With a PHD in fashion, a hair ambassadorship with L’Oréal Paris and a global audience, Victoria is the lady behind the award-winning fashion, travel and beauty blog, Inthefrow.
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WARNING: DO NOT BUY RASPBERRY KETONE OR CLEANSE XTREM
You’re about to read the most embarrassing piece of writing I have ever had to write. Part of me feels I don’t want to share this, as it is the most idiotic thing I have ever done. But I know I need to share my experience with you, so that you don’t make the same mistake I did. If I could stop someone from making my mistake or help someone to recover from it, then that’s all I care about. But then you know what I’m going to say. You read the title.
A few weeks ago, I was up late working, as always and it was around 11.30. I’d had a stressful day, sat in writing my PhD for the imminent deadline and I was feeling really low at this point. Due to sitting around for months on end, writing work, I didn’t have any time to exercise and it meant that what I was eating was just falling straight onto my thighs. I felt like I looked a total mess, so, that on top of everything else, was really getting me down. It was getting to the point of me not wanting to wear skirts or shorts due to a ridiculous amount of orange peel forming on my thighs. Friend’s moans of ‘Oh Vic, don’t be ridiculous’ were really irritating me, as if I could see it, so could they, and lying to me really wasn’t helping. It felt like pity and a huge cover up so I wouldnt moan about it anymore.
So one night I was online and found an article from what I presumed was a credible online magazine. They had spoken about some diet and cleansing pills, that are supposed to reduce your appetite, strip fatty deposits and give you tons of energy. Me, lying there in my bed, with no energy, cravings for chocolate and fatty deposits all over my legs, I was drawn in. Of course I was, like so many other people, I was hooked in like a silly little fish. The products are called Raspberry Ketone and Cleanse Xtrem.
The postage was £3 per box, and they said YOU HAVE to get both packs or it doesn’t work. At this point, I should have been wise enough to realise I was being thrown a bone, but of course, I went ahead, thinking oh, £3 why the hell not. I’ll trial it for my blog and let others know how great it is. I’ll throw it away otherwise. What’s the worst that could happen…
Fast forward 2 weeks, after receiving the packs and leaving them on my dressing table collecting dust. They are huge pills, like cod liver oil size huge, and I don’t swallow pills very well. So I was putting it off until I could try to stomach it. Until one morning, I looked at my online banking and saw two charges had gone out the day before. Whammy, I had been done. Well and truly up the backside. Nearly £100 per box. Yep, I’d been screwed for £190.
I headed online to find not hundreds, but thousands of complaints about this company, who apparently have reared their ugly head in a few different places and names for the past few years. Everyone was reporting my exact problem. Apparently when you pay, you are immediately signed up to a monthly payment programme where you pay £100 per pack, per month!!! (This is written within another page via a tiny link that is hidden, of course). You have a 14 day trial period in which to try them and then if you don’t send them back, you get charged a their ‘full price’. Thank god I noticed when I did or else this could have carried on for months. But the 14 day trial period isn’t even 14 days. The trial starts as soon as you press submit, so in fact, it’s 14 days from payment, not from receiving them. And in fact, you only get a full 14 days if you ring up within 5 days and ask to extend your trial period to 14 days. I mean come on, are you joking?!
So, I was apparently 2 days over my trial period. With two boxes of pills I didn’t want and £200 gone from my bank account. I rang my bank to ask for help and immediately they recalled the name of the pills I had bought, without me even telling them. Straight away they knew who it was and they get hundred of calls per day due to this company. And I was one of them. What. A. Fool. They told me all they could do is cancel any further charges, and if they do end up taking more money, the bank can refund it straight away. However, they cannot refund me the money they’ve already taken, that issue I have to take up with the company themselves. So, he gave me the number to call and I rang.
