Automatic Renewals trap in Office 365 – and how to take advantage.

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How to take advantage of Microsoft’s greedy little trap for Office 365 subscribers.

When you setup a new Office 365 ‘subscription’ you’ll probably see this offer on the My Account page.

” Turn on automatic renewal and get an extra month free”

Enjoy uninterrupted access to your Office applications and services. ”

This sounds great … an extra month of Office access and you don’t have to worry about renewals.

But it’s a trap because Microsoft will automatically renew your Office 365 at a higher price than you can get yourself.

By all means click the link and start automatic renewal … but then check what Microsoft has done.

Even better, jump in before the auto-payment and renew manually for less. Get the extra month of Office 365 but make sure you disable auto renewal before the due date.

Check the automatic renewal

Once you’ve approved automatic renewal, check to see what type of renewal you’ll get.

One of Microsoft’s tricks has been to auto-renew at the monthly price – which is the most expensive way to get Office 365.  Great for Microsoft’s bottom line, not so great for customers.

Go to your Office 365 Manage Account web page and ensure that the renewal is set for the yearly price, not the monthly one.  You can change it from the link on that page.

Beat the automatic renewal

Just because you’ve chosen automatic renewal and received your extra month of Office 365 doesn’t mean you have to use expensive auto-renewal.

Just make sure you ‘top up’ your Office 365 account before the auto-renew date.  By a cheaper Office 365 annual subscription and use that code to extend the expiry date.

Make a note in your calendar for a few weeks or a month before the automatic renewal date.

Warning:  Microsoft really discourages turning off auto-renewal.  At the moment, the ‘Turn off auto-renew’ link takes you to a ‘Cancel Office 365’ page!  That could be a mistake but more likely a not-so-subtle way to stop people opting out of an option which increases Microsoft’s revenue.

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