Cash Upfront

It bothers me how early on lifestyle improvement programmes call for a monetary commitment. This is true whenever it’s an app subscription or a subscription of any other sort.

Of course, if we want to have a personal trainer, that person has to be paid. But in the case of educational material, or software that proposes to help us make a change – personal development, habits, meditation, diet, exercise, etc. – the request for money upfront smacks of dishonesty, or at the very least, of a lack of trust in the product.

These are months-long projects, after all. You don’t reach an ultimate weight goal, or find your better half, or you learn a new skill, in a single trial week – not even in a month.

What you CAN see in one month is progress – measurable progress. When one of these programmes asks me for money upfront, my guess is that they aren’t good enough to show results in a month.

Who, after seeing real, serious progress during the first month, would say “Nah, I’m good, I’ll go back to what I was doing”? This is exactly why Netflix gives you a free month before asking for any money – they know their service is great, they know it delivers, they know you won’t want to do without.

And what if, after a month, the customer isn’t satisfied? What honest business would want to have that person as a customer any longer?

Painting: “The Payment of Dues” by Georges de la Tour