Better Business Bureau warns consumers to be wary of free trial offers


ROANOKE, Va. – Consumers lost $1.3 billion dollars in the last 10 years because of free trial offers and subscriptions.

The Better Business Bureau says the majority of these so-called free trials let you have a product free and then automatically sign you up for a long-term subscription for the product without telling you. 

Julie Wheeler, with the Better Business Bureau of Western Virginia, says a lot of these ads are deceptive. They'll usually promise some type of miracle fix or make claims that can't be backed up or haven't been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. 

"Somebody says, 'Oh, you use it and it works. You have to be careful about positive reviews and testimonials because they could be paid for, those. You don't know if it's just the owner sitting there typing up these things and putting them out there. There's no real way to validate that they're true," said Wheeler.

Make sure you read the terms and conditions before accepting any free trial.