Households lose £500 a year on 'forgotten bills' for unused services

Tandridge Council, in Surrey, will be opening applications in a matter of days as households can get free cash payments towards the Cost of Living crisis.
-Credit: (Image: No credit)

A considerable number of individuals are footing bills they're not even aware of, according to new research on "forgotten bills" which showed that many are wasting money on unused services. The jokes become a sour reality when each person is, on average, £500 poorer annually due to various subscriptions.

Up-to-date figures from Citizens Advice published in March reveal an alarming fact: approximately 13 million people, equating to 26% of UK adults, have unknowingly signed up for a subscription in the past year. The cost of these unwanted subscriptions has amounted to a staggering £688million in the last 12 months.

Auto-renewal is the prime culprit for these unintentional subscriptions (40%), closely followed by failing to cancel after a free-trial period (39%). Adding to this, nearly one-fourth (24%) believed they were making a single purchase but found themselves saddled with recurring charges, reports Birmingham Live.

Retail expert Stephanie Hood from advises UK individuals to regularly review their subscription services, set reminders to end free trials and keep a close watch on bank statements for any unexpected transactions. She remarked: "Many people don't realise how much they're spending on subscriptions they don't use.

"A thorough review can reveal opportunities to cut costs and redirect those funds towards more important financial goals.."

She issued a stark warning about the importance of consumers managing their finances, stating: "Businesses that depend on customers forgetting to cancel free trials are taking advantage of busy, financially strained individuals, and this practice is unacceptable. Consumers should have the option to choose whether their subscriptions auto-renew and decide if they want to continue after a free trial."