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Fraudulent advertiser on TV - no free lunch
Old 06-19-2008, 01:29 PM   #1
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Fraudulent advertiser on TV - no free lunch

In a weak moment I gave in and called one of those late night ads on TV advertising a weight loss product - only because they offered one free month if you paid just the S&H and of course - it was a limited time offer.

But - when I called the phone # to get information, a robotic voice answered and "it" already knew my name, phone # and address. I should have hung up right then! But I didn't - and very reluctantly, I gave my credit card # and then "it" said, "As a special offer we are going to add 2 extra months supply for just $174."

The voice gave no way to escape and made it clear that if you didn't buy the complete package you wouldn't be getting any free month's supply.

The only way out was to cancel that credit card - so I did. But, it was such a blatant case of bait and switch I just couldn't let it pass. It took hours but I sent in a complaint to the California Atty General, the Fed Trade Commission and to the TV channel that carried the ad. I don't know if there's anything else we can do about this kind of thing - except of course - don't call in the first place! Any thoughts?
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Old 06-19-2008, 01:33 PM   #2
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those late night ads on TV advertising
Did they even throw in a free Girls Gone Wild tape?
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Old 06-19-2008, 01:42 PM   #3
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You did not really "cancel that credit card" did you? Because that may or may not get you out of the order. Hope you meant cancel the order! Yes, I like your last suggestion "don't call".
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Old 06-19-2008, 02:35 PM   #4
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No - they didn't offer a "girls gone wild" tape - though it could have been from the same company.

And there wasn't any place to cancel the order unless telling them "No - I don't want this" and hanging up qualifies as a cancellation. I did call the credit card co. immediately though and they assured me no order had been received at that point but they said the only way to avoid a future charge was to cancel that card & they'll send me a replacement.

I was more curious than anything else - I've never been suckered into one of these things before. Never again - it takes a few seconds to get into one of these situations and hours to get out.
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Old 06-19-2008, 02:41 PM   #5
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"canceling a credit card" usually is not effective against preventing charges. You'll have to dispute the charge itself. I've changed card #'s and canceled cards only to see charges continue to be applied to it.

The charge card company has no motivation to prevent charges..they collect a service fee for them and you'll pay interest on the charge until its removed or paid for so any charges are good charges, as far as they're concerned.
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Old 06-19-2008, 02:59 PM   #6
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True, Cutefuzzy - however, I was asked to pick from several flavors and I said - no - and hung up without picking a flavor so they didn't have a complete order from me. If that doesn't cancel the order then I will take this as far as I have to - without totally inconveniencing myself, that is.

The company is supposed to be in Michigan - at least they have a PO box there. If they do charge me - I wonder if I could take them to small claims court in California - if so - I almost hope they do charge me! That would really inconvenience them.
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Old 06-19-2008, 03:36 PM   #7
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True, Cutefuzzy - however, I was asked to pick from several flavors and I said - no - and hung up without picking a flavor so they didn't have a complete order from me. If that doesn't cancel the order then I will take this as far as I have to - without totally inconveniencing myself, that is.

The company is supposed to be in Michigan - at least they have a PO box there. If they do charge me - I wonder if I could take them to small claims court in California - if so - I almost hope they do charge me! That would really inconvenience them.

I got one even better than that.... it was for 'free' magazines... the CC company offered a one year subscription... well, it was when I was living in company apts and moved a couple of times... but never got a single one.... well, one year later... there was a charge on my CC for another year!!! I never authorized it at all.... just showed up...

But, give them a call... punch a couple hundred keys.... stay on hold 30 minutes and finally talk to someone and they took it right off... no problem..
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Old 06-19-2008, 03:49 PM   #8
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I got one even better than that.... it was for 'free' magazines... the CC company offered a one year subscription... well, it was when I was living in company apts and moved a couple of times... but never got a single one.... well, one year later... there was a charge on my CC for another year!!! I never authorized it at all.... just showed up...

But, give them a call... punch a couple hundred keys.... stay on hold 30 minutes and finally talk to someone and they took it right off... not problem..
They all are getting slicker now. The "1 year free stuff" usually has some fine print you can barely see that says at the end of the free period, unless you call some # or even write a letter, it will "roll" to a paid period. The adage "nothing if free" is so true.
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Old 06-19-2008, 03:57 PM   #9
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We've had a few run-ins with a couple of magazine subscription companies too. Mainly because they want you to renew your annual subscription 11 months in advance. Then you get another bill that says - "Time to renew - but if you've already renewed please ignore this offer." Just adds another layer of confusion.

Time to go through the filing cabinets again and add a few new catagories.
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Old 06-19-2008, 04:21 PM   #10
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We've had a few run-ins with a couple of magazine subscription companies too. Mainly because they want you to renew your annual subscription 11 months in advance. Then you get another bill that says - "Time to renew - but if you've already renewed please ignore this offer." Just adds another layer of confusion.

Time to go through the filing cabinets again and add a few new catagories.
Sounds like you might be on "the sucker list".
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