When ‘FREE' Isn't Really Free: Beware of Free Trial Offers

posted on Thursday, October 3, 2019 in Fraud

We’ve all seen ads for a product or subscription with a free trial and thought, “Why not?”

Here’s why not: What appears to be a free trial can add up to much more. Most free trials require consumers to enter their card information. This is used to cover future costs if you forget to end the trial or subscription.  Which happens frequently, despite an individual’s best intentions.

Try to avoid these unwanted fees by following these tips:

  1. Research the company online. Complaints from other consumers can tip you off to “catches” that might come with the trial.
  2. Find the offer’s terms and conditions. If you can’t find them or don’t understand exactly what you’re agreeing to, don’t sign up.
  3. Look for who’s behind the offer. Just because you’re online buying something from one company doesn’t mean the offer isn’t from another company.
  4. Watch for pre-checked boxes. That may give the company a green light to continue subscriptions past the free trial (with a charge).
  5. Mark your calendar. Your free trial probably has a time limit. If it passes before telling the company to cancel, you’ll most likely be charged.
  6. Review account statements and be vigilant in online banking. This is just good practice, but you’ll know right away if you’re being charged.

Being a smart shopper by doing research and reading fine print before making a purchase is truly your best bet for avoiding any unwanted charges with your free trial.

Thank you for stopping by.  We hope you find these tips helpful!

Amanda P.