The DoNotPay App SCAM
We’ve seen several promotions for this app from reputable sources, so we wanted to come out and clarify some things about the app.
While it’s not a “scam” per se, it is rather misleading and you have to read the fine print closely. There’s a few given red flags:
🚩 You are required to connect your bank to set up
Now for some, they may not think twice about such a thing…but they should. An app that offers features such as disputing parking tickets, monitoring prices of tickets and things, suing companies (!?), connecting a bank should not be a blocker. But for them it is, and that should be one for you too.
🚩 They charge you at will
Which is easy, since you signed up w/ your bank account. Here is the section from their Terms & Conditions:
Paid Services. DoNotPay may offer Services to be paid for on a recurring basis (“Subscription Services”) or on an as-used basis (“A La Carte Services” and, together with the Subscription Services, “Paid Services”). DoNotPay has the right to change, delete, discontinue or impose conditions on Paid Services or any feature or aspect of a Paid Service. Subscription Services may subject you to recurring fees and/or terms. By signing up for a Subscription Service, including after any free trial period, you agree to pay us the subscription fee and any applicable taxes as set forth in your DoNotPay Account settings or as otherwise agreed in writing (“Subscription Fee”). If you sign up for Subscription Services for a period (“Initial Period”), then the terms will be automatically renewed for additional periods of the same duration as the Initial Period at our then-current fee for such Subscription Services. In order to avoid automatic renewal, you must cancel your Subscription Services at least 2 calendar days (48 hours) prior to the automatic renewal date.
This ToC gets a F- from us.
🚩 They track you, regardless
Their mobile app (which is their entire platform more or less), straight up tracks you with little or no ability to change it, in section “7.2. Tracking Technologies Generally”:
… With respect to our mobile applications, You can stop all collection of information by uninstalling the app. Also, You may be able to exercise specific privacy choices by adjusting the permissions in Your mobile device.
That’s not swell.
They go further in section “6”:
Your browser settings may allow You to automatically transmit a “Do Not Track” signal to online services You visit. Note there is no consensus among industry participants as to what site and app operators should do with regard to these signals. Accordingly, We currently do not monitor or take action with respect to “Do Not Track” signals or other mechanisms. For more information on “Do Not Track,” visit www.allaboutdnt.com.
🚩 They keep your deleted information FOREVER
According to section “7.1 Accessing and Changing Information”:
We may also indefinitely retain information that has been de-identified. Please note that it is not always possible to completely remove or delete all of Your information from Our databases and that residual data may remain on backup media or for other reasons.
The bottom line: if you’re looking for an app to track basically literally everything about you, how you spend, etc. this is it! Our advice: don’t arbitrarily sue people, be responsible, hide your car to not get tickets, search harder for lower prices, and buy a few Visa cards from Walmart for input in to platforms where you need a credit card.