Weíve all seen the multitudes of commercials and infomercials that promise to cure our everyday worries for a low, low price. The most recognizable sign of this television hard sale is the infamous 1-800 number. Many times the must-have items seem too good to pass up, but there are certain things you should know about the dreaded 1-800 products and how to avoid a potential scam.
Nothing gets our attention faster than infomercials. Even if you hate them, chances are youíve come across one or two selling a product that you were mildly interested in. With product demos and testimonials it seems that certain products, especially those in the beauty and skincare category, are just what you need. Whether itís a hair removal product, new anti-aging serum, body treatment, or hair care item, you can access it by simply dialing a number, placing an order, and having your credit or debit card charged. But the dark side of infomercials and 1-800 numbers is that some of them operate on less than ethical principles.
Never rush to the phone to order a product. As with most things in life, it is helpful to do some research beforehand to avoid a bad outcome. If there is a 1-800 product you are interested in trying go online and search for consumer reviews, product reviews, anything that will allow you to find out what otherís experiences have been. Youíll find that sometimes the most raved about items donít always get the best reviews. Go through as many websites as necessary and compare results. Are they mostly good? Mostly bad? Mixed? There are plenty of sites that specialize in notifying the public about potential scams or products that donít work like the infomercials promise. One common issue many have with ordering 1-800 products is unauthorized transactions in their bank accounts or credit cards. Many customers have reported paying for their 1-800 item, only to be charged multiple times by the company - oftentimes in amounts that are considerably more than the listed price. In order to trip up angry customers, many of these companies make it difficult for you to reach a live person on the phone. So prepare to watch your billing statements carefully. Before ordering make sure you have a customer service telephone number you can call in case money is being taken out without your permission. Some 1-800 products also have their own websites. Make sure to visit the website and read any and all fine print, especially when it comes to free trial offers or special discounts.
Want to avoid 1-800 companies altogether but still want the product advertised? These days many drugstores sell the very same items that infomercials claim are not sold in stores. There are even certain stores that only sell 1-800 products but are in no way affiliated with the 1-800 companies. That means you pay for the item at the cashier and thatís it - no free trials or possibilities of withdrawing money from your account without your permission. Should you find yourself in a bad situation with a 1-800 company, stay on top of them. Call them as often as you can until you are able to speak with a manager or supervisor. Write down the names or operator numbers of anyone you speak with from the company and monitor your bank statement to make sure they refund all the money they unfairly took out. If you still canít get the issue resolved, then contact your consumer affairs department or the Better Business Bureau.
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