding the charges to your credit card. By subscribing to our product, you agreed to and accepted the terms of our Subscription Agreement. Section three of our Subscription Agreement clearly sets forth the payment and billing terms. Our subscription process is the same as many other online subscription processes, which automatically renew your account and bill your credit card unless you cancel....Pursuant to the terms of our Subscription Agreement, we are unable to refund fees paid for months with billing dates that have come and gone."
Buyer Beware! As life goes rushing past us, and we go rushing past life, we do have to make the time to stop and pay attention to those moments that demand our attention.
I don't think Weight Watchers was intentionally trying to fool me. It's just an automatic renewal policy that's easy for the seller, and that puts the responsibility to cancel on the buyer.
In a FOLIO:MEDIAPRO blogpost by Karlene Lukovitz, on automatic renewal strategies, you will find, if you scroll down to the seventh subtitle, third paragraph:
However, auto renewal can hardly be described as completely mainstream and problem-free, even after years of these offers being out in the marketplace, and even given the proper safeguards in place (crystal-clear wording, an alert reminder sent prior to billing credit cards, and so on). Bonnier’s Cohn, for example, says Popular Science and the other titles he manages do not make any auto renewal offers outside of the Web.
“Obviously, if subscribers are happy with auto renewal, it’s a win/win,” says Cohn. “But we’ve tried these offers—on Popular Science, for instance—and ended up phasing them out. In my experience, it works fine at first, but a couple of years in, people forget what they ordered and become confused and alienated. We did not want to deal with the adverse customer service repercussions.”read on for the entire article.
A mindful consumer is a wise consumer.
So now, for only $18.75, I learned my lesson. Hopefully, you, too, will take heed. I invite you to use my story as preventative action to avoid scamming yourself. Now that we both know better, let's take a pledge:
When a sign-up offer comes my way, I shall * Stop * Pay attention * Mark all the renewal information on my calendar for at least four days prior to the renewal, so, if I wish to stop, I'll have ample time to cancel * Read my calendar daily * Take the desired action.
Let's hear from you.
WHAT ARE YOUR "Mindful Consumer" and your "how I make my memory stick" stories?"
How about your "I need to put more Brain-Friendly Life-Style Habits in my life" STORIES? Blog on and share your Memory Mindfulness stories as well.
Blog on with your comments. And forward this blog to as many friends and associates as you wish. Hopefully they'll become Memory Tipsters as well.
For more information on how to make what you choose to remember stand out from the crowd, or for how I can make your next meeting memorable, click here: or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
(Copyright - Judy Marcus - 2012) **********************************************************************************************************