That's a lesson that the several sellers of Resveratrol, a supposed anti-aging product, found out after being sued by none other than Dr. Oz and the Oprah Winfrey Show for using his likeness to trick consumers into trying out a free trial of Resveratrol which comes with more strings than a marionette.
These days it should go without saying that there's no such thing as a free trial, especially if there's an asterisk anywhere on the screen, but companies like Resveratrol continue to take advantage of consumers by offering limited "free" trials and charging incredulous fees if customers fail to cancel the free trial. Take note, if you have to provide your credit card number for a free trial you should ask yourself, "what's the catch?"
Fox 5 from New York spoke to many of the consumers who have been duped by the company and found several practices and claims that should shock you.
Here's a list of some of the complaints against the companies:
- Illegally uses Dr. Oz's likeness.
- Advertises with fake studies, fake doctors and fake news articles.
- Implies that the product has been endorsed by WebMD, CNN and Fox News and others.
- Hides the fact that claims are all fictitious or an advertisement in tiny print the same color as the background.
- Puts a fake timer on the order page to increase urgency.
If you want to make your voice heard on the use of negative option free trial offers, which make you jump through hoops for the trial to actually be free, you can make a public comment directly to the FTC until Oct. 13. These comments will be taken into consideration when they review the current use of free trials like those offered by Resveratrol.
Until the FTC makes some changes to the way companies can promote "free" trials; I suggest you join me and Laura Northrup of the Consumerist in toasting the lawsuit with some resveratrol packed red wine.
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