Healthcare sites to watch out for online
The internet is awash with sites that are finding increasingly cunning ways to part shoppers from their money.
And nowhere are they better at this than in the healthcare industry.
We’ve received a load of complaints about cosmetics companies with dodgy subscription deals and faulty products.
Some sell diet pills that promise to turn you into Aidan Turner from Poldark in under a month.
In reality the only thing they make lighter is your wallet.
Others offer free trials that guarantee complete wrinkle reduction in just thirty days - all you need to do is pay £3.99 postage.
But it's never that simple. When you sign up for one of these "free trials", you get a lot more than you bargained for. And costs can spiral out of control.
So, before you shop on-line, visit A Spokesman Said and see if anyone has complained about the company you’re thinking of using.
We've picked out four sites our users have raised concerns over, and highlight some of the techniques they use to get your money.
Stemalogica & Beautemer
It’s simple, but effective.
They hook you in with a “free” trial of their wrinkle reduction cream, where all you pay is £3.95 for postage.
However, hidden in their terms and conditions it says that if you forget to cancel the trial in 14 days, they will lift £97.95 from your account.
Customers have also raised concerns over the cream's effectiveness. As Glenda Baker told us: “I’m £340 down and I don’t look any younger”.
Super Ketone Plus
“Total fat demolition in 30 days”
That’s what Super Ketone Plus diet pills promise on their website.
Sounds good doesn't it? Especially with summer coming up. But Super Ketone Plus work just the same as Stemalogica and Beautemer. The carrot on the stick is their 28-day free trial, but hidden in the T&C’s it says:
“If you feel Super Ketone Plus is not for you, cancel within 14 days from receiving the product to avoid the purchase price of up to £79.95”
They make their T&C’s deliberately hard to find, relying on customers to forget to cancel the trial, at which point they can levy a hefty fee.
Lin Hayward, from Cirencester, lost over £500 before she realised what had happened. She reported her case to A Spokesman Said to warn others about the site's subscription practice.
Laura Peters told us Bellesse was, “the only anti-ageing cream that makes you feel older”, and Dorothy Brown claims they enrolled her in a membership scheme against her consent.
Like Stemalogica and Super Ketone, Bellesse also make use of the magic 14 days cooling-off period. If you don’t cancel your trial in that time, say goodbye to £99.
These sites bank on you being too busy or too forgetful to call time on your trial. After which they sign you up as a full member, continue sending you products, and billing you large sums of money.
When they realised what had happened, both Laura and Dorothy rang up Bellese, but unsurprisingly the company had gone quiet.
When Luigi Forbicini paid £39.49 for 3 bottles of Viswiss – the “ultimate male enhancement pill” – he thought he was ordering from straight shooters.
But one month later and the company still hadn't delivered the products.
Despite emailing and calling them numerous times, Luigi got no answer and posted on A Spokesman Said to warn others.
He told us: “I definitely would not recommend Viswiss to anybody.
Our advice is this: if you are going to shop on-line for healthcare products, make sure you know EXACTLY what you’re signing up to.
Read their terms and conditions. Do they say anything about additional charges? How long have you got to cancel before they take money from your account?
If the company has made the Ts&Cs deliberately hard to find, there’s probably something not quite right. It's also worth checking our handy guide on how to avoid losing money from scams.
If you've used any of the sites above, or want to report a dubious healthcare company, get in touch with us - we'd love to hear your story.