A reader asked us to look at Slimtone Plus as they are running a “free trial”, so we thought it was time to dissect how they are doing it.
UPDATE 19/12/2012: The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) have confirmed the marketing and claims made by Slimtone Plus breach their codes of conduct. In response, Slimtone Plus have agreed to end the promotion shortly. See the five upheld rulings in more detail by clicking here.
Normally we like to start our product reviews with a little bit about the diet pill we are looking at, but in this case the most important aspect is not the diet pill itself but the methods being used to flog it. As such, we’ll deviate from our normal diet pill review style and see how one merchant in particular is making their money.
Let’s take a closer look at the whole scheme from start to finish, and hopefully it will show you what to avoid in the future. Or if you are doing your research into Slimtone Plus itself, then it might just convince you that everything is not quite what it seems.
First off, these product owners or their affiliates need to get your attention. What better way than good old Google? Why not use the search engine that millions of us use every day, and simply buy some advertising space?
As you can see its one of the adverts, you see every day if you use Google to do your research into products.
They have a pretty powerful title; “Lose 2.5 stone in 2 Weeks.”
That’s sure going to grab your attention! And there’s more, “Read Our Shocking Report.”
Who wouldn’t be tempted to click through to see what its all about if you are looking to lose some weight?
So What Is The Shocking Report All About?
After clicking the advert you are taken through to a fake news site, where a fake newsreader will give you a fake rundown on some miracle products she has used to lose a fake amount of weight.
In this case they are using an attractive female reporter, supposedly from UK Health Alert called Susan Jeffers. In actual fact the picture is Alycia Lane who is a real news reporter in Philadelphia, and has absolutely nothing to do with this scam. They have simply stolen the picture and passing her off as Susan Jeffers.
Susan Jeffers is the best-selling author of Feel the fear and Do It Anyway and again, has absolutely nothing to do with this scam.
There is then a long story of how “Susan” has tried Slimtone Plus and another product, BodyCleanse in combination to lose 2.5 stone in 4 weeks.
At the conclusion of the 4th week, I was absolutely amazed at the results. I had lost 2.5 Stone in 4 weeks using SlimTone Plus and BodyCleanse! Everyone, from family to friends to the people here at UK Health Alert, have noticed the change in me, I think many of them are getting their risk-free trials even as I write this! I also find myself getting more “attention” from men than I ever used to – another great benefit of this diet! I can report to you that considering the amazing weight loss and additional health benefits I will continue to use these supplements indefinitely.
It’s very unlikely that ANY OF THIS IS actually true! Unfortunately, if you have never read this site then you still might be interested, its got to be true right?
Well, this is the next part of the scam in motion, you are still very interested and because it looks so honest then of course you can trust what “Susan” is saying.
And what have you got to lose; it’s a free trial, right?
There’s only one way t find out, let’s see where the link takes us.
Now it’s time to get our free trials of these miraculous products that helped Susan Jeffers lose 2.5 stone in 4 weeks… or was that 2.5 stone in 2 weeks? Even the scammers themselves get mixed up sometimes.
So now you land on the nice looking sales page for Slimtone Plus.
Content wise, it’s the same old story. There’s no actual scientific proof offered for what they say. The trick is to keep pushing the “trial bottle”, everything is designed to push you along to simply fill in your details and claim your free bottle.
So What Happens If I Fill In My Details?
Well this is where they have you hook line and sinker. If you fill in your name, address, and so on, you are taken to the next page to fill in your credit card details.
You see that text? If you squint really hard you can just about make it out on their site.
“By clicking Rush My Order, I confirm I am over 18 and agree to the Terms of Service”
That is exactly where they trap you in to signing up for a recurring billing.
By placing your order today you’ll be shipped a 30 day supply of SlimTone Plus and a 30 day supply of SlimTone Plus patches (you just pay P&P). If you feel SlimTone Plus not for you, cancel within 14 days from the day you order to avoid the purchase fee of £37.50 per item and enrolment in the auto-shipment program, which sends you a fresh supply of SlimTone Plus every 30 days, starting 30 days after your trial period starts, at the low price of £37.50 per item. By ordering you agree to the full terms and conditions shown here. To cancel anytime call 0844 745 9698
Not only are you now signed up for Slimtone Plus at £37.50 per month, but also Slimtone Patches for another £37.50 per month! Yup, £75 per month hidden away in the small print, and you have no option of getting the “free trial” unless you agree to these terms.
