Today’s post is by Shelli, for whom things often do not turn out as they should.
Oh, Facebook! So full of knowledge and useless information. Used for cheap shout-outs, desperate requests for sympathy and product endorsement. Facebook itself is not a scam. At least, it hasn’t gotten me yet. And then a friend of mine posted as her status: “Judy Starbright* :))) I got my free teeth whitener trial today and my teeth are so shiny and white!! I feel like a new person.. for those of u that are gonna ask were I got it at here’s the link: myidolsmile.net use promo code: whitetoday.. you’re welcome!”
*name changed to protect the culprit, but did not touch the spelling or grammar.
I thought, “Hey! I could really use that,” and didn’t stop to question what I was getting myself into. So I typed in myidolsmile.net. The promo code said that if you paid $1.95 for shipping and handling, the product was FREE. [Note by Joe: this price is exactly $1 off the regular S&H offer of $2.95.] How can you do better than that? The website seems legit. I didn’t really question anything, especially because if my friend had done it without problems, I assumed I would be fine as well.
So I ordered it and provided my debit card number to pay for the shipping. I got a confirmation email from premiumwhitepro.com.
The product came within three weeks. So far, so good. It wasn’t very good quality, and the gel that they raved about was nothing special, and actually pretty gross. But it was a trial, and so I wasn’t too upset…until I checked my bank account and saw that Ultifreshwell had removed $49.89 from my account. I wasn’t sure what it was for, but I thought that maybe it meant they were sending me a longer lasting package, that I could send back for a refund, or something like that. Nothing else came in the mail. A few days later, Sup*Smilebright removed $86.93 from my account. And I currently have $48.23 pending to be taken out of my account from Sup*Whiteteeth.
I’ve canceled my bank card and started fraud cases on all three transactions, and of course, have yet to see whether or not that is going to be enough. I did some research after it all happened, because the numbers that are provided on the statement for the company are completely bogus. The numbers took me to a few discussion boards that talk about the ads seen online for “A stay at home mom discovers the trick to whiter teeth!”
The discussion boards also give several different company names such as Dazzle Smile or Dazzle White. But they all sound like the same thing and they all have recurring charges on their account. Some resorted to closing their bank accounts altogether. I really don’t want it to get to that point, but it might be the only thing to stop the charges.
Remember, “Free” Almost Never Means Free
Addendum by Joe: In all fairness to idolsmile.net (though they don’t deserve it), the first company that started Shelli down this tragic path, the page where you fill out the order form clearly states that it is a 14-day free trial. If you don’t cancel at the end of the trial, your account will be billed $87.62 for another month’s supply of whitener gel.
However, the fine print doesn’t say anything about the other companies and other charges. Also, if you DO cancel before the 14 day trial, guess what?
If you decide to cancel your Membership prior to the expiration of the fourteen (14) day Trial Membership period, your Active Credit Card will still be charged the fee of Eighty-Seven Dollars and Sixty-Two Cents ($87.62) at the end of the Trial Membership period.
WTF?? Go ahead and cancel, but we’re still gonna take almost 90 bucks?! So much for the “free” trial, huh?
What About Refunds?
It has a 30-day guarantee, so you can get a refund, right? Right? Um, not so much:
If you do not cancel your Membership as set forth in Section 7 hereinbelow, and return the one (1) month supply (“Qualifying Return Products”) at your expense as set forth below, your Active Credit Card will be charged the Monthly Fee of Eighty-Seven Dollars and Sixty-Two Cents ($87.62).
So if you were planning to order the trial, then cancel it, then get a refund, don’t bet on it. You only get a refund if you don’t cancel. There are other hoops you have to jump through, too, like returning the unused portion to them.
The bottom line? The “free” trial will cost you at least $87.62, and maybe, like Shelli, a lot more.
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