What are autoship programs? Are there any scams in what concerns free trial offers? In case you would like to get to know everything related to Free Trial Offers & Autoship Programs Scams , you are invited to read the rest of this article, as we will tackle the do’s and don’ts when it comes to subscribing to a monthly membership for a certain cosmetic, dietary supplement or workout booster. You will learn all about the scams that come with certain products you order online or with the information passed down from those on the other side of the counter.
What are Free Trial Offers & Autoship Programs
Free trial offers represent the kind of special promotion which enables customers to try out the product or a specific service allegedly free of charge in order to convince themselves that they made the right choice. Usually, such trials last up to 14 or 30 days and offer full access to all characteristics of an add-on for evaluation purposes. It is safe to claim the fact that such free of charge periods of testing the product or service permits users to have a hands on experience and to analyze whether it would be a good decision or not to actually pay for what they have got.
Autoship programs are about shipping an item to the consumer on the basis of the standard order in automatic payment (cash or by using a credit card, for instance). It is through this autoship that an MLM (multi-level marketing) representative will make sure that he receives his commission by meeting qualifying sales criteria during a certain period of time.
It should be said that autoship can be called a ‘subscription’ program where, instead of simply purchasing some items at once, you get some of them delivered to your doorstep automatically at regular intervals (every month for instance), assuming, of course, that you use that much. Some subscription programs nowadays are said to be very easy and practicable, yet some are sadly not. When you are on a mission to lose weight, for instance, or get a more hydrated skin that could look naturally glowing and fresh, you will undeniably get drawn to all the offers set up by companies.
Nowadays thousands provide free trials, attracting customers’ attention and hoping to see as many payments as possible at the end of the day for the product or service they offer. As a customer who has not tried any items from a particular company, you automatically wish to be able to ‘get a glimpse’ of how they might be. So you accept the trial run period and wait for your order to arrive at your doorstep. However, it might happen that, after a couple of weeks, you are not so fond of the item or service and wish to stop.
Well…just imagine having to pay for the trial period and receiving out of the blue a brand new bottle or box containing the same product. The worse thing is that, when you check out your credit card statement, you will shockingly discover the fact that you were charged a super high price for the original order and for a second one. So, why are they doing this to you? What would be their motive?
Here is the answer to your query: this is a simple example of a classic scam of supplement manufacturers. Like it was mentioned above, you benefit from an autoship (literally automatic shipping), but the rules change (or have been like this all along) so that you will continue with the consumption of the product.
You will receive the whole bottle and keep getting products regularly, even if you do not want them. What is more, it should be said that companies usually establish very steep prices for these items and trick people into thinking that the trial run is indeed free of charge. Usually, manufacturers or third parties plan the autoship program and the free trial promotions in order to ‘grease the wheels’, the entire scheme being just to remove the main problem that you, as a client, might have, namely the price.
To get you hooked, most companies will try to convince you to give your personal details and click on ‘Rush my order’ by telling you that it will be completely risk free. However, very few examples fit into the category of honest and correct autoship programs. It should be said that companies also advertise the fact that you are supposed to spend solely a minimal amount of money to just ‘try out’ the product. It’s what they do not show in big capital letters that’re important for consumers.
Here’s how the process works: after you pay the fee, it will usually take about three up to five days for the item to arrive at your doorstep. The issue would be that the vast majority of these trials can last between 10 and 14 days (beginning on the exact date the item was added to the cart or ordered).
Thus, you only have a few days to test the product before being obliged to pay the whole sum. Other than S&H fees, you might not be aware of any other contractual stipulations, since all important details are listed way down the website or in small letters in the terms and conditions page. Also, even if you try to scan all the text on the website for numbers, you won’t find the entire price, as manufacturers will list this in letters, not numbers or sums.
The ‘$’ also won’t be visible. This is to understand how tricky some businesses are and how desperate to hide the real price and to fool the consumer. The Terms and Conditions page usually does not offer straightforward information about the fact that you will receive automatically new bottles in the event of subscribing to the program.
