An app that automatically cancels your subscriptions at the end of the free trial period is launching in the UK.

The app, called Free Trial Surfing, works by assigning users a virtual credit card number and a fake name, which they can use to sign up for a service.

The card is actually registered to a company called DoNotPay, owned by British-American entrepreneur Joshua Browder.

The company acts as a middle man between the the service provider and the user, forwarding emails so that the customer's own email address is secure.

 

Free Trial Surfing launched six weeks ago in the United States, where it has already garnered 10,000 users.

The two most common uses for the service are subscriptions to porn websites and Netflix , Mr Browder told BBC News.

The app is now launching in the UK, in partnership with a major bank - although Browder has not revealed which one.

He said some platforms are trying to block the service by figuring out which cards belong to DoNotPay.

"Our bank is so big they would have to screw a lot of customers to stop the product. They would have to end the entire free-trial programme," he said.

Netflix not working? Here are some ideas to fix it
 

Free Trial Surfing is currently only available on Apple's app store, but Browder is developing a web version.

He said the virtual card cannot be used to pay for any other form of purchase.

The app is currently free but, ironically, Browder may end up charging a subscription fee for the service.

"Right now we're testing it - maybe one day it will be a cheap subscription, like $2 per month," he said.

Joshua Browder
Joshua Browder
 

Browder's firm DoNotPay is best known for developing an AI lawyer to fight parking fines in 2014.

Within two years of launching, the online chatbot had overturned a staggering 160,000 parking tickets in London and New York City, saving users an estimated £2.9 million.

In 2016, the same technology was used to help homeless people to apply for emergency housing with their local council.

As with the parking ticket fines, Mr Browder used Freedom of Information requests to stockpile and scan documents that improve the AI's ability to give advice.