The BBB says complaints have been reported from across Atlantic Canada by people who ordered free samples online. By doing so, however, they unwittingly agreed to a membership.
In a news release Wednesday, the BBB says people have paid up to $800 before stopping the charges, while others had to cancel credit cards to halt payments.
People should be cautious when signing up for “trial” or “free” offers, especially online, the BBB says. Extra fees or difficult cancellation processes can be hidden in the fine print, and pose a serious financial risk.
“We encourage people to read the terms and conditions very carefully before agreeing to an online purchase, particularly one that asks for your credit card information,” says Peter Moorhouse, president and CEO of BBB Serving the Atlantic Provinces.
“The sales practices of these businesses appear to be quite misleading, and we don’t want to see anyone agree to conditions they aren’t aware of.”
Monitoring credit cards for any activity that might indicate an unwanted subscription is also recommended.