Not Only Respect your Elders, Protect Your Elders!
I just got off the phone with the customer service of a popular nutritional supplements company promising the fountain of youth. My goal was to close the account for one of my Daily Money Management clients who was receiving recurring credit card charges for the supplement. The inspection of his medicine cabinet revealed an oversupply of the product. I called to return another unopened delivery. The conversation starts with an offer of a 25% immediate credit. I respond, “What about the other 75%?” Response “Yes, but you won’t have to mail the product back and you will get an immediate credit.” I say, “No thank you”. I want to return the package and get a 100% refund. I then ask if the credit card is on a recurring charge. (The online credit card statement says no, but these packages keep showing up) The response from customer service is that yes, they are on the “Continuous Program”. Their website calls it AutoDelivery. Please cancel that. The customer service rep responds with a new offer. “I can give you a 50% immediate credit and you don’t have to mail it back.” I say, “No thank you”. I will return the unwanted $40.00 bottle of snake oil. She tells me I will need an RMA number. Yes, I understand. It’s 17 digits long!!!!! Is that by design to confuse the mostly elderly customers, put the wrong number on the package to delay the refund? Hmmmm. A Google search for a review of the product resulted in 140 results back to the company. Their IT people are “very creative”.
My point is; Protect your elderly family members from these “special” vendors. After they get your family member’s card number, they never let go.
Predatory marketing targets the elderly and vulnerable. The Direct Mail specifically targets the elderly with “Fountain of Youth” supplements that are overpriced vitamins you can get at the grocery store. Most vitamins and minerals are best absorbed by food. My least favorite are the companies that market memory loss products targeting folks who have memory issues. Ironically, customers forget how many bottles of supplements they ordered. Claims of rolling back cognitive decline, improve memory, are wrapped in a Reader’s Digest looking mini book. The marketing piece includes multiple endorsements by “real” doctors to boost authority. I did a quick internet search on one of the quoted doctors. I found his obituary from 2010. He died suddenly! The “doctor” picture next to the quote is not the named doctor. Another direct mail piece is a booklet explaining the wonders of a cellular regeneration supplement. They are selling Telomerase. Another magic youth potion. Experts agree diet and exercise increase longevity not expensive non FDA supplements.
If you or a loved one is the victim of Auto Delivery of false elixirs and you want help to contact the vendor or advice on contacting your credit card company, please contact me! 904-673-0937 or firstname.lastname@example.org www.walletwise.org
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