Realtor Vanity - I Fell For The Acai Berry Scam

By
Real Estate Agent with Briggs Freeman Sotheby's International Realty

The never-ending struggle for many of us to maintain that "healthy physique" has become so much more prevalent in the last few years whether its age, society or career-driven influenced.  Even more so, I believe, because I live in Dallas do I feel the pressure to be pressed, starched and wrinkle free.

Like some, I could stand to lose a few pounds.  Wouldn't that skirt lay a little smoother if it didn't have to cross Pike's Peak to get to the hemline?  What better method to try then the new - highly publicized - Acai Berry.  Afterall, if Oprah endorses it, it must be great!

It might be.  And there's no better way to try something than with a FREE trial sample.  Just $3.95 in shipping and handling and you have 14 days to make up your mind - right?

Yes, I did read the fine print that says, "You have 14 days to cancel without further obligation.  Otherwise, on the 15th day, your credit card will be billed for a complete 30 day supply at $81.39.  To cancel future purchases, you must notify Customer Service at 1-877 . . ."

Diligently, as any "good" Realtor would do, I made note of the name, number and address of Customer Service and proceeded to provide my credit card number for the shipping and handling of my FREE trial of Acai Berry.  I was so excited, I think I lost 5 pounds just in the anticipation of its arrival.  After all, Oprah endorses it, it must be great!

Exactly 10 1/2 days later, my package arrives.  Knowing I only have 3 1/2 days to draw a conclusion as to the potency of this product, I immediately pop 2 of the tablets into my mouth before I even shut the mailbox door.  The tablets were chewable and had a fantastic "berry" flavor.  But, that wasn't the point.  Would they work?

It took me 24 hours to realize, I'd been scammed.  I pick up the phone, dial the numbers I had so diligently made note of to cancel . . . busy.  And, it was busy every time I dialed it for the next 24 hours.

I pulled up the FREE trial information to see if I could find a different number to contact - no.  So, I signed up for "another" FREE trial using a different name, email and address.  Oddly enough the same disclosure information displayed . . . but with a different phone number.  I dialed it . . . busy.

Now, it was a mission.  There was no way that I was going to be scammed and pay $81.39 for this crap of an error.  I'm a Realtor.  I'm "smarter" than this.  After signing up more than 20 times under various fake alias names and each time receiving a different phone number, I gave up.  There was no time to write them, I would be billed the next day.  So, I subsequently had to cancel my credit card to avoid the charges.

I felt vain and stupid for having ordered it in the first place and defeated for falling for the scam.  Only until I contacted the consumer advocates, bureaus and Oprah.

After all, if Oprah endorses it, it must be great!

 

Comments (10)

Anonymous
The same thing is happening to me!!

I just realized Ive been scammed by Acai. I don't know what to do I'm scared. Do I have to cancel my credit card? What do I do?? How did your situation end up?

Nov 02, 2008 05:04 PM
#1
Lisa Good
Briggs Freeman Sotheby's International Realty - Argyle, TX
Lisa Good

Sorry to hear about another "victim" to this scam!  I'm afraid your best bet is to cancel the card!  I did!

I called the cardholder customer services and warned them of the charge and told them I wanted it blocked.  They informed me that while it might work on THIS first occurrence, vultures like this will try to re-charge in another month and are usually successful unless you've blocked them again!

It's a pain - especially if you have other automatic charges coming through - but worth it to save all the money and hassle of fighting these guys.

"Good" Luck!

Nov 03, 2008 12:57 AM
Anonymous
Acai Scams

Hi,

Since you have cancelled your credit card can the company still charge you and when they are unsuccessful, send it to collections?!? I am so worried!

Nov 07, 2008 03:31 PM
#3
Anonymous
Brad

I work for a major bank and file these claims all day long.. It is pretty bad especially when customers

yell at the bank when it is these scammish companies doing this to regular people.

If you use your debit card, block it right away. If the charges are pending, you will have to wait for that charge to post if you file a claim with the bank. Make sure you attempt to call the merchants to cancel/get a cancellation#. also if you can not reach anyone, then make sure you notate dates and response each time you called.

if you have any questions, claim - related, you can email me at bradscorey@yahoo.com

Dec 03, 2008 02:00 PM
#4
Anonymous
Mike

I too was scammed.  I opted out on paying $3.95 S/H but a popup said I could get the 14 day free trial for $1.00 S/H.  I took the bait.  Before I even received the 14 day trial supply. I was charged $29.95 for Fit-Fac & $89.31 for a months supply.  My question is, who do we contact in the USA who will find these people, shut them down & throw them in jail.  I have probably lost my $120.00 but if I knew who to contact, I would continue contacting these people until they found the scammers & shut them down.  My $120.00 will be well spent if I hear that the scammers are USA citizens & all of them are going to jail.  If the scammers are from another country, then it probably will be hard to ever get them jail time.  If you know who to contact, please e-mail me.  Thanks.  Mike

Dec 05, 2008 12:23 PM
#5
Anonymous
Jo

My mother called the same number she'd called to order the pills.  She told them that they were making her "deathly ill."  They provided her with a correct cancellation number then! 

Dec 07, 2008 10:27 AM
#6
Anonymous
Susan

Hey folks, I didn;t do my due dillegence and I ordered the free trial and now they have charged my cc for over $180 in 10 days.  I had to cancel the credit card because there is not a working customer serivce number out there to even cancel this thing!!!  I love acai berry and think its a great product...but just go to your local nutritional store and get it.  Nothing is ever free and now its cost me so much time and money that I don't know if I will ever get back.  All over a free trial.

Dec 15, 2008 11:43 PM
#7
Anonymous
First Time Scammed

I ordered this pills like everyone else. After I received the pills in the mail I called to cancel the free trial.  One week after canceling I am being charged $78.81 (for what)??? I only received one bottle of pills in the mail. There was no fine print of this $78.71 issh..plus I had cancelled my membership way befoe the 14 days was up. I have been on the phone trying to dispute these charges with these people and I am told either the computers are down, there is no manager available to spea, I'm on hold forever. THreating thses people dont help either. My bank account is overdrawn $78 and I call to get a credit..I am told the credit was declinted. What a lotta bulll. Has anyobody gotten their money back from these scums.

Mar 03, 2009 09:06 AM
#8
Acai Berry
Tyrone, NY

I work for a major bank and file these claims all day long.. It is pretty bad especially when customers yell at the bank when it is these scammish companies doing this to regular people. If you use your debit card, block it right away. If the charges are pending, you will have to wait for that charge to post if you file a claim with the bank. Make sure you attempt to call the merchants to cancel/get a cancellation#. also if you can not reach anyone, then make sure you notate dates and response each time you called.

 

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Apr 24, 2009 06:03 PM
Anonymous
Lynda Pitsakis

Yes it is posible to get your money back. this scam is happening worldwide, I live in the UK and had it happen to me in July, signed up for both Acai berry and Life Cleanse. I found some help from someone else and through persitence have managed to get a refund. They hope you will lose patience and make it as difficult as possible. The telephone lines in UK are just a call centre with highly trained staff that will not put you through to a supervisor. Treat the call centre staff with courtesy, they are only doing a job and you need to get them on your side so they can mark your order and "escalate" it. It takes time but plod on, you will eventually get an e-mail, fairly standard format, reply to this and keep on restating your case, fraud by them etc don't give up. Its taken me 6 weeks of endlessly repeating myself but finally got a refund today.

Aug 27, 2009 10:13 AM
#10