When you sign up for a SaaS subscription, companies often tempt you to sign up for the annual subscription instead of the monthly. You save some money on the annual plan and say to yourself, “Well, I am locked into this contract for 12 months, but hey, what can go wrong.”
Because of how slow things are now, you might feel like you are wasting resources on some recruiter tool subscriptions. Certain tools such as LinkedIn Recruiter do not allow you to pause your subscription, which might be a waste if you are not using most of its capabilities at this time.
LinkedIn Recruiter allows you to cancel subscriptions and revert back to their unpaid version, but only at the end of your current billing cycle. If you have purchased an annual subscription at a discounted rate, you might be out of luck. Since they don’t allow pauses or plan changes, if you want to cancel you’d have to wait until the end of your year (which you’ve already paid for). On top of this, if you actually do decide to cancel and purchase Recruiter again in the future, you’d have to start over with a brand new account.
Normally, being locked in for a yearly subscription is already bad, but with this “black swan” event, it’s a killer. Luckily, there are some heroes being much more empathetic to everyone’s situation and lending out a helping hand to those who need it.
The CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) offers relief options to those who are having difficulties paying their mortgage. It gives the option to suspend or reduce your mortgage payments, as well as prevent foreclosure. Some states are even suspending eviction for those who can’t pay rent. Hopefully none of this happens to you, but it’s nice to know there’s a bit of a safety net if things start to get rough.
If you’re a recent graduate you’ll also be given a little break. The new federal legislation passed March 27th suspended payments and interest accrual on all ED student loans until September 30th. This is a massive help to those who have gone through unfortunate layoffs.
Companies are doing all they can to appease their subscription base as well. Mailchimp, an all-in-one integrated marketing platform, offers arguably one of the most flexible plans out there. They allow you to pause/unpause billing, downgrade, or even switch to pay-as-you-go as you see fit. Whether it be slight slowdowns or massive ones, Mailchimp is willing to work with you and adjust so you get the right plan.
Stripe is an online payment processing tool mainly offering its services to small businesses. They are a company worth over $20 billion, working its way up to being competitors with PayPal. Stripe decided they did not want to continue draining money out of customers who may be having a hard time because of slowdowns, so they rolled out a new feature due to demand. Stripe is now allowing a pause on their monthly or annual subscriptions.
This is useful for businesses that are not in immediate need of the service but may be in the near future. Stripe allows you to pause indefinitely or up to a certain date. They also allow you to manage your invoices by keeping drafts for delayed payments, voiding or marking invoices uncollectible, all while under a pause. They are understanding of the freeze and let you jump back into your subscription whenever you’re ready.
It’s refreshing to see these companies playing hero by helping out their customer bases and giving them options to get through this time. They understand that people may be having trouble and are providing some much-needed support.
On the negative side, LinkedIn is a multi-billion-dollar company, yet they are still making money off of everyone’s subscriptions. Unlike Mailchimp and Stripe, LinkedIn Recruiter stays rigid with its subscription plans, not offering any form of appeasement via pauses or plan changes. LinkedIn Recruiter seems to be sticking to its old policies, even despite the big world changes we’ve recently experienced.
During this time, it’s uplifting to see organizations helping out in any way they can. Even a fraction of less stress can be a big weight off the chest right now. They could very well keep draining money out of people but instead showed some humanity and heroism by issuing some restraint. The most important thing right now is to keep ourselves and those around us safe. We believe these small actions are a step in the right direction and a good sign for the future.