What could be worse than increasing the price of a subscription by trying to hide it from the customer? This is what Free has done by automatically subscribing to its millions of permanent mobile subscribers (except for the $2.22 (€2) packages) to the Youboox One option. This “service” gives access to 250,000 books, comics and press titles for $1.10 (€0.99) per month, representing an increase of 2 to 10% depending on the packages. This allows the operator to increase its average revenue per subscriber (ARPU), the most important economic indicator for the sector.
Discover the world’s most interesting business headlines with the mobile app Born2Invest. The app provides its readers access to the latest news in the stock market, finance news, global business, and also trending topics like bitcoin, cryptocurrency, and Africa.
“A message has been sent to all the subscribers concerned, they are aware of it,” assured a group spokeswoman. The email is called “Information about the Youboox One service” when you have never heard of this service, you immediately think of it as spam. If you open the message the headline is also not clear.
“You will soon be able to enjoy additional content on Youboox One!” notification from the operator. It is necessary to wait until the end of the third paragraph to find the essential information. “We have decided to make you automatically benefit from this service (…) from February 1, 2020, for only $1.10 (€0.99) per month.”
A legal practice
While Free automatically enrolls all its customers, it reminds them that this offer is “without obligation.” “Anyone can terminate the option with a single click,” said the spokesperson. All you have to do is “connect” to the customer area using the identifiers (sequences of numbers and letters that are difficult to remember) provided in the subscription email received years ago, then click on “Manage Youboox One” and finally on “Disable.”
While this practice is not illegal as long as clients are notified, it is frankly immoral. It is even contrary to the promises of Free. Indeed, the price brochure in effect at the time of writing (December 9) states that “after January 31, 2020, the Youboox One Service option will automatically be deleted from Free offers, without any intervention on the part of the subscriber.” “This brochure will be updated before February,” it is promised at Free. But those who read it when they signed their contract will still be deceived.
All operators are concerned
As for Youboox, which has a total of half a million paying users, founder Hélène Mérillon said, “I am very happy with the operator’s approach.” “Free can choose its pricing policy, like all our partners,” she explained, judging the method “quite transparent.” Depending on the number of Free subscribers who will retain the option by February 2020, Youboox could end up with millions more active users overnight. “We will be able to manage it,” the leader promised.
The best way for users to avoid these kind of charges is to keep an eye on their bills, make sure to completely read all emails from your provider, and uncheck every single box you don’t want.
DISCLAIMER: This article was written by a third party contributor and does not reflect the opinion of Born2Invest, its management, staff or its associates. Please review our disclaimer for more information.
This article may include forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements generally are identified by the words “believe,” “project,” “estimate,” “become,” “plan,” “will,” and similar expressions. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks as well as uncertainties, including those discussed in the following cautionary statements and elsewhere in this article and on this site. Although the Company may believe that its expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, the actual results that the Company may achieve may differ materially from any forward-looking statements, which reflect the opinions of the management of the Company only as of the date hereof. Additionally, please make sure to read these important disclosures.
First published in LePoint, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
Although we made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translations, some parts may be incorrect. Born2Invest assumes no responsibility for errors, omissions or ambiguities in the translations provided on this website. Any person or entity relying on translated content does so at their own risk. Born2Invest is not responsible for losses caused by such reliance on the accuracy or reliability of translated information. If you wish to report an error or inaccuracy in the translation, we encourage you to contact us.
Business7 days ago
Why small caps and value stocks appear to be now outperforming
Biotech6 days ago
Novartis invests $1.35 billion into a drug also designed for COVID-19
Featured7 days ago
77% of the companies in the Confidi network have started fintech projects
Featured7 days ago
Market update for Late November 2020