Well here’s the other sneaky part. This format is completely illegal in the US, and anyone running this would be facing millions of dollars in fines if they were caught. But to get around this they have registered a UK company and are pushing it hard to UK customers.
The Office of Fair trading are a little bit behind their American cousins (the FTC) with regards to tracking down and prosecuting these guys, but despite this there are still some regulations that apply to what they are doing.
This website breaks virtually every rule in the book with regards to the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 and later amendments.
They do not supply a valid physical address for the website or the product, and the terms and conditions do not meet with the DSR. These terms and conditions are pretty much worthless, and could never be imposed as they break so many consumer laws in the UK.
The good news is, yes, if you are the victim of dubious practices and as such are entitled to your money back in full… every single penny in fact.
Ring them up and politely ask for a full refund.
If they get funny with you then just tell them you are reporting them to the following organisations:
Want some extra help getting your money-back?
You can see a full guide HERE to how you can claim all your money back in full
Well, we would prefer if you never dealt with a company that employed such tactics to sign you up to these trials. It is illegal in the United States for a reason, so we don’t understand how it’s fine to push it to UK customers.
Anyway the product itself is made up of the following.
The exact ingredient quantities are not shown, or how many tablets you take. It is therefore impossible to say if Slimtone Plus could have any effect on weight loss.
There is no mention of these anywhere on the site, except for in the “terms and conditions” you are tricked in to signing.
There is no evidence presented on the site to support any of the claims regarding weight loss.
Consumer Report: We have recently had a report from a consumer called Keira who has reported bad side effects whilst using Slimtone patches (see comment 17 below). She has reported “The slimtone patches started to literally dissolve little patches of my skin, causing painful and infected wounds”. So we advise caution if you decide to use these patches.
It is impossible to say, as there is no indication of the exact composition of the tablets.
There are three reviews on the sales page but these look very suspicious. Based on what we have shown you so far, would you think that they were true?
The only other reviews for Slimtone plus we can find are from people complaining about being ripped of from the “free trial”.
“This company are using a misleading method to hook buyers. The terms and conditions are placed right at the bottom of the page in tiny font in a shade of grey that can easily be missed.
To state that it is a free trial is misleading. It is not free. Firstly you have to pay postage, which is where they get your debit card details. Then they set up a recurring payment method on your debit card without your knowledge.
Most UK banks are now changing their rules on these types of transaction and you can call your bank and have them block payments.
I have been caught out with this method and I found that they did not reply to four emails, two support emails sent via their own website and they never answer their telephone line.
Now they have moved to Ireland to avoid UK jurisdiction.
I suggest you contact the OFT and have these people stopped fom advertising in the UK. You should email your complaint to :-
You can also email your local MP and complain about the activities of this company.”
The reply to Christopher was from “jcol” who looks like he works for Slimtone Plus:
I haven’t ever seen it advertised as free ? i Wouldn’t suggest that anybody complains as these trials work perfect for me and anyone else willing to actually read the terms before clicking that they have read them. i get the opportunity to try something and if i don’t like it i don’t have to pay. Its common sense to read the terms and conditions instead of just ticking the because you cant be bothered
Hmmm… highly dubious reply, as for “common sense” such trials are far from it!
First off, they ARE advertised as a “free trial” as proven above.
Secondly, the option not to tick the terms does not exist.
We have no idea; it is impossible to say due to the massive lack of information!
Please don’t fall for these tricks. There are far better options available that do not rely of tricking you out of £75 per month.
Good luck with that one, these types of companies do not offer any sort of guarantee!
DO NOT BUY SLIMTONE PLUS!
Are you trying to get your money-back from the Slimtome Plus free trial?
Read our FREE GUIDE to getting refunds from free trial diet pill scams by clicking here.
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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.