At some point in your life, you’ve probably heard the phrase “If it’s free, it’s for me.” An interesting concept, this is. These days, between rapidly inflating prices and an overall disregard for the common consumer, this phrase seems to be taken to the extreme by both the consumer and the retailer. From the consumers stand point, who doesn’t want something for free. Why pay for something when there is a plethora of websites, TV and radio ads offering a FREE trial. A FREE product. A FREE pain in the you-know-what. The safer phrase to live by is by far, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch”. This quote is used to explain that it is impossible to get something for nothing.
Some consumers see the price of e cigarettes and go into sticker shock. Because e-cigarettes are a newer commodity and their value is not readily known by the public. Paying $39.99 (or more) for a kit with small pieces that you don’t completely understand seems outlandish and off they go on the search for a “better deal”. Others simply want something for FREE and are willing to give out all kinds of information, just to get the feeling that something was free. You’ll also have people that “just want to see how they work”. Regardless of the reasoning behind it, you’ll be in for a rude awakening if you sign up for one of the FREE e-cigarette trials that seem to be literally popping up everywhere.
Before I started writing this, I was like many others out there; clueless when it came to these “scams”. I’ve never employed the mentality that you can get something for nothing, but I was unaware of exactly how deceitful these companies are and the outright lies they will tell you, just to get your credit card information locked in.
Here’s how this free e cigarette trial scam works. First, they will have brightly colored, attractive advertisements full of happy people enjoying their products. It will tell you that you can get a free e-cigarette when you enter some details. Then they’ll let you know that this amazing product is 100% free…all you have to pay is a nominal shipping charge.
If you’ve made it this far into the ad and think that a top of the line, wonderful e-cigarette for $0.00 plus $4.95 shipping and handling is a great deal you cannot pass up…please keep reading. Something that sounds too good to be true IS too good to be true. There are strings, loopholes and out right omissions in some cases that will allow these companies to charge you unreasonable amounts of money. The small print will tell you that you’ll be charged a large some of money on a regular basis if you don’t cancel your “free trial” within a period of time that is usually so short, or sometimes not even indicated.
After you complete the order, you may (or may not) receive your kit. If you actually receive a product from this company, you’ll find the e-cigarette is extremely low quality, may work badly or not at all and may possibly be a “refurbished” product from a customer who had sent theirs back.
Don’t expect good customer service. As a matter of fact, in most cases there is little to no customer service. Now that you’ve figured out that you have in fact been duped and you want to send back this subpar product…You’ll give the company a call to cancel your trial and 9 times out of 10 you will either get bounced from automated system to automated system or you won’t get to speak to anyone at all. If you DO get to speak to an actual person, you will get a story about restocking fees and will most likely only get back a portion of the money you’ve been charged. If you are granted a refund at all. Most of these scams will charge your credit card even before the trial is expired and just simply won’t answer your calls.
Signing up to receive a FREE e cigarette trial might seem like a good idea…but it can and most likely will end up costing you much more time and money than you ever imagined. My best advice would be to do some good research on e-cigarettes themselves and be willing to pay for a starter kit that will function correctly from a company that will give you proper customer service and only charge you for products you want to purchase.