"Free" Trial Offer?

Posted by Clyde Hutchins | Jul 22, 2016 | 0 Comments

One of the more common complaints is the "free" trial offer scheme. In this type of case, you see a supplement, weight loss product or beauty product online advertised with a "free" trial offer. You give your credit card or debit card information for the nominal shipping fee (usually $4.00 to $5.00). A few days or weeks later, you are shocked to find recurring monthly charges of $80.00 or more each month for repeat shipments of the product. You do not recall authorizing the recurring shipments and charges. When you return to the website you find that the recurring monthly payments were authorized in the small print on a back page or less noticeable section of the website. You call up to cancel any future transactions. You feel like you do not have the right to a refund because the payments were authorized in the small print. However, you might actually have a case.

The consumer protection act protects consumers from deceptive trade practices. A failure to provide "clear and conspicuous" disclosure about the material terms of a purchase, such as recurring charges, is a deceptive trade practice and violation of the consumer protection act. If you feel that you were tricked because the important terms to the purchase were hidden on a back page or in small print, then please feel free to contact Harmony Law for a free consultation. We may be able to help.

About the Author

Clyde Hutchins

Clyde Hutchins is the founder of Harmony Law. Prior to opening Harmony Law, Mr. Hutchins worked in the Wyoming Attorney General's Office for several years where he developed a strong consumer protection enforcement unit. In that position he led over 120 investigations and enforcement actions under the Consumer Protection Act. He worked on numerous joint cases with the Federal Trade Commission and other states, including Colorado, on consumer protection matters. Mr. Hutchins is also a contributing author to Consumer Protection Law Developments, Second Edition. Previous to his work in the Attorney General's Office, Mr. Hutchins was in private practice in Anchorage, Alaska where he was the chief litigator for a firm. Mr. Hutchins represented municipalities on various matters. Mr. Hutchins provided counsel to businesses and investment advisors regarding compliance with securities laws. He was also a bond lawyer and worked on municipal financing matters. Prior to that, Mr. Hutchins practiced civil litigation with a law firm in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Mr. Hutchins devotes his spare time to his family, traveling and enjoying the great outdoors.


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Harmony Law is one of the few law firms in Colorado and Wyoming that focuses on consumer law. Mr. Hutchins is a member of the National Association of Consumer Advocates and state chair for Wyoming. If you have a consumer law issue, please feel free to call 970-488-1857 and speak with Mr. Hutchins.

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