Dear Consumer Action:
Several months ago I noticed I was being charged by my television service provider for the NFL Sunday ticket. We never ordered it, but it came with a special premium package we took last year on a free trial basis. I had called to cancel the premium package and didn't realize I also had to call to cancel the NFL ticket.
The company won't drop the charges, saying I called too late.
Please make people aware of this problem, and to be vigilant and watch their bills. - C.J., North Wildwood
A spokesperson for the company said you had been alerted on a bill in May that the NFL Sunday ticket would automatically start again in September unless you called to cancel. He said you didn't call until after service had started, and the company's policy is not to allow cancellations after the start of the season.
It's a good reminder to other consumers: If you take a special, free trial period of any service, make sure you know if billing will start automatically after the period ends, and how to cancel all services related to it if you don't want to end up paying for it.
Consider the source
Dear Consumer Action:
I'm thinking of ordering an item from a mail-order firm in California, but I seem to remember you mentioning a similar name as a problem company some months ago. Can you tell me if there are a lot of complaints about this company? If so, I won't order. - B.F., Woodbine
We had not written about the company you are considering ordering from, but research shows the company is a mixed bag.
On one hand, it has an A- rating from its Better Business Bureau, which says it gives proper consideration to all complaints the BBB brings to it. However, it generates a lot of complaints, especially about delivery and refund issues - 242 in the past 36 months.
If you can find another source for the item, consider it.
To quickly check out the reputation of any business, see www.bbb.org and click on "USA site" and then "Check out a business or charity."
With the business name, address, phone or Web address, you can get an immediate BBB report. If you don't have a computer, use one at your library, or call a reference librarian and ask for help.
Consumer Action will respond to each properly submitted letter about a problem or question, either in this column or by letter or phone. Letters must include copies - not originals - of all relevant documentation and a name, address and phone number at which you can be reached. Send letters to: Consumer Action, The Press, 11 Devins Lane, Pleasantville, NJ 08232.