Troubleshooter: Quick weight loss fix

DURHAM It's a deal that comes with a free trial offer.

The ads are everywhere on the internet, your e-mail, Facebook, MySpace, you name it, you'll see an ad for the Acai berry. It claims to be the wonder berry that will melt away the pounds.

Shannon Styron says, "I was looking to give a little spike to my weight loss to get a good start." The free 14 day trial on-line ad caught Shannon. She adds, "Free trail just fill out this information. They do charge you for shipping and handling but they won't charge you any further if you cancel within 14 days."

She got the product, kept an eye on the calendar and says she canceled within the 14 day free trial. She even got this e-mail cancellation confirmation from the company she ordered the product from, Advanced Wellness Research. But it wasn't that simple. She says, "Days later I saw they charged me $78.81 and I was not happy about that."

Shannon says she called and e-mailed advanced wellness research several times for a refund, which she did get it. But she got more bad news. She says, "I saw they charged me a second amount an $81.00 amount." Back on the phone, requesting yet another refund. Within days, another charge, this one for $86.31, another charge for a product that started as just a free trial. She says, "This turned into $250.00 dollars worth of charges for something I don't even use."

And Shannon isn't alone. The North Carolina Attorney's General office has received 40 complaints about various Acai berry products in less than four months. Shannon says she's learned her lesson and wants others not to fall for the same free trial. She adds, "Anything that's a free trial that asks for your credit card information don't do it. Don't give information because they just keep charging you can't cancel it."

Troubleshooter Diane Wilson did get in touch with Advanced Wellness Research. They have refunded her $162.00 dollars of the $245.00 she was charged for the product. A rep said rest assured they strive to achieve a superior customer satisfaction and they will look into this further.

The Better Business Bureau has given this company an F grade. They've received more than 700 complaints on this company in the last 3 years, more than 150 of those complaints resulted in a full refund. Also don't be fooled, many of these products have celebrities names attached to them, but the celebrities have not actually endorsed the pills, just the benefits of eating the Acai berry.

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