Lying about free trials. A summary of 4 039 reviews about the Blinkist app

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Blinkist is an app that provides short summaries of books. It’s really good if you just want to find out the core insights and the context of a book and don’t have the time to read it. It can also be an inspiration and a way to find interesting books. There seems to be a problem though. Some app users warn others about the trial period. Our analysis has the answer to why!

Why do we say this?

There are two topics in our analysis that really stand out in a negative sense. Those two topics are “charged” and “trial” and there is a relation between them. It seems like app users get charged even though they just sign up for a trial. In 50% of the cases when “trial” is mentioned, “free” is also mentioned. This suggests that the problem has to do with the free trials. We’ve already mentioned the relation to the topic “charged” and it’s quite clear that the problem is that app users get charged for the free trial. In the example reviews, we can see reviewers complain about not being able to cancel the trial subscription and also being charged before the end of the trial. This could definitely be improved by Blinkist. Fairer charges would increase customer satisfaction a lot and boost the grades. The average grade for “trial” is 1,79 / 5 and 1,63 / 5 for “charged”. This is very low compared to the overall average grade of 3,88 / 5.

The problem with “trial” seems to be by far the biggest problem for Blinkist. There are two more topics that are negative for the overall grade. Those topics are “pay” and “subscription”. These topics point at the same problem and “subscription” is related to the topics “charged”, “trial”, “free”, “pay”, “cancel” and “year”. One thing that this tells us, and that we also can see in the example texts, is that people get charged for a full year’s subscription. This comes as a shock to some since they just wanted to use the 7-day trial. The average grade for “subscription” is 2,56 / 5 and it’s 2,55 / 5 for “pay”. Since all negative topics point to the same issue, there is a big potential for Blinkist to improve their grade. Solving this problem would eliminate all topics below their overall average.

The research team at Gavagai performed this analysis using our AI-powered text analysis tool, Gavagai Explorer. All texts analyzed in this article are collected from public online data published on Google Play Store.

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