Barbara Anthony, Undersecretary of the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation
Losing weight is not an easy task. It takes hard work, diet and exercise. Many people like to think there’s a shortcut to losing weight, and there are plenty of entities out there willing to offer a solution that might be more mythical fountain of youth than legitimate weight-loss helper.
One of the latest trends in weight-loss sales is the “free” trial that is anything but free. In many cases, it comes from companies selling one of the newer fads, Acai berry-based potions.
These companies offer what they say is a “free” trial period, and if you like the product, you’ll be charged for monthly shipments. But that two-week starter pack isn’t really free. Instead, if you don’t cancel after two weeks, you get charged a full month’s cost for the trial period – sometimes $80 or more.
On top of that, you don’t even get the full 14 or 15 days to try the product. Instead, your clock starts ticking when you place your order or your order is shipped from the warehouse – not when you start using the product – shaving days off your trial period. The company grabs your credit-card information upfront to pay for shipping and handling, so it can start billing you for future shipments under the terms of agreement without notifying you.
So, while the effectiveness of most weight-loss products is highly dubious, now consumers also have to be concerned that many of these products are being offered for a “free” trial that can instead be an expensive undertaking.
If you’re buying these products on the phone or online, take the time to get all the details. Search out the terms and conditions on the company’s website, or ask a representative what the terms are. I talked with Channel 5’s Susan Wornick about this issue last week in an interview, and you can find out more by watching that Web-exclusive interview.
Chances Are, You’ve Had to Deal with One of These 5 Consumer Issues posted on Aug 14
Last month, the Consumer Federation of America published a list of their top ten consumer complaints. In it, they named many of the issues that the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulations keeps consumers informed about, ranging from auto complaints to fraud and scams. …Continue Reading Chances Are, You’ve Had to Deal with One of These 5 Consumer Issues
The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation Offers Disaster Relief Tips for Residents of Revere posted on Aug 5
The Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulations advises residents of Revere who were impacted by last week’s tornado to be cautious as they look for repair assistance and seek to file insurance claims. It is important that consumers make sure they are hiring …Continue Reading The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation Offers Disaster Relief Tips for Residents of Revere
Craigslist Scam Alert: How You Could You Be Paying Someone to Steal Your Personal Info posted on Jul 24
Over the past week, the Consumer Hotline has received two complaints about a scam on Craigslist where buyers are scamming sellers out of money and their personal information. Callers reported being scammed when trying to sell an item on Craigslist. Online buyers would offer to …Continue Reading Craigslist Scam Alert: How You Could You Be Paying Someone to Steal Your Personal Info