N.S. senior says she’s out $800 due to unsolicited online-order products
Published Thursday, April 20, 2017 7:38PM ADT
Last Updated Friday, April 21, 2017 4:42PM ADT
A Maritime senior says she recently received products unsolicited in the mail and was then on the hook for paying for them - and it's not a scam.
Carolyn Connors is now sharing her experience after getting hit with nearly $800 in credit card charges.
It began at her home in rural Nova Scotia in February after she filled out an online survey for free beauty samples; all she had to do was pay the postage.
“Even when I was giving my Visa number I thought to myself - I should not be doing this,” says the Avondale, N.S. resident.
A few weeks went by and nothing came in the mail. A couple weeks ago, two products arrived, ones Connors says she never wanted in the first place.
“I opened them up and started using them and didn't think anything of it, until I got my Visa bill last week,” says Connors. “It just blew me away.”
She says she was shocked to see two charges totaling nearly $400.
After multiple tries to reach someone with the company, CTV News talked to a customer service person based in the United States. He says customers are automatically billed full price for the product after a 14-day trial, unless the customer cancels their account during the trial period. Customers will then receive products and be billed every 30 days.
Customer service also says they will extend the trial period to 28 days from 14 if the customer contacts them, providing more time to cancel the order.
The Better Business Bureau has noticed a recent spike in related complaints in Atlantic Canada.
“We are hearing from a number of people who don't remember seeing anything in the fine print,” says Better Business Bureau executive director Peter Moorhouse. “They are just receiving product without even asking for it.”
The Better Business Bureau says consumers need to be cautious about free trials.
“The first thing you should do is read the fine print, especially when what you think you are signing up for is a free trial,” says Moorhouse.
Connors says a second parcel showed up in her mailbox this week. She has since called her credit card company and cancelled her card, but still has to pay a total of $800.
“There was a place there, somewhere, that I was supposed to cancel, but I did not see it,” says Connors.
Connors says plans to stay away from online surveys and samples in the future.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kelland Sundahl