Whether it is an advert on Facebook, or an email, you have no doubt seen various adverts for muscle building supplements, many of which are available for trial.
Sometimes these products are even claimed to be free trials.
Despite their impressive claims there are plenty of reasons why these offers should be avoided. Please read on to discover why trial offers are best avoided, and how to get a refund if you have fallen foul of their claims.
Reasons why you Should Avoid Trial Offers
There are numerous reasons why it is probably best to avoid signing up to a trial offer online, these include:
1. They are often Expensive
If you have been unfortunate enough to have been caught out by a trial offer you will know just how expensive they can be.
Most operate on an auto-ship scheme, meaning that once you have signed up you will continue to receive monthly deliveries.
This probably would not be so bad if the products were affordable, which unfortunately they are not. With most 2-3x more expensive than popular brands.
The initial cost will be something like $4.99 for shipping, but this will jump to over $100 in some cases at the end of the trial offer (usually 14 days).
2. Sometimes Your Delivery Doesn’t Arrive
Our website is full of comments from people who have signed up to receive a trial only to find that it never arrives.
They are still billed though, which makes this an even bigger problem.
3. Customer Support is Shady at Best
There are plenty of websites available, many of which offer no customer support. You will often find that the phone numbers and emails listed are incorrect too.
4. They are Hard to Cancel
If the contact details are incorrect how are you supposed to cancel the trial? This is a major issue that affects hundreds, if not thousands of people daily.
5. The Products are Rubbish
With dubious claims and little to no support offered by these companies how can you be sure that the product you have ordered will work as claimed.
Most of these websites that offer trial offers have almost zero ingredient information available. You could be ordering “sawdust” products for all you know.
How to Get a Refund After Signing up to a Free Trial
If you have signed up to a trial offer and are struggling not only to cancel the offer, but to get a refund too then there are certainly things that you can do.
I cannot guarantee that you will be able to get your money back, but you should not simply allow them to steal your money either.
These tips may help:
1. Make Sure You Know Your Rights
To sell online a company must follow certain rules and regulations.
Provision 7 of the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2000/2334/contents/made) shows what information must be provided by the seller. USA readers may like the following link: https://www.ftc.gov/about-ftc/bureaus-offices/bureau-consumer-protection
It is important that you read through this information, as if any of this information is missing then you are entitled to a full refund.
2. Contact the Company
The next step is to get in contact with the company.
Hopefully you will have working contact details, if not you will have to skip this step.
The reason why you should contact the company behind the trial offer is to ensure the subscription is cancelled, you most certainly do not want to receive any more deliveries of a product you do not want.
When speaking to the company you should explain why you do not want the product, and insist on a full refund. You must try to stay calm during this step.
It is likely that they will try to stall, but if you insist on speaking to a supervisor you may get a little luck.
3. Speak to your Bank
If you are unable to contact the company behind the trial then your next option is to speak to your bank.
They will likely advise that you cancel whichever card you used for payment. This step may seem drastic, but often it is the only option left available to cancel further charges.
Advise the bank what has happened, it is likely that they will be well aware of this scam so will be able to help.
Even if you have managed to speak to the company themselves it maybe a good idea to speak to your bank as well. It is better to be safe than sorry.
4. Contact the ASA and Citizens Advice
If you are based in the UK then you can submit your complaint about false advertising to the ASA online (https://www.asa.org.uk/), while the phone number for Citizens Advice is: 0345 404 0506
5. Leave Negative Feedback/Reviews
Our final suggestion is to tell everyone about your experience, your reviews may stop someone else falling for their trap.
How to Avoid These Scams in Future?
There are a few rules you should abide with if you want to avoid being scammed or ripped off when buying online:
1. Avoid Email Offers
Unless you have subscribed to a particular website or email list then you should avoid any unsolicited emails, especially those that are in your spam folder.
There is a reason why these emails are in this folder, and that is because you never asked for them.
2. Avoid Advertorials
Sometimes you will come across websites that look legitimate, but there are a few tell-tale signs that these are not the official websites.
For example, often there will be subtle changes to the logo. However, the easiest way to check if the website is genuine is by looking at the url of the webpage, which you can do by clicking the address bar of your browser.
3. Always Read the Terms and Conditions
If they are not available at all then skip the product entirely, but if they are available you should take a moment to read them thoroughly.
These T&Cs are usually found in the footer section of the website, sometimes in a small or grey font making them difficult to find.
It is important to read this page to ensure you know exactly what you are signing up for.
You will often find the return policy, money-back guarantee and other agreements in the terms and conditions page.
4. Bookmark the Website
A common issue once you have ordered a product is that you can no longer find the website you ordered from.
To solve this issue make a point of bookmarking the website. You may also want to take screenshots to be extra sure too.
5. Use your Credit Card When Ordering
There is additional legal protection offered when ordering products via a credit card.
In the UK if a credit card is used your credit card company will share equal responsibility with the retailer or trader for the goods or service supplied, allowing you to put your claim to the credit card company.
If you have spent more than £100 but less than £30,000 then you can make a claim on your credit card if something goes wrong.
For orders less than £100 you can make a chargeback claim with your credit card company.
6. Always Order from a Reputable Website
Of course there are big brands that are a good option, but you do not have to buy from Amazon or Bodybuilding.com, there are plenty of other options available too.
When looking at prospective supplement brands there are a few things you need to look for.
You will need to ensure the products work first of all, but also look for contact details, money-back guarantees and secure payments.
Again make sure to read any terms and conditions for ease of mind.
Avoiding trial offers is a great way of saving money on supplements. Often you will find offers available for buying in bulk, for example if you buy 2 you can get a third free.
Hopefully this guide will ensure you do not get ripped off when looking to buy muscle building supplements. If you stick to our rules then there is no reason why you should be.
If you have already been ripped off by a trial offer then I am sorry, I hope this guide will help you to get a refund. In future keep this guide at hand to ensure you do not fall for any well known tricks.
Please here to discover products that we would recommend, ones that are not only effective and safe to use, but also wont leave you out of pocket.