Boehm-Ritter's website, www.Nexiderm.com, consists entirely of a Free Trial promotion with an agreement that is phrased, and structure with respect to its position on the web pages, with a clear (and successful) intention to mislead the customer. First, the details of the promotion only appear after you start filling out the form for the free trial. They appear further down on the same web page.
This is very unusual web pages do not act this way in general, and is engineered only to distract the customer from the details of the agreement. Second, on some pages (which one gets to from other promotional links elsewhere on the Internet), when the agreement unexpected appears on the page, it only appears as a small link one must click to see the agreement. Third, there may be other pages that behave in more misleading ways they do change the web pages often, including the price (the former they mentioned to me on the phone) I cannot replicate the page I first encountered when I performed the transaction with them since they are no longer partners with or linked from the promotional page elsewhere that brought me to www.Nexiderm.com (www.incentiverewardcenter.com). I have a PhD in computational linguistics and I always read these things carefully and I have never engaged in this type of dispute in the past.
Fourth, the agreement is spread across the web page the link says Free trial as does the top of the web page, in large font, where it is listed as a 10 day trial. When one reads the small print of the agreement at a different location (a separate agreement page or the bottom of the page), the reader will not necessarily connect the trial period mentioned in the agreement to the other, incongruous place that apparently defines it as lasting 10 days.
Fifth, and most significant, the first sentence of the agreement reiterates that the Trial is free other than $5.95 shipping and handling. The word Trial is then taken to mean the physical product, not a duration of time. This is meant to mislead. If I had known it was not the product itself, I would have understood I only had a limited time with the item I would receive in the mail. Thus, it is engineered to mislead the reader into not realizing they must return the product that is shipped in order to not be charged further, beyond the initial $5.95 shipping and handling. That is, it is not clear one is entering into a Trial in the sense of an ongoing membership (which led to the 2 charges I am disputing and a second, unexpected delivery of the product, again), but rather one thinks they are getting an item that is a trial sample.
Sixth, it is nearly impossible to get through to customer service to make inquiries, get clarifications about the agreement or current memberships, or cancel any membership. Often one is put on hold a long time and then simply cut off. Other similar problems even making contact are mentioned in the websites referred to below. I did eventually get through, but not until two unauthorized charges had been made.
On my behalf and others, it is important that you look on the well-documented fraud or scam warnings about this company on the Internet. If you do a search for Nexiderm or Boehm-Ritter, the 3rd and 1st results listed are scam warnings. Many companies have fraud claims/disputes against them, of course, but almost none have those come up first or even 30th. The websites badbusinessbureau.com and ripoffreport.com list information. The cases there are all very similar or closely related to mine.
12/05/04 I did manage to get through to the merchant, who defended the misleading agreement. They did say they were canceling my membership. They refused my offer to return both the unused portion of the first free trial delivery and the unopened, unsolicited, unexpected second delivery. I will hold both and remaining willing to return them if asked to do so.
San Francisco, California