Have you seen advertisements online or received emails that offer you a Risk Free Trial? All they ask is that you only pay a modest shipping fee. You say to yourself “What have I got to lose”? My answer to that question is – PLENTY!
BEWARE: Most of these “Risk Free Trial” offers have a downside.
Risk Free Trial offers offers are advertised by scammers or unscrupulous companies. They often tout names of celebrities, who supposedly use and endorse their products. Many celebrities have had to sue these fraudsters, to get their name removed from these bogus endorsements.
What starts out as a risk-free trial, might end up costing you loads of money!
The goal of the risk free trial offer is to make you a long-term customer. The fine-print (which most people don’t read) hides buying terms, designed to entrap you. Once they have your credit card information, for the shipping cost of your free-trial, it will be nearly impossible to stop them from continuing deliveries and billing you.
Had you actually read the fine-print, you might have discovered that there was a time-limit to cancel your order. If you didn’t cancel by the deadline date, you would be billed for an additional shipment. Even if you cancel within the time limit, they won’t make it easy to let you off the hook. They’ll charge you for early cancellation or other additional bogus fees.
The end game is to continuously keep billing you every month.
You may not have noticed that there was a box automatically checked, by default, when you placed your order. That checked box puts conditions on returns and cancellations that are strict enough to make it nearly impossible to cancel. There may be a default box you forgot to un-check that illegally signed you up for additional products, services or clubs fees.
TIPS – What You Should Do:
- If you see credit card charges you didn’t agree to, contact the company directly.
- If that doesn’t work, call your credit card company to dispute the charge.
- As a last resort, cancel your credit card- so they can’t keep charging it.
- NEVER make online purchases using your DEBIT card. It is directly tied to your checking account, which could get cleaned-out in no time if it gets stolen or compromised.
- Use a pre-paid credit card or gift card that has a ‘finite’ amount of funds available. Once the funds are used up, they can’t keep billing you for additional or recurring charges.
If you’ve been wrongly charged for a free-trial offer, report it to the FTC and file a complaint by going here: www.ftc.gov/complaint