There are new schemes to get your money. And, they are not illegal. Here is one that got me. The email proclaimed “a great way to learn a language, used by federal agencies”. It is “faster and easier than Rosetta Stone” and much cheaper. “Order today for only $6.95” and I did using a little used credit card.
I received the product, reviewed it and found nothing special about it. I put it on the shelf and went about my business. Since I hardly ever used the credit card, I didn’t open statements for a couple of months. That was my second mistake. I now had a bill for over $300, plus late payment charges.
I called the credit card company and complained that there must be an error because I had not ordered anything for $300. The credit card company said the transaction was from the company where I made the $6.95 purchase. If I had a complaint, I had to call them. I did.
Here is what I learned: the $6.95 “offer” was for a review period of 30 days. After that, I was automatically to receive advanced learning modules at a cost of $150 each unless I notified them otherwise.
That was my first mistake. I did not read the fine print or the second page of the original email offer. I legally owed the $300 and the credit card company the late fees. I paid.
Offers like this are costing consumers billions of dollars every year. The offers may be converted to a monthly fee or like mine, to a higher cost product. These “gray charges” are not illegal, just questionable and unethical. Don’t be a victim. Read the fine print about the “free offer” or the “trial period.” If it seems too good, it is.