The kinds of outrageous offers you see advertised online should definitely be approached with caution, or you could end up ordering or joining something without meaning to.
By ordering a free product sample, subscribing to a trial period at a discount rate, or buying a designer product for a nominal price, in many cases you may be unknowingly entering a longer and more expensive contract – if you ever see the product, that is. Subscription traps of this kind typically arrive with a bill for much more than the postage charge or the couple of euros you thought you would pay.
You can also fall into a subscription trap by taking part in an apparently harmless or even purportedly beneficial online competition or survey that promises prizes for participants. This, however, is only half the truth: by participating, you may also find yourself accidentally subscribing to a service that can be difficult to terminate.
Victims of subscription traps often have little chance of getting their money back. The best way to avoid subscription traps is to bear in mind the following golden rules when encountering an offer online or in your email inbox:
- If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- If you are tempted regardless, run a search on the internet for other people’s experiences first.
- If you are still interested, read through the terms and conditions. If the terms and conditions are excessively complicated or seem suspiciously obscure, or if you cannot find any, it is best to forget the offer altogether.
If you have fallen into a subscription trap, check out our tips for getting out of it
Receiving an invoice without placing an order