BBB warns against ‘risk-free’ trial offers

BBB warns against ‘risk-free’ trial offers
The Better Business Bureau says consumers who fall for deceptive offers could unknowingly sign up for monthly shipments. (Source: KOLD News 13)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A new report from the Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about so-called risk-free trials that could turn out to be scams.

The organization released its results of a study of risk-tree trial offers for products that promise everything from weight loss, anti-aging and teeth whitening.

The companies ask you to try their products – saying they’re risk-free.

To further entice customers, the products often feature well-known celebrities that they claim endorse the product.

The consumer then pays for shipping and that’s when the BBB says things can turn ugly.

According to the study, the fine print often informs shoppers that they are given 14 days to receive, try and return the product or face further charges.

In some cases, the BBB says those extra charges can total $100 or more.

The study also found the fine print could reveal subscription traps. By accepting the offer, consumers could unknowingly sign up for monthly shipments.

The BBB calls these ads deceptive and says consumers should tread carefully when they encounter them.

They say shoppers should always read the fine print before agreeing to anything.

The BBB said it’s a growing problem – adding that its branches across the United States get complaints from consumers almost every day.

According to the study, the Federal Trade Commission said the scams have cost consumers and estimated $1.3 billion within the past 10 years.

The organization said cracking down requires awareness and help from law enforcement and credit card companies as it is difficult to track down the people behind the scams.

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