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Do sellers of subscriptions just hope consumers forget about it?

How many subscription services do you have? And how much do you spend on them in total each month? C+R Research asked these questions to 1000 consumers across the country. Their survey yielded some interesting results, including:

  • On average, consumers underestimated their subscriptions by $133–estimating monthly cost at $86 and then figuring it out, finding they spend $219.
  • More than half the people surveyed underestimated by $100 or more.
  • Younger people, Gen Z and Millennials were much more likely to forget about subscriptions as compared to Baby Boomers.
  • Respondents most frequently forgot mobile phone (31%), Internet (30%), and TV/movie streaming (22%).

Most subscriptions end up being “auto-paid” each month. And consumers often “set and forget” these payments. You can find a detailed article titled “Subscription Service Statistics and Costs” at C+R’s website.

An interesting activity when you cover Price, might be to replicate this survey with your students. C+R gave respondents only 10 seconds to think of their answers, and that might influence results. You could clip some images from the article and share them with your students. And it might lead to an interesting ethical issue. Should brands remind customers of upcoming renewals–and thereby sensitize them to cancel it? Not very ethical, but possibly more profitable.

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