Skin Cream Confusion Costs Women Thousands of Dollars - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Skin Cream Confusion Costs Women Thousands of Dollars

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Answering ads on Facebook for a free sample of skin cream wound up enrolling consumers in an auto renewal program they had trouble canceling. (Published Friday, July 7, 2017)

    Joan Pall thought she had found the fountain of youth on her Facebook feed.

    An ad for a skin treatment called "Brio" promised clear and beautiful skin.

    She followed the link to a free trial offer. It said only a $4.95 shipping fee was required.

     “I was going to sample it, that’s all I thought,” Pall said.

    When several more creams with different names arrived, she returned them, assuming it was a mistake.

    Three months later she noticed a problem.  

    "My account was dwindling, and I didn’t know why," Pall said.

    Her debit card statement showed 23 separate charges from nine different merchants, which totaled up to $1,300 spent on face cream.

    It seems Pall hadn't reviewed the terms of the deal.

    She had actually signed up for a 14-day trial and enrolled in an auto-shipment program for more lotions from various companies.      

    “I felt really stupid. That I’d been had,” Pall said.

    She's not the only one.

    Judy Ray of Fort Worth says she clicked on an ad fore a free sample of skin cream and started getting more than she bargained for.

    "One or two a month, and every time they sent a package there'd be two products in it at $100 each," Ray said. 

    The packages came from different companies, all charging different amounts.

    Ray can't even remember or track down who she ordered from in the first place. 

    "It's so convoluted, when you see it on Facebook it will be under one name, the product, when you get it it's a different name, when you get the billing, it's yet a different name," she said.

    We are working with Ray to dig through dozens of credit card charges and track down which company sparked all this.

    NBC Responds also tried to track down the owners of the company behind Pall's auto shipment, Hydra Skin Sciences, but could only reach someone at a call center who couldn't explain all the charges on Pall's card.

    "I think I’m too smart to get duped like this but no one is too smart," Pall said.

    Pall's bank agreed to give her almost one thousand dollars back. Ray's gave about one hundred dollars back.

    The banks suggest using a credit card rather than debit for anything you're unsure of because they offer more protection.

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