Trial Products – Beware of trial products/memberships. Numerous products are available online offering “free shipping” or trial uses of various products, such as weight loss pills, skin creams, eye creams, etc. Please be wary of these merchants and read through the terms and conditions before providing a card number or account number. Many times, if you are being asked for a card/account number, the merchant intends to have this on file to charge if needed.
With trial type products, the cardholder provides the card/account number to pay shipping and handling (often $4.95 or similar). The catch is, if the product is not cancelled within a specified time frame (most often 14 days) the merchant charges the full cost of the product. Then the cardholder is charged for a monthly subscription. While these amounts can vary, it is not uncommon for charges to be in the $80-$90 range. Also, many times, the merchant encourages the card holder to use the product in conjunction with another product, therefore increasing the monthly charges posting to your card.
Disputing these charges is very difficult and often result in no rights to dispute. When the terms and conditions are agreed to, the cardholder then becomes responsible for the charges, including cancelling the full product and the monthly subscription. Example below: