Free trial offer ends up costing Peoria woman

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PEORIA -- A Peoria woman was hoping to whiten her teeth, but now says it was a bad decision.

You always have to be very careful with Internet purchases.

Carleen Flack thought she was getting involved in one of those free trial offers. It turns out free really isn't free at all.

Flack was surfing the Internet recently and came across some products that promised to whiten her teeth.

"I've used products from the dentist and they are expensive so I thought maybe we could save a couple of bucks," she said.

The products were from two companies, Dazzle White and Easy White Labs, and both companies had trial offers.

So Flack put in her information, including her credit card number, and then something happened.

"I got an e-mail quickly that said by the way, we are going to charge your credit card," Flack said. "One was $58. Another was $78 a month for this product."

Unfortunately, Flack failed to read the fine print stating the trial offer was good for 10 days and after that she would subscribe to the product month after month.

Flack said that was something she wasn't interested in.

"I canceled literally 10 minutes after placing the order once I saw they were already putting charges on my credit card like that quickly," she said.

Flack said the charges were eventually removed and, get this, she even received the trial products in the mail.

The only thing she was stuck with was small shipping and handling fees, but she doesn't agree with the way the trial offer was spelled out.

"Just really know what you're getting," Flack said. "If there's fine print, read it."

Dazzle White is located out of state and would not return 3 On Your Side's phone calls.

However, Easy White Labs has a physical address in Scottsdale so we went there and what we found was a P.O. box inside a UPS store.

They too refused to return our calls.

Regardless, Flack said her days with any trial offer are over.

"It's a pain in the butt, just a lot of hassle that I should have to go through," she said.

The Better Business Bureau says always be careful when participating in any trial offer. In a statement, the BBB said, "It's imperative that consumers read all the terms and conditions of Internet offers, even if they are only participating in a free trial. Unfortunately it's been our experience that some free trials lead to automatic subscriptions or account withdrawals. Look for small print, asterisks and pre checked boxes before providing personal information online. It's always recommended to check with BBB first to see the company's rating and complaint history."