Helping themselves to my cash seems underhand

COMMENT: Sell alcohol to kids and you will face consequences

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I received an e-mail this week from a software company, telling me it was automatically going to renew my coverage by taking money from my account so that I would be protected for another year.

Hmm. This struck me as more than a trifle rude.

Why is it a company which is all about using the internet has failed so spectacularly to communicate clearly?

There are some industries where it’s okay to take money from my account on a yearly basis if I don’t intervene.

The TV licence is a great example, plus home insurance, car insurance and health insurance. These items need renewing year after year and that’s all right by me.

But to help yourself to cash for software? I find that rather underhand, especially as, get this, the cost of the software – the amount to be taken from my bank account – was not mentioned on the e-mail.

It simply said the price might not be what I had paid the previous year and would instead reflect current prices.

Another hmm. Especially as the links within the e-mail took me nowhere near the price of the software.

It took me to the company’s frequently-asked questions which, strangely enough, didn’t have a question and answer at the top along the lines of: How much are you going to take out of Zella’s account?

Yes, I can opt out of the renewal, but I do need the software – it’s anti-virus.

Is it too much to ask how much will be taken? Or to be linked to a page which tells me how much it will cost? Or to even tell me exactly what the product is that is being renewed?

The internet is supposed to be the ultimate in communication, so why is it a company which is all about using the internet has failed so spectacularly to communicate clearly? It makes me suspicious.

Eventually, I did find what I needed and the price appears to be okay set against the rest of the market.

So is it worth this moan, you might ask? But it got me thinking about other renewals, like my bank account, and whether that’s worth the charges. It’s not.

Or my electric and gas, which could also do with a switch. So now I have the anti-virus in place for another year, I’m going to explore the depths of the internet and find myself some sweet deals.