It looks like our “friends” in the diet business selling the infamous Acai Berry “diet” plan are at it again, running links on many sports pages of periodicals such as ESPN and The Topeka Capital-Journal, promising to disclose “the shocking truth” about weight loss. The link claims to have been published by a “health reporter,” as if trying to add some degree of credibility to an obvious credit card scam.
The latest combination of Acai Berry and Colon Cleanse features an article by a “health and diet columnist” named Stacie Sandler. Ostensibly, Stacie writes for a publication entitled Consumer Products Daily, which has a disclaimer in small print underneath the title that reads, “This site is not affiliated with any newspaper publication.” Which should begin to make even the most gullible reader at least start to become skeptical.
Even Stacie, our health and diet columnist writes that “we here at Consumer Products Daily are a little skeptical and aren’t sure that we’ve seen any real proof that these pills work for weight loss.” First of all, Consumer Products Daily has established zero credibility. Who are they? But in our attempt to be objective here, let’s see where CPD is going to help consumers uncover “the shocking truth.” Stacie then writes, “What better way to find out the truth then to conduct our own study?”
One should probably question at this point, given that no credentials have been given for this publication, Consumer Products Daily, that their “study” is going to result in any “shocking truth.” Especially since the result of this “study” is a heavily hyped pitch for sales of Acai Berry pills and Advanced Cleanse. But to continue with our health reporter’s crusade to get at the truth, Stacie “volunteers to be a guinea pig,” in trying Acai Berry and Advanced Cleanse pills. So the extent of the “study” that is supposed to provide the “shocking truth” about weight loss is one person’s experience as a guinea pig that these weight loss products work?
It would appear that in the diet pill business, there’s no need to establish any credibility or furnish any proof that your pills work. You can just come up with the name of your own tabloid or publication, do a one-person study, and poof, you’ve got a diet plan that works for everyone. Listen to these claims by our tireless health reporter: “See inches fall off safely! Burn fat and excess calories. Reduce signs of aging in skin. Formulated here in the USA.” None of these claims can be directly linked to any proof of weight loss. To avoid running afoul of the FTC, you apparently have to make your claims vague enough that you can’t be held accountable when these diet pills don’t work, or worse, don’t even get shipped.
At least twice, Stacie states that when purchasing these two diet products, Acai Berry and Advanced Clease, that “it included the free trial of the product and it did not try to fool me into agreeing to additional hidden offers.” Really? Upon completion of both “steps” to start your “free trial,” you must agree to pay .99 (ninety-nine cents) per product, charged to your credit card, of course. Once your credit card number is on file, these crooks have what they want. Then the fun begins. Within fourteen (14) days of placing your order, your credit card is hit for $169.95 unless you’re somehow miraculously able to get in touch with their toll free customer service number to prevent this charge from occurring. You won’t know any of this unless you click on the Terms and Conditions link which is extremely hard to locate. And then there’s the recurring $12.95 per month charge to keep you well stocked with your miracle diet pills. This would appear to be a “hidden offer,” putting our health reporter at risk of being somehow less than forthcoming with the real “truth.” Could it be, that there was never any intention of reporting any “truth” here, other than reporting one person’s experience with two weight loss products that have yet to show any results anywhere other than credit card charges that are either extremely difficult to prevent or get reversed?
The bottom line is that no one could afford to stay in business sending out free “trials” of products for ninety-nine cents ($.99) each, if everyone were to decide that these pills were not working. At the end of this “study” conducted by Consumer Products Daily, they actually have the audacity to say that “after conducting our own personal study, we are pleased to see that people really are finding success with it.” Wait a minute. Wasn’t the “personal study” only completed by Stacie Sandler who “volunteered to be a guinea pig?” Where are the verifiable reports that “people are finding success” with these products? And then they continue, “And you have nothing to lose…know that you are getting a quality product that works; no strings attached.” Ask yourself how many people would purchase this product if they knew it was going to cost $169.95 in membership “fees” for both products and a recurring $12.95 per month charge to their credit card that continues indefinitely unless the customer proactively stops the charges. The “free” trials suddenly don’t seem as free. And there are definitely “strings attached” as well as “hidden offers.”