No matter how hard our writers work, or how fast they type, the sad truth is that there are just too many supplements available on the market for us to review! For every review we post it seems that another ten products are launched. With barely any regulation over the supplement market, scam artists and frauds have flooded the Internet with bogus products, auto-ship programs and ‘free’ trials that later charge consumers hundreds of dollars.
Here at DPW, we work to sort the good from the bad for you, weighing the pros and cons of each supplement, and exposing bad deals and scams when we find them. But what happens when the supplement you are looking at hasn’t been reviewed on our website yet? Fear not, as our writers have put together a how-to guide on how to spot fake products, and how to avoid being scammed!
Our writers have years of experience in the supplement industry, covering weight loss pills, energy pills, pre-workout supplements, nootropics, laxatives and detox products, testosterone boosters and mood enhancers, to name but a few types of supplement. Every time we think that we have witnessed every trick in the book to get as much money from customers as possible, companies find another way to scam their customers!
First of all, ALWAYS be suspicious!
Unfortunately, if a supplement seems too good to be true, then the claims made about the product are more than likely exaggerated, embellished upon, or completely made up, with no basis in truth or clinical research. Always take the time to check the product’s claims; it’s your money you’re spending and you should feel safe in the knowledge that anything you buy performs as you expect it to!
If we haven’t reviewed a supplement on our website, it’s possible that it is on our to-do list, or that we haven’t found it yet. You can email us to ask about a product, and we will review it as soon as possible. Until then, take a look below at our other tips for avoiding fake products and scams.
Redirected from one website to another?
We are increasingly seeing products being advertised that just don’t seem to exist. When you click on any link from the product’s website, you are taken to a new website that offers a slightly different product. One example is a product called Pure Muscle X; numerous Pure Muscle X websites have sprung up over the past few months, and yet each one seems to lead to a sales page for a completely different product.
One website led to a product called Androx, whilst the newest Pure Muscle X website leads to a product called Nitric Max Muscle. There are also numerous Androx websites; some of the ‘Androx’ websites, when clicking on the ‘Buy’ button, take customers to a sales page for another product altogether. Androxextreme.com leads to a sales page for a product called TestX Core. We have also seen Androx being promoted alongside Noxor Platinum, which again, follows the same pattern.
All of these websites offer a ‘free trial’, which will charge customers large sums just a few days after purchase, and will sign them up for an auto-ship program that sends out a new delivery (and of course, recharges the customer) every month. These can cost consumers as much as $100 per bottle, per month! Because consumers are also repeatedly redirected through websites, it is easily possible to sign up for numerous different ‘free trials’, and be faced with a bill of several hundred dollars by the end of the month. We have seen customer complaints and reviews where they have unwittingly signed up for a repeat delivery of two or even three products, and have been charged in excess of $300 in the first 14 days after initially filling the form in.
When looking at supplement sales websites always check the following:
- The website name
- That the product you’re buying is the one you first looked at
- Whether the product auto-ships every month
- The final price of what you’re paying before you check out
Research, research, research
Google is your friend! If the company you are thinking of buying from are shady, then it’s quite likely that someone else has been scammed by them and has already complained about it online! Many sales websites have their own inbuilt review section, but other websites do not offer this service. However, there are many websites that have been created solely for the purpose of launching customer complaints, and raising awareness of companies who scam their customers or who just offer poor customer service.
Some of these websites include:
- Complaints Board
- Ripoff Report
- Pissed Consumer
There are also review websites not just aimed at reporting bad companies. Trust Pilot is a review website that collects both good and bad customer reviews, giving the company an average score; some companies are incredibly proud of their high Trust Pilot score, and even publish it on their own websites.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is another important website to consider, at least when looking at companies based in the USA. They give companies an overall grade based upon a list of factors, and also help to resolve disputes between customers and companies. As you can look at the history of disputes launched against an individual company, it is incredibly useful to see what customers have complained about in the past, and whether or not it was resolved to the customer’s satisfaction. The Better Business Bureau does give bonus points when calculating a company’s grade if the company have paid to be an Accredited Business, but even with this slight bias, the BBB website is a great way to get an overview of a company’s online reputation.
Scamadvisor.com is one of the websites we always go to when we suspect that an online retailer is operating a scam. The website gives lots of information about websites, including the domain age, the registered owner’s address and contact information, and the popularity of the website. Perhaps most importantly, they also provide an overall trust rating, with a reason for their scepticism.
Customer reviews on sales websites are also invaluable when trying to decide whether or not to purchase a product, not just for seeing how effective the supplement itself is, but also for seeing how professional the company themselves are. Amazon sells thousands of supplements on its store, and have an easy to operate review system in place.
Received an email from a friend recommending a supplement? Double check!
One underhanded tactic that scammers sometimes use to boost sales is to use an email virus to send out fake recommendation emails, recommending their product. The email will look as if it has been sent from one of your contacts, and is written informally, simply recommending a supplement that the person has tried and supposedly loved. We have read so many reviews where people have been caught out by this virus and made a purchase, only to find out later that their friend or relative had never even heard of the product, let alone sent an email about it!
Have You Been Scammed?
Help others avoid the same fate! Leave a customer review for the product or company on independent complaints websites or with the Better Business Bureau. Make sure to clearly state how you were scammed, and whether or not you have had any success in dealing with the company to sort out the problem with them. If the company sells multiple products and you purchased just one, mention which one you used. If you experienced side effects, describe what they were.
By sharing your own experience, you can raise awareness about the company’s poor business practices. You may even be more likely to obtain a refund or be able to resolve other issues with the company, as many companies dislike having their reputation attacked online (as it can obviously hurt their sales).
It’s Not All Doom And Gloom!
Just reading the tips and tricks above, it is easy to believe that every online retailer is trying to take your money and is offering little or nothing in return. We just want to confirm that this is not the case at all! There are supplements out there that do work as advertised and that are sold at affordable prices by retailers who care about their customers, their own reputation, and the effectiveness of their supplement range. When you use a supplement that you like, please leave an honest customer review for it, stating why you like the product, and what benefits you noticed! It doesn’t even need to be long; just a sentence or two will do! Positive reviews help other customers find good products, help companies to stay in business, and encourage businesses to keep your favourite products on the market.
Disclaimer: Our reviews and investigations are based on extensive research from the information publicly available to us and consumers at the time of first publishing the post. Information is based on our personal opinion and whilst we endeavour to ensure information is up-to-date, manufacturers do from time to time change their products and future research may disagree with our findings. If you feel any of the information is inaccurate, please contact us and we will review the information provided.