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“Free” products weren’t really free

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The story: a company says its product will help you lose weight without diet changes or exercise, and you can try it free — 100% satisfaction guaranteed.

The reality: the company can’t support — or deliver on — those weight loss claims. If you give your credit or debit account number, you get charged $60 to $210 every month — and it’s almost impossible to get a refund. On top of that, you get enrolled in offers you didn’t ask for — with more monthly charges.

Add it all up, and you’ll understand the FTC’s case against Health Formulas, LLC and its network of companies. The companies advertised products from skin creams and “green coffee bean” weight loss supplements to virility and muscle-building products. Ads ran in print, online, on radio and TV.

 

According to the FTC, the companies used “buy-one-get-one-free” promotions or offered a free month’s supply for a small shipping and handling fee to persuade people to hand over their account information. Once they did, the FTC says, the company started charging them every month — not just for the original product, but for other products they hadn’t agreed to buy. Despite a “100% satisfaction guarantee,” people found the quest for a refund an exercise in frustration.

The FTC has information about “free trial” programs — and the hidden charges that might come with them. Before you try a new weight loss product, read Weighing the Claims in Diet Ads.

Blog Topics: 
Health & Fitness
Scam Tags:  Free Trial Scams

Comments

I just did this same exact thing. I was hung up on the first call that I made after being told that a refund was not possible but that they could cancel my subscription. I said a full refund was necessary. She placed me on hold and then came back and said there was nothing that could be done and then hung up on me. I called back and spoke with a different rep who offered a 30% refund. I explained that this was not going to work. Then offered a 50% refund. Again this will not work. Then he offered for me to return the product and I would get a full refund but that could take up to a month. That was fine with me so I accepted that option. After that he said to just keep the product and he would refund me 100%. Just keep fighting.

Thanks Jenny...You have saved us all from these Crooks!

I tried and they said it's been past 14 days and they can't do anything for me.. although the man was really nice he cancelled my card and I called the bank and canceled my card for a new one .. they reassured me everything on the card changes and they won't be able to use the card to take more money out again .. sucks my lesson is learned

I found out that they have been charging me $161.35 every month from February. It end up $645.40 until this month. I feel so crewed over and broke...
I called them to cancel my account and subscription yesterday and called them again to complain this morning. And the guy told me that only thing they can do is 50% of refund of the last payment. And then I called this afternoon again to ask why some people were charged $86 per month and I have been charged $161.35 per month. And he said because I did not call them to ask for a 50% discount. Does it make sense to you guys?
It is $645.40...I do not know what I should do...Please help me...

If you have been charged for things you didn't agree to pay for, you could contact your credit card company and dispute the charges. This FTC article tells more about disputing credit card charges that you didn't authorize.

Dont call them but call ur bank and submit a claim of fraud which was an unauthorized transaction that happened without ir aproval

Thanks a lot Jenny
I did call back and said will report to the FTC... the guy put me on hold and came back with a 50% refund.. I said I need a full refund and pretty soon he came back and said I was approved a 100% refund back to my card... he also gave me a confirmation code.. hope my money shows back up. Thanks.

I got hung up on and now they are ignoring my phone calls I emailed and messaged their Facebook page still waiting on a response

Thank you, Jenny. I stuck to my guns and got a 100% refund.

I do not have a contact number for the product that I ordered could you help please...

What if they don't send you an email confirmation but you got the refund? They did give me a refund ID number.

What should I do?

Thank you for writing this and explaining. It worked! I was able to get %100 refund. All thanks to you!

Anyone wanna call for me. I don't do well with conflict. And hey charged me $170.

I tried to call them but it rings once and hangs up. How do I contact them

Can you find any other contact information online, on the product package or on your credit card statement?

What number did you call for a refund? I can't even find a way to contact them.

Thank you so much!! I followed your suggestion and made another call and be insisted, and got a promise of full amount refund!! Thank you!!

what number did you call. they claimed they couldn't find my account but i was still charged 79.99

Thank you soooo much I used your exact advice and after having to be very forceful with a representative and then a supervised I was approved for a full refund! You are awesome!

After calling in 3 times, demanding to speak with a supervisor, and being turned down each time being told that 'the supervisor informed them there was no reason to speak with me as I was already offered the only option', a 25% refund, I started looking online. I found this blog, I took Jenny's wonderful advice , and I called in again fully prepared. A hardly English speaking woman answered, asked for the typical zip code, last name, and address verification, and asked how she could help. I told her I had just gotten off the phone with my attorney who informed me that if I wasn't issued a full refund I would be forming a class action lawsuit against the scam organization involving the FTC and the BBB. The woman asked if I said I was involving the BBB, and I said I would be if I didn't receive a full refund. 30 seconds of silence later she said that she had managed to process a full refund and that I should be receiving it soon. I happily told her to have a nice day, and hung up. DONT GIVE UP, FIGHT BACK WITH A SCAM OF YOUR OWN!!!

What number did you call ?? They charged me $94.74 & It’s like the website disappeared. I have no way of contacting them

Thank you very much for your comments because of you I was able to receive a 100% refund it is great that you took the time to let the world know what scam artist this company is all about I agree for anybody out there do not do not order

Me too

I got caught in this. I accepted a 50% refund as a resolution to the problem. Do I have any rights to call back and demand a 100% refund now?

This just happened to me, what number did you call to get your refund?

