Billing Fear

Do you feel like you are offering an unbeatable product or service to people but they are just not subscribing to it? You are sure that there are hundreds, even thousands of people who need exactly what you have to offer but somehow they just will not come to you!

Well the problem might be subscription phobia. Many people have had a bad experience with subscription type products in the past and are thus cautious about them and would rather avoid them altogether. It is important to understand these fears that your customers have concerning products that require recurring billing and do your best to alleviate these fears.

1. Ask before you renew

Problem: Chances are your potential customers have had an experience of having a subscription automatically renewed and being forced to pay for it even when they did not plan on renewing that subscription in the first place. It is next to impossible for anyone to keep track of all their subscriptions and as such many of them just decide to avoid them altogether to avoid such an unpleasant circumstance.

Solution: You can make things easier for your customers by sending them reminders in advance so that they can be the ones to decide whether to renew it or to cancel the subscription. This is sure to make them more confident in subscribing for your services.

Here is an example of renewal notification

Yahoo - Automated Renewal Notice

2. Don’t make cancelations difficult

Problem: No customer wants to feel like they are trapped when they subscribe for a product but this is exactly what happens when it is too difficult for them to cancel their subscription. If your customers have to go through a long process to cancel their subscription then they will not want to subscribe in the first place!

Here are a few examples:

Difficult cancelation - Example1

Difficult Cancelation - Example2

Solution: They want to have the confidence that there is a way out and you can give them this confidence by making upgrading, downgrading and even cancelation of subscriptions simpler. If the customers are able to signup to your service from your website, they should be able to cancel it online.

Get Satisfaction - Making it easy for customers to cancel

3. Make sure customer information is secure

Problem: There have been many instances of credit card data being breached in the recent past such as what happened in the Barnes & Noble Stores in USA in September last year and this is something that has for sure made most customers very cautious. They simply will not subscribe for your products if they feel they are being put at risk by your recurring billing strategy.

Solution: Alleviate these fears by adhering to the highest forms of online security including using SSL and ensuring your site is PCI compliant.

Secure Payment (SSL)

PCI Compliant

4. Minimize the billing shocks

Problem: Most subscription products involve a pay per usage policy and this can lead to the customer getting some very nasty shocks when they receive their bill. Fear of getting such kinds of shocks is what has caused many customers to steer clear of subscription products.

Solution: It doesn’t have to be the case though. You can prevent such shocks by emailing your customers frequently letting them know where their bill currently stands so that any mistakes can be easily corrected and the customer is aware of what to expect in their final bill.

5. Make sure your customers can reach you if they want to

Problem: The world is no longer a very secure place to live in and most customers have learnt to adapt by being extra cautious. If they are not sure of the reputation of your recurrent billing business then they will have a difficult time sharing their personal information.

Solution: This is the reason why having your contact information displayed all over your website is a good idea because once your customers can get in touch with you they will feel more secure.

FreshDesk Contact

What other billing fears have we missed out? We would love to hear from you about the billing fears your customers had and how you managed to solve them.


Your billing system can help with all of these things – from renewals to security. Ask you scale and your needs change (and your customers’ needs of you change) make sure you have a billing system that works for your business and not against it. Leveraged in the right way, a billing system can be a powerful tool for growth.