I was checking for good anti-virus software when I saw a link to AcaiOptimum.com together with the extraordinary efficacy claims they attributed to their slimming product. As an elderly pensioner who has put on an unacceptable amount of weight since reducing my exercise levels in recent years I was naturally curious. I therefore followed the link and on AcaiOptimum's site found they were offering a Free Trial of the product for simply the (reduced) cost of shipping: because the product involved two items `AcaiOptimum Cleanser' and `Colon Cleanser' the joint shipping cost was (2 x £1.95) £3.90. This seemed both generous and fair since one could only know whether the product lived up to the claims -or indeed did anything at all- by means of a trial measure.
Each separate order form showed the cost of the product -both oddly £65.00- had been struck out leaving the above-mentioned shipping cost of £1.95 for payment: nowhere was any additional costs shown as indeed wouldn't be expected with a `trial' sample: this question would only arise if you were satisfied and wanted to purchase. I paid the shipping cost with my credit card and was told a confirmatory email would soon follow.
However instead of confirmation of the order I received shortly after a email from them advertising another of their products. I therefore sent them a email asking where the confirmation was but received no reply. I now became worried and checked AcaiOptimum on the internet finding a number of complaints concerning their business practises. I quickly contacted my credit card company -Barclaycard- who told me £62. Odd had been taken from the account by AcaiOptimum. I explained the position getting them immediately to cancel the card and emailed AcaiOptimum stating I wanted no further business dealings with them and demanding they return forthwith the unauthorised £62.00 they had taken from my account or I'd lodge a charge of fraud against them with the police.
Their response took the form of a email quoting a `Support Ticket No' and saying a representative would contact me. All of this took place in a couple of hours yesterday evening and I've since heard nothing from them - from the other complaints I gather this is not unusual.
Today I've been back to their website to re-check their trial offer now the wording appears different (1) the shipping and handling charge is reduced to $0.99 per item and (2) below the order form appears the words: `Your shipment is estimated to arrive by (red) Aug 12,2010'
(it then goes on in small type)
Offer Details: By placing your order today you will be shipped a 30 day supply of AcaiOptimum (just pay S&H). If you feel AcaiOptimum is not for you, cancel within 14 days from today to avoid the purchase fee of $79.98 and enrollment in the auto-shipment program which sends you 2 bottles every 60 days starting 30 days after your trial period at the low price of $49 per bottle. Your Credit card charge will appear as NTR* (can't find a relevant footnote to explain) acoptimumcs.com. To cancel anytime call *******913.
Nowhere does it say that despite offering a trial sample from the outset they would charge for a much larger and far more expensive quantity. This is clearly a very misleading (even fraudulent) way to do business and has incurred me not simply in the loss of £62.00 from my account but the inconvenience of having to cancel my credit card and have another issued; also despite receiving my emails cancelling and demanding a return of my money within an hour of the transaction which they have ignored require me to go to the cost of phoning them to ensure they respond.
These outrageously unethical business methods cannot do internet trading's image any good - it's effect inevitably must act to deter people from doing business on the internet, that certainly is how it's affected me: particularly as this was the first purchase I've ever made on the net precisely because I feared something of this sort happening.
It must be in the interests of bona fide internet traders to contribute to a policing service to ensure proper ethical business practises prevail or all will suffer because of the lack of integrity of a few