Three quarters of Brits say they are currently paying for subscriptions they don’t use – whether that be video streaming services or the gym memberships we’ve vowed to use since the start of the year.
Whilst there’s been a lot of talk of tightening belts in recent months, 38 per cent of the public have kept paying – accidentally or otherwise – for a subscription they’ve stopped using entirely, according to YouGov research.
In collaboration with banking firm TrueLayer, YouGov found that almost one in ten Brits with subscriptions said they spend over £25 per month on services they don’t regularly use, while a quarter said they didn’t even know how much they were spending on little-used services.
From the data, young people appear to be losing out the most, with half of 18–24-year-olds saying they’ve kept paying for things they don’t make the most of.
However, 62 per cent of the people surveyed said they are planning to review their subscriptions in the next six months in light of inflation and rising costs.
This has been felt dramatically in the video streaming space, with big dogs like Netflix posting a record number of subscribers switching off in recent quarters.
A key finding from YouGov was that a major blocker for cancelling subscriptions was the difficulty of actually doing it: nearly half agreed that subscriptions were too difficult to cancel.
In April the government announced measures to help users avoid being caught in subscription traps, but this did not include mandating a more transparent approach to managing payments for subscription-based service.
The new provisions will mean the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) can put a heavier onus on sites, like Amazon, to ensure that customer reviews are genuine.
The watchdog said at the time that it planned to make it “clearly illegal” to pay someone to write fake reviews, and will have new powers to fine firms up to 10 per cent of their global turnover.