How a continuous payment trap made my food freebie taste a bit sour

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Meal planning: A HelloFresh food box


How a continuous payment trap made my food freebie taste a bit sour

  • A supposed ‘freebie’ ended up costing Laura Shannon £42 this month 
  • She, like many others, was caught in the ‘continuous payment’ trap 

A gift that was meant to cover the price of a ‘freebie’ ended up costing me £42 this month thanks to a ‘continuous payment’ trap, writes Laura Shannon.

In recent weeks, The Mail on Sunday has explored how this payment method unwittingly snares consumers and automatically signs them up to paying regular sums from their bank accounts – with little warning.

So it is ironic that I should find myself caught out. 

Meal planning: A HelloFresh food box

I finally decided to cash in on a generous Christmas present given to me by my sister – a one-off food and recipe box from HelloFresh that would give me a week off supermarket shopping and meal-planning. 

To use it, I had to sign up for an account, use the personal discount code I was sent via email and provide credit card details.

Unbeknown to me, by giving card details I was also agreeing to a continuous weekly delivery of food boxes and a continuous weekly payment of £42.

By the time I realised what had happened it was too late. My card had already been charged for a second delivery before I could cancel the subscription. 

Though the gift was a great idea, the financial aftertaste was sour.

HelloFresh says it chooses the payment method because it allows consumers the flexibility to opt in or out easily.

Let us know your experience of signing up to a continuous payment authority by emailing [email protected]

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