As the name suggests, autoshipping means offering you new boxes or bottles even if you have not quite finished the 30 day supply. This also means that you will be billed accordingly each and every month. And after you receive on your doorstep the second or third order, the logical thing to do would be to call the company at hand and ask for your money back or stop the program. Well…if only that could work. No one seems to respond to your queries, no one seems to care about your demands or kind requests due to lack of finances, no one seems to put an end to the shipment of bottles, boxes or bags.
Based on continuous reviews from customers in similar situations, we can safely state that less than stellar businesses make use of this opportunity (or scam) to keep the finances flowing, offering on purpose poor customer service and not answering to any of your calls, e-mails or text messages. The worst cases include refusal to give your money back, hanging up the phone, refusing to cancel the automatic shipment or new products and so on and so forth. These all lead to the continuous dissatisfaction of the client.
Let’s talk a little bit about the legal aspect of free of charge trials and autoship programs. The shocking thing that we are about to tell you is that these scams are 100% right, legally speaking. A business can initiate the sending of products for free in order for customers to test them and add any kind of legal stipulations to the purchase. The list includes everything from warranties, refund details, delivery fees, period trials, the use of your own information and so on and so forth. Autoship programs and free trial offers are also part of this.
In what concerns autoship programs specifically, the legality falls back on the clause of negative billing. This is the option in which the seller interprets the customer’s failure to cancel an agreement or keep going on with it, as a consent to be charged for the products or services he receives.
After all, if you have agreed to get a product delivered to you once per month, wouldn’t it be a real pain to keep ordering it on and on or worry about totally forgetting about it? The big issue occurs when companies or third parties selling workout boosters, supplements, diet pills and so on use this clause against people. Basically, they can stick to the law as well as trick customers as they managed to outsmart the market. And given the fact that what they are doing is 100% legal, you will find it ten times harder to get your money back.
Whether or not the product per se is good or bad it does not really matter, as at stake is the money you had to pay for an allegedly free of charge program of simply trying out the item. Autoship programs are what they are, hassle-free means for the business to get money by shipping out countless bottles, boxes or packages. Sometimes, autoship programs are good, as well intended companies use these to make sure that their customers are 100% satisfied. There are, of course, those which implement free trial offers and autoship programs in order to scam their clients.
Let’s take, for instance, the example of a weight loss supplement that is new to the market. The manufacturer will try all the means to promote it and to manage to get as many customers as possible. The product is already developed, the proof that it has natural ingredients and active fillers is on the website, as well as the bottle, the price is clearly stated as well and you, as a business, only need a paying audience. In order to spread the word in what concerns the product and its efficiency, you have to have people that could use it and review it, telling positive things about it to their friends and acquaintances.
So you think of ways in which you could attract more media attention and the willingness of consumers to try and test your item. This is when free trial offers can work their magic. You give clients the chance to buy your product by solely having to pay for handling and delivery, being enrolled in a program of ‘trial’. In order to be honest and upfront, you tell them about the exact period of time to try out the product, as well as the full price of the product once it ends. So, everything is good when the consumer is informed about what he is getting and when the company remains clear and honest about its intentions.
Sadly, scams rule nowadays, as businesses think that it is in their best interest to hide the real price of the item or service, charge the consumer way before the second bottle arrives and offer poor quality services. Manufacturers do things completely different from what they have proven at the beginning.
For instance, aside from the previously mentioned supposedly free trial offers and autoship programs, they will diminish the information on the website or the bottle per se. What is worse than this is that they will create a ton of hyped-up and fake reviews about their item and fill up websites in order to wow potential clients. In order to support their claims, they will offer zero evidence and even alter the information regarding how their supplement or product works. Furthermore, the link to the page about Terms and Conditions will either stop working or lead customers to insufficient information.
As stated more towards the beginning of the article, the full price of the product or the fee for handling and shipment will also be hidden, no numbers appearing on the bottle, website or receipt. You might find the fee that you need to pay, but this will be written in small letters, possibly using different fonts with no dollar or euro sign. Companies will go to the extent of writing the whole price of the product or service in letters, not numbers, just to make it harder for the customers trying to skim through the papers or the online info graphic.