June 12th, 2008

New Video Reveals Diet Pill Trial Scam

This 7-minute video by Paul Crane reveals a common and sometimes deceptive online marketing tactic that could cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars if you’re not careful. If you’ve been thinking about taking a fat burner, this video is a must-view so you don’t get sucked in…

If you’ve had any experience, positive or negative, with the auto-ship plans, please post a comment and share your thoughts.

Some people tell me they think this is simply a nice, time-savingconvenience. They knew they were signing up for it (no hidden fineprint), and they had no problems cancelling.

However, others have told me they couldn’t get the pill companyto stop billing them and they eventually had to cancel theircredit cards to get it to stop!

I’m not a fan or supporter of fat burner pills in general, as I find them unnecessary and the benefits of those that do work are insignificant in the bigger scheme of things.

Underhanded marketing tactics give us yet another reason to investigate before you invest. Be sure to read the fine print.

Special thanks to Paul Crane of www.UltimateFatBurner.com for creating and sharing this video.

Train hard and expect success,

Tom Venuto, Author,
Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle

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Big Fat Lies! A Shocking Expose of the 12 Biggest Scams, Cover-ups, Lies, Myths and Deceptions in the Diet, Supplement and Weight Loss Industries!

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32 Responses to “New Video Reveals Diet Pill Trial Scam”

  • Mari

    I’ve never had any MAJOR problems ending “autoship” type things. I’ve had to listen to attempts to keep me as a customer, but in the end, they honor my request. AND I HAVE had some refunds for unused product. The biggest disappointment is that most of the products don’t meet the hype given in the ads.

  • My problem with autoship programs wasn’t with weight loss pills or programs, but I ordered a skin cream for my mother. Upon trying it, she developed an allergic reaction to it. When I called, the representative and said that my request had to be checked with a supervisor and put me on hold. Well, upon doing so, she never got back on the line. I tried calling and could never get through to anyone. They must have some sort of a call-screening mechanism in place where they know exactly who’s calling. I called their “buy” line and the phone was answered right away. Upon explaining my situation, I was placed on hold and was hanged up on, again. Running out of options, I reported this to the credit card company and my account number was changed.

  • Sam

    Thanks, more poeple should be aware of these scams. I have had problems with ending membership or autoship. If I called on time no problem, but if I missed the date, I ended up paying couple of payments before ending the deal. SOLUTION; I use virtual credit card which is offered by some banks (CITI) set the amount to $1.00 and date to 2 months, This way no one can charge automatically, they will contact you, that they are having problem charging your credit card.PS. The only item related to fat burning I have ever purchesed online was Tom’s ebook.

  • Freddy

    Auto ship ruined my life. Many of the companies never told me that a free sample will be followed by a barrage of full and outrageously priced monthlies. I am the one who cancelled credit cards, and tried to talk to both my credit card company and the supplier. My credit limit got blocked/abused by these auto shipments. I nearly lost my sanity dealing with this financial crisis.

  • Paddy

    Tom, there are two things I would like to say today.First, at 47 years old, I am proof positive you do not need fat burners, diet pills, or shmiet pills. I have been reading your blogs and simply applying them earnestly. About 2 months ago I hit the same wall I had been staring at for 30 years. But then with your information and your encouraging blogs was I able to go right through that wall! In the past 2 months I have lost almost 8 pounds of pure unadulterated FAT! And at 167 that is a lot! I originally had lost 50 but then I hit the wall. And yeah, the fat burner was with me staring at that wall but didn’t help. I could never had gone through it without you to show me the way!And second, I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart, for allowing me to reach a dream I have chased my entire life. To look in the mirror and see a 44″ chest, a 30″ waist, and veins popping all over the place … I can’t believe it’s me staring back …So … thanks for all you do Tom!! You ARE the BEST!! And PLEASE … keep doing what you’re doing!Paddy

  • frank

    I had a similiar problem with vitacost when I used to get vitamins and other supplements from them.The problem was that I had 5 items set up to autoship and they would send them out separately, charging me 4.95 to send out each item. That would be a totla of almost 25 bucks a month to ship them.When I questioned why they all couldnt be sent out together like my original order, I was told it was their policy to ship them out separately.Since I didn’t feel like letting the company make money off of shipping and handling charges, I cancelled the autoship and never have done business with them again.

