BBB: Be careful about free trials and subscriptions

By  | 

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Whether your surfing online or on social media, you probably see those ads for free trials and subscriptions.

There are ads for things like weight loss products, teeth whiteners, hair growth, you name it. Usually some of those deals are too good to be true. The Better Business Bureau says the number one complaint it received last years was about deceptive ads about free trials and subscriptions.

“What consumers are not seeing, and it's costing them millions of dollars, is the small print,” said David Smitherman with the Better Business Bureau of Central Alabama.

So, what should you be looking for? Sometimes there may be a link that takes you to the terms and conditions. Make sure you read everything before you agree to your free trial. Sometimes it will give you a time frame to return the item and it you don’t you will be locked in to a one-year contract.

Smitherman says once you’re charged it’s hard to get your money back. The best thing to do is to contact your credit card company and try to get the charges reversed or at least prevent future charges from the company.

And ladies beware! The BBB says 70 percent of these free trial products are geared toward women.

“Often times they will picture celebs endorsing the product, when the celebs know nothing about it. If it’s not a scam, it’s certainly deceptive.” Smitherman said.

Last year alone the BBB received more than 2,400 complaints involving free trial offers, amounting to over $5.6 million in losses.

“Scammers are always finding ways to get into your pocketbook.” Smitherman said.

If you’re curious about a company’s reputation you can always see if they pop up in the Better Business Bureau Scam Tracker.

Copyright 2019 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

Read the original version of this article at

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station. powered by Disqus