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Posts in ‘acai berry scams’

Avoiding acai berry scams

Feb 09

It’s unfortunate to have witnessed the flurry of questionable acai berry products that have come to market recently. When this website was first launched there was a half dozen companies selling acai berry extracts and other products that included the acai berry amongst other ingredients. Over the past 2 years the market has been flooded with hundreds of acai berry products that claim to help with weight loss, protect from illnesses, etc etc. While the benefits of antioxidants are numerous, the majority of acai berry products you find online today have no science supporting their claims.

Considering the majority of comments I receive on this website are from people complaining about unexpected charges being applied to their credits cards, I figured it would be a good idea to cover just the basics of what to watch out for to avoid being the victim of the latest acai berry scam.

  1. Check with the BBB. Those who have already purchased a product or started a ‘free trial’ are likely to visit the Better Business Bureau website to post their complaints.
  2. Take the product name, add the word “scam” to it, and perform a Google search. Chances are if the company uses questionable tactics, there will be hundreds of websites warning against the scam.
  3. Better judgment – many of the acai berry scam websites use pressure tactics to lure you into a quick decision – pay no attention to countdown timers or pop-up messages that say there are benefits to buying now as opposed to tomorrow. Make sure you read the fine print carefully. One of the easiest ways to save yourself some drama is to look for a contact number, sitting on hold for a long time or being forwarded to a call center that has to ask you which product you’re inquiring about is a bad sign.
  4. Visit your local health food store – products are often cheaper online than in a health store, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take note of some brands your local health store carries. These stores generally do their due diligence when selecting products to carry. It’s just one more filtration system you can use to save yourself the hassle of sifting through hundreds of acai berry products that all claim to do similar things.

Every time I login to this blog I approve more comments from people that have become victims of acai berry scams, which is really unfortunate as I believe the health benefits of the acai berry in a proper extract or quality product can be very real. The age old adage holds true, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Oprah claims trademark infringement against acai berry products

Sep 20

Chances are as you browse the web you’ve been exposed to acai berry ads. Those ads have appeared on this website, and as I’ve witnessed, thousands upon thousands of other websites. There’s no argument that the acai berry seems to have some astonishing health benefits, and that good reputation can go a long way. That reputation definitely received a strong boost from Oprah and Doctor Oz when they featured the acai berry as a super food. This act led to a number of acai berry products to use their image and message within their marketing materials without the proper permission. This has led to Oprah and friends suing a number of acai berry product companies, and specifically, some of the marketing companies that promote their products. See Oprah.com for the official statement.

Oprah has every right to defend her corporate image. No company should claim or suggest that Oprah supports the benefits of their product. Oprah supports the acai berry as a food, she doesn’t support every product on the face of this planet that might happen to contain the acai berry.

A message to the consumer – just because you see a familiar face on a product doesn’t mean the product is “better”, and in this case, it doesn’t even mean the celebrity is aware of the product itself!

RezV Elite – a familiar scheme

May 26

RezV Elite is a supplement containing the acai berry and resveratrol, a substance found in red wine that is currently undergoing a wide variety of studies. Some of these studies find that mice subjected to resveratrol live longer, other studies show signs of resveratrol preventing prostate cancer. But I’m here to write about this particular RezV Elite product, not resveratrol in general. Learn more about resveratrol and acai berries here.

Upon visiting RezV Elite’s website I instantly noticed some familiar design styles that I’ve noticed on other acai berry scam websites which I’ve written about in the past. Identical color schemes, and even some of the same buttons. They all use similar claims, they promote a free trial where you only pay for shipping. What they don’t advertise very clearly is the fact that if you don’t cancel within 14 days, you will be charged a more significant amount for that trial bottle + every month thereafter. In ResV Elite’s case, that amount is $79.95. Of course, you have to look through their terms and conditions, found through a small link at the bottom of their website to learn the true cost.

Now, I have no issue with free trial offers, however, I have received numerous emails through this website from people who have tried similar free trial offers, and when they attempt to cancel, no one picks up the phone on the other end. I’m not saying RezV Elite is the same as these other companies, but judging by the look of the website and the structure of the offer, it’s just so similar I would expect it’s run by the same group or company.

If you followed the previous link, you will see that there’s no shortage of these types of scams out there. In fact, they pop up so quickly I simply can’t keep up. I’ve received complaints about Dr. Acai Skin Care where the trial never even showed up, but the credit card was billed. I’ve received complaints about Acai Alive, Vital Acai…the list goes on. The problem is a lot of people are earning an income from promoting these types of products. Feel free to peruse this article about how affiliate marketers are benefiting from promoting these scams.

All in all, be careful, read the fine print, and the old cliche lives on – if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.

Acai bery scams from a new perspective

Mar 30

I have received a number of Emails from visitors to acairesource.com that clicked on Google Ads that brought them to a website promoting acai berry weight loss products. Many of these programs offer a trial at a very cheap price, often just charging for shipping for the first bottle. However, after the trial period ends, if you don’t get in touch with the company, they will start billing your credit card automatically. The problem I have with these sites is that they bury the information about automatic credit card charges deep within the site and, more often than not, don’t answer their phones or emails. I’ve seen automatic charges range from $40 to $90, and there seems to be hundreds of websites promoting similar products with similar payment schemes. I’ve looked into blocking these types of sites from acairesource.com Google Ads, but there seems to be new sites every day.

Now, it sounds as if the FTC is cracking down on a number of these websites, which has sparked some controversy. From my perspective, I don’t support these “scams”. These sites often use celebrity figures, Oprah is common, and use false testimonials about the performance of the acai berry supplement. Any company that hides the true cost of their product and makes false claims about their product I consider a scam, simple as that. BUT, there are a number of Internet marketers making a killing from selling these products, and they’re screaming “accountability falls on the consumer”.

There’s a great conversation going on over at Shoemoney’s Blog talking about whether the FTC should be stepping in or whether it’s up to the consumer to make a smart decision. Keep in mind, Shoemoney is an affliate marketer himself, and many members of his audience are as well. Shoemoney’s thoughts lean towards placing the accoutability with the consumer, stating:

DO YOU REALLY THINK YOU CAN LOOSE 50 LBS IN A MONTH FROM DRINKING BERRY JUICE AND WASHING OUT YOUR COLON YOU FRICKIN RETARD.

Now I respect Shoemoney and follow his blog fairly closely. He’s good at what he does and has helped countless affiliate marketers make a better living. But I disagree with him on this point. If you can’t reach a company to cancel your acai berry trial by the methods provided on their website, you simply can’t hold the consumer accountable. None the less, every acai berry scam website that has been reporting to me has, somewhere, reported their true monthly costs and that the customer will be billed automatically after a certain period of time. This information doesn’t always exist where you might expect. Sometimes it’s in the terms of service, sometimes it’s in FAQ sections. In fact, one time I saw it in a FAQ page under “What do I do if I want to continue the trial?” – since the acai berry has no scientific proof of helping with weight loss, obviously the majority of consumer’s aren’t going to want to continue their trial, and won’t click on such a link. However, this was the only place on the entire website that advertised the true cost.

Again, there’s no shortage of acai berry scams, and covering each and every one of them would become a full time job. I’ve written about a few acai berry scams here, but make sure you dig deep when making online purchases.

Acai Resource on Facebook…

Feb 13

I’ve received no shortage of correspondence about people frustrated about ordering free trials and being unexpectedly billed later on, hence the new category on the blog titled “acai berry scams”. However, the blog format isn’t ideal for open conversation, so I’ve created a Facebook group which you can join to share your experiences or warn others about certain acai berry scams.  Join here and post your thoughts today!