Many products and services (especially digital ones) are often sold via the so-called free-trial offers which allow customers to use the offered services and products for free during the specified timeframe at the end of which they are charged the full cost of the product or service. Such offers also allow to cancel the free trial without any payment.

This arrangement basically allows people to benefit from the offered services and products without paying for them if they cancel their free trial at the right time.

Therefore, my question is: Is one allowed to use such a free trial offer if one intends to cancel it before the trial ends and has no intention whatsoever to actually pay for the services or product offered?

In particular, what would be the halacha in case with digital products (online courses, etc.) where the seller does not seem to experience any loss due to the free trial he offers?

  • 2
    Excellent question. Initially, what's binding is the contract. If it clearly says "with no obligations" it means that the seller either forgives any possible monetary debts or goves it out as a gift. As one is permitted to give out for free and to receive for free, getting free stuff is 100% Kosher. (What you forget/neglect is the subconscious favorability and dependence you develop for the company - that's exactly what they sell in the long run)
    – Al Berko
    Commented Sep 25, 2019 at 12:41

1 Answer 1


From a Halachic section of a weekly flyer. I don't remember which one; I don't believe it's around anymore.

Free offers and Cancellation Periods


A company offers free iPods to individuals who get five people to subscribe to one of the offers of their advertisers. One of the offers is a magazine subscription which offers a thirty-day cancellation period. Question: Is a person permitted to sign up for these offers with the express intent to cancel before the thirty-day period, but still enable his friend to receive the free iPod for his soliciting efforts?

Rav Dovid Feinstein's Response:

Such a question must be addressed to someone very familiar with business tactics. In many instances, companies ar e willing to offer rewards in order to solicit customers even if they have the option to cancel. Quite often, it is worth it for them, since many people forget to cancel and end up paying. Others, although originally sure that they won't like it, reconsider and do end up liking it. There are a number of variables, but an honest assessment must be made.

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