People who fall for online ads offering a free trial of cosmetic products are embarrassed to tell others about it. “An old fool,” as someone called herself, saw a pop-up ad for a free trial of anti-aging creams, with a small cost for shipment. But she was charged $267 (U.S.) for both products on her next credit card statement.
Hidden terms and conditions of the deal
The company said she had been billed for the products because she had not paid attention to the terms and conditions of the deal, printed in faint blue at the bottom of the page. “By ordering, you are agreeing to the terms of the 14-day trial. Upon completion of the trial, you agree that your card will be charged on the 14th day and every 30 days thereafter, unless you cancel,” it read.
Free trial offers pop up at a trusted retailer’s websites
Visa, MasterCard and American Express offer a zero-liability-for-fraud guarantee. But when you ask credit card issuers for a refund, they often blame you for agreeing to an online deal without reading the terms and conditions. Free trial offers are especially confusing when they pop up at a trusted retailer’s website. Customers may not realize they are dealing with a separate company. When it comes to free trials and subscription traps, promises of “free” can actually end up costing you big time.
Read more about free trail ad scams at The Toronto Star.