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Do ‘Free Trial’ Offers Always Have a Catch?

There are many ways in which a business tries to lure customers to buy its products. One of them is called “Free Trial”, a concept where the customer is apparently allowed to try the product or service for free before actually buying it. Sounds like a great deal, right? Well, anything that you get for free is certainly appealing. However, there is a catch here – the so-called “free trials” aren’t really free. If you have opted for a free trial just because there was no money involved, then you should know how free trials work.


Free trials aren’t always free

Free trials are an effective marketing technique that businesses use to attract customers. Usually, these offers involve asking the customers to try a product or a service for free for a specific time period, to determine whether or not they want to invest in it. For example, an e-newspaper or e-magazine may try to attract potential readers to by offering a free subscription trial for 15-days. An avid reader may find it hard to let that offer go and simply opt for it without reading the terms and conditions.

Somewhere in the fine print of that subscription trial, the business would mention that if the customer does not cancel the free trial before the stipulated time period, then he or she will continue receiving the daily or monthly issues of the newspaper of magazine and the amount will be deducted directly from the credit card of the customer, the details of which the subscriber would have shared before accepting the free trial.


If you share your credit card details…

Understand that a free trial is not a good idea unless someone puts the product in your hand, without any details or questions asked. If the trial subscription requires you to share the details of your credit card or any other mode of payment, then there certainly is a catch. Before you share the details for the payment, make sure you read the fine print thoroughly.


How to stay safe from free trials

Every other mail in your inbox is about a free trial or some kind of similar offer. Some of them may be genuine while others are just a means to rip you off your money. It is important to know how to stay away from the rip-offs and fraudulent offers.

The first step is to research about the company offering the free trial. Also look for any consumer complaints about the free trials or services promises made by the company. Read reviews and ensure that the offer is authentic. Otherwise, like many others, you may end up paying more than you have bargained for.