  • marcia

    I didnt not have time to watch the video… but I do not need to because it happened to me. I ordered a $7.95 sample and I started getting charge a monthly membership fee. The monthly membership fee ($39.95) would allow me to order more pills for another fee.What a scam!!I immediately called the company and they told me, and showed me, that I had signed up to become a member when I ordered the product sample. Of course, that was all written in little print at the end of the second page.Fortunately, I check my credit card statements carefully every month and was able to canceled after the first month; if not, who knows how much money would have been taken from me.This practice should be stopped. Don’t they make enough money from samples that do not work? Thieves!M. Garcia

  • adel

    ordered a free trial from xxx xxx it was somehow tied to 2 other companies that supplied information or mailing lists. I looked over the information, which was only given to me after I signed up and decided it was not for me — the same day I got it. I cancelled 2 by phone (same phone number for all ) yet they told me I had to call each company individually to cancel which I did for the first two. I got the same operator, she told me I did not have any more accounts. 2 months later I found I was being billed monthly for a company I never heard of. When I called they told me I had signed up for a 3rd company and had not cancelled. I never signed up for the third company. So I called my credit card and they contacted the company and removed the charges. for the sake of brevity I left out the details of 4 phone calls etc.I have gotten other products and have had trouble several times as they ship your first order with the sample and bill at the same time so you must return in 2 weeks or less rather than a month to avoid paying for something you may not want.

  • Edna Wells

    I have had problems with autoship……it has taken alot to get them to stop sending me stuff….or I just do the free trial and then next thing I know I have been charge a big amount for a shipment I didn’t order…….they wouldn’t refund me my money back………

  • I just had this problem with Adenotrex. They sent me a bottle to review for my blog. I threw their product in the trash can because it didn’t have ingredients on the label. I won’t put anything in my body unless I know what’s in it. Period. I told them that immediately and thought it was done.Nope. They started charging me. When I tried to call – the number was only a message. When I tried to email – no response. I fought with them for months. Finally American Express threatened to shut down their merchant account and they refunded my money.Unbelievable crooks and shisters. Over the last 7 years, I’ve tried/trailed any number of products for legitimate companies. I’ve never had a problem like this.Sorry to whine in your comment box. It was a complete nightmare. I will be so much more careful in the future.

  • Jason

    I personally don’t like this style of marketing. I understand it, and I think it makes sense for the company, in many cases. However, the bottom line is that it really is designed to take advantage of people who don’t pay attention to the details. You get that first shipment and wonder why, then you have to fight to get them to stop and pay to ship back product, etc. At the very least, they should add a disclaimer or something that prevents you from ordering the trial unless you actually click or say or whatever medium it may be, that you understand that product will be shipped to you, at your expense, and that this is what you expect and want. Then they have no grounds to complain if it happens.Jason