This was so helpful! At first they said no refund and so after reading your comment I called back and they offered a 50% refund and so I said I would report them to the FTC and finally they relented for a 100% refund. :)

What is the number for customer service so I can reach out to them

^^ this actually works! Just did it!

I was able to get 100% refunded into my account as well. I simply told the lady on the phone that my attorney was aware of the additional charges and that I was joining the class settlement lawsuit involving the FTC and that I wanted all of my money back and no additional charges to be made to my account in the future. She then provided me a cancellation confirmation # and a refund confirmation #. Don't let them tell you no. Demand your money back!

I know it's been over a year since you posted but this just happened to me and I can't find a proper phone number to contact them. Would you mind giving me the one you called? Thank you

Hey I understand that these posts are 1 year old. But is there anyone who can help me with the contact number to file the complaint and get a refund

What number did you call please. I can't get through

PLEASE help me find the info and numbers to call

Thank you so much for the advice. I said everything you said and they cancelled my order and sent an email saying they will refund my 89.27. It will take up to 5 business days and if its not there call back. It better be in my account asap.

I have two charges on my c/c statement from a business called Pure Free Health of San Diego, Ca. I do not know what this site is and do not remember ordering anything from them and their is also no phone no. listed for them, any body know who this company is?

What is the customer service number you called? Please help.

Yes this is just a scam to get your money and it's not free. They hid the fact that they charge your card $79.95 after 2 weeks and will only refund you some of your money back, therefore it's not a free trial.

What number did you use because I have called the number on the bottle 888-240-9246,and there is no answe I have having been calling for hours. Worst experience ever.

1-888-597-0128 t  his is the number i called.   I was charged $79.99 on 2/26 and $89.99 on 2/27. I recieved a confirmation email that i am getting 100% refund. fight it! dont settle for half you money back!

I called the number that you posted twice. The first guy said they don't handle that but guaranteed me the number he was giving me did. So he gave me 800-990-9597. That number was nothing but ads. So called again and the next jerk had it on speaker and you could hear people laughing and the song thriller in the background. I replied twice not so nicely to the email I received this morning of a so called order confirmation. Made it very clear in email that this was unauthorized and money to be back in my account or FTC and attorney was going to be contacted. I'm lost..

If you enrolled in a free trial offer from a marketer that overcharged you, contact the company. If the company won’t give you a refund, call your credit card company to dispute the charge. Ask the credit card company to reverse the charge because you didn't intend to order the additional merchandise. If you were wrongly charged for a free trial offer, report it to the FTC.

Ascend Garcinia is a total scam. I was charged 79.95 for a trial period (14 days). There is no where on the website to cancel your trial period. I just got off the phone and was able to get an 85% refund. DO NOT order from this company - they are a total scam. Also, don't back down when you to try get a refund. It took me 15 minutes on the phone, but I didn't back down and I finally was able to recoup some of the money. This is criminal!

Hi guys I was taken advantage of too. They never even sent me the product -did that happen to everyone else here??

How can we stop them? This is ileagle and they shouldn't be able to continue doing what they do!!

Do u have any contact details for this company as i fear they are about to take a whole litta money out my bank. Please. Ill and stressed

I got 100% refund but had to push and push and push and NOT give up. You need to refuse and continue to request a manager to talk with and advise it is unfair trade practice and will report them. Also dispute them with your credit card company and refuse payment!! It works but you need to stank by your word and NOT give up!!!!! They offered 25%, 50%, 75% and I said nothing but 100% would be acceptable!

I accidentally ordered the slimfit180 trial.... I was buying something else and it somehow ended up on their page. GRRRR. I have tried calling several times at various times of day to cancel (I do t even care if I get a refund at this point I just want to cancel it's only been 2 days since the order was placed) NO ONE answers the phone. I just get a recorded message that their agents are busy and/or it's after hours and to call back. No hold no nothing. I have emailed them 3 times telling them to cancel my subscription, no reply. I'm getting worried.

I actually got a 100% refund the other day. They charged me 89.95 twice for something thay was supposed to be free and I just pay shipping. They first said no refund and I flipped out so the dude hung up. I called again and spoke with a woman who offered 50% and I said no you will give me every dollar back right now she tried to tell me 75% and I asked her if maybe she didn't hear me correctly I demanded 100% refund and threatened with my attourney and that day the transaction was reversed and they gave me all of my money back. Be persistent and get your hard earned money don't let these people get over on You!

Terrible people ..this company kept taking of my $78... $79 from.my acct doe product i saw $4....scam scam scam..pls DO NOT BUY..very mean customer service

I am going through this with them now. They charged me $79 then $60 in 2 days. I am disabled (Ms) so I'm out of work.i can't even pay my car insurance not to mention the time I will have to take to receive a new card. Omg. I'm going to call them now

Life Glo got me for close to $200 dollars on that trial or free sample deal. I only got the 2 bottles one shipment. He said I got 2 shipments but I didn't. I didn't get any invoice that said they were billing me. It was blank with only product information on it. I called them just days after I placed the order to stop the auto ship. When I checked my account they took my money. I cant do anything but hope my bank rules in my favor. It hurts to lose that money. Who pays $200 for vitimins??? Insane!!! I told him I was sending it back and he said it wont make a difference, Still not giving me a refund. When I called to cancel he was mean and rude. He tried every offer he could to get me to stay. When I didn't Life Glo billed me anyway. I dont deserve this. My kids want their grocery money back. They should take their sealed product back and give me a REFUND like an honest company would do. In fact Life Glo I will send it back and I'll never deal with you again.

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