We all know what we’re supposed to do to keep fit and healthy.  We’ve all read endless articles and reports about eating our 5 a day, not drinking too much, not smoking, getting plenty of exercise etc.  Some of us take more heed of these messages than others.

A while ago there was an advert on TV for a company selling sportswear at very reasonable prices.  I went to their website and sure enough, you could get a whole gym outfit for a very good figure (both literally and metaphorically!)   I chose what I wanted, and went to the check out on line.  It was then that I realised that you were actually signing up to a membership scheme under which you had to commit to buying a new outfit once a month and only the first one was half price.  At full price it was considerably less reasonable, and in any event, there is a limit to how many outfits you need.  Many of us have washing machines and unless you are going to the gym two or three times a day, you don’t need more than a couple of sets to see you through a week.   If the product is good quality, it should last you a while so you really don’t need loads of them.  I decided on that basis to opt out, and didn’t proceed with my purchase.  I thought no more of it.

I read in the news yesterday that the company in question is getting some bad press.  http://www.independent.co.uk/money/fabletics-sneaky-subscription-tactics-add-to-online-shoppers-woes-a6919726.html.  It appears that I was not the only one who went on line thinking I was about to get a reasonable deal, only to find out that it wasn’t as good as it appeared.  The only problem is that some people hadn’t understood what it was that they were signing up to and by the time they did, they’d already committed themselves to a membership and have to keep paying.

To be fair to the company, I did think that whilst the tv advert didn’t give you the full story, the website was quite clear and I was in no doubt as to what I was going to be committing myself to if I bought the first item.  Having said that, it is quite well known that people don’t read things carefully before they buy, so by not making the tv advert clear, has the company taken advantage of trusting shoppers?

The moral of this story?  If you’re a seller make sure that all of your advertisements are very clear.  Make sure that your website is clear, particularly your returns and cancellation policy.  Be aware that distance selling has its own rules that you must comply with.  If you are a buyer, read the ts and cs carefully and if in doubt, e-mail the supplier for clarification – an e-mail is always better than a phone call because then their answer is in writing.

If this is something that affects you, or you just want to tell me about your great new on line purchase, drop me a line at stephanie@kleymansolicitors.com.  There’s no commitment to be a member but I might make you pay for the coffee.

Kleyman & Co Solicitors.  The full service law firm.  Keeping you fit and healthy.