  • Karen

    Tom,My 13 year old daughter wanted to get this:www.benderball.comand on the face of it, I didn’t think it could hurt because it was $20.91, but there was all this fine print at the end of the purchase:Kit Includes: Bender Ball, Bender Method Manual, and two Bender Method workouts. Starting in 30 days, and then every other month, you’ll receive two new workouts at a special reserved price of $19.99 per month plus $6.99 shipping and handling, charged to the same credit card you are using today. You can cancel at any time by calling customer service, and Leslee’s DVDs come with our 30-day money back guarantee.I don’t want to deal with the hassle of canceling something like that and then went and researched it on the internet further and found people blogging, posting videos on youtube, etc., about how cheap the product was but how they set you up for repetitive billing and you have hell canceling. Which then led me down the rabbit trail to an even worse product and ‘vitamin’ scam:www.easycurves.comWhich has this fine print at the end of the purchase:Complete Easy Curves KitKit Includes: Easy Curves, Guide to a Sexy Bustline including 10 Secrets to Looking You Best, and 30 day supply of Essential Boost for Women supplement. Starting in 30 days, you’ll receive a fresh two-month supply of Essential Boost for Women every 60 days for just $19.99 per month plus $6.99 shipping and handling, charged to the same credit card you are using today. You can cancel at any time by calling customer service, and it comes with our 30 day money back guarantee.And the same story… more problems with trying to cancel the vitamins.Both products don’t give one the option to just buy the product by itself, whether it works or not or is a cheap item. But if anything gets anyone moving and doing something, is it so bad if it’s only 20 bucks? Is my philosophy. But it’s not just 20 bucks.So I showed all this to my daughter about how it isn’t ‘real’, why it’s a scam, and if you want real results good old fashioned workout exercises to develop those muscles already exist, you just have to do them.There is a sucker born every minute. Obviously, I didn’t purchase either product, but there are a whole lot of info-mercial ‘evergreen’ products out there for fitness that seem to be part of the same scam if you look around.BTW – my personal trainer is a huge fan of yours and everything you are preaching and practicing is right on the money.Thanks,Karen

  • Patrick

    Tom,Thanks for the heads up on this type program. I signed up for a free trial from FRS energy drinks and discovered after going back and re-reading the details today that they also had an “auto ship” program that I had inadvertently enrolled myself. I appreciate the “no BS” manner in which you present your information and have gained much from reading the BFFM program.Thanks,-Patrick

  • Colleen

    I have never had a big problem with membership things before. The only automatic membership i’ve ever signed up for was with Gevalia (for cheap coffee pots) and canceled as soon as it arrived.The only time I had any difficulty was when a carrafe arrived broke, so when they sent a new one, they also sent my membership coffee and charged me, but once I explained, they let me keep what they sent me and didn’t bill me.I have never done business with any online or over the phone drugs. I don’t trust any of them to begin with. Anyone who tells you that there is something wrong with you unless you take this pill or that pill (except for GOOD doctors who know your circumstances) isn’t someone to give money to. There will always be something wrong, someone better, newer drugs on the market. You just got to be you and be content within yourself.

  • vern teachout

    I have not had problems becuse I simply will not order anything auto ship. I will try a free trial product and it it’s as good as they say I would reorder but when it says auto ship I feel it is just a scam and just wont order in the first place.

  • Bear

    I too have had to cancel credit cards and pay large prices after being sucked in with this marketing tactic! best to steer clear of these autoship products all together!

  • Amber

    Hi Tom,Thanks for sharing this info. It seems they are everywhere. Last year I ordered the free stop smoking program called ciggarrest. It was supposed to be free. except for the shipping and handleing, which was charged to my credit card. OK, Then i get another shipment and mybank statement has a charge for $300.00 to the company! What?!?! I called and got their answereing service that is a recording of some woman saying,”We know quitting is hard, just hang in there,OK?” so i had to call the purchase line to get information on what the bill was for. The product was a two month supply at $150.00 a month, billed in advance of course.The next one I noticed is the Try Bare Minerals make-upline on T.V. I tried to order but backed out when they told me I was going to be on an auto ship program. So it’s not just the diet pills, the scam is every where.

  • smantha

    I’m not sure quite yet, but i recently signed up to get a free trial of a diet supplement and It hasn’t even come in the mail yet. I ordered it over a week ago now, like 8 days. I’ve ordered free trials and other supplements before this one, and they were shipped quickly. It makes me wonder if the delay is part of the scam, like pauls video said. I thought it was a scam because i didnt receive the free trial shipment at all, so I called to cancel the most recent one, but I havent gotten any confirmation of whether my card will be charged. I might have to cancel my card an open a new one. I’m not sure yet. The company is called Nitetrim.

