Friday, May 23, 2014

Don't Be Swayed By Those Free Trial Offer Pop-Ups

Do you feel yourself being harassed by all those virtual "popups" coming at you while surfing the Net? They all have a common theme .... luring you into trying out a product for free with the option of purchasing later on. The Better Business Bureau is receiving daily complaints from Maritime consumers who've been taken for a ride by these offers. The BBB's Jill Atkinson says its a mine-field out there for consumers and you have to be careful with the so called Free Trial Offers.

Atkinson says there are many legitimate companies offering their products on a free trial basis but you need to do research. There are just as many on-line scams though, whose only purpose is to steal your personal financial information and money.

Here are suggestions from the Better Business Bureau:

Know the company you are dealing with. Consumers have advised that they don’t know where the company is located, do not have a telephone number and sometimes do not have an actual company name just a product name.

Research the company online. Check with BBB for a Business Review on the company. Check online to see what other people are saying about the company’s free trial. Complaints from other consumers can raise some red flags about the company, product or service.

Know what the terms and conditions are for the offer. Always take the time to read the fine print.  If the company does not post what the terms and conditions are in its ads, or on its website then this should be a red flag to not sign up.

Look for who’s behind the offer. Just because you are on a website doesn’t mean that the “pop-up” is for that company.

Watch out for pre-checked boxes. Take the time to look for already checked boxes. That checkmark may give the company the go ahead to continue the offer past the free trial or sign you up for more products that you have to pay for.

Mark your calendar. Most free trial offers have a time limit. Once it passes without you telling the company to cancel your order, you may be on the hook for more products.

Read you credit and debit card statements. That way you will know if you have been charged for something that you didn’t order. If you have been charged, contact the company immediately to sort it out. If this does not work then contact your credit card company to dispute the charges.