FTC Temporarily Shuts Down Online Skincare Marketers Who Deceive Consumers with Bogus “Risk Free Trial” Offers
Sometimes it’s hard to ignore the lure of a “risk-free trial” when it comes with a product that promises to leave your skin youthful, radiant and as soft as a baby’s bottom. But as the Federal Trade Commission once again reminds us, those deals often come with strings attached and hollow promises.
The FTC announced today that at its request a federal district court temporarily shut down a group of marketers using allegedly deceptive online “risk-free trials” for skincare products.
The 15 California-based marketers allegedly use deceptive offers to trick consumers into providing their credit or debit card information to charge them full price for the product and enroll them in recurring programs for additional fees.
According to the FTC complaint [PDF], the marketers, which sell Auravie, Dellure, LéOR Skincare, and Miracle Face Kit brand products, have used such deceptive techniques on a variety of websites since 2010.
Much like the equally deceptive weight loss supplement marketing schemes, these marketers used pop-up advertisements, banner ads, and advertising space on third-party websites – including Amazon.com, Huffingtonpost.com, and Lowes.com – to tout “risk-free trial” offers to direct consumers to their websites.
The sites – aurviefreetrial.com, auraviewtrialkit.com, and mymiraclekit.com, just to name a few – then instruct visitors to provide their credit or debit card information to pay shipping fees of $4.95 to receive the trial offer.
“Defendants also use deceptive pop-up advertisements that discourage consumers from leaving Defendants’ websites without accepting a trial offer,” the complaint states. “When consumers attempt to leave the websites, a text box appears that offers to ship the trial offer at an even lower shipping price.”
Read the full story at: Consumerist.com
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