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How Auto Ship Programs Keep Scamming People
How Auto Ship Programs Keep Scamming People
Millions of people have watched infomercials on TV or online of a must-have product that does amazing things. Often touted by a celebrity, it can be hard to resist the promise of such product gold. Then, there’s the free sample offer. Who can resist?
Once the product is in-hand, however, maybe the results aren’t so great after all. Maybe it’s not worth ordering at all. Unfortunately, it’s often too late at that point. People soon discover upon checking their credit card account, they were actually charged a high price for the free trial sample, and have been subsequently charged for the next shipment that’s on its way.
This is a classic case of how millions of people are scammed everyday into trying a product and being placed on an auto ship program without even knowing it. They can end up being scammed out of hundreds of dollars.
Although not all auto ship programs are bad, many of them are. So, how do people know what to look for? What’s authentic versus too good to be true? The following are a few red flags that should be good warnings to stay away ...
The ad offers an enticing deal.
The goal is to make the product irresistible in order to entice people into signing up to receive a free sample with a small fee for shipping and handling. The offer may further try to seal the deal with words like risk-free or limited-time, emphasizing the importance of signing up for an exclusive deal before time runs out.
Trial periods cut short.
Although many assume a trial period means from the time a product is received to the time it’s returned, it’s not always the case. Many companies will begin the trial period from the time the product is ordered. If it takes five or more business days for shipping, there may only be a couple more days to decide to keep or return the product.
The terms and conditions of returning the product is usually listed in the very fine print at the bottom. They often indicate that once the trial period has passed, a fee will be assessed for the product and auto ship begins automatically.
Customer service is awful.
When trying to cancel auto shipments or simply trying to speak to anyone is next to impossible, it should be warning sign. When it seems like the job of customer service is to make it virtually impossible to cancel or receive a refund, make sure to be persistent. Some customer service reps may be rude and argumentative. They may even hang up preventing any kind of agreeable outcome.
Contacting the bank or credit card company and asking for assistance in dealing with the company may actually be a good option to make sure no additional charges are placed on the account.
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