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Consumer Beware

Buyer Beware of The Hidden Fine Print


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The following is my own personal experience and this is simply a story and a message for people to READ THE FINE PRINT when looking to make any kind of online purchase.  The actual name of the company I had my issues with has been replaced with XYZ COMPANY for my own protection.

Where do I begin with this one.  This is a first blog of the sort for me.  But I need to make you all aware of something when you see adds for “Try this product for Free all you pay is the shipping

So I am a couponer, like many, I try to save money where ever possible and on-line couponing has become rather popular for households worldwide.  In doing this I found a website called FreebiesFrenzy.com and saw an ad “Product Testers (Wanted)” see similar ad below.

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simply an image from google search

 

So like any excited woman trying to save I thought hey, why not and I naturally hit the click here button in which I was redirected.

Now you are asked 6 simple questions, you know ,like are you male or female, age, skin type blah blah blah.  You then get a notification of available FREE TRIALS in your area.

“You will be guaranteed FREE SKIN CARE PRODUCTS if you apply in the next 15 minutes”

You get excited,Yes, all you see is FREE and not “FREE TRIAL” and this is the beginning of how they get you….

So, mine took me to this page and subsequently there are listed 3 products with FREE on a blue ribbon in the top right-hand corners of the ads.  Hook number two!!  All you see is the word FREE.

I naturally chose all 3, sounds great so far right?

They look like this minus the pictures:

1.     A product called Endure – Age Defying Complex

Retail Price:  CAD$ 129.99     Your Price:  FREE TRIAL     Postage:  CAD$ 1.99

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2.     A product called Stemologica – Better than Botox

Retail Price:  CAD$ 149.95     Your Price:  FREE TRIAL     Postage:  CAD$ 5.95

_____________________________________________________________________________

3.     A product called Pro Garcinia Cambogia – Fat Melting Compound 

Retail Price:  CAD$ 78.94     Your Price:  FREE TRIAL     Postage:  CAD$ 4.95

______________________________________________________________________________

Still looks pretty good right?

Total Retail would add up to $358.88 CAD

And you are only going to pay $12.89 CAD

Sound Great!!  So I sign up and provide my bank card info as it doubles as a VISA for on-line Transactions.

Poof, easy, done in 2 minutes.

Now pay careful attention to what happened to me as I was a buyer unaware of the fine print!!!

Was so excited I did not read it.  Like most we just don’t pay attention to the fine print and learn a very valuable lesson the hard way.

So, on Feb 3rd out of my account comes the following:

on my account it shows as:

POS Purchase (this means online purchase)

1.     OPOS 1.96 XYZ COMPANY…………………………………………………. 2.54

2.     OPOS 0.99 XYZ COMPANY……………………………..1.28

3.     OPOS 2.99 XYZ COMPANY…………………………….3.87

4.     OPOS 0.99 XYZ COMPANY…………………………….1.28

5.     OPOS XYZ COMPANY……………………………………………..5.95

6.     OPOS XYZ COMPANY………………………………………………………5.99

7.     OPOS 4.95 XYZ COMPANY……………………………………………….6.42

I see this and think okay currency exchange rate blah blah blah, still only totals $27.33, $14.44 more but still not bad. Now this is where the first RED FLAG should have gone off and I did not catch it.

*7 transactions for 3 products.*

Do you see what I’m starting to get at this far?

Next I receive 3 emails on Feb 4th telling me my products have shipped and how they will show up as on my bank account.  I see the tracking number and login info for my account.  Okay great just waiting for my FREE products to arrive right?

A couple of days later they arrive in the mail.  I open them, I’m excited to try them.  Gonna lose weight and my skin will look younger yay!

Here comes the BOOM!!!

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Feb 17th I am doing my daily routine and check my bank account as bills are coming due.

Low and behold I see a transaction for $ ….Are you ready?……….$191.81 CAD

Immediately I flip out and call my bank.  The Hydro Bill is due and now it is going to bounce.  They inform me of who and what it is.  I freak out!!

I go into my emails  find the customer service number and all, shock no answer so then I send back to company number one the following:

“PLEASE CANCEL IMMEDIATELY AND REFUND MY MONEY YOU WITHDREW FRO MY BANK ACCOUNT TODAY OF 191.81 AS NO ONE IS ANSWERING MY CALL .  I HAVE BEEN ON HOLD FOR 10 MINUTES AND NO ONE IS ANSWERING ME.  MY BANK HAS BEEN INFORMED I AM DISPUTING THE TRANSACTION AS YOU DID NOT HAVE Y PERMISSION TO TAKE IT.”

