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 Post subject: Careful... Some Of Those Free Trials Are SCAMS!!!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 4:34 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 8:10 am
Posts: 583
Are Those Teeth Whitening Free Trials Scams?

By Amanda Halverson
Stoth News Staff / 09.14.2009

Bonham, NC - Surfing the internet comes with its hassles - like those advertisements that pop up all the time. Many try to catch your eye with trial offers. But in the case of many teeth whitening products - your teeth might get whiter but your wallet will be much less green, Amanda Halverson reports in conjunction with Business Week and CBS News.

You've probably seen the ads. They're the latest miracle supplements - acai berry, resveratrol, colon-cleansers, teeth whitening - all promising to make you feel better, look better, live better, with news reports that seem to back up the claims.

Jennifer Simpson thought it would give her white teeth just like a dentist kit and save her hundreds of dollars. She is always open to new things and gave the free trial a shot. Little did she know she was scammed from the second she clicked the accept button.

Jennifer Simpson says the news reports helped sway her and the price was right: $1.95 for a trial offer of this teeth whitening product. But instead of one kit she was sent two at the price of $1.95 for the first one and more than $60 dollars for the second one. Some of these companies even enroll you into other monthly trial offers.

When Jennifer called the company she was told that the trial offer automatically turned into a monthly subscription after 15 days. It was all, the company said, in the fine print. "Must be very fine print" said Jennifer who said she felt she had been scammed, "to put it mildly".

"The scam is once they have the credit card number they proceed from shipping and handling to monthly orders and billing you month after month," said Mike Galvin of the Better Business Bureau. Galvin has received more than 3,000 similar complaints so far this year. "It's one complaint after another," he said. And for each one, he says, there are many more customers who don't even bother to register a complaint.

The problem is customers don't know who they're dealing with. The company has dozens of Web sites but none of them are registered to the Distributing Company. Internet security expert Alex Stamos says it's not how a reputable company would operate.

"I'm guessing it's a very important part of their business model to stay ahead of the customer complaints and stay ahead of people being able to figure out who they are," Stamos said.

Based on the number of internet ads, teeth whiteners are very popular. And over the years, they are been proven quite safe. But, just how safe are they for your wallet?

Joan Vaal brushes her teeth regularly, but just can't get them as white as she likes. So, she was intrigued by a teeth whitener called "Dazzle White Pro" also called "Dazzle Smile Pro" and its great reviews.

She tried a small "free" sample that she just had to pay $1.95 for shipping charges. But, when Joan received her credit card bill, she got not one, but two charges for $58.76 each. "I called them and they said I had just joined their club," Joan said. She said she never read anything about a whitening club for $58 a month.

The Better Business Bureau gives Dazzle White Pro an F because of dozens of customers complaining they didn't get the sample. They only received the extra charges.

After numerous attempts, I was only able to speak to a customer service representative. He said, "I'm sorry but people should read terms and conditions before placing order."

Yet another lesson to stay away from low cost trial periods or free samples when you have to give your credit card. You'll likely be charged much more. Joan says if you want your teeth whiter either visit your dentist or order a product that they charge you the cost up front and nothing else. "This way you won't get scammed like I did", Joan says.

These are just two of the hundreds of complaints I came across when writing this article. It is quite astonishing that these companies are able to get away with this. Some people have had to actually cancel their credit cards to avoid the fees. In my research I have came across this method that looks like it should work. It is called a chargeback and the great thing is it looks horrible for a company when they get a lot of these.

There are a few hoops you have to jump through in order for your credit card provider to issue a chargeback.

1. You must have already returned the product
2. You must have warned the company that you will be requesting a chargeback
3. You must have given them sufficient time on their end to reverse the charge (I gave them 2 weeks.)

Take those steps and you should be able to get these charges reversed.

Like Joan mentions if you really want your teeth white make a trip to your dentist or look for legitimate products on the internet. A company that charges you upfront is more than likely legitimate. They are charging you a one time fee. If you want to order more you must call them back up or go to their website to place another order. In my research I came across a legitimate website and ordered their product. If you follow the instructions your teeth will be a few shades whiter in a couple weeks. And to think for only 30 bucks instead of this headache many people have had to go throw. Remember if it is too good to be true it probably is!

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