People in South Tyneside are being warned to think carefully before signing up to subscriptions.
This week is National Consumer Week and it is focusing on subscriptions where people sign up for an offer, but still end up making regular payments once the deal finishes.
An estimated two million people across the UK still experience issues cancelling recurring payments for subscriptions without their apparent authorisation.
Coun Moira Smith, lead member for area management and community safety at South Tyneside Council, said: “We understand that it can be tempting for people to sign up for a subscription for a free trial or special offer.
“However, it is important that they know what they are signing up for and we would encourage people to take a moment to read the small print to avoid getting caught in a subscription trap.
“Failure to do so could result in people signing up for a longer term financial agreement which could see them paying far more for goods than is necessary.
“It is also equally important that all businesses follow a strict set of laws designed to protect consumers from unfair practices.
“Banks also need to be aware of their responsibilities to customers struggling with subscription issues.”
*Anyone needing help with a specific subscription problem or any other consumer issue, can contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040 506 or online at www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer
In support of the campaign, the Chartered Trading Standards Institute has released two animated video guides on the issue for consumers, businesses and financial institutions.
To see the consumer advice videos, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=OraEsC9SHRA. For the business advice video, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlrwW4w3Jf8