Tuesday, January 26, 2016

I've Been Scammed with a Beauty Product

You may have seen it on the right panel of advertisements on Facebook. It is endorsed by Dr. Oz, which should have been my first clue that it wasn't on the up and up. The ingredient list was impressive, and I wanted to test the product for you. However, their advertisement nabbed a relatively savvy beauty shopper. Here was the deal: pay for postage, and the company, which I have discovered to be Beauty & Truth, sent me a 30-day supply. I could send it back within 30 days if I wasn't completely satisfied.

Nowhere did I see that I was signing up for a subscription service, with a monthly charge of $98 and change. Suddenly, that charge showed up on my credit card yesterday, about 15 days after I ordered the "sample." Additionally, I was charged an international transaction fee!

I called my bank first, and they cancelled my card so that this company can never use it again. I got a temporary card today, and a permanent replacement will show up in about 10 days. Inconvenient much? I will have to notify all parties with whom I have a debit agreement or those who have my card on file, like Sephora, that my card has changed.

Then I called this company. The man with whom I spoke told me the "fine print" on the second page of the agreement I signed gave them the right to bill me the $98+ charge every month until I cancelled, and that that charge would occur at 15 days. Of course, there is no way to get back to that agreement to read it again.

I had to go to the Post Office today to send their sample back. Then I had to find a bank branch that had someone who could issue me a temporary card (the snow here has left banks short staffed). I don't know how they will refund me because my card in their file is dead. The whole experience has been a disaster.

If I were you, I would shun any beauty company associated with Dr. Oz and especially this one. I'm not proud of being fooled, but they got me.

P.S. Today, I saw a beautiful red fox in my back yard looking for peanuts where I used to leave them. I had to be my fox! I quickly and quietly went to the driveway and left dog food, but he came around the corner and saw me. He ran. I hope he comes back. I left him a good meal.

Photo courtesy of Beauty & Truth


Grlnxdor said...

I'm truly sorry that you got scammed, CG. There are so many dishonest people out there. I love that you saw "your" red fox and went about the task of leaving it some good food. I'll bet you forgot all of your troubles for just a little bit when you saw that animal. It's good that there is always something that can lift us up when we need it.

Isabella said...

Monitor your personal info as well (name, address, phone number)! I had an issue where I was receiving tons of magazine subscriptions randomly and also got sent some weird diet pills and a knives set, it was due to the fact that I had ordered an eye cream from a company like this and they somehow spread my information all over the damn place!

Eileen said...

At least you saw your red fox. I'm sure that brightened your day and restored your smile. Although he doesn't want you to get close, you can bet he knows you're the peanut lady :-) He'll undoubtedly be back to see what kind of snack you left him.

There are more scams out there than anyone could possibly imagine which makes keeping on top of all of them a real pain in the a-- ! And, for a number of reasons, a lot of scammers like to imply--if not actually state--that Oz endorses their products. Oprah's name is also used in a lot of scams. Isabella gave some excellent advice. Monitor all your personal information very closely. Many scammers aren't content to just bilk you out of money. They make additional money by selling your information despite any privacy policy they might have included in their ads or on their site. They don't care about you or how many other scammers try to swindle you. Hopefully, you'll never hear from them again or anyone else of their ilk.

I hope you and Charlie are keeping snug and warm and that your mom and her caretaker are safe and sound. We've been following the storm in the news and checking in with friends who live back east. This has been a blizzard of monumental proportions. Take care!

Anonymous said...

These kinds of practices are so unethical. I am sorry you have to go through the trouble of a new card, waiting time etc. The red fox sounds wonderful. Is the snow melting or sticking around?
Take care,

bisbee said...

A friend of mine asked me about one of these so-called Dr. Oz products. Luckily, I steered her away. I don't know if Dr. Oz is really associated with this, but I tend to believe he would have done something legally if that were the case. Whatever opinion I ever had of him has plummeted.

Cindy's Societal said...

Sorry to hear that! Glad to see you back in the blogging world :)

Charlestongirl said...

Hi everyone!

I went out to send the product back and go to the bank to get a temporary card. While I was gone, no one are the dog food. I'm afraid I scared the fox. This morning, I saw someone had eaten half the food, but that could have been the raccoons. This afternoon, I may try to reach my back yard with peanuts and dog food. It's tough going out there when the snow is higher than my boots.

I am already spammed to the limit. The spam e-mails come in batches. I'd love to know which legit company shared my address, but I'll never figure that out.

Yesterday, the temperature reached 53, and we had some melting. Now, the sun is out, so we should have more. Unfortunately, it will take months to melt the piles of snow from shoveling and plows.

Until now, I had considered Dr. Oz to be all about misrepresentation, but without proof; and now I am convinced. I will never sign up for a trial of anything again, no matter who it's from. This incident has been terribly inconvenient. If that company has a US return address, why was I charged an international transaction fee? I saw nothing of that when I paid for the postage for the sample. It's a fraud. Please remember my experience if you are ever tempted to sign up for something that looks to good to be real. Most likely it's not.

Eileen said...

Hi Charlestongirl,

That US address is probably a shell and this is really an off-shore scam. It's so very easy to have a US email, phone number, and address without ever actually being in the country. These charletons are without borders and that makes it easy for them to skirt around our laws and avoid being caught and prosecuted. All too often, they are never apprehended and all we can do is hope that by publizing the scams, people won't fall for them. Although this was a terrible inconvenience for you, I'm so glad you shard it with us. Forewarned is forearmed!

About Oz, his name is invoked as if it were magic. A blogger once featured a C serum and copied the fledgling company's advertising blurb about it. The company claimed that Oz had endorsed their product on his show when the truth was that Oz had endorsed the use of C serum and knew nothing about their specific product. I contacted the company (which actually exists and is run by a couple of real nice guys) and informed them that their advertising was false and misleading because what Oz was promoting was the use of C serum in general and not their product in particular. When the co-owner I was speaking with said, "I see your point, but isn't that really just semantics?" I said, "No. It's fraud and it's illegal." You could have heard a pin drop! He asked me what they needed to do to make it right and I told him. He asked me if they fixed it, would that be the end of it and I said yes. About a week later, I received their product along with a letter saying they had changed the advertising copy on their website and on Amazon and provided me with links so I could see for myself. Sad to say, I didn't care for their serum, but I'd gladly give them A+ for wanting to get it right rather than cash in on Oz's fame to sell their product. I think a lot of smaller companies and "indies" get away with these false endorsements because going after everyone who evoked the name of the "Mighty Oz" would keep a platoon of lawyers busy for years :-P Needless to say, I don't put any credence in celebrity endorsements--real or fallacious--especially since the celebrities involved typically have no more knowledgeable than I do.

Unknown said...

Awww, i'm sorry that has happened to you especially right after the holidays when we need to really be careful about spending. I'm never clicking on any FB ads ever again!

Lisa said...

Hi Charlestongirl,

So glad you are back, have enjoyed reading your new posts. Sorry to hear about the scam and the pain it was for you to return the product and cancel your card.

This is unrelated to beauty products, but recently I was searching online for treatments for my sweet 7 year old boxer who was diagnosed in November with a genetic disease called degenerative myelopathy. We were heartbroken to learn from the veterinarian neurologist that we took her to there is no treatment and within 6-9 months she will be unable to walk and have hind leg parlysis--just so sad. It is similar to ALS in humans and is found in the German Shepard, Corgi, and Boxer breeds.

Anyway, I read about a product that included reviews from dog owners claiming improvement in their hind legs and ability to walk- it sounded to hopeful. I was so close to ordering it, also one of those that was a free 30 day supply and automatically billed and sent after that period. I decided to google the name of the product and read reviews from many that it was a scam and did not help their dogs. So glad I checked it out and did not place an order, thinking I had found something to help Stella.

She is starting to drag one of her hind legs, but still gets around fairly well. We rescued her 5 years ago and will take care of her until the end with lots of love and treats. According to the vet it is not a painful condition and for that we are grateful.

Liz G. said...

Sounds like the same type of company as Guthy-Renker. I had bad problems with them when I tried Wen and attempted to cancel and send a shipment back. Fortunately I sent them a check instead of my credit card number but it was still painful and I had to threaten a lawyer on them. So I feel your pain.