Today I launched our premium plans. All come as standard with a 30 day trial (or 365 days if you upgrade before 31 July 2013).
During the trial you can switch between plans as often as you like, including switching to the basic free account.
If you switch back to the basic free account your trial of the premium plans is paused, allowing you to upgrade again in the future to a premium plan and pick up your trial period where you left off.
An interesting side-effect of this process of being able to pause your premium trial is that you can game the system to get an unlimited free trial.
It's not difficult but it is time-consuming and takes a bit of care. Here's how.
Pausing Your Free Trial In a Fair Way
Every time you switch between plans we make a note of how many days of free trial that you have remaining. We then know how many days you have left of your trial period and make this available to you.
To make this process as simple as possible, particularly with respect to how we as people aren't really good at dealing with non-whole days (17.3 days is how long, exactly?), the number of trial days you have remaining is stored as a whole number.
If you start with a 30 day trial, use 0.3 days of your trial and then switch to the free plan, how many trial days remaining should we store for you? Since we store whole days only, there are two possible answers: 30 or 29.
We can't choose 29 in this case. If we went for this and you used less than a day of your trial period it would be as if you had used a whole day.
Upgrade from free to premium and downgrade from premium to free. Repeat this just 30 times and in relatively quick succession and you'd end up with no trial remaining. That's not fair and so we can't do that.
When switching between plans, we store the maximum number of whole trial days you have remaining.
Switch to a premium plan with a 30 day trial, use it for a few hours (less than a day), switch back to the free plan and then switch again to a premium plan. Bingo, you have 30 trial days remaining!
So Here's How You Do It
Switch to any of the premium plans for the first time to get a N-day trial period.
Use the service however you like.
Switch back to the free plan in less than 24 hours since you switched to a premium plan.
Switch to any of the premium plans again and still get a N-day trial period.
Repeat the downgrade/upgrade cycle with a frequency of less than every 24 hours to get an infinite trial period.
So there you go.
See, it's not hard, is it? You just need to be a bit careful.
Or, given the amount of effort involved, it's probably cheaper for you to pay up the monthly subscription fee.
It's your choice. If you want to game the system, have fun!