Clair Skin “free” sample costs woman close to $200

ZEELAND, Mich. -- When Trisha Sanjose went online to obtain free samples of wrinkle serum, she quickly learned that 'free' came with a price tag.

"Clair Skin is the product they were trying out on the segment I was watching that morning," Sanjose said.

The Zeeland woman reached out to the FOX 17 Problem Solvers to warn others of what happened to her.

"Immediately upon clicking continue, usually at most websites you go to a page where you review what you're ordering and what the totals are and all that stuff. Nothing. As soon as I clicked continue, they immediately charged my credit card for both those," she pointed to two items.

The wrinkle cream ended up costing her close to $180, along with some eye revitalizing cream she didn't even ask for. When she called customer service, she said she was told she should have read the fine print on the website.

Sanjose said, "I feel it's very deceptive. Why would you have to hide something like that in the terms and conditions? If you're going to be an upfront business, you should tell someone right on the main page 'this is going to be a trial that you have to cancel in x amount of days.'"

She added, "You shouldn't add something to someone's cart without giving them the option to 'OK' that before you charge their card for it."

John Masterson with the Better Business Bureau of Western Michigan said, "Anything you buy online, it's always best to research both the product that you're trying to buy as well as the business that you're doing business with."

On the BBB's website, you'll see Clair Skin has had numerous identical complaints to Sanjose's.

"If they have that in the privacy policy, they have therefore disclosed it to consumers and it's available for you. A lot of consumers will get tripped up on the 'free trial', the 'hurry before this expires', and they just kind of gloss over that fact," Masterson said.

Sanjose suggested, "Make sure you read the full terms and conditions before you click off on anything and watch your bank accounts after you do."

Because the company wrote their policy in fine print, the BBB said it may be difficult to dispute the charges with your credit card company. The BBB also said beware of high pressure sales tactics, including rushing you to buy and anything that indicates a limited time or amount.

If the company asks you for credit card information for a "free" item, then you might be hooked into a subscription.

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