Use caution when using 'free' trials - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Use caution when using 'free' trials

Read those terms and conditions closely! (Source: file photo) Read those terms and conditions closely! (Source: file photo)
(WWBT) -

Free trials may seem harmless, but use caution because they are not always as they may seem.

In some cases, a free trial can actually cost you money.

The most important thing with any offer is to read the fine print. The devil is always in the details when it comes to dealing with free trials and gifts.

Often, the trial is only for the start of service that extends beyond the free period.

Say a free trial expires after 30 days. That does not mean you have it for 30 days and it's over. It means you will start being charged for the service beginning on day 31 - sometimes directly onto a credit card, if it was required for the trial period.

Other unexpected expenses could be shipping and handling fees that end up getting charged to a credit card.

Some companies load the free trial forms with pre-checked boxes, automatically signing you up for things you don't want. If you aren't careful to un-check those boxes, you could be agreeing to charges you didn't intend.

Before signing up for any free trial period, research the company online to see if there are complaints from other customers.

Read all of the terms and conditions, and if you don't understand them, don't sign up.

If you do sign up for a free trial, remember to put that date on your calendar, or maybe even set a reminder on your smartphone, to cancel the service before getting charged for it.

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