It starts with spam. That’s the first indication that whatever product or service being hawked is ineffective, undesirable, dangerous, or unethical. Honest companies just don’t spam.
From: “ProbioSlim” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: No more pho | ny d | i••et plans
- Notice the subject line with the crap in it. Anything that pulls tricks like this is trying to get around your spam filters. This screams “unethical.”
- Next, the alphabet-soup return address, almost assuredly bogus.
- Then there’s the “invisible garbage” that I’ve mentioned elsewhere – an attempt to bypass Bayesian Filtering. Another hallmark of criminal scum who want your money at all costs.
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Lastly, the offer of a “free sample” that is never, ever free.
Just have a look at this “Pissed Consumer” website and look up Probioslim – you’ll see this:
- 269 COMPLAINTS
- $16K CLAIMED LOSSES
- $60 AVERAGE LOSS
In order to see the terms of the offer, you have to click the “Terms” link, which very few people will do.
How Does the VIP Membership Offer Work?
A. You must pay a shipping and handling fee of $2.99 for us to send you a 14-day trial supply of ProbioSlim. We ship the product the day after you place your order (with the exception that orders placed Friday-Sunday will be shipped the following Monday). We allow up to 4 days for you to receive the trial supply. Thus, in order for you to have 14 days to try the product, we consider the end date for your trial period to be 18 days after you place your order, which is 14 days plus 4 days for processing and transit.
B. If you do not call customer service to cancel within 18 days of ordering your free trial, you will continue as a VIP Member. See details below.
Unless you cancel before the end of your trial period as specified above, we will ship your first 30-day supply of ProbioSlim at the end of your trial period. Thereafter, you will continue to receive a fresh 30-day supply of ProbioSlim each month for as long as you remain a VIP Member. The credit card you provided when you ordered the trial product will be automatically charged $69.99 plus $4.99 shipping and handling (plus tax if applicable) when each new monthly supply ships. To cancel future shipments, you must call 1-877-869-3308 at least 1 day prior to the date that your next monthly delivery ships. Customers in Australia, please call us at 1800-198-226. Customers in the United Kingdom, please call us at 0808-1019281. Our customer service center is open Mon-Fri: 9am – 9pm Eastern Time (US) and Sat: 12pm – 5pm Eastern Time (US).
Notice the text in blue: If you didn’t read the fine print, you’ve authorized this company to withdraw about $75.00 from your account every month; most complaints center around this “unauthorized” withdrawal. Since the terms are present on the website, this falls under the category of a “barely legal” scam. Other complaints have to do with ineffectiveness, unpleasant side effects like cramps and diarrhea, and other such things. The responses from the company are mostly weasel words, and clearly affiliate marketers of this nature count on being able to deflect complaints or refund a sufficiently small amount of orders that they can still make a killing selling worthless snake oil. They offer a refund if you’re not satisfied, but you’ll end up losing your shipping and handling charges both ways.
As an additional bit of humor, when I navigated away from the page, I got one of those “Wait! An agent wants to chat with you” popups. So just for fun, here’s the exchange with “Kelsey:”
Kelsey Says: Hi there! Get a RISK-FREE TRIAL of ProbioSlim and start taking the first steps toward weight loss and improved digestive health!
CLICK HERE to receive a 14 day trial supply of ProbioSlim.
Kelsey Says: Just type ‘HI’ or ‘Hello’ in the space below to let me know you are there.
Kelsey Says: Hi, thanks for chatting with me today. Burn fat and improve your digestion with ProbioSlim – the probiotic supplement that helps you lose weight! CLICK HERE to receive a 14 day trial supply of ProbioSlim.
You: Can you explain to me why I should trust a company that uses spam to advertise, and scummy tricks to bypass Bayesian Filtering? This screams “unethical.” Why should I trust their product?
Kelsey Says: This is not a scam. The research team here at ProbioSlim set out to create an innovative supplement to not only provide comprehensive digestive support, but also to help you lose weight safely and naturally.
Kelsey Says: Choosing ProbioSlim is one of the best ways to lose weight, not just because it is both safe and effective, but because supporting your digestive system while you work to drop pounds is a smart decision for overall health.
You: Well, that wasn’t an answer to my question. Care to try again?
Kelsey Says: I am sorry, I only have limited information. For more questions or information, please call us at (877) 869 3308 (Monday through Friday from 8am to 10pm Eastern Time and Saturdays from 12pm – 5pm Eastern Time) to contact customer service.
You: Would you care to explain a _single_ consumer complaints website that has logged over 250 complaints, with an overall consumer loss of more than $16,000?
Kelsey Says: This is the best offer available. But it’s for a limited time only. Please don’t wait! CLICK HERE to take advantage of this amazing offer!
You: Why do I get the feeling that you have failed the Turing Test?
Kelsey Says: Get a RISK-FREE TRIAL of ProbioSlim for FREE!! All you need is to pay a shipping and handling fee $4.99. CLICK HERE to get started!
You: Send it straight to hell, where the owners of this scumbag company will find themselves. Does that work for you?
Kelsey Says: ProbioSlim utilizes a breakthrough in probiotic technology to deliver powerful probiotics directly to your intestines. Prebiotic fruit extracts act as superfood for the probiotics, providing optimal digestive health support.
Kelsey Says: Okay great. CLICK HERE and let us know where to send your free sample!
Don’t you just love conversing with a bot?
Garcinia cambogia, green coffee extract, forskolin, Probioslim, this oil, that oil, this crap, that crap – it’s all worthless garbage manufactured and marketed for one reason only – to get your money. None of it works or has any real benefit. Stay far away from “offers” like this.
The Old Wolf has spoken.