How to manage your streaming subscriptions as service prices increase

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In May, Caroline Sinders, a designer and artist, published the results of an independent study on how companies like Netflix, Hulu, Vimeo and The New York Times make it difficult to unsubscribe from their services.

The study, conducted in 2022, found that some media companies like The Times created friction in the process, requiring, in some cases, a phone call to cancel a subscription. The Times now allows subscribers to unsubscribe online without calling.

Even though the study found that streaming services like Netflix and Hulu were easier to cancel, you may stay subscribed longer than you want because of what they don’t do, Mx. Sinders said. They don’t send emails to remind you that you have an invoice coming up. When you receive the invoice, they generally don’t send emails with payment receipts.

Harry Brignull, a user experience consultant and author of a book about the tricks tech companies use to control you, pointed out that the streaming industry has trained consumers to accept this practice, even though we would scoff at it for almost anyone else . transaction.

“How come we all agree?” she asked, adding that if you “walk out of a store, you want to be given a receipt.”

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