DoNotPay launched back in 2015 as a simple service to help combat parking tickets, but in the years since then, it’s evolved into a multi-faceted legal assistant that can help you with all kinds of troubles. But what exactly can it do, and are those features worth subscribing for? That’s what we’ll be covering in this article.
So, What’s the Core Concept?
DoNotPay’s big selling point is that it’s “The First Robot Lawyer”—and that means a whole lot. Whether it’s dealing with the bureaucratic annoyance of appealing a parking ticket, or the over-complicated process of getting a refund for your Uber Eats order, DoNotPay prides itself on solving these issues for you.
It’s an expanding service that’s gaining new features frequently—which is nice to see in a subscription service. For example, DoNotPay recently announced that it’s going to make entering sweepstakes a much simpler process, even when the companies hosting them try to complicate things.
The Deeper Features
But that’s only scratching the surface, while stuff like refunds or canceling memberships are the more frequent uses of the app, it does have plenty of more substantial capabilities as well. You can sue individuals and companies through small claims court with the push of a button thanks to DoNotPay, and even have the app draft various legal documents for you.
Hate when you forget to cancel a free trial and wind up getting charged for it? DoNotPay will generate a fake credit card you can use to sign-up for free trials that the companies can’t charge once the trial is over. To go along with this, you can also create fake phone numbers if you’re uncomfortable with companies having that bit of info or want to avoid spam callers—you can even still text and call through these numbers if you need to get in touch with someone but don’t want them knowing your real digits.
And speaking of spam, DoNotPay has a couple of tricks up its sleeve to deal with that as well. DoNotPay will fight email spam by using one of its fake credit cards to lead the scammers on, all while collecting their information so you can demand financial compensation. There’s a similar system in place for spam callers or “Robocalls.” You can even use DoNotPay’s small claims court suing capabilities to chase down the spammer’s service provider if the spammer refuses to pay up.
On top of that, DoNotPay can help you save money on bills and track down money you didn’t even know you were entitled to, ranging from unclaimed inheritance to forgotten refunds. DoNotPay is also a master at getting you out of subscription services and gym memberships, can get you the compensation you deserve after a bad experience with an airline, and will wait on hold for you with customer service (among other tricks to cut through the queue).
Need to get in touch with or send something to an inmate? DoNotPay can help, along with giving specific advice pertaining to different states. Or if you want, DoNotPay find you free Birthday gifts, just for fun.
While you’re unlikely to use all the features DoNotPay offers, the wide range of legal issues the app can help with does grant some peace of mind. DoNotPay is a useful thing to have around and might come in clutch in some dire situations—but it’s not without its issues.
What are the Downsides?
Unsurprisingly, DoNotPay is a paid-for service, and it advertises itself as only costing three dollars a month, which is a great price for everything if offers. However, for a company that constantly says how it’s trying to prevent corporations from mistreating you, it’s doing its own fair share of that when it comes to the price.
Because once you go to the sign-up page, you can easily miss the fine print that says you’re actually paying for a full year of DoNotPay upfront—a $36 subscription that renews annually. That price is fine and still comes out to three dollars a month, but the issue is that you can’t request a partial refund midway through the year. Decide you don’t want/need DoNotPay only a couple of months in? You can cancel, but that will only prevent you from being charged the next payment date—no refund in sight, but at least you still keep access to the service for the rest of that billing cycle.
There are also some issues with the design of the app and website. DoNotPay is definitely designed for mobile devices, which is fine, but the website feels lacking as a result and is not optimized for the larger screen of a computer.
The general design of the app can be unnecessarily difficult to navigate as well . If you just want to browse the features DoNotPay has to offer, you have to dig through a ton of pages to see it all—there’s no convenient list you can look at. This can make utilizing the service to its fullest extent a difficult process, and you may entirely miss out on certain features just because of the poor layout.
Those issues may not dealbreakers for you, but what’s particularly frustrating about them is that they’re entirely fixable. It’s not asking too much of a subscription service to improve the overall design of the website and app to make things easier on its customers. And making it clear how much money customers are expected to spend is something DoNotPay should’ve been doing from the start—especially considering the values the company claims to uphold.
Should You Subscribe?
DoNotPay is a great service—it places some power in your hands to deal with situations that are often made overly complicated by governments and businesses. Even if you only find yourself using a couple of the features in the app, the low subscription price still makes it a justifiable purchase, even if the upfront costs is a bit misleading.
It’s also worth noting that the app is currently only available for iOS devices. The web version is there of course, but if you’re looking for a dedicated Android app then you’re out of luck, unfortunately.
While you may have some trouble finding it all within the app, the feature set is impressive and can help out a lot whether you’re dealing with airlines or your local city government. DoNotPay tries to remove some stress from your life and save you time, and it does both of those things well. If anything mentioned in this article has interested you, DoNotPay is definitely worth at least looking at, along with its asking price of $36 a year.
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