Consumers in the North-East are losing an eye-watering £20m a MONTH on unused subscriptions, according to a report.
Research from the last three years shows that consumers in our region are throwing away an astonishing amount of money on subscriptions they rarely use including gym memberships, credit reports and TV streaming plans.
The 2017 data finds that consumers are still just as unaware of their unused subscriptions, with the number of people wasting money on subscriptions staying the same year on year at 42%.
The latest iteration of the Forgotten Subscriptions Index from TopCashback.co.uk, the UK’s most generous cashback shopping site, finds that £20m is still being wasted on subscriptions each month.
Furthermore, consumers in the North-East are paying £2.69 more than they were in 2016, increasing the monthly spend to £17.89.
The study also reveals some changes in the types of subscriptions that are going unused.
While gym memberships remain top, there has been an increase in the number of people saying they do not get value from their music streaming accounts and product delivery plans such as Amazon Prime, yet continue to pay for them.
Most unused subscriptions in 2017
1. Gym Memberships (33%)
2. Music streaming plans (30%)
3. TV streaming plans (18%)
4. Product delivery services (15%)
4. Credit report (15%)
4. Magazine and newspaper subscription (15%)
5. Hobby memberships (9%)
Only 39% of people use their music streaming account every day and 58% of people use their delivery subscription once a month or less.
Natasha Rachel Smith, Consumer Affairs Editor for TopCashback.co.uk, said: “While these services might seem necessary in an on-demand world, people are not always getting their money’s worth.
“Consumers are frittering away cash when Netflix accounts go unused in the summer, Spotify is used only for the daily commute or the amount of products ordered from Amazon Prime do not justify the annual fee.”
There was a £3m increase in the amount of money being spent on subscriptions that people do not get value from with spending rising from £17m in 2016 to £20m in 2017. This is partly due to the cost of product delivery plans which increased from £14 a month to £20 in 2017. TV streaming accounts also increased by 35%, to £9.20 a month.
Smith added: “For the third year running we are seeing consumers pay through the roof for subscriptions they are not using.
“With the increasing number of services available it is easy to get carried away, making it important to keep track and review all of the subscriptions you sign up to, considering whether you need them or are using them regularly enough.
“Our research also found three in 10 people without subscriptions prefer pay-as-you-go contracts, which are becoming increasingly popular.
“If you do not find value in monthly or annual tied-in contracts, these plans may suit you. When it comes to necessary subscriptions, looking for new sign-up discounts and cashback offers can help bring the cost down”.
Consumers continue to pay because of lengthy cancellation processes.
Despite people finding subscriptions frustrating, with 29% being irritated by unforeseen price hikes, the hassle involved in cancelling is keeping consumers tied in.
More than two-fifths (41%) of people in the North-East said lengthy cancelling processes are what they dislike most about subscription plans.
Nearly two-fifths (39%) of consumers have continued to pay for a subscription because they thought they might use it at some point and 27% of people are too busy to get round to using it.
• Gym memberships at Aycliffe’s OneGym start from just £14.99 a month, with no lock-in memberships – click below for more details.