Back in the day, paying bills meant sorting mail at the kitchen table and balancing your checkbook. Now, we do things a bit differently.
In the age of automation, we no longer have to worry about forgetting to mail the cable bill. We simply wait for a confirmation email and go about our business.
Automated bill pay has presented problems of its own. There are plenty of shady companies out there that rely on automated bill payments to siphon your cash. It could be months before you ever notice it on your credit card statements. The worst part is that many of these companies make canceling your subscription nearly impossible. That’s where Truebill comes in.
Truebill is an app that helps you manage subscriptions, lower bills, and stay on top of your finances. They alert you to reoccurring subscriptions and give you the option to cancel them with one click, no staying on hold with customer service required.
What is TrueBill?
After discovering that he had been paying $40 per month for in-flight wifi, Truebill co-founder Yahya Mokhtarzada was inspired to create a money-saving app that helped other people avoid this financial pitfall.
Truebill is an app that helps you save money by identifying and canceling unwanted subscriptions.
It can also help you negotiate lower rates for your bills and secure credit when a service you pay for experiences a lapse in service. According to Mokhtarzada, Truebill has helped its users save $512 on average per year.
How Does TrueBill Work?
The app connects to your bank account and tracks any recurring payments that you are making. It will notify you of all the automated bill payments that are connected to your account and ask if you are interested in keeping them.
If you are, then great! If not, you can cancel them with a single button. Truebill will take care of contacting the company to cancel the subscription so that you don’t have to.
Truebill is more than just an app to help you cancel pesky subscriptions. They have many features that can assist with your overall financial wellness.
Check out some of the other tools that you can use through the Truebill app.
Truebill has a feature that allows you to start a budget and track your spending in every category, such as groceries, gas, and entertainment.
Similar to the app Mint, Truebill tracks your charges to let you know where you are spending your money. It will let you know if you have opportunities to save or if you are overshooting your set budget in any given category.
This can take the guess work out of budgeting and help you actively work towards your financial goals.
Reduce Monthly Bill Payments
We all have bills we have to pay, and we often forget that these rates are negotiable. Truebill will review your expenses and negotiate directly with the company to secure lower payments on your behalf.
To get started, you will need to upload a recent bill or connect Truebill with your online account. You will also need to provide information about the services you receive from the company.
Companies TrueBill Works With To Negotiate Your Bills:
- Charter Spectrum
- Dish Network
- Optimum Cable Vision
- Verizon Residential/FIOS
From there, Truebill will work directly with the company to apply promotional rates, cut additional fees, or negotiate an overall lower rate.
If they are successful, they charge you 40% of what you would save each month as a service fee. They can’t always secure a lower price, but this is a great way to save some money and avoid the hassle of doing it yourself.
Automated subscriptions are enormously convenient. There are even services that will automatically ship products to you on an automated schedule. But it can be easy to lose track of what you’re paying for, especially if you never get confirmation emails about your payments.
The ability to keep track of your recurring payments was what inspired Truebill in the first place. Under the Recurring Payment tab, you can see all of the automated payments that are connected to your bank account. If you see something on there that you are no longer interested in paying for, you can cancel it with a click of a button. Truebill will take care of the rest.
Truebill also links up to your calendar so that you can see when automated payments are posted for each service. This serves as a visual reminder for automatic payments.
Get Compensated for Outages
If you experience a lapse in service, you shouldn’t be expected to pay full price. Truebill works to secure credit for any downtime in service that you experience.
For example, if your internet or cable goes down, you can use the Truebill app to request that credit be posted to your bill. This helps keep the cable companies honest and prevents you from paying for service you didn’t receive.
It’s stressful enough not having enough money in your bank account. An overdraft fee on top of that can feel like salt in the wound.
Truebill helps you avoid this by sending you Balance Alert notifications when your balance dips below a certain amount. This can help you maintain your budget and avoid dreaded overdraft fees.
How Does TrueBill Make Money?
Truebill makes money in three different ways: advertisements, a service charge, and a subscription fee. There is a free version of the app, and there is a premium version for which you pay a subscription fee.
I know what you’re thinking. Another subscription fee? Don’t worry, you don’t have to pay for the premium version if you don’t want to.
If you want all the bells and whistles listed above, you’ll need to pay for the premium version, which is part of how they make money.
This will run you $4.99 per month or $35.99 for the entire year.
The bulk of how TrueBill makes their money is by charging you a percentage for the hassle of canceling your subscriptions for you.
For the trouble of canceling your subscriptions, Truebill will charge 40% of the amount that you save each month by canceling.
This means that if you save $100 per month, Truebill will skim $40 off the top. This can be a bit hefty depending on how much your subscription costs.
To get started with Truebill, you will need to first download the TrueBill app for either iOS or Android devices. You are able to use the app on your desktop once you have an existing account.
After the app has downloaded, you will need to create an account. Truebill will connect to your bank accounts and credit cards to track your transactions and note any recurring payments. You can see all of your automated payments in the Recurring tab.
