In an upcoming episode of the consumer affairs programme BBC Watchdog, Anne Robinson and her team of investigators are planning on exposing the Raspberry Ketone free trial offers currently scamming thousands of innocent consumers both here in the UK and further afield.
What does this Raspberry Ketone trial scam involve?
This trial scam has been around for a while now, and has been used in the past using other products such as Acai Berries.
What the scam involves is an enticing advert being shown on Facebook or similar website, often with a celebrity endorsement (we have seen adverts with Jennifer Saunders, Natalie Cassidy, Lorraine Kelly, Vicky Pattison and even Aussie actress Rebel Wilson).
This links to a website offering a trial of the product, seemingly for just a small amount of money (to cover the cost of P&P).
Unfortunately the true cost of this trial offer has been hidden away from you in the terms and conditions, which usually states that once the trial has concluded you will be charged the full purchase price for the product that usually costs a lot more than it should.
To make matters worse signing up for the trial also allows them to send further monthly packages along with more extortionate charges.
These trials are notoriously difficult to cancel, with reports from those unfortunate enough to have signed up claiming that the companies make various claims to avoid cancelling accounts.
- Saying their user database is down
- Not being able to find the buyer account
When is this episode of BBC Watchdog going to be shown?
This episode of BBC Watchdog is planning to be shown Wednesday, July 2nd at 8pm on BBC1.
The episode will be available to view on BBC iPlayer too for a week afterwords too incase you miss it.
Please leave a comment below with your views on the episode and the scam in general.
What do we suggest?
If you have been unfortunate enough to have signed up for one of these trial offers then the following tips may help you to get a refund:
#1 – Cancel the contract
The first thing you should attempt is to cancel the contract to the company you originally signed up for.
To find out their contact information you may have to read the terms and conditions of the offer you signed up for. This is often in a small font at the bottom of the original product website.
#2 – Find out your rights
For any purchase online there are certain rules and regulations that must be adhered too. Provision 7 of the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2000/2334/contents/made) shows what information must be provided by the seller.
If anything is missing from the original offer then you will have the necessary ammunition to get a refund.
#3 – Contact the company
Using the contact information you have researched try to contact the company to request a refund. Often just explaining your circumstances will help get a full or partial refund.
Unfortunately some of these companies will try their hardest not to give a refund, with some not even answering emails or phone calls. If this is the case with the offer you signed up for then it is time to move onto #4.
#4 – Contact your bank
If you are unable to contact the company behind the scam you should contact your bank. At the very least they should be able to cancel any further payments being made.
If you are lucky you they may even be able to get your money refunded.
#5 – Cancel your bank account
If all else fails your last course of action would be to cancel your bank account. This may seem extreme but the inconvenience of opening a new account is surely better than being overcharged for a product that you do not want.
#6 – Leave negative reviews
To avoid anyone else signing up for a similar trial offer you should make sure to tell everyone you know what has happened to you.
It may not help you get your money back, but at least you will know that you have tried to expose this offer for what it really is.