Acai Berry Scams
There is a very fine line between quality products and products from knock-offs, and in some cases, that line is drawn by customer service. Recently, the media has covered cases where people signed up for a free trial of an acai berry-based product, decided they didn't want to continue and weren't able to cancel due to very poor customer service. We wanted to let you know that we are aware of the situation and doing our best to provide you with the highest quality in terms of acai-based products and the companies that sell them. Above all else, our number one concern is you -- our reader -- without you, we wouldn't have a purpose. So please be aware, be informed and stay healthy.
Below you will find our red flag list -- any companies found to have repeatedly violated agreements with customers -- and any information on those companies we feel is relevant to you, our reader. Please check back often for updates.
A recent article by Mc Nelly Torres of Sun Sentinel (sunsentinal.com) points out that Florida based "health food" company South Florida Nutrition, LLC has been cheating customers out of their money.
Apparently, customer service was nearly impossible to reach and when customers did get through, they were redirected to a number that doesn't exist. Here's a quote from the article:
...the Better Business Bureau has issued a nationwide warning cautioning consumers to be wary of online ads relying on celebrity endorsements — including an apparently misleading pitch featuring Oprah Winfrey — to sell acai-berry-related weight loss products after receiving complaints against companies based in South Florida, Fort Worth and Arizona.
The supplement companies have not delivered what they promised in their ads...
Similarly, NBC did a segment on SFL Nutrition, stating
Boca Raton-based SFL Nutrition makes grand claims about the acai berry supplement it markets on the Internet.
They're alleging that it's curing cancer and that it'll prevent cancer, Better Business Bureau spokesman Mike Galvin said. It's alleging that you'll have a high-energy level and weight loss. All these things are not documented with any type of research whatsoever.
Media sensationalism aside, we recognize that if the company is simply not cooperating with customers, that's cause enough for a red alert. Until recently, our website contained information on a product from South Florida Nutrition, LLC called Colon RX. We've completely removed all references to the company and its products in an effort to protect our readers from any loss of money whatsoever.
How can I prevent this from happening to me?
Our advice, of course, is to use products that have already been verified to work, along with customer service that has been contacted and successfully used for cancellations. The smartest thing to do is to use a virtual credit card number for any "trial" purchase you make. If you aren't sure what a virtual credit card number is, read this article by bankrate.com. In short, it's a single-use credit card number that allows only one payment to go through and then it expires -- no other charges are allowed to that account.
What can I do if this has happened to me?
The first thing you should do is call your credit card company and tell them to reverse the charge, letting them know about the filing with the Better Business Buraeu. Some customers have had better success with e-mailing companies for cancellations. If all else fails, we recommend cancelling the credit card being charged as a last resort. We understand this is terribly difficult for some people and a major inconvenience, but it will protect your finances and your credit record from any related damage.
Our sincerest apologies go out to those suffering emotionally and financially from these issues.