  • Karen

    I ordered WuLi (not sure of the spelling) weight loss tea – you know, as seen on Oprah etc. etc. Well of course it was on an autoship program which to the company’s credit, was easy to cancel. HOWEVER, by signing up for a trial supply of the weightloss tea, I unknowingly also signed up for access to some website that cost $19.95 per month. Now this “offer” was buried some four webpages into WuLi tea’s website. So yes, it was there in the fine print but I am willing to bet that 8 out of 10 customers did not see this expensive “offer” and like me, paid for access to a weightloss website. I was not reimbursed and finally cancelled after $19.95 had been charged twice to my account.

  • David

    Yes, I’ve had this problem with companies of all sorts — especially with “blank-of-the-month” clubs for books, movies, music, etc. It’s easy to join — nearly impossible to quit.Also had experience with ordering one product at special offer, then being shipped 10 of them and billed for them on my Visa card. These abuses make customers leery of ordering anything on the internet or joining any ongoing club/enterprise/ shipping situation.–David

  • George

    Dear Tom,I am a naturopath and osteopath so I get these requests all the time from people on the multilevel bandwagon. I hate it when they contact me and I hate the concept so I have nothing to do with them.I also feel it’s unethical for me to try to push things onto my patients. If patients want to loose weight I give them their blood type diet and get them moving and motivate them to do activities that they also enjoy.However, I’m a great believer in fish oils, magnesium (Australian soils are poor in this mineral), antioxidants and coQ10.That’s my experience in a nutshell.Yours sincerely,George Stylian

  • Eileen C

    Thank you for this.. sadly, I was pulled into Jane Seymour’s facial treatment plans and even after I cancelled my account they continued to send the kits so I had to call them and then go to the post office and send them back and still I haven’t had my money returned to my Visa.Eileen

  • Ben

    Thank you very much for enlightening me on this scam. I am only 15 so i haven’t encountered this problem yet, but i think they should be teaching more of this kind of thing in schools! Just general life and internet skills and precautions. What good is getting great grades and a good job learnig science or sports or law etc if people lack the knowledge to prevent themselves getting scmmed and loosing chunks of their income anyway?(I don’t know if any of you have watched “the real hustle” on TV, but through scams these guys make hundreds of pounds an hour. Once they conned someone out of an expensive car in 10 minutes!)

  • Donna

    yes i have had several bad experiences with these so called “autoship” programs….one with diet pills and one with this chinese wu long wt loss tea and both have not refunded my account even tho i sent back unopened packages return to sender,,,, i will not do this ever again!!!

  • Stacy

    Tom,It was my experience that Beach Bodies does the same thing. When you order the “free” video, you are signed up for auto shipments and are billed until you can get it stopped. It happened to me.Stacy

  • Seth

    I just listened to your videol.One suggestion (for someone who wants to try something without getting stuck in a program) is a “single-use credit card number” that a number of credit card banks offer. The charge goes on your credit card, but the account is immediately canceled after a single charge.Seth

  • Umut

    Tom,I want to acknowledge you for your integrity and what you bring to the fitness field. This video about the dangers of signing up for those free trial fat burner subscriptions has been very insightful. It’s nice to know there is someone out there looking out for our best interests. Thank you for being who you are.Umut”The point is to understand.”.. –Albert Einstein

  • Gemma

    unfortunetely I had always been sucked in witht the pink patch with no success, it is just a plaster from al i can see, so I am off to cancel this and wil refrain from these scams from now on. X

  • Chuck

    I have not even thought of going the supplement path. I have really worked at learning the biochemical and physical aspects of the body andI agree 100% with you on energy in vs energy out.Keep up the good work.100% effort is just a good start!Chuck

  • Debbie

    Good video – thanks!!! You always have such useful info for us – I have really benefitted since signing up for your newsletters. I look forward to the next newsletter!

  • Brien Malone

    That video was right on the money – and it is a good rule of thumb for any product.If you do see something on TV or in a magazine that you’ve just got to try, consider getting a “reloadable debit card” to use specifically with your order. These are pre-paid visa cards with no credit limit – so deceptive retailers can only take what you put in.Reloadable debit cards are available from most banks. Here is a financial institution locater on the Visa website:http://visa.via.infonow.net/locator/gprc/

  • This is a great video.Thanks for sharing it with us!

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