A new service will go through your insane gym-membership canceling rigmarole for you—for free

A new service will go through your insane gym-membership canceling rigmarole for you—for free
Image: Reuters/Susana Vera
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We’ve all been there—naively joining a gym at the start of the year, then jumping through ridiculous hoops to get out of the membership, after giving up all hope of actually working out.

Trim, a San Francisco, California-based personal-finance startup, will endure that painful process for you. And they’ll do it for free. Their business is to cancel your unwanted gym membership—and any other service you find yourself stuck in—at no cost.

Trim uses the card number provided by users at sign-up to locate subscriptions, and then texts a list of every service connected to that card. Once clients choose the ones they want to cancel, the company handles the rest: sending certified mail to the gym or  sitting on the phone with the cable provider.

Among the most common unwanted services plaguing the public, Trim found, are credit reports. People often sign up for free trials from credit trackers like Experian when applying for an apartment or house, and then forget to cancel. Months or years later, they may still be paying for it.

Audio-book services like Audible are also among Trim’s frequently-canceled subscriptions, co-founder Thomas Smyth told Quartz. ”Audio books are more of an aspirational goal than a reality,” he said. Trim also found that some people are paying for subscriptions they have no recollection of signing up for, from companies they’ve never heard of.

When Trim launched to the public in December, Smyth and co-founder Daniel Petkevich were reasonably skeptical about whether their business would take off. Canceling subscriptions is a pain, but how many people would really outsource that struggle? So far, 10,000 people have signed up for Trim, and the company says it’s saved users an average of $180 a year, or $15 a month.

Trim is one of a handful of startups popping up to handle frustrating, mundane tasks so we don’t have to. For $5, a company called AirPaper will cancel your Comcast service on your behalf.

For Trim to actually make money, the startup plans to roll out financial-advising services in the future and is currently talking to customers about other financial tasks they might want taken off their hands.

There is one service most people won’t let them touch, Smyth said: ”People are really attached to their Netflix.”