Online Ordering – What did I just agree to?

All websites want you to create an account.

All websites want you to create an account. They say it is for our convenience, so we don’t have to retype all our information again when we return to purchase next time. But, have you ever read the fine print when you create an account? Most people skip over it, and most websites count on us doing that. Here are some of the things to look out for when you add your personal information to a new website.

Check boxes. Before you click the button that says “I AGREE,” look at any boxes that are marked. There’s usually one that says some version of, “Yes, please send me any and all emails about every product you’ve ever sold!” Some websites will also include a box for some type of “auto pay.” This can mean several different things, and this is where you have to be careful.

Store my payment type for future use. This usually is as simple as it sounds. You create the account, add your information, make your purchase, and if you go back to that website – it’s already there and you just confirm before you buy.

Free trial period. Free trials can be great. We get a chance to experience a product or service and decide if we still want to buy. The important part to remember is if you do not wish to keep the product/service, you need to cancel or opt out before the trial period ends. If you know that you have no intention of using the product/service to begin with, cancel on the front end. Make sure the box is unchecked. Or talk with the company’s customer service department to confirm. When you see that charge come through on your bank account, it may be too late. (You did agree to it, after all.) Some merchants will be nice about it and refund your charge – as well as help you cancel the service, but it’s not guaranteed.

Subscriptions. Some websites will offer discounted prices if you subscribe as a member (example: Amazon Prime). Read the fine print. How long do you have to remain a member? Can you cancel at any time? How often will they charge you? Is it monthly, semi-annually, annually? If you cancel before a specific time period, are you subject to pay the difference from any initial savings?

These are just some of the things to look for when you add a new profile to a merchant’s website. If you receive an unexpected charge from a merchant (or even one you forgot was coming), the fastest route to recovering those funds is to talk directly to the merchant.

For more financial tips, visit your local credit union. HealthNet Federal Credit Union has proudly served Baptist Memorial Health Care employees and the health care community throughout the Mid-South for more than 60 years.

For information about the credit union, please call 901-226-1111 or visit