Too often consumers purchase and sign up for policies over the telephone without knowing and understanding the terms and conditions.
Telesales are phone calls you get from people you don't know, who hastily offer you goods or services you did not solicit.
As a result, you miss the hidden costs of the product being sold to you and only hear what the telesales consultant wants you to hear, that is, the benefits of the product.
It's only after five debit orders or a claim later, that most consumers discover they have fallen victim to the attractive product offering and the unscrupulous telesales agent.
As a consumer, you can protect yourself.
Steph Bester, a sales director at The Unlimited World, says unscrupulous telesales agents never give details of the extra costs involved in the purchase of a product, such as delivery costs, service charges and interest charges.
He says if you receive a call from a telesales agent you should ensure that you have understood the product and benefits clearly - before agreeing to anything - by asking yourself, "what's in it for me?"
Bester says nobody would want to miss out on the next big thing, but making uninformed decisions could be very costly, especially given the current economic situation.
He says telesales consultants structure their conversations in such a way that it makes product offerings appear irresistible and the sales agents are aware of this.
"So often they capitalise on these opportunities and make you believe that you need something even when you don't," he says.
"A consumer has the right to take time to make a decision, so before making that big step, take at least 24 hours to think through your decision," he says.
Here are some valuable tips from him to follow:
l At the beginning of the call the key phrase to always listen for is, "we are a registered financial service provider and this call is being recorded," - this is mandatory for any telesales agents to mention.
l Note the date and time of the call, so that in the future you can refer to the call should the need arise. The law requires that all recorded calls be stored in the company's database and having the date and time of the call will make it easy to access the data should a problem arise.
l The more you are not sure about what the telesales agent says to you, the more questions you should ask.
l If the answers given are not to your satisfaction do not continue with the call.
l Always look out for phrases like, "this is a special promotion". Ask how long the promotion has been going on.