The subject heading reads

“Re: CANCEL IMMEDIATELY & RETURN MY MONEY”

Within 3 minutes I receive an email response which states:

“YOUR TRIAL EXPIRES ON 02/20/2015.

You have 14 days to USE the creams AS MUCH AS YOU WANT – that is what you TRIAL is for – and since this is something many customers appear to misconstrue:

You are not required for US TO HAVE RECEIVED THE RETURN BEFORE THE END OF YOUR 14-DAY TRIAL.  We only require for customers To HAVE POSTED IT, while within the 14-day trial.  Once you go beyond the trial, however, you may only return unused goods.

As a gesture, I am happy to let you keep the kit t the promotional recurring rate for our privileged customers with long-standing subscriptions, in place of the full price of C$179.98, which you will be liable to pay, if you choose to keep the kit for more than 14 days.

To save you time and hassle, i can offer to let you keep the kit and the serum for only ***C$89.98*** per product.

If you choose to return the product instead, please send it here:

**Thus they provide a return address in the UK.**

Your name, address and email must be clearly written on the return package, both inside and out.

***IMPORTANT*** Please do not forget to provide us with tracking number of the returned goods

Please let me know how you would like to proceed.”

Kind regards,

Customer Satisfaction Specialist.

So I call the toll-free number again and naturally get the run-around.  Okay, I manage to finally get it cancelled  for an additional $20.65 CAD  and get to keep this product but they won’t refund my $191.81 no more shipments and no more charges right? Now I’m out 216.28 total for the first FREE item!

WRONG!!!!!!!  

The same day I transfer 160.00 from my savings to cover my Hydro bill.  So that is taken care of.

Feb 19th –  I go into the branch and cash my husbands pay cheque an bring home the cash.

Feb 20th – Child Tax Benefit comes in and I want to make sure I have enough in the account to cover my car payment and insurance so I drop my daughter off at school drive to the bank and make a deposit at the ATM as it is 2 hours before the branch actually opens.  When I get my receipt from the machine the Balance doesn’t make sense. I drive back home go on-line to my bank account and see the following and lose my mind:

1.     OPOS XYZ COMPANY………………………………………….169.95

2.     OPOS 104.56 XYZ COMPANY……………………………………….134.42

3.     OPOS XYZ COMPANY………………………………………………179.98

TOTAL TAKEN WITHIN SECONDS OF MY DEPOSIT………….484.35

SO…. I AM NOW OUT 216.28 + 484.35 + 23.51 FOR THE SHIPPING = 724.14 IN A MATTER OF 3 DAYS.

THEY WERE WATCHING MY BANK ACTIVITY AND TOOK MY HARD EARNED MONEY RIGHT OUT FROM UNDER MY NOSE.

By this time I had already called prior and emailed the other 2 companies and had everything cancelled prior to this happening and shipped the products back and had my postal receipt.  I had followed all their instructions of return to the T and had scanned and emailed the postal receipt with the tracking number as they requested.

They in turn sent back 3 emails saying I was sending them “blank emails” what complete and utter bullshit!!!!

CAN YOU SPELL THIS HAS SCAM WRITTEN ALL OVER IT!!!!

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I immediately printed all emails and drove straight to my bank.

I had to show them everything get an entirely new bank card with an entirely different bank card number.  Then had to drive home again and call the fraud department of VISA who in turn told me all I can do is wait 15 days from the date of my postal receipt to see if this company,( which they also informed is  not 3 different companies like I thought but 1 company with many different names) sends me a refund.  Then and only then can I have VISA go after them for my money.

The moral of this story is BUYER BEWARE things are not what they seem when you see the word FREE advertised on the internet.  ALWAYS READ THE FINE PRINT BEFORE FINALIZING YOUR PAYMENT OPTIONS!!!!!!!  Better yet STAY AWAY FROM THESE SITES!!!! SAVE YOUR MONEY FOR A RAINY DAY.

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Protected by the Crimson Vaults 2013

Protected by the Crimson Vaults 2013

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