January 19, 2021

Read the Small Print !

When you sign up to ‘something’. Do you actually read the small print, or do you just press agree/sign here?

A client recently accidentally spent over £700. Over the last few years, the annual renewal of some software she had to use to for a customer (to enter the invoice into their system) asked her to pay by credit card before the end of January – with countdown warnings. The details were entered and the invoice paid. That was fine.

Tax return sooner rather than laterThe customer has now changed systems, so when the invoice came through this year, she chose not to pay it. As she didn’t need to use the system, she did not bother to log in. I am sure we have all been in that situation. However, last year they changed their small print to say they would retain the card details and automatically renew if you did not cancel within 30 days of getting the invoice. Unfortunately, she and I did not appreciate we had to log in and remove the retained credit card details and unsubscribe in order to cancel the contract. They have also given up issuing the countdown warnings so even if we had of logged in, we would not have been reminded.

The payment was spotted when the February card statement came through after 28th February (the money being taken 1st February). When we phoned, we were told it was too late to complain and they did not do refunds, even pro-rata refunds. She has now cancelled that card so any other organisations that have the details, will need to contact her for new card details if they would like to be paid.

So, when you sign up for something, check if it is automatic renewal. I am happy for 1 & 1 to take automatic renewal for my web site hosting. And I appreciate their reminders in case I want to cancel one. What do you pay once a year? Do you still use it? You do check your card statements, including PayPal, don’t you?


  1. Great advice Penny, I was caught recently with PayPal and recurring annual payments, it pays to check….

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