East Dunbartonshire Council is urging residents to beware of subscription traps this Christmas.
The advice comes at the launch of National Consumer Week - a nation-wide campaign conducted by the Consumer Protection Partnership (CPP) highlighting important issues faced by UK consumers - which runs from Monday 27 November until Sunday 3 December.
This year’s theme focuses on subscription issues and subscription traps. Subscription issues can include signing up for a fixed term deal, trial, or promotion, and it not being made clear (or the consumer forgetting) that they will be auto-enrolled into ongoing payments.
Consumers often sign up for subscriptions unwittingly, and can face problems cancelling future payments. Subscription traps are a more deliberately misleading practice, which usually involve the company using deceptive language and misleading terms and conditions.
It is hoped that focusing consumers’ minds during the busy Christmas period will help them to understand their rights which they can exercise all year round.
As part of National Consumer Week 2017, East Dunbartonshire Council’s Trading Standards Service has organised two events to provide information and free and impartial advice on a range of consumer issues.
Our specialist advisors will be on hand at the following venues:
- Wednesday 29 November, 11am - 2pm, at Waitrose, Glasgow Road, Milngavie
- Friday 1 December, 11am - 2pm, at Sainsbury’s, Kirkintilloch.
Councillor Jim Gibbons, Convener of the Council’s Place, Neighbourhood & Corporate Assets Committee, said, “The Trading Standards Team provides an extremely valuable service for local residents all year round, but National Consumer Week always gives them the opportunity to highlight particularly topical consumer issues and to outline some of the ways in which they protect our local community.
"This year’s theme looks at subscription issues and our Trading Standards Officers have already dealt with a number of complaints from consumers about subscription traps, including free face cream, vitamins and slimming pills. Often consumers only realise they have fallen prey to a subscription scam when they see a large sum of money leaving their bank account.
“I hope that local people make the most of this great opportunity and come to speak directly to our officers at these events during National Consumer Week 2017.
“Any local resident that ever has a concern about the purchase of goods or services, a possible scam, doorstep callers, or any other consumer issue or complaint, should always contact the Council’s Trading Standards Team for help and advice by telephone on 0300 123 4510 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.”