BBB offers tips for choosing a streaming service


By John North

Better Business Bureau

Streaming services have rocked society by storm in recent years. In fact, many are diverting from cable in favor of internet-based streaming services. Streaming represented a record-breaking 34.8% share of total television consumption in the U.S. exceeding cable (34.4%) and broadcast (21.6%), according to The Gauge. The streaming industry is constantly growing, with more streaming services available every year and it’s here to stay.

Around 85% of U.S. households now have at least one subscription to a video streaming service. People are switching from cable to streaming or only subscribing to a streaming service because of the affordability and contracts are month-to-month, so you can cancel anytime. In addition, streaming services offer parental control options and on-demand content you can only find within that service.

The list of streaming services seems endless. However, narrowing your preferences down is key when deciding which service will be best for you. If you’re considering investing in a streaming service, the Better Business Bureau offers these tips:

· Determine your viewing preferences, such as the types of shows, networks or movies you enjoy watching.

· Consider your budget. Services vary in pricing, so it’s best to determine how much you’re willing to spend monthly.

· Research the company before you sign up for a subscription or trial.

· Find out how long the free trial period lasts, what you’re agreeing to and how and when to cancel if you decide not to subscribe before you sign up.

· Make sure the service you choose is available on the device(s) you plan to use.

· Make sure you choose a streaming service that allows you to view multiple streams through a single account at any given time. Otherwise, one member of your household will need to stop watching before another can start using the service.

· Check the provider’s specs on internet speed when deciding on a service.

· Understand how auto-renewals work, how to stop a description and how to cancel an unwanted subscription early.

· Review your subscriptions periodically to make sure you’re still using them.

· Be suspicious of companies offering something free, but say you must pay to get it.

· Consider most on-demand streaming services are either completely ad-free or offer ad-free tiers.

When using your streaming service, be cautious to avoid scams. Always double check that you’re visiting an official website. Scammers make fake websites, but they can’t copy a website’s official URL. Before you click on a website, take a close look at the URL. Also, be wary of ads and sponsored links. Sometimes scammers use ads to get their lookalike website to appear first in the search results. Remember, just because a website is at the top of the list doesn’t mean it’s the official website. In addition, be careful with your login information. Always make sure you’re on an official website before entering your username and password. Keep in mind, legitimate customer service representatives generally don’t ask for passwords over the phone or through email.

BBB can also help. It can provide a list of BBB Accredited streaming services and Business Profiles on ones you may be considering. Visit or call (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301.

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