Buyer Beware!

by on December 28, 2016 · 5 comments

in Culture, Life Events, Ocean Beach, The Widder Curry

Buyer Beware! How many times have you heard that?  How many times have you said to yourself that you will not be caught up in any type of scam or fraud scheme because you are too smart for that?

I’ve said it a dozen times, and wouldn’t you know it – I got caught twice this week.  Damn fool!

The first time was when I purchased a skin ointment to erase my wrinkles. (See my article on my New Years Resolution .  A “free” trial and just pay shipping. That has been resolved, after I saw a $89.90 bill on my credit card.

But let me tell you about this other one.  I read an article on Face Book about a woman that discovered a wonderful way to lose weight, drinking a glass of hot tea with 1-2 teaspoons of Apple Cider vinegar in it, followed by a tablet of Garcinia.  And, for a shipping charge of $4.95 you can have a FREE TRIAL of the Garcinia.  If, at the end of the first two week – 14 days – you no longer want the product you must notify the company or you will be billed $89.

So I ordered the product; decided not to try it, and three days later called to cancel my order. But I was told that if I cancelled it now, I would have to pay for postage to send it back AND pay a restocking fee of $9.95. I said I read that it was a free trial; nothing about sending it back nor paying a restocking fee.  He told me that I must have missed the fine print. He said that the $4.95 was for the shipping and handling.  He said it probably will cost you about $20 to send it back BUT he was willing to make a deal with me.  If I kept it until January 24th, and then called, he would “guarantee I will not be charged for the product.”

I told him that I was not interested in keeping the product; that I wanted to return it now because I was not going to use it.  He said then he would bill me right now $9.95 and I would have to take it to the post office to mail it.

He said the reason for the restocking fee is to show the company that we had tried it; that we were not just trying to get something for nothing.  I told him that a “restocking” fee was ridiculous.  They were not going to be able to resell the product; they were not restocking anything.

He said “you have two options – keep it until the 24th of January or send it back and pay the fee.  I said I wanted an address and I would send it back and asked for the address. He again tried to convince me to keep it until January 24th. I said I would send it back but not pay the restocking fee. Then he said –

“you won’t be dealing with us but rather with a collection agency. Your credit will be ruined.  Why are you being so stubborn?

I asked to speak to a supervisor. He said, “I am the supervisor.” “Then, I said, I want to speak to your boss.”  He informed me that HE was the boss; no one was higher than him.  I then asked to talk to the person that signs his check, and he said he does it.

This went on for over half an hour. I said that I wanted to stop my account; he said it couldn’t be done until January 24th, in spite of him saying that I had 14 days to stop the transaction.  I informed him that I was a reporter and was going to write this situation up, and he told me to make sure that I tell everyone to read the fine print.

So here is where it stands – I still have the Garcinia; I have not been billed the $89 – yet – so my credit card company cannot do anything about it.  I do not have an address to send it back to because the padded envelope that it came in has been thrown out in the trash and there was no invoice inside the package.  I have a “confirmation” number – for whatever that is worth – that will “guarantee” my account will be closed – and not billed on the 24th of January.  (If I am wrong – and I am a blond so I could be – that is way beyond the 14 day cancellation date!)

Just a word to the wise – don’t fall for the “free trial”; shipping only. It is a scam.  Will probably notify the BBB; and maybe the police department, and, since I saw this on Face Book will say something there also.  So, to use two adages – “buyer beware” – and “it’s never over until it’s over” – are the name of this game.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Laverne De Fazio December 29, 2016 at 12:03 am

Not to make light of you situation. Those “fake” articles on yahoo and Facebook that turn out to be ads and dupe the consumer are criminal. If I was in your shoes,
I’d cancel the credit card (ask for a new one and ask to block the transaction) then explain the situation to the Credit Card company.
Print a copy of your BBB/This article as ample evidence. Seems like you can get this
herb at Target or Walmart but just a brief search shows that some herbs are scams.
When in doubt, let your fingers do the walking (that is search the product) over a reliable search engine like dogpile or startpage, that aren’t ad reliant.
By the way you look great kid, when I point out my grey hairs, I tell people that I’ve earned every one of them. Including the one single grey hair I grew after reading your article. Cheers and Happy New Years :)

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avatar judi December 29, 2016 at 8:24 am

Thanks, Laverne. What I did was to notify my credit card company and they put a dispute hold on the card. They also said something that really surprised me – they said that I would NEVER be able to purchase from that company again. (Not that I would ever do so.) But I have never heard that before. I also sent my article to the BBB; to Facebook; and since I think it is fraud will send to the fraud department at the police department.

I wondered why my hair was turning gray. Thanks for the explanation! Happy New Year.

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avatar mjt December 30, 2016 at 2:23 am

When old and grey, we fade away
Old is old, slipping into the mist of yesterday

Die hard ego’s won’t let go.
How can this be, I am God I won’t die, after all this is me

Heard in the distant depths, fools rush into natures net.
Sinking into an eternal forgottenness.

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avatar unwashedwallmartThong December 31, 2016 at 11:20 am

The BBB has nearly zero value; it can’t enforce anything; it exists to collect fees from members. I always giggle when I spot the silvery BBB sticker on vehicles. As soon as someone passes some test for a license, obtains a resale #, applies for a business license, some yo-yo from the BBB calls & tells you, “We’ve been getting calls about your business.” The BBB can take a nice long walk down the red carpet to Trumpville, Land of Grifters in the Beltway.

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avatar Gil Field January 1, 2017 at 4:27 pm

Concur with Unwashed. The BBB is a club that any business can join to protect their shady dealings.

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