In these challenging times with many of us staying at home, some businesses are offering ‘free’ trials of their goods or services.
These can be very tempting when so many of us have more time on our hands or are trying to juggle our work while also attempting to fill our children’s time. But there can be pitfalls if we later find out we have signed up to more that we bargained for!
Genuine businesses should be open and up-front about what you’re signing up for, but unfortunately some unscrupulous traders use ‘free’ trial offers to get you to agree buy goods in quantities you would not have done so normally.
Some ‘free trial’ offers, (often posted on social media or promoted via advertising pop-ups) ask consumers to use their debit or credit card to pay for postage and packaging to receive the ‘free’ product. However, hidden in the small print can be a subscription agreement committing the consumer to purchase large quantities of goods on a monthly basis. Money is taken from the same card used to pay for postage and packaging as a recurring or continuous payment transaction.
If you have inadvertently signed up to a paid contract after a ‘free’ trial, complain to the company concerned. If you see an unexpected charge on your bank / payment card statement you can also contact your bank or card issuer for help.
Report any type of scam to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133. Citizens Advice can provide telephone support and advice. They will also alert Warwickshire Trading Standards Service who can provide additional advice
Advice based upon information issued by the ASA and CMA, visit: https://www.asa.org.uk/news/how-free-is-that-free-trial.html