As the saying goes – if it looks too good to be true, it usually is.
That’s a bit of a sweeping statement, but it might be something to keep in mind when you see these free supplement trials.
The websites promise so much from the product that it makes people intrigued just enough to read more.
When the offer of a free sample is glaring them right in the face then it sounds like a great opportunity to test this wonder product out.
Unfortunately, once someone enters their details in for the free sample, they might be committing to a whole lot more than they bargained for.
Many of these schemes still ask for credit card details for the free trial – why do they do that? It’s so that they can setup an auto-billing scheme whereby if the person does not cancel within a short period of time (10 days for example), the company charges the credit card, and usually an unreasonable amount like $90. And that’s only for the small ‘free sample’.
Thereafter, the auto-billing system will keep charging money to the credit card and sending the product automatically every month. The product is rarely worth the money spent on it, and cancelling it all down proves more difficult than it’s worth. Most people end up having to cancel their credit cards and cutting the scammers off at source.
Things To Look Out For
As with any scam, there are tell-tale signs that the scammer cannot help but show in plain view, while conducting their business. Like good illusionists, they will try and divert your attention from the real intentions of the trick, but if you look at it clearly and think about it all before being tempted to go for the free trial, you can see it for what it really is.
The Free Trial or Sample
That’s the first thing you should expect. It’s true that there are some genuine free trials and samples with products, but it’s rare with dietary supplements, it has to be said.
Why would anyone ask for credit card details if it’s a free trial? If it’s truly free then there should be no need for this. In all honesty, what company in their right mind would send free product out from a website.
Perhaps face to face at a convention or something but there is no business sense in what they are doing…except there is, because the auto-billing scheme will turn them a massive profit.
This is exactly what it sounds like, and it’s a real shame that it can even be considered legal. This isn’t like when you sign a contract for a cell phone or respectable magazine.
You expect to be billed for those things and you pay the fair market price for them.
What these companies do is tantamount to extortion, and they put it all in small print in the terms and conditions so that it isn’t obvious to the consumer.
They send you a “free trial” after you give them credit card details.
Then they will bill you a large sum every month and send you the product again and again, unless you cancel. If the item ships after you cancel then they will charge you a “re-stocking” fee to send it back to them, plus the postage and packaging. Also they will charge postage insurance separately.
The free trial system will be set up so that it is nearly impossible to cancel in time. Also, the phone lines for “customer support” are charged at high rates.
IF IT’S A FREE TRIAL, WHY DO THEY NEED YOUR CREDIT CARD INFORMATION???
Exaggerated Product Claims
Some of these products – if they actually did what they claim – would be sold out constantly worldwide. The promise of massive muscles, fat-melting, energy, sex drive and everything else under the sun is too far-fetched.
And where’s the evidence to back it up except for lots of stock photos of models that anybody could get off the internet? At least a few ingredients listed would be something but then it might just look exactly like what it is, a regular dietary supplement.
Top Search Engine hits are Scam Sites
It says it all when you search the product name on the internet and the first sites to pop up are called things like PissedConsumer.com and RipOffReport.com.
This means so many people are reporting the product as a scam that these sites are ranking really high in the search engines.
Positive Reviews are Illegible
If you do find a positive review of the product somewhere then you will probably find the English is pretty awful.
That’s because the marketers that do want to promote the rubbish product are usually “not from round ‘ere”.
This isn’t a 100% signal because there are good writers trying to hawk these scam products as well but they are rarer.
Why The Need for Such Antics?
You have to ask yourself: if a product is that good, why would the manufacturers need to go to such lengths? Surely it should gain an excellent reputation all by itself. After all, the bodybuilding community is really good at getting the word out about quality products.
What Can You Do To Push Back?
The first thing to do for yourself is ignore the “Risk Free Trials” – because they are anything but that.
Secondly, if you have been duped by one of these schemes then get in touch with the Better Business Bureau and ask for their help.
You can use this line on the phone to the scam company and they might offer you a refund.
Contesting the charge with your credit card company is probably the most common thing people do when they have been done by the scam. Visa, MasterCard and AMEX are usually very accommodating.
IF you feel you must order the free trial then try and use a pre-paid card that simply cannot be charged by them again afterwards. Some of the schemes recognize the pre-paid cards but if they do then avoid them like the plague.
Conclusion and Recommendations
Even if these companies weren’t trying to rip you off hideously, they probably don’t put anything but fillers and useless cheap nothing ingredients in their products anyway.
After they’ve taken enough money then they’ll happily accept the slap on the wrist before they fire up another product under another name. Rinse and repeat.
Watch your backs guys. The devil is in the details.
There are some genuinely good supplements available, and the companies we recommend will never ask out you on an auto-billing scheme. You simply get what you order.