Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Business & Appointments - - FRONT PAGE -

mum re­cently signed up to an on­line ad­vert of­fer­ing a free trial to a mir­a­cle mois­turiser. She paid for the post and pack­ag­ing and re­ceived the cream as promised. But, when she looked at her bank state­ment a few weeks later, she saw the com­pany had taken more money from her ac­count. She can­not get in touch with it and is wor­ried it will take more money. What can she do? San­dra, Gorey, Co Wex­ford WHEN your mum signed up to the free trial, she may have agreed to terms and con­di­tions which al­lowed the com­pany to take money from her card once the free trial ended. If she agreed to these terms and con­di­tions (which you nor­mally have to do to get the free trial), even with­out re­al­is­ing it, she also agreed to the com­pany de­duct­ing money from her card.

On­line sub­scrip­tions are usu­ally set up as a re­cur­ring charge on a debit or credit card as op­posed to a di­rect debit. In gen­eral you can­not can­cel a re­cur­ring charge with your bank (as you can with a di­rect debit). So, you have to con­tact the com­pany you have the re­cur­ring charge with to can­cel it.

You should do this in a way that gives you proof that you asked them to can­cel your sub­scrip­tion — such as, by email. If your mum can’t get in touch with the com­pany to can­cel the sub­scrip­tion, she may need to con­tact her bank and look for a charge­back on her ac­count for any sub­scrip­tions taken af­ter she tried to can­cel the pay­ment.

She will also need to give them the ev­i­dence show­ing she at­tempted to con­tact the com­pany to can­cel the sub­scrip­tion — for ex­am­ple, send them a copy of emails she has sent to the com­pany. If all else fails, her last re­sort may be to can­cel her card and ap­ply for a new one.

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