Protecting the Rights of Consumers
For Over 25 Years
Edelman Combs Latturner & Goodwin, LLC
The Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau have issued warnings about fraudulent "free trial offers" for various products. The offers request credit/ debit card information, but claim that all you need to get a free trial is to pay a small shipping charge of around $1.95. If you don’t like the product, you can return it for free and stop getting more product.
In fact, consumers are unable to cancel or get charged each month, even if they try to return the item.
Federal Trade Commission complaints mentioning “free trial” doubled between 2015 and 2017, with losses in cases during the last 10 years totaling around $1.3 billion.
If you become a victim of one of these offers, notify both the company and the issuer of your credit or debit card that you are cancelling the agreement and demanding a refund. Oral notice to your credit or debit card issuer should be confirmed in writing, and should cover all charges from the company, regardless of amount. Failure to comply may violate the Fair Credit Billing provisions of the Truth in Lending Act in the case of a credit card and the Electronic Fund Transfer Act in the case of a debit card. If it is necessary to enforce your rights under these laws, contact us. Both laws provide for an award of attorney's fees against the defendant, so this can be done without charge.
In the case of a credit card, it may be possible for you to have the initial amount charged back.