I’ve been less than perfect when it comes to keeping track of the numerous services and sites I pay for every month.
I suspect I’m not alone. In fact, I think many of these auto-rebill sites benefit from the fact that people simply forget that they signed up.
A new service called Trim rifles through your bank account activity, locates the monthly repeating charges you’re paying, then offers to cancel them for you.
I tried out the service, then checked the results against a review of my bank account. The company says it checks back three months.
And Trim did pretty well. It found all of the memberships that bill at the same time every month. It made one error — one non-recurring charge appeared in the results.
To get started with the service I signed up at the company’s website, providing information including my bank account username and password, and my phone number. A few minutes later Trim text messaged me a list of recurring account charges. To cancel one you text back the word “cancel” and the name of the account.
Some people will be uncomfortable forking over bank account credentials to a startup company. But the founders assure users that that information is kept safe and secure.
“These credentials never touch our servers, nor are they stored by us in any way,” the company explains at its website. “Your credentials are sent through Intuit or Plaid to your bank or credit card provider, which sends back an encrypted token to us.”
The company says the credit bureaus (TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax) are guilty of offering the most cancelled and most predatory subscription service. “It costs $10-20 a month, most people don’t know they have it, and it’s a huge pain for us to cancel,” Trim COO and co-founder Daniel Petkevich said in an email.
As with many startups, the idea for Trim grew from a personal experience. “We had the idea for Trim after looking at our own credit card bills,” Petkevich said. “Thomas (co-founder and CEO Thomas Smyth) had subscriptions to Hulu and Vimeo, neither of which he used.”
Petkevich and Smyth say they’ve raised $100,000 in angel funding from a group of investors that includes Yee Lee (Vouch), Peter Christodoulo (Francisco Partners), and Arjun Schutte, and Kathleen Utecht (Core Innovation Capital).