Free trials of skincare products can be tempting, but buyer beware of the small print. Most of these offers have strings attached that say things like, after 14 days your credit card will be billed X amount and in some cases it can be $100 or more. In most cases canceling can be difficult waiting on hold forever trying to reach someone and getting a refund can be even more difficult. So, here are a few tips I recommend when considering free trials.
1. Free trials should be that, FREE!! You shouldn’t have to pay anything for a trial or sample.
2. Read the “Terms and Conditions” If they are charging you anything even just shipping and handling and you are giving them a credit card number look at fine print. Usually you will have to check mark a box that says you agree to the terms and conditions make sure to read it! We are so use to seeing this now a days that its easy just to click the box and not even think twice about it. But, that is what they are counting on that you won’t read it and it could say they don’t have to refund your money or worse you might be agreeing to a subscription with no cancelation option.
3. If you are going to order use a credit card make sure its not a bank debit card and a company that offers fraud protection. Even if you agree to the term and conditions (see above) some credit card companies will remove the charge if you aren’t happy with your purchase. Always double check with your credit card company first and see if they offer this type of guarantee.
4. Google search the company!! If you do a search and nothing comes up that isn’t a good sign because a legitimate company will make it easy for you to find them. With all the bloggers out there and product testers there should be information or reviews from real people and not the claims the company is giving you.
5. Does it have a celebrity endorsement? A lot of products these days will say Dr. Oz approved this product or actress so and so uses it, etc. In most cases this isn’t true so don’t believe everything you read online question everything.
6. Does the company have a contact us page? If there is a phone number on the website take a moment and call them it could save you lots of time later. Do they answer promptly or are you on hold forever? Ask them questions what happens after the free trial? Will they charge your credit card, etc? They have to tell you the terms and conditions, but just in case ask for their full name and write down the date, time and name of the person you talked to just in case.
I know all this sounds like a pain and you are probably asking yourself is all this really necessary? After the many calls I have received from people who have been scammed I say yes in today’s world it is necessary and its scary what companies can do and its completely legal. So, make sure you protect yourself from the people out there trying to steal your money!