How many times have you seen or heard it? “Call now for a free subscription.” “Call now for a free list.” “Apply online now for a free directory.” These types of ads are all over the radio and television. But, while they are saying the word “free,” often times what they really mean is, “give me your credit card so I can charge you $1.95 for shipping and handling and then charge you $39.99 per month, every month, after the first 30-days.”
These so called “free” deals attract thousands of consumers per month, many of whom never fully realize what they are truly getting themselves into until they check their credit card statement. And even then, it may be too late. Some companies charge very high cancelation fees if the product or service is not cancelled within the 30-day, “free” trial run.
Always be sure to check, double check and recheck with a company representative if you inquire about a “free” offer. Ask how long the free offer lasts, ask if you will ever be charged money for any services and always question why a company wants your credit card number for an offer that is supposed to be “free.”
Don’t feel pressured and don’t let the representative on the phone talk you into something or intimidate you into purchasing something you are not comfortable with. You can always hang up.
When you cancel, make sure you cancel. If you call the business, the job of the company representative you will speak to is to retain your order. He or she will try to make you think you are making a mistake by cancelling. Have a game plan and stick to it. Also be sure to get the name of the person you are speaking to and any identifying company number or transaction number in regards to your cancellation, in case of a dispute.
Companies need to make money in order to operate; they don’t do this by giving away their products and services for free for forever. When in doubt contact the BBB and find out information about the business.