Call For Action Director Karen Stiles and our partners at WTMJ 4 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin describe a few precautions you can take to make sure you avoid unpleasant surprises when you sign up for a free trial.

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Here are some suggestions to help you navigate free trials wisely:

Before you sign up and provide credit card information, make sure to read the terms and conditions carefully.  Watch out for hidden costs like shipping and handling fees, know how to cancel or return products, and make sure you aren’t agreeing to purchase more than you planned down the line.

If you want to cancel your free trial, reach out to the company directly.  A phone call may not be sufficient, so check the terms.  You may need to cancel in writing.  Be conscious of cancelation deadlines to avoid unexpected costs.

If you have problems resolving an issue with a company directly, you can contact your State’s Consumer Protection Office, the Federal Trade Commission, or Call For Action.  If you get additional credit card charges after canceling a trial, contact your credit card company for help contesting the charges.

To submit your consumer complaint, use our online form.