21/03/2013 Beware Negative Option Marketing
Adverts are appearing on social media websites promoting ‘free’ product trials for goods including beauty products and slimming pills.
Consumers are encouraged to take part and provide their credit or debit card details to pay for postage and packing.
But, hidden in the small print is a monthly subscription agreement that could cost them over £1000 a year if they don’t return the items quickly and cancel.
However, the unscrupulous foreign based businesses behind these offers make it incredibly difficult for consumers to cancel in time and quickly begin taking money from their credit or debit cards.
Advice to consumers:
• Never provide your credit or debit card to any business you don’t know or trust.
• Beware of any ‘free trial’ offers.
• Always read the small print.
• Search for the business on-line. If they are dodgy, someone on the Internet is likely to have already posted a warning.
• If you are a victim, contact your bank as soon as possible to cancel the recurring payments. You have a legal right to have these payments cancelled. Even if the business refuses, your bank must cancel them for you.
21/03/2013 Bogus Pop-Up Offer
A Warwickshire consumer reported to Trading Standards seeing a pop-up appear on his screen after visiting a well-known on-line retailer. The pop-up asked for the consumer’s credit card details in order to receive 10% off his next purchase.
Trading Standards warn that it is unlikely that these unusual pop-ups are genuine. More likely, they are an indication that the computer has been infected with a virus. Never input credit or debit card details in to a pop-up. If you do need to use your credit card or debit card on-line, ensure you trust the website and can see that it is secure (look for the padlock sign in the web browser).
21/03/2013 ‘Free’ Security Survey
A Warwickshire consumer reported to Trading Standards receiving an unexpected withheld number call from someone offering a free survey which the consumer believed was associated with security and alarms.
Consumers are advised to be very wary about offers of free security surveys, a tactic often employed by high pressure salespeople to sell expensive and unsuitable alarm systems.
Consumers are often offered free alarm systems which then come with expensive monitoring contracts costing thousands of pounds!
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