Get the Facts on Free Trials for Beauty Creams
Have you been scammed by a free trial for an anti-aging cream? Keep reading! In this review about free trials, I’ll give you tips on how to cancel and hopefully get your money back!
Before I go any further – if you’re looking for a phone number to cancel a free trial, please check for the number on my latest blog post:
Free Trials – How the Ads Lure you In
You’ve probably seen the alluring ads with captivating headlines such as “Dr. Oz Calls this a Miracle Cream,” or “Katie Couric’s Backstage Secret,” or “Shhhh Don’t Tell Covergirl.” The latest scam is the “as seen on Shark Tank” creams.
Stories of women who “accidentally” discovered a miracle breakthrough in anti-aging by using one cream at night, and another cream in the morning.
Honestly though, who doesn’t want to find a miracle cream to reverse the hands of time overnight?
Unfortunately, there is a very deceptive, dark side to these offers, one that most people miss and don’t discover until they notice the exorbitant and monthly recurring charges appear on their credit card statements, leaving them feeling scammed and frustrated.
In this article I will articulate how this new wave of “short-term” (12-14 day) free trials suck you in, how they function, and why I don’t like 99% of them.
Are there any Legit Trials?
Since there are some women who wish to try something before they buy – the ONLY free trial I recommend is Lifecell Anti-Aging Treatment.
Lifecell is a 30 day trial and a reputable skin care company that’s been around for over a decade. I’ve used it extensively with great results (over 6 years to be exact, LONG before these 14 day free trial scams tarnished the nature of a free trial).
As women, we want to find a cure for our wrinkles to look young and vibrant again, and wouldn’t it be nice to find something that works overnight? Or in two weeks?
Take for example, the picture of this woman on the right “Brenda,” who I’ve seen in numerous ads for various wrinkle creams lately, she’s a poster girl for these scams.
This particular ad is promoting a combination free trial of BioGeniste Wrinkle Reducer and Dermal Meds, and Brenda claims that she obtained these results by using these two products in combination.
I’m sorry to say, but there is no wrinkle cream, or combination of, that will give you this type of result, and this happens to be a photo-shopped image purchased on a popular website called “shutterstock.”
Do Celebrities Really Endorse Wrinkle Creams?
No, they don’t! These scam companies claim celebrities such as Sandra Bullock, Ellen Degeneres, Katie Couric, Christie Brinkley – even Queen Kate – use these creams to obtain their ageless skin – and the “proof” seems nothing short of amazing in the before and after pics.
But I can assure you, none of these Hollywood stars promote any of these fly-by-night wrinkle creams scams, much less use these garbage creams.
There are also Youtube clips placed conveniently for credibility, but irrelevantly. For example, there is one video of Ellen Degeneres floating around to boost the claim that she’s promoting a specific eye cream, but if you watch the video you will realize that she’s merely doing a comedy stand up act where she jokes about what a klutz she is when she uses an eye cream (in a general sense).
What about Dr. Oz Wrinkle Creams?
If a picture of Dr. Oz (or any other celebrity) is in a wrinkle cream ad, it must be true right? WRONG, think again!
Dr. Oz is plagiarized more than anyone on the web!
These scam artists use his pictures, video clips, fake quotes, anything to make you believe that Dr. Oz is recommending them.
In this picture of Dr. Oz and Oprah, they state that Oprah is retiring to pursue her new skin care line with Dr. Oz. This is a flat out lie, please don’t believe them.
Dr. Oz does not, I repeat DOES NOT have his own skin care line, cream or serum. These crooks can say anything they want, don’t believe their false advertisements!
I’m not trying to be mean about this, it’s not your fault that there are liars and crooks out there, I’m just trying to help open your eyes so you won’t fall for it.
I get countless emails every day from women saying “I ordered Dr. Oz’s serum and now he billed me $90, what a jerk for being involved in these scams.” Truth is he’s NOT responsible, because these are not his creams. These are crooks and liars using his name to sell their products!
Shark Tank Ads, Angelina Jolie, Kelly Rippa – The List Goes On
Don’t fall for the latest “as seen on Shark Tank” creams. These ads are all over Facebook and they are bogus. Beware of ANY ADS for creams on Facebook and always scroll to the bottom to read the terms and conditions.
And Kelly Rippa is NOT quitting her show to “focus on her skin care line full time.” Nor is Angelina Jolie launching a new skin care line to help her recover from her divorce.
This is nothing short of deceptive and misleading advertising. Flat out lies.
My Interview with CBS!
