Signing up for free trials online may not be all that it’s cracked up to be

Action Line

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Signing up for free trials online may seem easy and tempting, but officials say it’s not all that simple.

As you browse online, you’ll find offers to try out products or services for free.

Many times, it’s okay to check them out.

But some dishonest companies will bury the terms of their free trial offers in fine print or not disclose them at all.

“They now have your credit card information,” Better Business Bureau Marketplace Manager Roseann Freitas said. “What you don’t see in very very fine print and hidden, is that they’re going to continue to charge you. They will send you out this product on a regular basis and charge you full price for the product.”

If you’re thinking of signing up for a “free” trial offer, keep these tips in mind..

Look for the terms and conditions and if you can’t find it, that’s a big red flag.

“Also, you want to research who this company is online,” said Freitas. “Make sure they are a legitamate company and they are who they say they are. Sometimes when you’re there you’ll see pre-check boxes, make sure you look at what that box is and unclick it if that is something you do not wish to participate in.”

Freitas says in many cases, you can cancel your free trial but you can’t get your money back.

Most companies will only offer store credit.

“You can report this incident to the BBB.org and file a complaint against the company, especially if it was hard to find and you weren’t even told this would continued charge on your card,” Freitas explained.

If you have a concern or are interested in becoming an Action Line volunteer, give us a call Monday through Friday at 591-0222.

You can also send an email to actionline@khon2.com.

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