The abundance of ads on the internet for free trials of anti-aging products, as well as the hundreds of women who have been scammed and left comments on womensblogtalk.com inspired me to write this post.
Before I go any further – if you’ve been scammed and are looking for a phone number to cancel, please check for the number on my latest blog post – I’ve been adding to list daily!!
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.
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,” whom by the way, 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 – the “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.
“REVIVE DERMA” is the most popular free trial cream right now!
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!
Educating yourself on how these supposed free trials actually work is your best defense against being taken for what can sometimes add up to hundreds of dollars!
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.
I mean, you only have to pay $4.95 in shipping so that’s a great deal, right? Wrong. And it’s not always presented as a combination offer – the same deceptive practices are used to offer free trials for individual anti-aging creams and eye creams alike! “Derma Juvenate” and “RVTL Anti-Aging” are two free trials I get a ton of complaints about.
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!
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.
- If you knew just how many women were being scammed, you’d be horrified – let your friends, family and neighbors know! Don’t you wish you were warned before being scammed?
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 on the back end (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 credit card company 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 short-term free trials won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, so the best advice I can give you is to simply don’t accept these types of offers, and hopefully now you know what to look out for!
Again, I do not promote these free trial scams and I’m NOT the one who sold this to you if you’ve been scammed. Please don’t email me demanding a refund!
Check for the number on my latest blog post below and call the cream manufacturer to cancel your free trial.
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!
Our #1 Choice for Anti-Aging – Kollagen Intensiv +AHA Toner
Most of us have wrinkles that bother us, and we want effective products that bring fast results. Kollagen Intensiv contains collagen-boosting SYN®COL, a patented peptide proven in clinic trials to reduce the appearance of wrinkles by up to 354%. Paired with a collagen boosting alpha-hydroxy toner, this is my top recommended anti-aging combo for reducing wrinkles, and reversing damage to look vibrant and refreshed. Read my review on using Kollagen Intensiv with AHA Toner
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
Ama Bella Eye Cream
I saw an ad for Ama Bella Allure Eye Cream featuring Christie Brinkley it looked legit for a free sample just pay $5 shipping. I wish I knew about this stuff before I placed my oreder…I had a $20 charge for an E-Book that I never ordered, and now today TWO $90 charges for eye cream! Im livid. My bank gave me the phone number on the debits so I called and they said they dont do refunds and when I ordered I should have seen that if I dont cancel 14 days after ordering I will get those charges. Im so upset. Going to put in a claim with my bank but not sure if it will work. This is a total of $200 I was scammed.
I purchased the YS Cream and Purest skin care in what I thought was a “trial basis”. Much to my surprise when I was charged 89.94 for both. I am still trying to get one company to refund my money. The “company” that sold the YS cream will refund 100% because I told them I filed a police report, going to report to BBB and state attorney’s office. I was told if I “did not report them” I would get a full refund. We will see
I fell for this scam to the tune of $500.00. I cancelled with their company, filed a dispute with my credit card co to NO avail!!! no one would help me, I never received any product that they charged me for, except the free one with S&H, and it was not free…94 dollars and 85. I am going to report my CC card to the atty general as well as luna luxe..they don’t care about your threats on the phone, the lady just kept yelling at me so I couldn’t tell her anything.
I’m a 1st (and last) time face cream consumer trying to buy a face cream on the Internet. I ordered the product at 9:40am this morning opting out of 2 eye creams only wanting the face cream for $4.99 (S&H). Then I read the disclaimer that popped up AFTER my order was confirmed and realized I agreed to give company $90 a month for membership fees after trial ends. I called Amabella to cancel entire order and was so lucky to get a trial extension to Oct 05th and no cancellation. I received a call from Amabella to confirm my order and they were throwing in the eye cream if I give them my security code from my debit card. I refused and told them again to cancel my order and was yelling into my phone like a crazy person in front of my child’s orthodontist office because the guy kept telling me how much I wanted the cream. I hang up on the guy and call the company AGAIN when I get home to make sure order was cancelled but no deal! I explained my dilemma but felt like I was being over dramatic and explained again to cancel my order. I hang up with that guy and call back to get a female rep and she acts like she can’t understand or hear me and hangs up the phone. Now it’s 5pm and I’ve been trying to cancel the order all day long. I call back AGAIN and finally feel like the guy is listening to me and says he understands and will cancel order for a $9.95 restocking fee. I lost it! So you are charging me a fee to restock a product I never even received yet!? I tell the guy I am cancelling my debit card and writing a review on the Internet so here I am….my email showed a cancelled order from Amabella Allure at 5:20pm this evening total nightmare!!!
