I would like to share my story of the biggest ripoff I've ever seen by Natural Source Store a.k.a. Cosmetyn, a.k.a NSS.
Just to give you the background I am not the type of person who goes out and complains about every little thing that happens in this world. I also consider myself very patient and tolerant I acknowledge my mistakes, and try to resolve issues multiple times if they happen. I also always read terms and conditions very carefully before I buy anything online or leave my credit card number to anyone. I have been successful with companies that other people complain about online, companies that have terms and conditions hidden well and business models built partly on the fact that people don't read T&C or misunderstand them. There are multiple reports about Silkies being a ripoff I've been a customer and had no problems; multiple reports about problems with Bendaroos I've ordered them, had an issue that was resolved within one business day (overnight actually). But NSS is a different story.
I've found them by clicking on a Facebook ad, and read someone's fake blog about how great this product named Cosmetyn is. The blog linked to a page where people were offered to get a no-obligation trial of the product. No-obligation trials are a common practice used by e-commerce companies, and they are often being confused with free trials. The difference is simple free trial model is try, and if you like it, you can buy it, whereas no-obligation trial is try it, and if you don't like it, you'll have to cancel. The concept is very user-friendly, and cancellations are usually easy, the only catch is that if you forget to cancel, you get charged.
So I decided to try Cosmetyn. If it's as good as they say, I thought, I'd be lucky to have found a great product If not well, I'd lose the shipping costs, no big deal. I thought I knew what I was on to.
The T&C said very clearly that customers had 30 days from the day of order (not from the day they get the product) to cancel their trial. In order to cancel, customers have to first call their customer service within 30 days, get an RMA number, and then ship the bottles, even if they are empty, back to them, and put the RMA # on the box. And if they did it all right, they are not supposed to be charged.
This is of course a not-so-user-friendly idea to start with. And I understand that many people forget to cancel, or don't ship the bottles back, or don't get the RMA#, or don't write it on the box, and then they get charged and can't prove anything. But I thought I was smart (ha-ha), so I ordered the d**n thing. That was May 27 of 2009.
I was charged $7.90 shipping and handling the next day, May 28 (the company on the statement looks like NSS*COSMETYN 954-2372690 FL).
I did receive the order confirmation and terms and conditions were communicated to me pretty clearly.
Pretty soon I got the box. The products (slimming/anti-cellulite cream and stretch mark cream) , by the way, were not too bad the smell was a little annoying, but overall it was no different than any other cream of that nature that you can buy at a pharmacy for about $10 not worth the $90 it is priced.
So, June 3, I call them to cancel the membership (well before my trial was over). I get an RMA # (11 digits), I specifically ask the woman (nice lady on the phone) if I need two RMA ## for the two products that I ordered, and she says no, one number is fine. So I put this number on every side of the box (total of 6 times just to make sure I'm not missing anything) and ship it back. I get the cancellation email from them, and everything looks fine.
And live happily ever until BOOM June 19 I see a charge of $89.95 from NSS*COSMETYN 954-2372690. Now this is, as many other victims of this company mentioned, 10 days earlier than the trial was supposed to be over. But I DID CANCEL my membership. So on June 22 I call them to figure out what's going on. (June 19, when I found out about the charge, was a Friday, June 22 was the closest business day I could call them).
The customer service number is 954-237-2690; hold time was about 10 minutes totally acceptable, right?
OK so the agent on the phone sounds nice, and explains that there was a problem when they were processing my cancellation, and they cancelled only one product instead of both of them, and that he sees that I did ship the products, they did receive it and the RMA was there and they apologize for the inconvenience. He says the refund will be processed within 2 weeks.
I receive another email confirming my membership cancellation, and live happily ever
Until the same exact evening, when I logged in to my bank account and discovered another charge from NSS*COSMETYNSTRETCH 954-2372690 FL on June 22 for $56.90.
So needless to say, June 23, I call again.
Another nice guy explains that they had a glitch in their system and as a result all of their customers were charged the $56.90 amount. He did apologize, said that the refund will be taken care of, and that I should expect within 2 weeks. He even said that all the customers who were charged as a result of their glitch will get a free 2-day getaway or something like that.
This glitch thing made me wonder why despite my membership being cancelled, my credit card number was still in their system Nevertheless, I decided to wait for the refund. Glitches happen, I thought.
2 weeks passed, and I was on to July 7 with still no refund.
So I call them again. The nice guy on the phone confirms that they see that the refunds are being processed and suggests me to wait until the end of that week. So I wait (see I'm very patient and reasonable).
The end of the week comes of course still no refund.
July 14 it is and I call again. I hear the same thing, and the agent on the phone sounds really concerned about my problem, says that he will escalate the issue and make sure it is taken care of in the best possible way. I do point out the fact that 2 weeks passed long time again, and that I am on to my 5th week with no sign of my money. He is very nice though, this agent.
So by the end of that week I am pretty angry because my money is still somewhere in someone else's pocket. I think well, maybe they have invested it in something, and will return it back to me eventually or whatever. But I am not happy about it.
Today is July 21. I call these people again and the conversation was completely unacceptable and intolerable and made me realize that this is not a tricky business model but a simple RIPOFF!!!!
The person on the phone said that he doesn't see any refund being processed. That they can return the $56.90 but they will still charge me shipping and handling (something that they have already charged before and I was never trying to dispute). And that for the $89.95 refund I have to now listen carefully PROVE THAT I CANCELLED MY MEMBERSHIP BEFORE MY TRIAL ENDED BECAUSE HE DOESN'T SEE ANY RECORD THAT THEY GOT THE PRODUCTS OR THAT I EVER CALLED THEM AND CANCELLED OR ASKED FOR A REFUND!!!!!
He, or course, couldn't explain how the other 4 agents I've been speaking to all these other times, saw that I asked for the refund and even saw that it was being processed.
And then the funniest thing ever he asked me to fax him the proof that I called them before my trial ended that proof being a statement from my phone company with their number on it and the date that was supposed to be before my trial. PHONE RECORD!!! HE ASKED ME FOR A PHONE RECORD!!!!
I will now try and get this money back via my bank or court, whatever it takes. But I want everyone to know never order from them!!! Even if you do everything they ask you to, they will come up with something else to charge you whether it being a glitch in the system or a sudden disappearance of all your cancellations from your account, or something else.
This company should not be allowed to operate online, it's because of companies like Natural Source Store / Cosmetyn people are afraid to shop online, hurting other e-commerce companies
Also Beware: Cosmetyn has a large number of affiliates all over search engines (both paid and organic results, for keywords as stretch marks, cosmetyn etc), for example:
And many, many more! Don't buy Cosmetyn from any of these, no matter what affiliate you use, you get to the same company charging you in the end!!
Prefer Not To Say, Massachusetts