“Free” trial offer for skin cream comes with a price

OKLAHOMA CITY - Joan Hast says her commitment to serving others has kept her feeling and looking young.

At 86 she's learning to love her wrinkles, but Joan's not opposed to turning back time, say 10 or 20 years.

“It was just a whim,” she said. “It came up on my Facebook.”

It was one of those too-good-to-be-true "free" trial offers.

For the low cost of shipping and handling, you too, can take away the wrinkles with this miracle skin cream and eye serum.

Except Joan says the products she received didn’t help make her skin more youthful.

What it did do was get her a pair of big charges at about $88 a pop on her credit card bill, weeks after the purchase.

Better Business Bureau of Central Oklahoma's President and CEO, Kitt Letcher, says reading the small print is important, especially with free trial offers.

“Because if it is, day 1 to 14 this product is free [and] day 15 to 30, within that range, you're going to get charged an additional amount of money.”

A lot of times what you end up doing is signing a monthly subscription for more products and charges you didn't even know existed.

The company that got Joan's cash hails from Tampa, Florida, and goes by a cluster of names, including Dermapur and Jeune Fleur.

The BBB says they've been known to use fake celebrity endorsements to advertise their products.

Letcher warns, “As consumers we have to do our homework.”

The cosmetic industry is largely self-regulated, so unless you test the product yourself, there's no way to really know what ingredients are going in it.

  • Joan was able to dispute the charges with her credit card company.
  • It pays to avoid clicking Facebook ads.
  • If you still end up clicking and giving them your payment, the best thing you can do is pay with a credit card, just in case you have to dispute the charge later on.