National Consumer Week 2017 is running from Monday 27 November until Sunday 3 December. This year’s theme is ‘Subscriptions’ – have you or anyone you know ever been locked into a subscription for an offering you didn’t sign up for? An estimated two million people across the UK still experience issues cancelling recurring payments for subscriptions without their apparent authorisation.
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) are strong supporters of National Consumer Week and are raising awareness on this subject, by releasing advice, information and media tools for both consumers and businesses respectively. These include two informative animations to help promote the campaign on highlighting subscription issues. One is aimed at businesses to help awareness of legal obligations when entering consumers into a subscription, while the other is aimed at advising consumers and banks on what to do when things go wrong.
For more information https://www.tradingstandards.uk/news-policy/national-consumer-week-2017
The Consumer Protection Partnership (CPP) campaign ties in also and will particularly focus on online subscription issues. These can include: signing up for a fixed term deal, trial, or promotion where it is unclear that the consumer will be auto-enrolled into ongoing payments. In comparison, subscription traps are deliberately misleading practices, where the company involved uses deceptive language and deceptive terms and conditions. With traps, products are usually advertised as free samples, where consumers are asked to pay for postage and packaging. The consumer will then typically find that much larger amounts are routinely taken from their bank account, using the Continuous Payment Authority (CPA) which the consumer believed was only established to pay their postage and packing on the original item. Products with traps are often substandard or don’t turn up at all. This year’s campaign, ‘Not what you signed up for’, is underpinned by research conducted by the Citizens Advice Partnership Knowledge Hub, which has identified millions of complaints around subscriptions.