A WOMAN in County Durham ended up with an £800 bill for anti-ageing cream after signing up for a trial offer.

The woman clicked on an online advert for the product and provided her credit card details in the belief she would be making a one-off payment for a trial offer.

But she had actually signed up to a continuous payment scheme, which gave the company involved permission to continuing charging £100 a month to supply the cream.

In another case, a company ordered a debt collection agency to pursue another woman from County Durham, who signed up for a free sample after seeing an advert on social media.

The cases are being highlighted by Durham County Council as part of Consumer Protection Week.

Joanne Waller, the authority’s head of environment, health and consumer protection, said: “Subscription traps are deliberately misleading and usually involve a company using deceptive language and misleading terms and conditions.

“Products are often advertised as free samples, with the consumer asked to pay for postage and packing. However, they will then, typically, find much larger amounts being routinely taken.

“We would urge people to be extremely careful when signing up for trial offers and free products online – always make sure you fully understand what you are agreeing to.”