“FREE TRIAL!” Baloney!

What a kick it is to hear about a ‘Free Trial!” Nothing beats getting something for free. What a deal!  The ones that seem to be most prevalent (please don’t make any assumptions here) are products for erectile dysfunction, new magical health pills that make you healthy and pretty with no wrinkles, credit protection services and free trials for magazines or newspapers for 30 days. FREE!  You can’t beat that.

Well, turns out you can.

Each of these free trials require submitting a credit card. The credit card number, name on the card, expiration date and the secret number on the back (unless it’s American Express which has the secret number on the front) all must be processed so you can get the “Free Trial.”

Then things get a little more complicated.

Here’s the way it goes after you sign up for the “Free Trial.” The person you talk to after you call the 800 number for the ‘Free Trial’ lets you know that they are going to need your credit card information. Your immediate response is “why is that ma’am?  Your ad says that this is a ‘Free Trial.”

Then they tell you the only reason they need the credit card is for an internal, metric processing dynamic that is aligned along a path of linear mechanical requirements (or some such BS) for their operation and in no way, means the charge card is going to be used. BUT here is what the fine print says:

the charge card WILL be engaged after your ‘Free Trial’ comes to an end for the next 90-day supply.

Unless, of course, you don’t want to continue with the product.

Here’s my bet:

If you get or receive a free trial, and you have supplied the company with a credit card, and you don’t get in a street fight with a rabid Pit Bull in your effort to refuse the shipments for the next 90 days, you can have a free trial for life on this website.

If you try to cancel the ongoing subscription after a ‘Free Trial’,  you are going to get into a battle that’s harder than canceling service from aol.com or Spectrum or getting a refund from Delta after the plane lands in the wrong city. AND if you have received the ‘Free Trial’ you can bet that one of the conditions of the ‘Free Trial’ is that you agree to purchase the product for a minimum of 90 days, or some such number.

That’s called fine print. 

Just another ploy in today’s festival of tricking, fooling, misleading, deceiving, outwitting or hoodwinking the customer. God forbid anybody ever creates a real dialogue with the customer. Welcome to America’s Customer Service Disaster.  Everything is free!  Closing costs, erectile dysfunction pills, non-aging creams, magazines, credit services and even cable service for 1.5 minutes.

What a Deal!

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