Saturday, July 18, 2009
Dodgy Free Trail Dealers - Acai Berry Scam?!
We have all felt the draw of ‘free trials’. Offering consumers what appears to be a month’s free supply of product X, this deal looks too good to be true, and unfortunately it is.
Despite continued warnings to consumers to not trust free Acai Berry trials, and to always read the small print, thousands are still being falsely charged for products they do not want.
Take the recent case of Central Coast Nutraceuticals Inc. Deceptively advertising ‘free trails’ of their Acai Berry product (plus on numerous other health products), once individuals signed up to these trials they found it difficult, if not impossible, to cancel these registrations. Instead they were left being charged month after month for a product they did not want.
What was the CNN case?
Accused of shipping to and falsely charging consumers for products they had specifically deselected during the ordering process, the case of CCN was triggered when 100’s of disgruntled customers contacted the Attorney General Terry Goddard’s office.
During the course of the enquiry it was discovered that CNN had hide references of their re-billing and ‘bonus products’ policies in the small print, making it impossible for consumers to see ‘the catch’.
However, worse than this was the way CNN handled their complaints: never responding to emails and leaving customers whom wished to complain on hold for over an hour, their blatant disregard for their customers needs added to the fact that they were actively seeking to mislead them with these trials.
Free trail dilemma
The case of CNN is just one of hundreds to have occurred as a result of free trails. Across numerous brands, Hoodia, Acai Berry, fat binders… you can find numerous instances of ‘free trail offers’ that have been designed to dupe consumers out of their money.
Despite this, the use of ‘free’ or ‘reduced’ trails (which are subject to price increases) have been around for a long time. And if approached legally and correctly, for example by providing clear documentation of their rebilling system, are in fact not considered wrong.
The only problem with such an offering occurs when a corporation actively seeks to mislead their consumers and does not inform them of the consequences of their order or the problems of cancelling it.
Have you been affected by a free trial offer?
In the case of CNN, $350,000 was won and redistributed to their consumers, so if you have experienced such a scam in the past, CNN is proof that you can seek amends for it.
Aside from contacting these companies directly, it is now possible to complain online, as in the case of the individual below:
Through the complaints board Anna was able to launch an official complaint against AcaiBerryDetox’s false advertising and seek compensation.
To make a complaint against an acai berry product or any other health product, simply visit www.complaintsboard.com and add a post.