“Stupid is as stupid does.” Forrest might have been talking about me, and I feel stupid even admitting to it. But here it is. Somewhere in my internet wanderings, I stumbled onto mention of two tooth brightening products offering free samples, which when used together worked as well as a professional tooth brightening, one costing more than a hundred bucks. What the heck, I thought, why not? My wife has always expressed her doubts about shopping on-line and I’ve always pooh poohed her, saying it was as safe as shopping in a mall. I offered my information regarding shipping and method of payment to both companies. Caveat emptor. Two weeks later I received my trial material from Extreme Brite White, and an e-mail telling me about the product and information about canceling the trial and any further shipments. Ah ha, I thought. One of those time-frame deals: within two weeks of shipment date, the trial had to be canceled. I immediately called the company to cancel, repacked the stuff and sent it away. Shortly thereafter I received an e-mail telling me I’d successfully canceled. Good.
Two weeks later, I noticed a charge of $87.47 from my debit card account to a company called Dazling Brite. This was the second company, the one from which I’d never received anything, no product, no e-mail, nada, nothing. I went on-line and tried to find a website for this company. Instead I found a site containing numerous letters describing this scam. Dumb, dumb, dumb. I went to my bank and canceled my card and requested a new card. Once bitten, yes, but not twice. When I tried to file a dispute of the charge with Wells Fargo, I was told I first needed to attempt to contact the company. There was a phone number attached to the description of the charge. I called the number. I got a sales representative who spoke such broken English I could barely understand her. Twenty minutes of garbled conversation and I was finally given a UPS tracking number for my shipment, which she said had been sent out June 1, some seventeen days earlier. I was also given an RMA (return merchandise authorization) for writing on the package when I sent it back to the address she gave me: 3609 N. 29th Ave., Hollywood, Florida 33020. I logged in to UPS and found that the tracking number didn't exist. I’ll be damned, she gave me an erroneous number. I went back to the file of complaints and found many fellow-scammed folks saying much the same thing. Apparently, there is no such company, no website, no such product, no such address. This has to be a really elaborate scam, to have people sitting in a room fielding calls from irate customers, handing out completely false information. One would have to wonder why the Better Business Bureau hasn’t shut them down.
Caveat emptor. Let the buyer beware. And, boy, will I be a lot more wary from now on.