An Expensive Lesson

Perhaps I got a little too blase about purchasing things online. I don’t even remember what my mindset was like when I bought Advanced Final Skin Care on a ‘risk-free trial’ by paying ‘only the shipping cost’. I defy anyone to check their web page or ad and find the “clearly explained” terms and conditions that would have told me I’m becoming their customer forever.Facebook ad shows a bottle of the product and some text about a risk-free trial

This isn’t easy to confess. But I got taken, hook line and sinker. It isn’t even classified as a scam, although it should be. It’s just a really disingenuous campaign that makes it look like you can try the product for a wee charge.

So here’s what happened. I saw the ad on Facebook and it appealed to me. I have tried and purchased other things for the shipping charge only, and they’ve been legit. I got a watch and an iPhone charger that way, clean and easy. It’s a popular way for merchants to get rid of overstock.

I read over the text and decided it was worth a shot. I plugged in my credit card number and address. A couple of days later, the bottle arrived and it was no big deal. It felt like a thick moisturizer. I used it for a couple of weeks and then didn’t think too much more about it. I’m not one of those women who has a drawer full of facial products she no longer uses so I didn’t feel too bad. Then a second bottle arrived. And I knew something was up.

Long story short. I was billed twice for (gulp) I can’t say it. I was going to disclose the amount but I can’t do it! Let’s just say it’s hundreds. The credit card company was little to no help after the skin care company didn’t respond to my message (which it claims it didn’t get) telling them I wanted out of the subscription I didn’t know I was signing up for. CIBC wouldn’t block the charges because I had agreed to them by giving the company my card number. This was where I lost my cool. I’m the card company’s client, a major bank. If I want to break my word with a third party, what’s it to them? They should stay the hell out of it. But I was told that even if I cancel my card, it stays in the system to honour any agreements I’ve made. Such bullshit.

I demanded to speak to a manager at the bank and she and I conference-called the skin care company. They had no record of my previous correspondence (uh-huh) and said it states clearly on the page that this is a subscription, not a trial. (Here’s a link to the page. You tell me if it’s clear! SKIN CARE JERKS)

Yes, if it seems too good to be true it likely is. But as I mentioned, these deals do legitimately exist. I hate wasting money and I feel completely foolish. I’m also trying – in vain so far – to find the proper avenue to complain to Facebook about it. But there it is and it’s the truth. Please learn from my folly. That’s got to be worth a buck or two.

5 thoughts on “An Expensive Lesson”

  1. Have you considered either the Consumer Protection Agency or Better Business Bureaus in either country.

    1. I could look them up. That’s a good idea. But I have faint hope that there’s anything that can be done. This is ultimately, apparently, my fault. Although no one has been able to find those darn terms and conditions yet. Thanks Allan.

  2. This just makes me so mad….why can’t they just be legit and they might get real sales. Makes it bad for the legit companies….so sad. Thanks for the heads up!!!

  3. I almost got caught in this type of scam last year as well. I ordered a sample of a different skin care product for the cost of shipping and received it. Then somewhere on the web I read about the scam and found that if you contacted them within a certain amount of time you could cancel. I did this and haven’t received any additional products or credit card statements so I guess I cancelled on time.

  4. Good! It’s no fun watching wasted money go out the door, or in this case, the credit card.

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