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Free sample packages or "subscription traps"?

08. October 2012

“Free trials” are not always the route to happiness. Often sample packages involve subscriptions that can be difficult to shake off.

European Consumer Centre Denmark is currently receiving many complaints from both Danish and European consumers who have run into difficulties after ordering sample packages of products such as WinnerSmoke, SmileAway, Reducil, Remonyl, WaistWinner and Total Detox. It appears that the sample packages are really part of an expensive subscription that can be very difficult to get out of again. In many cases, the consumers are threatened with registration in the RKI debtor register if they do not pay.

What to do if you run into difficulties

  • The trader must prove that you have entered into an agreement for a subscription or sample package. It is therefore important that you contact the trader as soon as possible and explain that you dispute having entered into an agreement. Always remember to save a copy of your objection.
  • If you have been referred to a debt collection agency, it is vital that you do not ignore the claims from the debt collection agency. As soon as possible, object to the claims, as otherwise you may risk being obliged to pay for the products because you have adopted a passive approach. Always remember to save a copy of your objection.
  • If you receive a package that you have not ordered, you are not obliged to return it to the sender. However, we recommend that you write to the seller and say you have received a package that you have not ordered and that this can be collected at your address.

Read what to do if you run into difficulties as well as the Consumer Ombudsman’s press release on “subscription traps”.

Read more about sample packages and trial subscriptions on the European Consumer Centre Denmark website and forbrug.dk. (The information is only available in Danish).





 

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