Dear Editor:

On our television and on our Internet we constantly see ads to get some product "FREE." Supposedly free to use for 30 days to see if you like it or if this certain product lives up to what they claim. If you don't think the product is what you hoped for, they say you can cancel out at any time.

If you don't cancel out within this time period, then you automatically pay a monthly fee for this free service/product unless you cancel out the deal in time. Even when you cancel out, they will say they didn't get the cancellation within the 30 day time period (they also don't cancel with a phone call).

With the mail service, as slow as it gets, you would have to cancel out a couple of days after you got the product or service.

Here is where they get you. Being the product is free, they ask for a small token shipping charge, by using your credit card to pay for this charge. No such thing as sending a check for the shipping charge. Many of these companies use this unscrupulous act, to get people hooked on automatically being billed each and every month forever.

If you use some of the big name credit cards, they can (at times) cancel any and all payments and will even get any money back to you. Well, at least credited to your account. Don't use a debit card, because most of these companies that issue these cards, don't supply this service.

Just recently I had this happen to me. This company had some kind of a deal that if you pay a $14 fee each month, they would help with some kind of an over sea vacation deal, which I don't even know all the details and wouldn't/didn't even agree too.

The first month on my credit card, there was this $14 plus fee. I just thought I bought something and forgot what it was. I normally don't use any credit card for some kind of a nickel and dime deal. I tried calling the company and got some run-around, and before you know it, I had several months of $14 fees from Haband.

At this point I called my credit card company and explained that I don't vacation overseas and I certainly didn't agree to this deal. They got back all these fees paid and credited my account.

The bottom line is, watch out for these free 30 day free package deals where they ask for your credit card which is to pay a very minimal shipping charge.

Nothing in this life of ours is free.

David Kuchta

Nesquehoning