I was interviewed by Cristin Severance with CBS 11 in Dallas, Texas about Beauty Cream Free Trials. Cristin is a Consumer Justice Investigator and has won 7 Emmy Awards!
The Combo Free Trial Offer
Back to the combination offer.
In the example I used above, the combination free trial offer was BioGeniste Wrinkle Reducer and Dermal Meds, but I could literally cut and paste about 100 different wrinkle creams in their place because the ads are IDENTICAL, and they often rotate.
“Avonlea and Pristine,” “Nuvalift and Puravol,” Bellalabs and Dermaperfect,” “Absolute Rejuven and Absolute Derma,” “Splendyr Instant Wrinkle Reducer and Levela Anti-Aging Cream,” “Luminelle and Alleure” – there are so many that I can’t possibly list them all but some of these may ring a bell.
They all follow the same story line, usually referencing a celebrity and also a normal lady with the likeness of “Brenda” who by accident, discovered that by using one cream in the morning and one cream at night, she obtained miraculous results. And before you know it, you’re ordering your free trials of both creams. Sound familiar?
Be weary of any offer that won’t let you proceed to checkout without agreeing to order a second or third eye cream or serum in order to get the cream you’re trying to order – huge red flag!
How Does a Free Trial Actually Work?
“Free trials” are NOT free. When you sign up for a free trial, you’re not only giving them all of your personal information, i.e. name, address, phone, email, but you are REQUIRED to enter your credit card information to accept the free trial (to pay for the shipping).
Oftentimes, the fine print is so far down the page that you won’t see it unless you scroll down, and most people don’t even notice it, and therein lies the problem – most don’t know what they’re signing up for!
These scams I’m warning you about are garbage and their phones don’t even work half the time, and there is a HUGE difference in quality.
By accepting the free trial, you are agreeing to try the product for 12-14 days (this is what I refer to as a short-term free trial, which 99% of them are).
On the 14th day, you will be billed for the full price of the wrinkle cream that you received (usually about $90, and you can double that if it’s a combo offer), and subsequently billed 30 days later for another month’s supply.
In the example below for Puravol (copied and pasted from their website, had to scroll down to find it), the trial period is only 12 days, and on the 12th day you’ll be billed $99.15, and billed $99.15 every 30 days thereafter.
The problems with most free trials are as follows, some are shocking!
- 12-14 days is hardly enough time to receive the product, much less try it for a long enough time period to decide whether you like it or not. In my experience, companies who offer a 30 day trial usually have good products, and there are very few of them.
- Most people don’t realize that they will be billed on the 12th day for the full product amount (normally around $90), and each month thereafter (double for a combo offer)
- most of these companies are IMPOSSIBLE to reach by phone to cancel, and sometimes publish non-existent phone numbers
- many of these companies are fly-by-night, and you won’t be able to “return the unused product for a refund,” because……
- many of these companies are based in countries without an extradition policy (i.e. Venezuela, Panama, Pakistan), meaning they run their scams and sucker people out of their money, and we, as consumers, have no recourse other than cancelling our credit cards with our banks altogether to get out of the recurring arrangement
- many of these companies, once the negative publicity starts to surface, package up their products in new boxes and slap a new name on it, and run the scams all over again
- most of these companies don’t fully disclose their ingredients list which is not a good sign, this usually means it’s nothing special or else they’d want to brag about it
- beware of filling out surveys with “free gifts” involved, as these often lead to wrinkle cream scams (even on well known websites)
- the billing company company name will NOT match the scam cream you buy online…another method to thwart you from contacting them or not noticing the charge.
And it doesn’t end with just anti-aging creams. Rob Miller from SupplementCritique.com recently posted a really good article about Supplement free trials that use similar deceptive marketing. Check it out here when you have time.
- First of all, would you do me the favor of “liking” me on Facebook? If I’ve helped you in some way, you can leave me a review on Facebook and I would be grateful.
- More importantly, share this article on Facebook with your friends and family! Alert them to these scams!
- You can share it by clicking the Facebook share icon on the left hand side of your screen or at the bottom of this article, or copy and paste the URL link and post to your Facebook page.
Tips for cancelling trials:
- First and Foremost, you need to call the Cream Manufacturer and request they cancel your ongoing subscription and demand a refund.
- Check for the number on my most recent blog post Skin Care Free Trials – Cancellation Phone Numbers. I’ve compiled this list over the last few years and have over 350 companies!
- If you don’t find the phone number on my list, call your bank to ask if they have a number (look for the s&h charge since it will be billed under a different company name than the actual cream you ordered).
