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Catalogue subscriptions: have you been signed up without consent?

Have you ever ordered something from a catalogue, only to be charged for an unwanted subscription? If so, we’d like to hear about your experience.

Recently Which? has spoken to a number of people who’ve bought items advertised in a catalogue over the phone, but ended up having money taken from their account for subscriptions they never asked for.

We’ve been told of prices ranging from £50 to £74 for subscriptions covering a variety of ‘affiliate programs’ that aren’t directly owned by the catalogues themselves.

‘Motor clubs’, ‘PERX schemes’ and book clubs are just some of the services customers say they’ve been unwittingly signed up for. What’s more, many told us they received expired ‘reward cards’ that ran out on the same day they initially contacted the catalogue.

Sound familiar? Let us know your story

A worrying trend we’ve noticed is the age of the customers coming to us with their concerns – it would appear that older and, in some cases more vulnerable, consumers are being particularly affected.

Are you comfortable ordering from a catalogue over the phone?
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The customers who contacted us also say they’ve had to jump through far too many hoops to get out of the subscription, even though they never wanted it to begin with.

If any of this sounds familiar, or you know anyone who’s been tied into a catalogue subscription they didn’t want, please do let us know. We understand that not everyone will be comfortable telling us what happened in the comments here, so feel free to email us on:



This kind of stuff makes you wonder what kind of people are running these catalogue schemes, and how do they know who is most vulnerable? Are they scammers? This is why people should always read the terms before dealing with these companies, but of course that’s far easier said than done when they make their terms and conditions and their “privacy” policies FAR too ridiculously long winded and far too complex, especially for people who like me have serious learning disabilities and are not so well educated or so fully developed etc. This is why we absolutely MUST have a serious crackdown on legal terms and policies so they have to be far less complex and far simpler. Honestly some of them are just like an encyclopaedia! Far too ridiculously long and complex.