I’ve fallen for it before – you go to a website advertising something that you might be into, and you see in flashing, annoying display the “free” 7-day trial offer to check out a new product before you buy it. I clicked on an offer for some type of natural anti-wrinkle cream, that was touted to keep my youthful skin looking even younger, and at $180 for a teeny tiny bottle, I thought a free bottle of the stuff would be awesome. If I didn’t like it, I could just call the handy 1-800 number and tell them no thanks and keep slathering away my new expensive cream no problem. Right? Uh…no.
First of all, having to enter in your credit card information should be a tip-off from the start, but you think they just get it for the shipping and handling. What’s really going is the hoarding of your credit card information so the company you got your “free” trial from can start you on a subscription to their product before your “free” trial even gets to your mailbox. The trick is that even though your trial offer is for 7 days, you have to call and cancel your “free” offer within 72 hours or else they will begin billing your willingly submitted credit card for the subscription service. Of course, you don’t read this in the itty bitty, get out your magnifying glass print that they put right under the “submit” button- and to be honest, who is going to read that crap anyway? All we see is the “free” print in obnoxious flashing colors on the screen.
Stupid me. I called to cancel the product on day 6, thinking I was being a sneaky dink, and the rep told me that I did not cancel within 72 hours, “as stated in your welcome email” and she snarkily informed me that I was already billed on day 4 for the $180 + shipping for the product I didn’t even want and offered to confirm my shipping details to make sure I received my new anti-wrinkle cream at the right address. I canceled my subscription right then and there, to which she explained that I would have to still pay the $180 that month + the billing for the following month because the service required a 60 day cancellation notice.
After crapping my pants, I told her to just plain cancel it, whatever the costs, and looked at my now-wrinkled in stress face in the mirror and realized I had just forked out nearly $400 for a “free” trial offer. I did get the “service” canceled, and in 2 months the product was canceled just as promised, so I considered myself lucky. From thereon out, I have never clicked on another “free” trial offer, no matter how promising, and I recommend everybody do the same.
Nothing is really “free”. Oh, and did the anti-wrinkle cream work? It actually did, but no better than the $5 stuff from Wal-Mart. I got gypped, good.