BBB 11 27 21 Moment of Trust "Subscription Scammers"

BBB 11 27 21 Moment of Trust "Subscription Scammers" youtu.be/RKiBCW01J2Y via

My name is Rick Copeland and my wife, Carol and I operate the better business bureau in the tri-counties. Welcome to this week's edition of your moment of trust. And thanks for tuning in to your moment of trust. The better business bureau fosters honest and responsible relationships between businesses and consumers, instilling consumer confidence in advancing a trustworthy marketplace for all.

We'd like to thank Ayers Automotive Repair for supporting your moment of trust. Timely advice from BBB of the tri-counties Ayers Automotive Repair is a proud member of the better business bureau providing dependable, trustworthy auto repair services in Santa Barbara since 1979.

Welcome to this week's Your Moment Of Trust. Subscription services can make great holiday gifts. The recipient gets a gift that keeps on giving and the giver doesn't need to worry about shipping, but with so many options and price points picking the right option can be hard.

Video and music streaming services are hugely popular. Meal delivery services provide fresh pre-measured ingredients and easy-to-follow recipes on a subscription basis. You also can sign up for regular shipments of snacks, clothing, personal grooming products, makeup, vitamins, pet toys, wine, and the list goes on. What should you know about a subscription service before you sign up?

BBB offers the following tips to get the most out of subscription services while watching your budget first, do plenty of research. Take time to research a company before you sign up for a subscription or trial. Find the company on social media and review their account. Check bbb.org. To see if the company has a good business rating and look online for consumer reviews, do an online search of the company, including the word scam or complaint to reveal any red flags. You should be aware of…really investigate free trials.

Free trials can be a good way to get to know a company and try out a product and make sure you understand how they work before you sign up, find out how long the trial period lasts, what exactly you are agreeing to and how, and when to cancel, if you decide not to subscribe. If any of this information is confusing or had available, take your business elsewhere.

The federal trade commission adds this wording about free trials. Free means free. Be suspicious of companies that offer something free, but say you have to pay to get it. You may be dealing with a scammer. Understand how auto-renewal works. Auto-renewals are a convenient way to keep your subscription current. If you decide you like the service on the expiration date, the company charges your credit or debit card and the subscription renews for another period. Keep in mind that companies message you a renewal notice, which is a brief reminder that your subscription is about to renew ahead of time. Always check your bank and credit card statements to make sure the cost is what you expected. If you notice a price jump, it could be that you were signed up for a promotional period that ended. It's important to know how to stop the subscription.

There are three ways you can stop automatic payments from your bank account according to consumer finance.gov. Contact the company to revoke payment authorization, call and write, your bank or credit union, informing them you've revoked payment authorization and are giving your bank and stop payment order. Usually contacting a company to revoke authorization is sufficient to cancel a subscription, but monitor your bank statements closely anyway. If you still see unwanted charges, you may need to take further action. It's a good idea to cancel unwanted subscriptions early, instead of waiting until the last minute to cancel a subscription or free trial, the New York Times says there's generally no drawback to ending payments ahead of time.

You can usually cancel early and still enjoy the remaining time left on your subscription for that billing period, calendar alerts can also help you keep track of when to cancel a subscription. So don't forget and end up paying for an extra subscription term periodically review your active subscriptions.

If you aren't careful, you could lose track of what subscription services you were paying for to maintain your financial health Forbes reminds consumers to figure out how much they are spending on subscriptions. Periodically review your subscriptions to make sure you're still using them. If you are signed up for multiple subscriptions, a subscription management app can help you keep track of and manage them. Watch out for scams. Scammers may offer you free trials or deals on subscriptions that seem too good to be true. Hoping you'll sign up and hand over your credit card number don't believe deals that seem outrageously good.

In addition, if you receive a renewal notice that asks you for your credit card information, think twice before you reply, it's likely the message is a scam. Renewal notices every reminders from a company that already has your payment information, always contact the company directly to verify suspicious messages.

And until next time,

Thanks for tuning into your moment of trust. The Better Business Bureau can help you resolve disputes and find trustworthy businesses. Feel free to stop by our Santa Barbara office at 211 east Victoria Street, Suite A or our Camera Rio office at 4001 Mission Oaks Boulevard, Suite G, or call us at (805) 963-8657 till next time.

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