Shopping firm took £10 per month from unsuspecting OAP’s account

Pensioner Mary Fenton, 74, discovered the dangers of not checking the small print of deals when she made an order with catalogue firm Freemans two years ago.

“I had purchased an item from Freemans and had been offered a £15 discount,” said Ms Fenton, from Arbroath. “By accepting this and ticking or unticking a box – I’m not sure which it was – it turned out I had agreed to pay £10 per month for services from a company called Shoppers Discounts and Rewards, where the idea was you paid a monthly fee and they sent you deals and discounts which would more than cover the fee.

“But I was completely unaware that I had done this when I accepted the discount. I only actually noticed it a few months ago when I signed up for internet banking and began to check my bank account more carefully and spotted an entry I didn’t recognise.

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“I then contacted the company to cancel my so called “membership”, as I had never used their services or been into their website until I discovered they had been taking money every month from my account.

“Although it was a bit of a hassle to sort it out, they did understand what had happened and refunded me the full £210 I had paid, so I was lucky.

“But many people would not have realised what had happened, or have been in a position where they could sort it out. I’m now very careful about checking everything I buy online to make sure I haven’t signed up for anything I didn’t mean to.”