Know what you're signing up for – National Consumer Week

Published: 29 Nov 2017

This week is National Consumer Week and Hertfordshire County Council is urging residents to be aware of what they are actually signing up for online.

National Consumer Week is an annual consumer education campaign coordinated by Citizens Advice and other members of the Consumer Protection Partnership, with this year’s campaign focusing on subscription issues and subscription traps.

Terry Hone, Cabinet Member for Community Safety said: “Many people are enticed with limited offers or free trials and samples and it’s not always clear exactly you are signing up for or if you are dealing with a genuine company. Subscriptions can be a real issue and we want people to spend a little time to follow some safety advice and to always read the terms and conditions.”

An estimated two million people across the UK still experience issues cancelling recurring payments for subscriptions without their authorisation.

Before you sign up always check you’re dealing with a genuine company - especially if you’ve clicked on an advert online. Check if:

• there’s a padlock symbol next to the address bar.
• the web address starts with ‘https’.
• the company’s address has a street name - not a PO box number.

Once you’re sure the company is genuine, read the terms and conditions to find out:

• what you’ll pay - and how long for.
• what you’ll get for your money.
• if they’ll charge you after the offer ends.
• how to cancel the payments.

Check out how you will be paying:

Direct debit is the best way to pay because it means the company have to ask if they want to change the amount of money they take from your account.

If they ask for your credit or debit card details, they’ll be able to change the amount of money they take without asking you.

If you know you don’t want a subscription, the best thing you can do is avoid using it.

For more guidance visit:

For more information about consumer law and other Trading Standards issues visit