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  1. #1
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    Offering a free trial without getting scammed?

    I will be providing a financial service in the near future. Due to the nature of our product, we feel that it is only fair to offer a free trial to viewers before they actually pay for a subscription. My problem will be avoiding fraudsters who are looking for a continuous free ride. Anyone could easily fill out the registration form under a ficticious name for a new free trial. The only solution I've come to is to offer the trial for a very cheap price. But, I would like to be able to provide a truly "free" trial. If anyone could provide some basic logic of how I might accomplish this or get me going in the right direction I would be overjoyed. If you need more details let me know. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    To be profitable and avoid fraud, a free trial should still collect the customers credit card info and auto rebill them if not cancelled. I know Netbilling (netbilling.com) supports this and has some great fraud tools to prevent users from abusing this and signing up for more than one free trial per card and/or per time period specified by the merchant.

  3. #3
    busy Steelsun's Avatar
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    Maybe offer like may services do, a trial period for a minor amount with a full refund if they decide not to continue.
    Brian Poirier
    SunStockPhoto: Stock Photos, Fine Art Photos, Event Photography

  4. #4
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    Is it a web-based service? Even if not, the registration form will be - restrict applications to one-per-IP address (you could have it reset after a certain time automatically to cover dynamic address issues).

  5. #5
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    I don't think there is any way to COMPLETELY avoid fraudsters when you are offering a free trial. There are loopholes in both the credit card and IP methods.

    The best way to go would be to get a service that handles it for you (maybe like netbilling) just be sure they monitor by the customers NAME and not just the credit card number. People can now easily make "shop safe" account numbers which can be allocated of a $1 limit and a random credit card number. Many fraudsters have caught onto this and will use it for sites that charge $X after a certain amount of time, come time to bill the customer there is only a $1 limit and you have to go after them by another means since the credit card will appear to be maxed out.

  6. #6
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    Thanks everyone, very useful information. We already have merchant account that we've been using for a few years now, so we don't plan on switching...just yet. I think the best solution would be to offer the trial for a very nominal price and refund the amount if the registrant doesn't find the service useful. However, I do like the idea of restricting applications to IP's. But, for anyone on 56K, doesn't their IP change everytime they logon?

    "you could have it reset after a certain time automatically to cover dynamic address issues."

    maybe someone could enlighten me...?

    Thanks everyone

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artistikk
    Thanks everyone, very useful information. We already have merchant account that we've been using for a few years now, so we don't plan on switching...just yet. I think the best solution would be to offer the trial for a very nominal price and refund the amount if the registrant doesn't find the service useful. However, I do like the idea of restricting applications to IP's. But, for anyone on 56K, doesn't their IP change everytime they logon?

    "you could have it reset after a certain time automatically to cover dynamic address issues."

    maybe someone could enlighten me...?

    Thanks everyone
    You do not need to "switch" your merchant account to use Netbilling.com as your gateway. They can use the same merchant account. You should check them out and have them show you their fraud tools whcih are excellent for trial memberships especially.


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