Colorado attorney general cracking down on illegal auto renewal charges

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Avoid illegal fees charged for free trials

DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado’s attorney general is targeting businesses that continue to charge for canceled subscriptions, causing some customers to spend hundreds of dollars without even being aware. 

This comes just after DIRECTV was ordered to pay a million dollar settlement to more than 200,000 customers who paid but couldn’t view Altitude Sports during a blackout related to a contract dispute.

While many companies play by the books and cancel charges for unwanted subscriptions and memberships, Attorney General Phil Weiser warns others have contracts that fail to clearly reveal the proper procedure for ending a free trial agreement.

“You may sign up for a gym membership, some other type of service and you think you’re signing up for a three month trial or a six month period and they keep billing you,” Weiser said. 

The attorney general told the Problem Solvers, businesses are responsible for making their policies clear, it’s the law.

“We passed a law to make sure that any auto renewal service has to give people clear notice about what they’re getting and have a chance to say ‘I don’t want it’,” he said.

Many consumers who discover they are being charged illegally end up fighting the company involved on their own, which can be extremely time consuming.

“The average person doesn’t have time to be their own auditor and to call up, wait on hold and complain, we want to be the watchdog for consumers,” Weiser said.

Weiser added that it is important to carefully monitor free trial offers if you sign up for one.

“I know it’s a pain to look at your credit card bill every month and ask ‘what’s this charge for’ (but) taking that time can save you money,” Weiser said.

If you suspect you are being charged for a canceled membership or subscription, contact the attorney general’s office

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