It looks like our “friends” marketing the infamous Acai Berry “diet” plan are back again. By now, most people have got to know that there is no Acai Berry “diet” plan, and that this latest combination plan of offering “free trials” of Acai Weight Loss and Advanced ColoThin are yet another attempt to separate you from your wallet. For the sellers of this bogus weight loss plan to attract any attention, they have to use the key word “scam” in their advertising, which ought to be a dead giveaway to anyone seriously interested in losing weight, but not interested in throwing away their hard-earned money.
On 3/9/2010, I wrote an article on this same subject in which the Acai Berry diet plan scam artists claimed a “health reporter” by the name of Stacie Sandler, writing for a publication called Consumer Products Daily, was recommending this bogus diet plan. Well, either she has a twin sister, or there’s another “health and diet writer,” this time writing for News 6, claiming to be investigating this “super diet” using their typical method of investigation: volunteering to be a “guinea pig.” The health and diet writer in this latest scam attempt goes by the name of “Julia Miller,” (http://consumerreveiwsweekly.com/dietnews/?t202id=812567&t202kw=cell%20phone) who coincidentally looks exactly like “Stacie Sandler.”
It’s interesting to note that the Acai Berry diet plan consists of two products called Acai Weight Loss and Advanced ColoThin. Back on 3/9/2010, their names were Acai Berry and Advanced Cleanse. But no matter. These people just make up the names as they go along. Whether it’s the name of the “health reporter” or the names of the products, they just fabricate everything.
In trying to ascertain exactly “what” the Acai Berry “diet plan” is, I have managed to glean the following from this latest advertisement: The Acai Weight Loss pills encourage weight loss and increase energy. Meanwhile, the Advanced ColoThin pills help rid your body of toxins and allows your body to work and burn calories more efficiently. The only other reference to any kind of a “diet plan” is that “Acai berries…are a Super Food that you take as a supplement to lose weight.” As for “encouraging weight loss,” it would be a lot cheaper to just enlist the help of a well-meaning friend or family member to provide all the encouragement you need for free. As for ridding your body of toxins and allowing your body to work more efficiently, you could always try drinking a few glasses of water a day. That, too, would be a lot cheaper, as we shall soon see.
The Acai Berry “diet plan” is not a diet, but instead, an overhyped advertisement for the sale of Acai Berry nutrition supplements and Colon Cleanse nutrition supplements. The crooks who sell this stuff make clever use of parsing words so as to avoid accountability for any results. Notice the ad says that the Acai Weight Loss pills “encourage weight loss,” but never “guarantee weight loss.” Even the ColoThin pills merely “help” rid your body of toxins. Never is there a definitive statement anywhere in the ad that these supplements will do anything to achieve weight loss results. They’re being sold to “encourage” and to “help.” Claims of being able to “boost energy,” and to “remove ‘sludge’ from the walls of the colon,” are good, non-specific claims designed to make our would-be dieter think they’re buying something that’s going to help.
The word parsing continues when the ad for the diet plan shows logos of TV stations such as CNN, Fox News, ABC, and Consumer Reports. The ad specifically says, “As seen,” on these stations. So if Acai berries are merely mentioned on any of these stations, the sellers can escape liability. The ad shows a You Tube clip of Katie Couric talking about colon health and colon cancer, but there’s no mention of either Acai berries or the Acai Berry “diet plan.” Even when viewing the video clips that talk about Acai berries, there’s no mention of any “diet plan” directly linking Acai Berry nutritional supplements as they’re being offered in this credit card scam, and there’s no mention whatsoever of the Colon Cleanse supplements. There’s no evidence anywhere to support the claim that “Julia Miller,” if that’s even her real name, is a Consumer News reporter for a News 6 television station. And since the ad heavily relies on “Julia’s” investigation of the Acai Berry “diet plan” as a guinea pig to support it’s claim that these bogus nutritional supplements help anyone lose weight, it ought to raise a red flag before any of the claims are even made, that this Julia Miller doesn’t exist and that the Acai Berry diet plan is trying to use the Consumer Reports name without authorization. Of course, the Acai Berry scammers can always claim that”Julia” is a reporter for Consumer News and not Consumer Reports, but its just as likely that Consumer News doesn’t exist either, and that the name was invented to trick people into thinking the Acai Berry diet plan being marketed here had the blessing of Consumer Reports.
So what do the tricksters selling the Acai Berry “diet plan” want this time? Your credit card number, of course. The “free trial” starts with $1.95 shipping for Acai Max Cleanse. You get only ten (10) days to try it out, however, and according to the Terms and Conditions link, which is difficult to find, “Delivery time is subtracted from your trial period.” Of interest to note, is that the shipping and handling charge becomes “$3.97,” and not “$1.95,” according to the “free trial” offer. So much for “not fooling you into additional hidden offers,” as the ad tries to claim. But wait. It gets better. After your “free trial” period of ten days ends, and IF you haven’t called their customer service telephone number to cancel, you are billed “$89.97 and are billed monthly thereafter until cancelled.” There was NO customer service number to be found anywhere, making cancellation difficult, if not impossible. Where things really get fun is when the Terms and Conditions link states that “You must call our Customer Service department prior to the expiration of the Trial Period to cancel your order.” So you have less than ten days to evaluate the Acai Berry diet plan to see if it works for you. Looks like you better get fast results or it’s going to cost “$93.94,” with a recurring $89.97 charge every month! To make things even more interesting, the Terms and Conditions site informs you that if you have a legal claim, you have to make it in the United Kingdom! Over there, they call lawyers “barristers.” Just thought that might be a useful tip.
But the fun doesn’t stop there. If you’re taking “advantage” of the free trial offer for the ColoThin capsules, you start off by paying a $4.95 shipping charge, and after 14 days, if you haven’t called in to cancel your “free trial,” your credit card gets charged $59.95 each and every month. So, if you continue with this wonder Acai Berry “diet plan,” your credit card will be charged $149.92, and it all starts within 14 days of ordering these two “nutrition supplements!”
As a few final thoughts, particularly with regard to posting logos of TV stations such as CBS or Fox News, it’s interesting that their disclaimer in the fine print reads, ” Images posted are believed to be posted within our rights in accordance with the U.S. Copyright Fair Use Act (title 17, U.S. Code.). If you are the rightful owner and copyright holder of any celebrity content, please contact us and the infringing material, if any, will be removed as soon as possible. Results not typical for any and all claims. Product is not affiliated in any way with CBS,” In other words, the Acai Berry scammers will use the logos of media outlets to try to give themselves some credibility, since they have none, until somebody calls them on it. Since they have to be sued in the United Kingdom, chances are that these media outlets aren’t going to pursue any claims. By now, it should be clear that the crooks marketing this Acai Berry “diet plan” don’t care one whit about helping anyone lose weight. They set up the “free trials” in order to get your credit card number, so they can start charging your card within two weeks, and by the time you get your credit card statement, the website you ordered from is closed, and the customer service number is disconnected. They rename the Acai Berry and Colon Cleanse products, change the “names” of the endorsers, and move to another part of the world to market their stuff in order to escape legal liability. If you sincerely desire to lose weight and feel you need to use nutritional supplements such as these, it’s a lot more practical to deal with your local Walgreen’s, Wal-Mart, or GNC store where there is at least someone you can deal with, face-to-face, and get a refund if you don’t get the desired results. The Acai Berry diet plan marketers are classic “fly-by-night” hucksters, who set the bar pretty high when it comes to scamming people and escaping any accountability for it.