FiberThin Cortislim Scam: Protect Yourself From Dishonest Supplement Retailers!
Supplements like FiberThin and CortiSlim are usually offered with a 100% “satisfaction or your money back” guarantee. While this corporate demonstration of “confidence” in a product is appreciated by consumers, it is unusual to find such a guarantee that is actually honored.
In my experience, most are offered simply in order to “tip the balance” in favor of a purchase. Should you actually request a refund, more times than not you’ll find yourself stuck in voice-mail hell, belittled by unpleasant and uncooperative support staff, or unable to receive a response from customer service at all.
This is one of the reasons why I recommend Isatori’s Lean System 7 (reviewed here). It is simply one of the few products I know of that is retailed by an ethical company that will refund your money — no questions asked — should you be unhappy with your purchase (your purchase must be made direct in order for this guarantee to be in effect).
Lately, another high profile company has been implementing some pretty dishonest and underhanded tactics. Ever since I wrote and posted an article on the “As Seen on T.V.” product FiberThin (read the Fiber Thin review!) I’ve been bombarded with e-mails.
Seems that not only is it extremely difficult to squeeze the promised refund from the makers of FiberThin, customers are finding that they’ve been arbitrarily signed up for monthly recurring shipping and billing…
… without their consent. In other words, they are receiving a new bottle of FiberThin each month, and their credit cards are being charged accordingly — despite the fact that they did not authorize such a charge. This brings a whole new meaning to the words “scummy behavior”.
Since then, I’ve also received word that another aggressively promoted product, Cortislim is doing the same thing ( Read the Cortislim review!)
Since I originally wrote this article, the FTC has charged both the makers of CortiSlim (you can read the details of that action here) and the makers of FiberThin (you can read the details of that action here) with making false and unsubstantiated claims about their respective products.
As you can imagine, this does not speak to either the credibility or ethics of either company, and certainly makes placing an order with either company a real gamble.
Luckily, there are things you can do to protect yourself.
For “As Seen on T.V.” products, which are usually ordered by phone with a credit card, here’s what I suggest…
Make a brief note of the order for your records. In it be sure to track…
i. the time and date
ii. the exact number of product(s) you are ordering, and whether or not you will be added to a recurring billing program.
iii. the amount of your bill
iv. your operator’s first and last name and extension (if they won’t give you this, do not give them your credit card number).
v. the appropriate contact information (should you need to contact them or return the product for a refund)
vi. any other data you deem relevant
Be very wary of any company that offers a 5-7 day free trial of their product. Oftentimes this is nothing more than a tactic to obtain your vital credit card data and add you to a recurring billing program.
Click here to read my article, The 7 Day Fat Burner Free Trial Scam & Why You Must Avoid It!
For good measure, you may wish to state that you do not wish to receive products on a monthly basis. Be emphatic here — this may be important later. Writing this down may seem like a pain, but it will pay you back in spades, should you need to call your credit card company — it adds great credibility to your story.
In Canada, the U.S. and many other countries, major credit cards have what is called a zero-liability policy. This ensures that the client (you), is not responsible for any non-authorized charges to his/her credit card. If a company like FiberThin or Cortislim has signed you up to receive their product on a monthly basis (and you did not authorize this), simply call your credit card company and do a “charge-back”.
Merchants really don’t like charge-backs. If they get enough of them, they are in danger of losing their merchant accounts (i.e., their ability to accept and process major credit cards), which severely jeopardizes their business.
When faced with a charge-back, even the most uncompromising of merchants usually change their tune. And guess what?
Any time a merchant accepts a credit card online or over the phone, it is called a “card not present” transaction. Since the merchant does not have a signed credit card receipt, there is no real proof of the transaction. This makes it very hard for them to dispute a “charge-back”.
Unfortunately, you probably will not be able to process a charge-back against a company for products for which you have authorized an initial purchase, but are looking to receive a refund according to the manufacturer’s guarantee. And you will also not be able to receive a refund for recurring shipments, if you authorized such shipments. And be careful here — plenty of less than scrupulous retailers will bury your “acceptance” in such a program into lengthy user agreements and legal texts that no one ever reads.
For consumers, the best protection comes from MasterCard, which is the card I recommend you use anytime you purchase online or by phone (or any other time the merchant does not receive your signature as the result of a purchase). MasterCard tends to favor the cardholder over the merchant more so than other card companies. If you have any questions about your credit card company’s policies, please contact them directly. In the meantime, shop smart — shop safe!