I spoke to a lady for around 20 minutes about this. Her response, in short, was as follows: I was over the 14 day trial period (not technically in the kosher world of retailing!) and therefore they could not refund the full amount back to me. They could refund £100 only however, and then proceeded to ask if I would like to continue my subscription for half price per month (Are you having a bloody laugh?!). Another option was that I send the boxes back, and if they deem them to be in good condition, they will refund me my money, MINUS £20 per box for handling fees!!! (Pardon?!) So, I went for the option of sending them back, as that would hopefully get me a refund of £144 and I would lose £40. Plus £7 shipping charges, plus £6 for delivery in the first place. So, £55 out of pocket and a whole load of inconvenience, but it would be better than £190. So that’s what I did. I packaged up the pills, ran out of the house and got to the post office to repost back to them. Apparently, on receipt, they refund the pills back to you which can take 7 days to go back into your account, minus the handling fee, so I waited to hear something…
Two weeks later, I rang them again to ask where my money was. I had already checked my tracking number and seen that the package was signed for 2 days after I had posted it, so why it wasn’t in my account I didn’t know. So I tried to stay calm and told the lady that my refund still wasn’t in my account. She asked for the tracking number so she could track the parcel – I have never had a company ask for this, ever. They usually always have everything on their own system, so that when my package got to the warehouse, it should have been noted as arrived on their system. But of course, it wasn’t. This is just another way they try to get out of giving you a refund. If I had lost my tracking number- as I thought I had for about 30 minutes of panicing and running around my room throwing things off of things to find it, then I know she would have said, “Oh what a shame, you cant prove you sent it back so were not going to pay you.” These people have certainly got it down. However, I did find it, rang them back and gleefully told them my tracking number. They didn’t do anything with it, as after 2 seconds she just said okay I will make sure that your refund goes through within the next 2 days.
4 days later, I rang back again. Now I was vexed. Finally, after telling the guy on the phone that I hoped karma slaps him in the face (I know, I didnt mean to. Trying. To, Stay. Calm.), he told me he would personally ensure that me my refund was put through. I told him that after the inconvenience he had caused me, that I deserved all of my money back, not just my refund minus £20 handling fee (what a joke?!). He continued to talk over me and tell me that they had to take the fee off for some ridiculous reason, so after arguing the point and putting the phone down in sheer disgust, he won. However, 3 days later, my money finally went back into my bank and I won. Somewhat. I lost £55 overall, but I at least got my £144 back. What an absolute pain in the arse.
For anyone who is reading this, who made my mistake, you are not alone. Hundreds of people make this mistake DAILY. These people play on insecurities and people who are looking for answers to personal problems and it is disgusting. Here is what you should do.
-Ring you bank and cancel all future transactions with them. Make sure that they can never take more money from you.
– Ring 02031298751 if you bought Raspberry Ketone or both
– Ring 02031298749 for Cleanse Xtrem
They need to give you an RMA number for your refund. When you have this you can post the products back, with your RMA number written on some paper inside to P-O-Box 13511, Linlithgow, West Lothian, EH497YH, UK. Make sure the boxes are in good condition with all the pills inside.
Do not go in all guns blazing, as that never gets anyone anywhere. But if they do not offer you any money back, things to try saying are:
a. That you’re allergic to some of the ingredients and therefore you cant take them and would like your money back.
b. The packets were open on arrival and therefore faulty. One of mine was!
c. You want to speak to a manager
d. You will not drop the case until you get your money back
e. Be really angry and persistent that you need this money back and you have been totally scammed and will report them.
f. Try being really nice and try to play on the sympathy card, as sometimes that gets you far further than anger
g, Keep good care of your receipt after you send it back. Do not lose it and find it after a panicked 30 minutes like I did.
But overall, I am so so embarrassed that I feel for such an obvious trap. Yet, I feel I have still got off lightly. I have my refund, although Im out of pocket £55, yet it could have been a lot worse than that. I now know never to fall for something so ridiculous again and I can also pass my knowledge to you so you don’t make my silly mistake. In short, DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT. If you’ve already purchased, cancel your trial asap if you are within the 14 days. If not, I really hope this has helped you.