So, two weeks ago I was on Instagram looking at pictures and reading about what my grandkids were up to and there was a sponsored ad for some face cream. Vita Silk face cream to be exact and Vita Silk eye serum, wow, I could look years younger and have glowing skin like the tween in the ad. (yes, I was this stupid) In all honesty I was on the market for a good moisturizer as my skin was getting really dry and nothing seemed to work. So when I read that I could get a sample of this fantastic, wonder cream for just the cost of shipping and handling of $4.95 I thought, why not? So I pulled out the old Visa debit card and signed up.
One week later the product was in my mailbox. Wow, great service. I opened the box and started using the cream and eye serum that night. Nothing fancy and after two weeks my skin looks exactly the same only it feels sticky all the time. Hmmm, maybe it’s not that fantastic.
We had gone down to the coast to visit the kids and grandkids and had a great time. On our way home we stopped for gas and my husband checked the bank account while he was filling the tank, he does this a lot, when he noticed a charge of $119.95 So he asked me what “wowtmuscle.com” was, I had no idea what he was talking about, I’d never heard of it. So I looked it up on my iPhone. It was some muscle building supplement produced in Manchester England. At this point, I figured we must have had our banking information stolen and some muscle head was using our account. When we got home I checked the order confirmation I received from Vita Silk and at the very bottom on the outside portion of the colourful email was faded, tiny print stating:
You will have 14 days from your original order date to see if ProDiet+ is right for you. If you are unhappy with the product at any time during those 14 days, you must call us at +1 855 428 2388 to cancel your subscription. You are also required to ship back the remainder of the product in the bottle postmarked no later than the 14th day of your trial period to avoid being billed for the full cost of the product. If you are satisfied with our product, then do nothing – we will bill you CA$119.95 for your initial order, and every thirty days after your initial order we will send you a new 30-day supply of our product, and automatically bill you the low price of CA$119.95.
Ok, now I’m really confused because I don’t know what ProDiet plus is either so I looked them up and they are a completely different diet supplement from the wowtmuscle crap. For starters, all I wanted was some freakin face cream and eye serum, the ones that I willingly ordered. I had no idea I was signing up for diet supplements, muscle supplements etc. So I called the bank and talked to someone manning the phone lines for the weekend and he said I had been scammed. I had to wait and call the bank on Monday morning and talk to the security division and call the company and try to cancel my so-called subscription with them and ask them to return my money, even though they probably would not give it back. Great, like we can afford to give away $120 to scammers.
That night I reported the incident to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre so they could look into these companies or company that was ripping people off. Then I fired off three emails, one to each of these companies telling them I am reporting them to my bank, Visa, the CAFC and the Better Business Bureau. Not that it will stop them, I’m sure they will just change the names again and be back in business within a day. But I had to try anyway I was so angry.
Monday morning I called the security division at the bank and talked to a gentleman that told me it was indeed a scam and they cover themselves with pages and pages of terms & conditions that no one ever reads (maybe we should) and that it would be very hard for the bank to go after the money because it will turn out to be a valid charge in the long run. So we cancelled my card so they couldn’t use it to charge any more on my account. Then he told me to call the company and tell them I was not satisfied with the product and I want to cancel my subscription and return the product for a refund. He said it’s how you negotiate with them that will get you the money or not. I told him I tried to call the number but they kept me on hold with some southern sounding guy, periodically coming on and spouting random facts, I was scared it was one of those phone scams that keep you on the line while charging hundreds of dollars a minute. He told me never to use the numbers they advertise on the ads and gave me two numbers to try that were listed for the companies themselves. He said if I couldn’t get anywhere with them to call back and they could try to dispute the charge but the bank rarely recovered money from these scammers. Wow, it’s insane how they can get away with this.
So I started with one of the numbers for wowtskin.com I was on hold with random fact guy for thirty minutes exactly before someone came on the line. I told him I had ordered this face cream and I was not satisfied and wanted my money back. He told me he was sorry but we do not give refunds OR take back any products. I said, “well that’s not what it says on your website, that I’m looking at right this minute. It says; Returns: Before returning any items please make sure to call or email our support, as they need to be informed of the change in your subscription status. We will provide you with the address of the closest shipping centre in your region. “Oh no ma’am, that is not on our website we don’t offer refunds or returns.” I told him I was looking right at it on the wowtskin.com website. Then he tells me that is not their website. So I asked him if it wasn’t their website then how did wowtmuscle.com and wowtskin.com charge me the shipping and handling on my face cream and eye serum? Then he went on a speal about how many products they sell and that each has its own website and the Vitasilk website does not offer returns or refunds. Then I asked how he can say that when there is no Vitasilk website to be found. (if you try to look for an official site you won’t find it, only sites that review Vitasilk products) Then he rambles on again about the policies and slips up and tells me that the $119.95 was a valid charge as will the $115.95 charge today for the eye serum be. I just about lost it. I said, “what? You are going to charge me another $115.95 today?” And he said, “yes ma’am for the eye serum.” I was losing here so I had to pull out all my guns and bring on the tears. I started crying and telling him I’m sick and can’t work, how am I going to pay for this…..sob…sob…sob.
Then he started to panic and said, “don’t cry ma’am, just give me a minute to talk to my supervisor, don’t cry.” I was grinning to myself while I waited for him to come back. You want to play dirty, I will play dirty. He came back right quick and said, “ok ma’am, I talked to my supervisor and she said we will cancel your subscription so you will not be charged any more money. We will not charge you for the eye serum, that is yours to keep. I will send you two email confirmations that your accounts have been cancelled and you will get no more charges to your bank. Ok, Ma’am?” I answered him all weepy like, “ok,” sniff…snifff…” thank you.” Then he throws in that the $119.95 was a valid charge and will not be returned. I threw out another loud sob and said, “ok, thank you.” And that was that.
So long story short, I’m out $119.95 for nothing but a hassle. Apparently, there are many people out there that were taken by these companies and others like it. They do not tell you that you are signing up for anything, paying a huge amount for a “sample” or “trial” offer 14 days after you get your so-called sample/trial product. They don’t use the same company when they charge your accounts. They don’t have phone numbers to call them that are valid and they will give you a complete runaround when you do finally find them. It’s disgusting that they can make millions of dollars a year screwing people over. I didn’t think I would ever get caught in a scam like this, I’m very aware of what I’m doing online and when I buy online, at least I thought I was. I will start reading terms and conditions now and all the small print before I decide to make a purchase. If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is. WOW, thanks wowtskin.com you got my $119.95 enjoy!
These are some of the companies that are scamming people out of their hard earned money, don’t let them get you:
wowtmuscle.com, wowtskin.com, Vitasilklabs.com, Agelessskincare, Youthskinforever, Prodietplus. These are only a handful, there are plenty more out there. Before you buy anything on the internet do your research. Don’t end up like me.