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Posts in ‘acai berry scams’

VitalAcai – yet another sneaky scam

Feb 11

Back on February 6 I wrote a post about AcaiAlive, a website using various tools to convince you to try their “free trial” that was an autoship program in disguise. There’s no shortage of these types of offers, but the way I stumbled across VitalAcai today takes the “misleading” score to a new level.

A website by the name of AcaiBerryMD released a press release on PRWeb stating that:

…features the latest news, facts and nutritional updates about acai berries. Contains free reports and relevant, updated information about the acai plant and the acai berry fruit to help the general public better understand the nutritional benefits of acai berries.

Okay, so I’ve never heard of the acai palm tree described as a plant, but none the less I was excited to peruse the website, it seemed I might find some wortwhile information. With a name like Acai Berry MD I haphazardly presumed I could trust the website. However, on the website I quickly find a “Try Acai berry Free! (While supplies last)” link, which links to VitalAcai. VitalAcai fits the exact mold AcaiAlive uses…right down to the limited discount on shipping and the subtle page explaining the $85.84 dollar charge that will be incurred on your credit card if you don’t cancel your trial in time.

Lesson? Even with an official looking press release and a seemingly reputable source supporting the product, what you see isn’t always what you get.

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!

FX Supplements and Central Coast Nutraceuticals called out

Jan 05

I hate to post two negative posts in a row, but a press release titled “Weight-loss Berry Claiming Oprah Endorsement Makes Wallets Slim and Consumers Angry Warns BBB” from the Better Business Bureau caught my attention today. As stated in the release:

Better Business Bureau is warning consumers to be wary of online ads relying on celebrity endorsements to sell acai-berry related weight loss products. BBB has received thousands of complaints from consumers nationwide who thought they were signing up for a free-trial offer of acai berry weight loss products that were supposedly endorsed by Oprah, Rachel Ray and other celebrities; in the end, the free trial cost them, month after month.

FX Supplements and Central Coast Nutraceuticals were two companies called out in the press release, but it sounds as if there’s no shortage of distributors playing this game, some of which have already come to my attention and been written about on this site. Some people have had to cancel entire credit cards to stop the charges, as no one answers at the phone numbers provided on the websites.

Regardless, the next post will be a positive one. Afterall, the only reason these companies are succesful in selling their products is because of the buzz surrounding the acai berry. And the only reason the acai berry has built this kind of buzz is because it does indeed have a wide range of health benefits.