- BE FIRM WHEN YOU CALL TO CANCEL – If they are not cooperative, threaten to report them to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), your states Attorney General’s office and the FTC (Federal Trade Commission).
- Don’t agree to their 30% or even 50% refund or a $35 restocking fee. BE FIRM.
- Ask to speak to a supervisor – don’t take NO for an answer. To put it simply – put on your boxing gloves if you don’t usually wear them.
- Continue to hold. Sometimes getting through takes half an hour or more! They put you in an endless loop of being on hold so that you’ll get frustrated and hang up.
- Ask for a cancellation confirmation by email. This way you’ll have something to show your bank if they continue to bill you.
- If none of this works, contact your bank to dispute the charges by filing a fraud dispute. Sometimes they will reverse all the charges and put a block on them.
- You’re better off using a credit card vs. a debit card for online purchases. Debit cards are basically “same as cash” whereas a credit card company will normally work with you to file a dispute. However, you can still dispute charges made on a debit card since they go through Visa and Mastercard!
- Be advised! Simply cancelling your credit card is not enough, you must cancel with the cream company OR file a dispute. If you simply cancel your card without either cancelling with the company or filing a fraud dispute – you may get a surprise collections letter in the mail months down the road.
Conclusion & Recommendation
These 14 day short-term free trials won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, so the best advice I can give you is to is to be very careful and just be smart, READ the terms and conditions.
Lifecell, the only free trial product I recommend, shows you the terms and conditions UP FRONT. Again the difference is Lifecell gives you 30 days and offers a great product, and has friendly customer service agents if you wish to cancel.
This is literally the ONLY free trial I recommend if you wish to try something for free to see how it works with your skin. Lifecell is amazing!
Have you been scammed? Leave a product review below to help others!
It’s super helpful if you do leave a review, please list the name of the cream or product, and a phone number to cancel if you have it. Help me to help others just like yourself. And don’t forget to share this article. Thanks!
How Women Found This Review:
and dr oz wrinkle cream, and dr oz face cream, and dr oz skin care, and Dr Oz Free Trial Wrinkle Cream, and jivam skin care, and dr oz wrinkle cream free trial
Essence PH Skin
PLEASE READ CAREFULLY before order this “free” trail, they charge $4.95, and if you dont cancel, they bill you $89.95 to your acct. I called the 3rd party Konnect and informed them I was contacting the BBB/Attorney General office, it was then they offered me a refund for half my money back $44.97. I had to agree not to take further action, therefore, I settled for 50% refund, I felt the need to write this review to inform other ppl. This was a $51 lesson well learned! I read other (after the fact) the ingredients, what the cream claims not scientifically proven or studied, now I’m afraid to even try the cream. I read the ingredients n have no idea what it is, less on learned. I hope this help other ppl. DONT LET seeing SHARK TANK, well known actresses use it FOOL you, there’s NO PROOF of that…. Lesson learned!
I am 45 years old and the wrinkles on my face are really starting to upset me. I know at this age, I won’t be completely wrinkle free, but I still wanted some help! I saw the “free trial” for Nu Youth and thought I would try it. I’ve tried several others with no reAl results, even after more than 6 months of use. I received my products in the mail and went right to work. I know this is shocking, but within two weeks, I really noticed a difference and softening of my wrinkles, my fiance and my teenage daughter even noticed and they had no idea i was trying something new, as they have no interest in such things…LOL! Well, then I noticed $180 dollars taken out of my bank account, and just about flipped out! I figured out where the charges came from and went straight to the internet and found this posting. Aaaah, I DID NOT read the fine print… So, I was trying to find the phone number for NuYouth with no success. Well, of course, I start panicking, thinking i have to figure out away to cancel this, so I don’t get charged $180, every month, because that really adds up over time, and I’m a frugal person! My problem with this entire situation was that I actually really loved the product but it was way too expensive! Too expensive to out weigh the benefits. So, yesterday, a new set of serum and moisturizer came in the mail, and whala, 1800 number right there on the invoice! Perfect! Right? Well, I still was battling myself because I really love the product. So my frugal side won out, and I called the 1800 number. I explained that I needed to cancel the subscription because I did not read the fine print and realize the cost. I also explained that I really loved the proct, but I couldn’t justify $180 per month. Mia, the rep on the phone, and I had a conversation and came to an agreement that I would still continue to receive the products for the total price of $60, per month. Now I realize that may still be expensive for some people, but the product is working for me. When I walked into Sephora with my teenage daughter, and the women behind the counter remarked by saying, “You have beautiful skin” ( I literally had on Mascara only) it really reinforced that it is working for me. When I first got it, the first uses, I thought the serum left my face sticky and gummy, and then I read the directions, it says to apply two drops of serum to face and let it dry completely and then apply a small amount of moisturizer and let dry completely before applying makeup. I noticed the gummy feeling gone! It is not the lightest, but I really love it, it’s not an overwhelming heaviness. I use it at night and in the morning religiously, and if I need makeup for an outing, I use the two products as directed, put a little bronzing powder (I’m one-quarter Cherokee, and am naturally tan), a touch of blush, and my eyeliner and mascara. (I’m not a heavy makeup person anyway)
My point is, if you find yourself in this situation, decide if you like the product and then call the company, and they might be willing to work with you! But you must be firm with them! Try this before cancelling debit cards and such, and you might find yourself surprised with the reps at (whatever) company you are dealing with! AND ALWAYS READ THE FINE PRINT, or you may find yourself trying to fix a potentially huge financial problem!!! Best Wishes!
