Financial Advice

Risk free trials were bait for rip offs

Did you ever sign up for a free trial of a product you heard about on the radio? Some sellers will send you — and charge you — a lot more than you agreed to. The FTC says one group of dietary supplement marketers sold products through deceptive “risk free” offers and charged people repeatedly for unwanted products. The FTC and the Maine Office of the Attorney General have banned the marketers from charging people without their permission and making deceptive health care claims.

According to the FTC, the marketers used 30-minute radio ads that sounded like educational talk shows to promote their CogniPrin and FlexiPrin supplements. Their radio ads claimed CogniPrin could slow cognitive decline and improve memory by 44 percent, and FlexiPrin could reduce back and joint pain and rebuild damaged joints. But the FTC says the marketers didn’t have the science to prove any of those claims. When people called to request the “risk-free” offer, they were enrolled in monthly plans with continuing charges for products they didn’t order. People who wanted refunds of the “risk-free” offer had to go through a complicated process, return empty bottles and pay shipping charges.

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.

This article by the FTC was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.

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