You’ve probably seen countless advertisements for Acai Berry products which promise you’ll lose weight quickly and easily. A lot of consumers have fallen for the claims and shelled out hundreds of dollars for products which have left their wallets lighter, but not their bodies.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has warned consumers to be wary of ads which are apparently celebrity endorsed. Many sellers promoting the acai berry scam state that acai based weight loss products have been endorsed by Oprah and other celebrities (including Rachel Ray). They offer a free trial, which buyers sign up for, and then end up being charged for the product month after month.
What are the Properties of the Acai Berry?
It’s true that the acai berry has been featured on TV shows both nationally and internationally. Purveyors of the acai berry scam point out that the acai berry fights cancer, has anti-aging properties, and promotes health and weight loss. While the health benefits of the acai berry are many, it is those promoting the acai berry scam who are really raking in the dollars.
Sales of acai berry products approached $15 million last year alone, up from only $500,000 the previous year. That’s a staggering increase! Producers of acai berry products have become extremely successful promoting their products online and through social networking sites such as Facebook. In November alone, more than 1.5 million people searched for acai berry weight loss products on Google.
How Do You Recognize a Scammer?
The BBB will not comment on the weight loss properties or other health properties of the acai berry, but they will warn people about the companies who promote the acai berry scam via misleading sales and marketing practices. Many companies are using the same model to sell their products, using celebrity endorsements, offering free trials and promising large amounts of weight loss. They suck people in with their free trials, only requesting a nominal amount for shipping; however, they take the customer’s credit card details and start sending the product out month after month, and make it difficult for the customer to cancel the automatic delivery.
The BBB at Fort Worth received a large number of complaints against one acai berry scam company, FXSupplements.com. They found that consumers were trapped by a misleading free trial, where consumers assumed they had two weeks to try the product before canceling, but the company counted the two weeks from the order date. Once the consumer was “locked in” they found themselves being billed $85.90 per month. Consumers who complained stated they found it difficult to cancel their subscriptions, sometimes calling the given number numerous times, either finding it out of service, busy or they were sent to voicemail. It was also difficult for consumers to cancel via email. Many consumers ended up canceling their credit cards to stop the regular billing.
The BBB in other areas have received complaints about other acai berry scam promoters. These companies seem to operate by offering a free product and then making it almost impossible to cancel a subscription to the product, where it’s delivered monthly until cancelled.
The BBB recommends that before purchasing any acai berry products, you should check out the seller first. If it’s an online seller, check for the BBB seal and click on it to confirm that it is legitimate. If in doubt, consumers can contact the BBB directly.
It is simple to avoid the acai berry scam by being careful who you buy from. If you do wish to try acai berry products, look for legitimate sellers who won’t offer a free trial and then lock you into a monthly contract.