Wednesday 24 January 2018

Ask Siobhan: I signed up for a free trial of diet pills but I’m still paying

Siobhan Howe

I was on Facebook when I came across an advert offering a free trial for diet pills.

The ad claimed they were used by celebrities and had testimonials from some wellknown magazines.

To avail of the trial, I was asked to enter my credit-card number to pay a small amount for postage and packaging.

When my statement arrived, it showed that they had deducted the postage and packaging amount, but there was another charge for €98 a couple of weeks later, which I did not authorise.

I have emailed the company to cancel my order but have not received a response. What can I do? It appears you have signed up to a subscription. Sometimes subscription services advertise a “free trial” but when you look at the terms and condition, you will discover that once the free trial period ends, a monthly charge applies.

This may include an automatic “rolling period” which means the subscription will continue to be automatically renewed for a certain length of time unless it’s cancelled. When you originally signed up for the offer, you may have agreed to terms on their website. Check what these terms included.

If the terms did not state that there were additional payments, then you may have been misled. If this is the case, then you should contact the National Consumer Agency see for more information.

As you have already sent an email advising that you wish to cancel the subscription and didn’t receive a response, I would recommend that you contact your bank providing them with a copy of the email and ask that they block any further transactions from this company.

If the amount continues to be charged to your account, you can complain to your bank. But it may require you to cancel your card altogether to prevent the charges recurring.

Before providing credit card or bank account details it is very important to check any costs involved both up front and ongoing so you know exactly what it is going to cost you.

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