ProGuides predatory selling technique – Not simply $7.99 a month
A tread has gained major traction on Reddit, hitting almost 9k upvotes in just 10 hours of its initial post. The thread warns of “ProGuides.. predatory attempts of scamming people”, specifically highlighting their “pro member” subscription pricing & billing.
What did ProGuides do?
Coming as little surprise, a site such as ProGuides having a free and premium service will advertise its premium service to its users, encouraging them to pay for a better experience. In doing so, ProGuides advertises their “pro member” service as a plan starting at “$7.99 / month”.
Little did many ProGuides members know that, when choosing this option, there had been smaller grey text underneath stating they would be billed annually. This would come to a grand $95.88 transaction for 12 months of the service. While this does work out to an average of $7.99 a month, multiple users failed to realise they would be charged for an entire year, thus scamming to demand a refund from ProGuides.
Is it what they did wrong?
Both ProGuides and those who complain are to blame. This sort of practise is common, especially for subscription-based services, where the per monthly price drops as the subscription period gets longer. Therefore, customers should assume to a degree that the starting price of $7.99 per month should only apply to a longer period, not just a short month.
On the other hand, ProGuides should have made customers more aware their low price of $7.99 a month would apply for a whole year. The smaller grey text stating it would be billed annually, as opposed to the big bold text of a low $7.99 a month is too great of a contrast and can be considered to have intention to mislead.
In addition, ProGuides advertising its “pro member” service along with “PRO Coaching Sessions”. However, in practise, coaching is purchased through “PG Points”, which “pro members” are given in extremely minimal amounts compared to the amount needed for coaching, thus requiring members to purchase more PG points for coaching.