Acai Berry Pushers Run a Scam, State Says

     PHOENIX (CN) – An Arizona company pushes “free trials” of acai berry products online and then repeatedly bills customers for stuff they didn’t order and don’t want, the Arizona Attorney General says. The attorney general says Nature’s Acai Berry hides its scam in “faded print” that mentions a bill of $85.91 and a monthly “membership” fee of $29.95.

     Nature’s Acai Berry offers a “14-day risk-free” trial offer, allegedly for $1.99 plus shipping and handling, the state says in Maricopa County Court.
     But the order button on its Web site conceals a “faded print stating that the ’14-day trial offer’ began on the date of the order, and that unless the consumer canceled before 14 days passed by calling a toll free customer service number, that the consumer would be charged $85.91 … and would receive a new shipment … 30 days after their trial order date,” Attorney General Terry Goddard in says.
     Customers who order the 14-day offer, are taken to a page that advertises 21-day free membership site trials for DietsCentral.com and CostWave.com. The fine print underneath the checkout button states that customers who want to keep the memberships must do nothing and will be charged $29.95 per month; or they can cancel within the 21 days and not be charged anything, the complaint states.
     But the state says that many people who order the “14-day risk-free trial offer” do not get anything within two weeks, and when they try to cancel by calling customer service they face “excessive hold times, disconnections, and customer service reps who say their cancellations cannot be processed because “‘the computers were down.'”
     Customers who were led to believe they had canceled found their credit cards were billed anyway, Goddard says.
     He seeks refunds and an injunction.
     Here are the defendants: Larby Amirouche, Robert Thomas Norton and his wife dba Amir and Sanchez Nutraceuticals, Nature’s Acai Berry, NaturesAcaiBerry.com, Nature’s Best Acai Berry, SimpleCleanser LLC, and Amirouche and Norton LLC.

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