Shark Tank Essenciae
I am 70 years old and had no idea
I was obligated to have shippments sent monthly. Have tried repeatedly to offer to send the shippments back even at my expense and get a refund of $186.94 but all that this supervisor Tammie rep #080 would say repeatedly “there is nothing I can do for you” and the cream and eye kserum did nothing. I certainly would not pay that much for this product. I am disputing the charge and will continue to as this company does not care if they are taking advantage of the elderly just trying to survive on social security!
Doesn’t work. Also got monthly delivery which I was not aware I had signed up for. Called and canceled. Waiting to see if it I get a refund.
tried to cancel within 14 days, was told that I was over the trial days to cancel because my trial started when I ordered the product — not when I actually received the product. The cancelation number is 1-855-633-0203.
Watch out for nu youth….. when I saw the words subscription I immersed emailed them back trying to cancel and do whatever it took to get out of it. Of course they billed me anyways for two different bottles that I haven’t even opened. A whopping 177 billed to my credit card. I was just lucky I did use my credit card and they are helping me get refunded. Such a sham!!!
SCAM read the terms and conditions
PLEASE read the terms and conditions before you you order!!!! It’s not free! You pay shipping plus if you don’t cancel within 14 days, your charged $89.95 per month automatically from the card you use to order. It also gives you the option to order an eye serum and if you click NO it adds it to your cart and you pay 89.95 for it as well. I got a whopping $200 come out of my account after the 14 days and it took my bill money.
Beware! they begin with free trial..you only pay for shipping, in very small print they will charge you full price if you dont cancel within certain amount of days then will fight your bank for refund which will take over 90 business days. The product doesnt work!
Disgusting scam, but I got all my money back by being hard nosed
derma skin brands
I ordered a sample of the anti-wrinkle cream and eye cream. Apparently there was a 14 day trial period noted on the website, but when I received the items, there was no notice of the trial period in the box, or any reminder that a full shipment will be charged to my account after this 14 day period expired. When I called to complain, they said I was outside of my 14 day period to cancel. They charged me $172. for both items, and could only reimburse me $140. Very unhappy. don’t order anything from this company againl.
User Questions and Answers
User Questions and Answers
Q: I was scammed with a cream how do you stop them from taking money out of you account? -Helen
368 out of 375 people found this question helpful.
Q: got nailed on the scam...tried calling the numbers listed on the bank charges and neither number worked...I found a number on a piece of paper that came with the face and eye cream...I called and cancelled. This was Jan..Just looked at my checking account and see I was charged 93.00 again. My question is..When I made the cancellation would it have been for both...or do I need to locate a number for the second add on product? Here is the information on this new charge:Aim*beautyeye -Teri
170 out of 173 people found this question helpful.
Q: I ordered the Christie Brinkley eye serum sample this morning for $4.95 but need to cancel. I am getting surgery on where I was putting it. Can you please give me a phone number to contact to make sure this is done? Thanks -Joyce Richards
Rachel - WomensBlogTalk.com
165 out of 173 people found this question helpful.
Q: Hi Rachel, I recently sent for the 30 day trial by Hydroxatone and the other product that comes with it is Bellaplex. When ordering the first product the credit card was accepted but when ordering the second product it would not accept the same credit card and had to use a different card. Do you have any feedback on these company's as I did order them as Dr Oz was I believed promoting them but now I'm not sure. -Del
109 out of 116 people found this question helpful.
Q: Is Pure Eternal anti-aging cream also a scam? -Dana Chang
96 out of 103 people found this question helpful.