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Info Seeker
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎07-10-2016

Re: Internet scam -- Stemologica beauty cream "Free trial Sample" NOT

Message 1 of 4 (774 Views)

I know that situation all too well. Luckily, my bank withheld payment and notified me to verify the charge. Which, of course, I did not authorize. That is just the tip of the iceburg, however. Every time I see an offer for anything "free", I have to laugh to keep from being enraged. Where did our morals go? In order to get these "free" items, you have to either pay S&H or subscribe to a newsletter or some other come-on. MIRRIAM-WEBSTER defines free as "not costing or charging anything". SO, how is paying for S&H, or for a subscription to get the proferred "free" item free? It's NOT!! These companies or organizations making these offers are, in my opinion, outright liars. Is there not some kind of control over this kind of fraud? If not, there should be. Thank you for letting me vent. ---- An angry and frustrated citizen    

Treasured Social Butterfly
Posts: 18,713
Registered: ‎12-25-2011

Re: Internet scam -- Stemologica beauty cream "Free trial Sample" NOT

Message 2 of 4 (2,555 Views)

People have to be very careful with these "free" samples! Often there's fine print that it's only "free", if you decide don't like the sample, and (pay to) ship the rest back to them. Many people don't pay attention to the full cost of the sample watching an ad on TV or heard on the radio, and think it's cheaper to just keep it, than pay for packing & postage to return it .. then they get hit with a large charge for the sample's alleged value.

 

If there's a problem with shipping charges .. like being billed multiple times for a single sample, it needs to be contested right off the bat; people need to have the kind of credit cards that allow them to refuse to pay bogus & duplicate charges.

 

I did that once & had to return a sample; never again!


Registered on Online Community since 2007!
Valued Social Butterfly
Posts: 2,865
Registered: ‎02-12-2008

Re: Internet scam -- Stemologica beauty cream "Free trial Sample" NOT

Message 3 of 4 (2,573 Views)

What a horrible experience. I know there are companies out there that offer a product for "free" or for just shipping and handling. They ask you to use a credit card to pay for any fees, but send you the product with strings attached. If you like it and keep it, you will be automatically enrolled in a monthly program where they keep sending it to you, using your credit card. If you don't, you have to call them, if that's possible, to get "permission" to return it. It seems that you were scammed out of that money, so I hope you were able to block them from taking more payments from your credit card. 

Info Seeker
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎01-14-2012

Internet scam -- Stemologica beauty cream "Free trial Sample" NOT

Message 4 of 4 (2,577 Views)

Two weeks before Christmas I responded to a pop-up ad on a site I'm familiar with for a "free trial sample" of a beauty cream. It was a "shipping only" offer, so I paid $4.95 twice for shipping. My next VISA bill showed four charges from Istanbul: two at $4.95 and two at $2.95. I called my bank and they explained that these were shipping charges for two samples of cosmetics. OK, I said, What the hell, they are free.

     My January VISA bill showed two charges for $149.95! My free samples were NOT free after all.The return address on the box was in Israel. I called the number on the VISA bill and it was "Not in service." I called my bank immediately and somehow they put together a three-way call with the merchant, Stemologica. "We can't be responsible for what others might do with our products on the Internet," we were told.

     Bottom line: do not apply for a  "free trial sample" of Gold Serum or Beautekit products, no matter how legitimate the offer appears. (Usually this offer pops up after you take a short survey on a familiar company, or merely as a prize for being a good customer.) Older folks concerned about wrinkles are being scammed across the UK and the US. See the complaints piling up at: http://stemologica.pissedconsumer.com  Over 300 so far!