Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Manx OFT warns over 'free online trials'

The Isle of Man Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is warning residents about on-line companies offering "free-trials" for anti-wrinkle creams and serum.

The OFT says it has had a surge in calls from consumers.

People who believed they would pay only for post and packaging ended up with a monthly subscription if they did not cancel the contract in time, said the OFT.

Customers were warned they should check the terms and conditions.

A spokesman for the OFT said: "The consumers pay for postage and packing using a credit or debit card.

"However, the trial is for a specific time only and, if it is not cancelled during the specified period, consumers are then charged the full amount for the product which is usually in excess of £70.

"Some consumers have even found that they have inadvertently signed up to an ongoing 'subscription' of £70 plus per month."

Numerous websites and pop-up adverts are used.

Terms and conditions setting out a consumer's obligation if they sign up to the trial can be found on the websites but the link to access them is difficult to spot, said the OFT.

The OFT stressed that although legitimate companies do sell genuine products via the internet it was important to make checks on the company before agreeing to purchase goods or enter into any trials.

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