WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) It's holiday shopping season and our FactFinder 12 Investigative team wants you to stay safe and smart. We've found some of the most common scams, tricks and warnings to tell you so you have the best holiday shopping season possible.
Low rates, special discounts and new year deals are all ways to get you to sign up in the new year. Companies know your new year's resolutions are fresh on your mind and you're going to be bursting through the doors of gyms and signing up for new products.
"As a consumer it's your responsibility to understand any contracts that you're in."
Denise Groene with the Better Business Bureau encourages consumers to take the time and read. Regardless of if you're signing up online, over the phone or in person, Groene said you should always ask for a copy of whatever you're signing so you can read each line carefully.
"Any time you're signing a contract for something, see if you can't get the contract in advance so that way, at your leisure, you can take the time to review it and then you can go into that gym or go with that business and ask any questions," Groene said. "One thing we're seeing with gyms right now is they're offering free trials. Maybe it's a 30 day free trial and consumers aren't understanding that after the 30 days is up, they're locked into a 2 or 3 year contract because no one told them."
Groene said even if the salesperson tells you something, make sure it's in writing because it's the contract the company will hold you to.
These contracts can come up with free trials for products and often times those free trials get you stuck with charges and products you didn't want because you didn't cancel in time.
"That's dietary products or face cream. It's all the same with free trials. They give you that free product. They want your credit card information to pay for the shipping. Then they store that on file and once the period is up they'll start charging you and even some times automatically start sending you product in the mail," Groene said.
To keep yourself from getting stuck, Groene recommends reading every contract for every deal you sign up for. That includes those terms and conditions documents online. She said you should check about canceling any deals you sign up for. Find out how to cancel and if you even can cancel. She also said you should make sure everything you are agreeing to is in writing and you have a copy.