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Avoid recurring or subscription billing

Recurring or Subscription Billing

Recurring billing scams are more of an unethical sales practice than a direct scam. They arise from a genuine purchase that you make with further obligations on you hidden within the terms and conditions on the seller's website.


A typical recurring or subscription billing situation looks like this:

  • Occurs when a customer completes an online form and provides their card details and personal information in exchange for a free trial of a product at the cost of shipping and handling only,
  • The customer is then billed on a monthly basis after the completion of the free trial period,
  • The customer has unknowingly authorised the monthly payment due to a clause hidden within the terms and conditions of the merchant.

An example clause will read:

“by agreeing to the free trial / product by only paying for the shipping and handling, you have now enrolled in our free shipping program and will be billed accordingly every month”

  • Example products / services where this is common practice includes, but is not limited to:
    • Garcinia and other weight loss products
    • Coffee beans
    • Dating websites
    • Adult content websites
    • Ancestry websites
  • What can customers do in these circumstances?
    • Check your account statements promptly for unusual or unexpected transactions,
    • Contact us immediately to cancel the card to ensure that no further payments will be debited from your account.

Because the customer has authorised these payments by accepting the terms and conditions there are generally no chargeback rights for recurring or subscription billing. By acting quickly you can limit how much they can scam from you.

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