Sudbury Citizens Advice issues subscription warning after research reveals amount of money wasted

Sudbury town centre including the Thomas Gainsborough statue. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Sudbury town centre including the Thomas Gainsborough statue. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

Sudbury Citizens Advice is issuing tips on how to avoid getting tied into a subscription they no longer want after new research revealed people waste hundreds of pounds on them each year.

Analysis of 500 cases reported to Citizens Advice consumer service between June and August this year found people lost an average of £160 from subscriptions they wanted to cancel but were unable to.

Sudbury and District Citizens Advice will be taking part in National Consumer Week – a campaign to help people understand their consumer rights which launched on Monday.

The analysis from national Citizens Advice reveals that companies can make it hard to cancel a subscription with nine in ten people prevented from doing so after initially asking.

Common reasons for turning down a cancellation include being told to use a specific method, like the phone, or to give more than a month’s notice.

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People also reported not being made aware they had signed up for a subscription in the first place, or that their contract would continue on an auto renewal basis.

With subscriptions now being offered across a range of goods and services, from beauty products to TV streaming, Sudbury and District Citizens Advice is urging people to check the small print before signing up.

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Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, businesses cannot enforce terms on consumers that are unfair.

Colleen Sweeney, chief officer of Sudbury and District Citizens Advice, said: “People can be made to feel like they’re going round in circles when trying to cancel a subscription.

“This research shows that companies are continuing to cash in on unwanted subscriptions by blocking people’s cancellation on the grounds of a technicality.

“It’s important for people to read any terms and conditions before signing up to a subscription, but they should also be on the lookout for companies who are deliberately throwing obstacles in their way when they try to cancel.

“Anyone who needs advice on how to cancel a subscription, or runs into difficulty doing so, should contact us for further help.”

For more information on Sudbury and District Citizens Advice, call 01787 321403, email or visit their website.

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