Convenience is always everybody’s game. That’s why as early as the 1920s, oil companies and hotel chains began issuing credit cards to their customers in the U.S. Credit cards revolutionized man’s way of living. Everything became fast-paced. It also uplifted security to men and to companies as well.
On the other hand, with the change that credit cards brought to mankind, also fed man’s nature to splurge in which companies would naturally really take advantage of. But when it comes to gaming subscription, how safe are the consumers? Are the consumers aware of the terms and conditions that they agreed upon signing up? Did they even bother reading those lengthy terms and conditions which also indicate that companies can change anytime they want?
One good example for this is an Xbox Live Gold membership. When a customer purchase an Xbox Live subscription Gold membership (whether 1-month,6-month,1 year subscription) using a credit card, he/she is not aware of Microsoft’s automatic membership renewal feature. Microsoft sends an email to their customers before their accounts are about to expire but most of the customers fail to read it. That’s why most of the customers are surprised to have their credit card charged for another subscription. I know most of you would say “Well, there’s always refund”. But NO, with some cases like a month subscription wouldn’t let you allow making a refund. Why? Because it would take time for them to process that with your bank. Now I ask, where’s the buyers’ protection? Shouldn’t companies tell you everything before you really make a purchase? But who can’t blame those big companies, $$$$$$$$ is all that matters.
Now the question is how we (buyers) can outsmart companies. Choose the alternative that companies are least likely to offer because with those choices, you get a good bargain. Similar to the example given above, there are always prepaid cards. Naturally the automatic subscription renewal won't work. I know, I know… that buying those cards from distributors will require much effort. But as the saying goes, (excuse me for sounding cliché) “No pain, no gain”.
On a final note, it’s always depends on what’s convenient for you. But a little knowledge won’t hurt you.