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Posts from February, 2009

Acai Alive – A Sneaky Scam…

Feb 06

I’m not going to link to this website because I don’t support the way they operate. I’ve seen a number of these sites on the internet. They follow almost the exact same mold, but this website took things one step further. That one step was enough inspiration for me to write a post clarifying exactly what this company is up to.

Acai Alive TimerFirstly, I notice this piece of the website. The green part flashes saying “FREE TRIAL, supplies limited”. Yeah I doubt that. Then below that, above the form asking for all of your information, there’s a countdown clock saying that if you don’t act within 5 minutes you miss your opportunity for an EXTRA discount on shipping. If you refresh the website, the timer will start back up at 5 minutes…I guess it’s not a very time sensitive offer after all.

Acai Alive Popup WindowBy this time, I’m ready to close the site because I’ve seen all the tell-tale sings of a scam. Upon closing the browser or visiting a new website, you’re prompted with this message. Are you sure you want to leave this website? To receive your last minute discount just click OK and we’ll give it to you.

Then, IF you happen to choose “OK”, you’re brought into a live chat session that looks like the below:Acai Alive Chat Window

Needless to say, there isn’t actually a live chat representative on the other end. Just a script that times the delivery of the preset message. “To get your risk free trial click here”. By this time I had been inconvenienced enough that I decided to make this site the subject of my next Acai Resource post. I’ve written about similar scams in the past, like Extreme Acai Berry and FX Supplements, and typically some fine print hunting will show that, if you don’t cancel your free trial within “X” number of days, your credit card will be billed with “X” number of dollars. I’ve seen that dollar amount as high as $79 monthly.

Well Acai Alive again presented a challenge. In the past it was easy to find what the real monthly charges would be by looking at the Terms and Conditions page on these types of sites. After searching that page, I had come up empty. It wasn’t until I read the FAQ page that I found my answer, but it was done in a very sneaky way. Under the question, “What should I do if I want to keep my Acai Alive Dietary Supplements that I’m evaluating during the trial period” the answer was posted, ” Nothing. Simply keep it and enjoy. We will automatically bill your credit card for the product. Make sure you read and understand How The Offer Works Acai Berry Oprah & Celebritiesand the return policy.” Okay, so you visit this buried How The Offer Works page and you finally learn that they will charge you $39.99 automatically as soon as your trial ends. What bothers me about this, is the REAL terms and conditions of the agreement are hidden within a FAQ page where the question itself is directed at people who want to continue using the product. No where on the homepage does it state how long the trial lasts, how are you supposed to know how or when to cancel?

Finally, the icing on the cake, they make it look as if their product is endorsed by celebrities. Oprah has had to state on her website that she is not associated with acai berry products precisely because of these types of scams using her image on their websites.

It’s really too bad this has become such a common scam, it really is tarnishing the beneficial qualities the acai berry really has, nevermind the reputation of the celebrities these programs use to their advantage.

Please contact me if you come across similar websites – I really enjoy calling each and every one of them out!

The Doctors review MonaVie

Feb 05

Chances are if you’ve heard about the acai berry you’ve also heard about MonaVie. In fact, MonaVie is how I learned about the acai berry in the first place. It’s the MLM juice network that has really taken hold across North America. It’s an expensive product to purchase, but it does have potential to generate some nice income if treated as a business. Personally, after drinking this juice, I without question experienced a boost in energy from a measly 2 ounces. The question you have to ask yourself if considering getting into MonaVie is:

  1. Are you prepared to spend close to $40 per bottle?
  2. If not, do you have the time, commitment and passion to work your own network selling MonaVie to offset your cost of drinking the product?

Acai berry weight loss misconceptions

Feb 04

ABC News Acai Berry Weight LossSusan James writes on ABCNews.com that the acai berry is leaving people ripped off, and isn’t necessarily worth the effort or investment. I tend to disagree with this article, but not because I believe the acai berry performs weight loss miracles, but because the acai berry’s benefits have been taken out of context. In comparison with other foods, the acai berry has limited research behind it’s claims. Paul Gross, PhD, does have a study comparing the benefits of the acai berry with other foods, but I haven’t come across any reputable source saying the acai berry is a great weight loss tool. Even Dr. Oz and Dr. Perricone from Oprah’s television show didn’t claim the acai berry should be used as a weight loss supplement, and they can be attributed with a large part of the acai berries adoption across America.

Back to this ABC News article. In summary, a husband and wife purchase acai berry supplements online with expectations of loosing weight within the first week. There’s no talk of what the entire diet consisted of and there’s no talk of a fitness program – I suppose the weight is just supposed to disappear? No one in the real weight loss industry is going to tell you to take a supplement and expect to notice a difference in 1 week. What I do think they would tell you is to avoid simple carbohydrates, incorporate the right nutrients into the diet, and MAYBE, just maybe they might recommend some sort of excersize program.

“Of course, it’s marketing,” said GNC franchise owner Shakil Kazi, who sells a full line of acai antioxidants. His store does not promote them as weight loss products, yet people are constantly asking for the acai berry weight loss products.

“That’s what eight out of 10 of my customers are looking for — weight loss,” he said. “We can sell anything for weight loss. And if it works even just a little, it gets a million people in the stores.”

“It’s a really good sell,” he said of acai. “Many of our customers are looking for it after they see it on television and in magazines.”

It’s humerous how America can dial into this amazing Brazilian acai berry, associate it with the “fit, healthy” reputation Brazilians have and think that a capsule/supplement version of the same berry is going to help a country loose weight. It’s marketing at it’s best and lack of research on behalf of the consumers. Acai berry has some terrific benefits, but it has to be part of a healthy, balanced diet and active lifestyle before the full benefits are really seen. Just because a person takes acai supplements before they sneak in a fast food meal for the 4th time that week doesn’t mean they’re going to loose weight!

Acai berry noted for cardiovascular health

Feb 03

Danielle Hope Hier of the Tampa Yoga Examiner noted the acai berry in the second part of her two part superfood reference guide. Among hot peppers, garlic, pumpkin seeds and pomegranate arils, the acai berry was noted for cardiovascular health, anti-inflammatory properties and high concentration of minerals and amino acids.

Part one listed lentils for their ability to lower cholesterol and high fibre content. Blueberries were also noted for their high antioxidant traits.

While it’s no surpise the acai berry is slowly building it’s credibility, it is still relatively new to the playing field in North America. In this instance it’s noted at the end of a two part superfoods reference guide behind blueberries, flax seeds and tea. The fans of the acai berry are quick to point out the ORAC score of acai berries to be higher than any food listed in this superfood reference guide. In my opinion, the fact that it’s making it’s way into an article written by a North American yoga instructor operating out of Tampa is testament to the impact the acai berry has had in North America in such a short time.

Acai of Relief Recipe by Sarah Hohn

Feb 02

Acai of Relief Recipe by Sarah HohnHere’s a great little acai beverage recipe to ward off the summer heat.

Ingredients

3 oz cachaca
3 oz acai juice (As pure as possible)
2 oz orange juice
2 oz lime juice
2 oz club soda
2 T agave nectar
2 T fresh chopped mint
mint sprig for garnish

Mixing Instructions

Combine the cachaca, acai juice, orange juice, lime juice, club soda and agave nectar. Sprinkle chopped mint with this mixture to release the full flavor. Strain and pour mixture over ice. Garnish with a mint sprig.