Allure RX & Skin Fresh MD
I like everyone ordered a sample without knowing they were going to charge me $97 for one and $95 for another. There was nothing I could see where it said they were going to do this. This is fraud and my bank M&T decided it was a legal charge. I am still fighting it. DO NOT EVER order any samples because this if what they do to you.
Purest-R Skin Care Anti-Aging Serum
I ordered a sample from Purest-R Anti-Aging Serum for $6.90 on July 7, 2017. On July 21, 2017 my credit card was charged $89.85 for the full purchase price because I failed to call and cancel my “subscription.” I didn’t even know there was a subscription. When I ordered it asked if I agreed to the terms and conditions. Well sure I did, I was getting a trial bottle for $6.90. That was the only offer I saw. I had no idea down at the bottom of the web page in tiny print there was a “terms and conditions” button to click. When I got my second bottle, I called customer service to let them know I didn’t order a second bottle; that I had only ordered the “trial bottle” for $6.90 and I had already received it. That’s when she told me that since I didn’t cancel within 14 days, I had subscribed to automatically receive this. First of all, I am a senior citizen and live off of a small social security check. I could barely afford the $6.90 but thought since it was such a good deal, I would treat myself. A couple of days after speaking with them and them refusing to refund or accept a return of the product, I got my credit card statement. There were two charges of $89.85 on there to Purest-R. One was for the “trial bottle” and the other was the automatic shipment. I had my daughter call them and try to explain better than I could what had happened. The “customer care manager” offered 25% refund of one shipment. She refused and informed him that she was calling the BBB and the Attorney General. She hung up. He called her back and offered a 75% refund off one of the shipments. She refused. It’s just not right that they don’t fully and plainly disclose these terms. Don’t companies have any responsibility in this?
I ordered a sample for Firm+Radiance cream from Luana Skin for $5.95. The form wouldn’t let me complete the order unless I allowed a second product on the order which was from Total Beauty for $4.95. I thought it was needed for the first product to work so I let it go through and placed the order. There wasn’t any way to cancel the second product from my order. A couple weeks later I noticed two withdrawals from my checking account for around $89.00 each. I called my bank to cancel the card and to file a dispute. I called the two product companies back, Luana Skin 877-832-1824 and Total Beauty 877-589-6470 (these were found on my bank statement) and firmly cancelled after pleading with them to refund the amounts. They said no. After reading your article I called them back and asked them to send me a confirmation email. They said unfortunately my email address was missing a letter (I hadn’t given him my email address so how did he know this without me telling him my email address)so one was already sent but I wouldn’t receive it. I asked for him to send it again to the correct email address, one with the missing letter added, and he said they couldn’t but that I could reference the call which was recorded if anyone wanted to know. He gave me his name and I asked for the time of this recording which he gave me. I’ve filed a dispute with my bank (it was a debit card) and it could take up to two months to hear back from them. Thank you!
Parisian Glow scam
A have a phone # for Parisian Glow. 1-844-243-4364. I can’t find these people online anymore but I found different companies with different names same claims about Shark Tank !!! They change names so you can’t find them but they’re still there.We should spread this all over social media. Thank you Debbie
Do NOT order Astrea!
What an absolute rip off. Deceptive trade practices by stating there is no further purchase then charging $90 for further shipments. Bottom feeding CS reps who talk over you about how you agreed to further shipments. “Company policy” states no returns & no refunds. They graciously offer 25% of your $90. Argue, argue, argue. They’ll keep going up. But once you agree to a partial refund, you waive any right to dispute any further refund with your credit card company. I will be reporting to BBB.
Anti-Aging Products HUGE Scam
I fell for the Allumiere scam in which they advertized that the star from “Fixer Upper” was starting a new skin line. Less than two weeks after I signed up for the “free trial” my account was charged $98.41 from Opal Amethyst (866-534-5277) and $97.41 from LeAllurecream (866)554-5862. My advice: Call and DEMAND (growl if you have to) an RMA number to send back your free trial, tell them to send you an email confirmation. I called 3x consecutively (got RMA on 3rd call). This is the phone number (888)642-5524 to get the best help and an address to return the free trial. DO NOT BACK DOWN until you get an RMA number, send back ground fed ex and request a signature. Cancel your card AFTER they return your money.
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
328 out of 331 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
147 out of 150 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
146 out of 153 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
96 out of 103 people found this question helpful.
Q: Is Pure Eternal anti-aging cream also a scam? -Dana Chang
83 out of 90 people found this question helpful.