If you see any subscriptions you want to cancel, you can simply click the cancel button. In the free version, it will connect you with the service so that you can do this yourself. If you pay for the premium version, Truebill’s team will do this for you.
Once you have an account, you are able to make use of all the other features that Truebill offers. Whether you want to set up a budget or reduce your monthly bill payments, Truebill’s easy to use app makes this process simple and intuitive.
Is TrueBill Safe?
Giving an app full access to your financial statements is a big deal. You want to make sure that your information is adequately protected from hackers or identity thieves.
Truebill utilizes bank-level 256-bit SSL encryption and read-only access to ensure that your data is safe. In addition, Truebill uses a financial encryption tool called Plaid. Plaid provides an extra layer of security to connect Truebill to financial institutions. For this reason, you should not be asked to give any banking credentials to Truebill.
Truebill also does not sell your information to any third parties. It does, however, advertise for credit cards and insurance companies. If you choose to connect to these services through Truebill, they will pass your information along at this point.
Lastly, TrueBill hosts data on Amazon Web Services. The Department of Defense also uses Amazon Web Services to store sensitive data, which makes it a largely reputable service.
With these precautions and protections in place, Truebill is doing its best to protect your financial information.
If you have questions about Truebill, their customer service team is on hand to assist you.
Truebill has a Contact Us page that allows you to submit a ticketed inquiry. Their team will respond to your inquiry by contacting the email you provided. The team’s hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST.
If you cannot wait, you can look to their help center site. There, they have many articles that relate to frequently asked questions. You can use the search tool to find a topic, or you can scroll through articles based on category.
While they do not offer chat or phone support, Truebill does offer ways for their users to receive personalized assistance from their team.
Pros and Cons
Truebill offers plenty of helpful features, but there are also reasons to consider alternative tools. Here are some of the pros and cons of using Truebill to manage your automated payments.
- A way out of difficult-to-cancel subscriptions: Some subscription payments, such as a gym membership or cable company, are notoriously difficult to cancel. Some people put it off for months simply because they don’t have the time or energy. Truebill can cancel unwanted subscriptions for you no matter how difficult the company makes it. This gives you the ability to cut ties with that pesky subscription you didn’t have the time to cancel.
- Simple to navigate: Financial technology is not helpful unless it is easy to use. Fortunately, Truebill’s app makes navigating your subscriptions, bills, and potential savings easy and intuitive.
- Mobile and desktop version: Some people like the convenience of a mobile app, and others prefer to review financial matters on a bigger screen. Luckily, Truebill provides options for both. You will need to initially get started on their mobile app, but you can check your account from a desktop once you are set up.
- 40% success fee: The whole point of Truebill is to find savings wherever you can. While Truebill definitely does this for its users, it comes with a hefty price tag. Truebill will skim 40% off of any monthly savings it finds you as a service fee. On top of premium costs, Truebill may turn into another unwanted automatic payment in and of itself.
- In-app advertisements for free users: You don’t need to pay for the premium version to use Truebill, but you will have to suffer through some in-app advertisements. This does not affect the usability of the app terribly, but no one likes to wade through ads to get to what they want.
Alternatives to TrueBill
Truebill is relatively unique in its offerings.
However, that does not mean that there aren’t similar tools out there. Here are some apps that offer similar services to Truebill.
Trim poses the largest competition to Truebill in its service offerings. Both apps want to help you lower your monthly bills, manage your subscriptions, and earn you additional savings from services you already pay for.
However, the largest difference between the two is in their service charge. Truebill charges you 40% of your monthly savings as a service fee, while Trim only charges 33%. Additionally, Trim will cancel your subscription for free. Truebill will only do this with a premium subscription.
This can be an important difference if you are looking to save wherever you can.
This one is for you, Shark Tank fans. Backed by Shark Tank star Mark Cuban, Billshark is an app that specializes in negotiating lower rates on your bills.
Many people understand that they can negotiate lower rates on their bills but are uncomfortable with confronting sales representatives. Billshark will negotiate lower rates from top companies like Verizon, Comcast, DIRECTV, and more.
If they are successful, you pay a 40% fee on the savings. If they can’t find you savings, you won’t pay anything at all. This gives it an upper hand on Truebill, which makes you pay a premium fee regardless.
Is TrueBill Legit?
If you are diligent about looking over your banking account, which most of us aren’t, then you probably don’t need to use Truebill.
If you could use some help finding wiggle room in your budget, Truebill can help you review and manage your finances.
Even if you are a responsible spender, you can still benefit from Truebill’s additional features. Its ability to negotiate lower rates and credit you for downtimes in service make it a useful tool for nearly everybody. It charges you a substantial service fee for the effort, but it saves you from having to go through the trouble of calling companies yourself.
For starters, try out Truebill’s free version. If you like it, you can always upgrade. Either way, it’s worth testing out for yourself.
If you could use some help finding wiggle room in your budget, Truebill can help you review and manage your finances. Even if you are a responsible spender, you can benefit from Truebill’s additional features.
- Avoid Negotiating
- Easy to Use
- Mobile & Desktop Apps
- Success Fee
- In App Advertisements