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Beware of 'free trial offers'

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(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

Robin Boshaw says when you look good, you feel good – and that's exactly why she tries to look her best.

"I work with a lot of people,” Boshaw told 3 On Your Side. “I'm in a very public atmosphere and have been for many years. I just want to continue to look my best, wherever I go and whatever I'm doing."

Boshaw said she finds herself trying all kinds of face creams and moisturizers to help look vibrant.

And, while doing some work on the Internet recently, a pop-up ad for a product really caught her attention.

"What I came across was an ad for a free trial of eye serum and Revival Beauty Face Cream," Boshaw explained to 3OYS.

The products were from a company called Revival Beauty, which had a free trial offer.

Boshaw entered her debit card information to pay the $4.95 for shipping and handling. She hadn't read the terms and conditions, but she clicked that she had.

"So, I thought, 'Well, gosh, free trial? Pay shipping only?'" she recalled. “That's a great way to try a product, and then if I want it, I can order some more of it."

The so-called free items arrived, but Boshaw wasn't a fan of the product.

Two weeks later, while reviewing her bank account, Boshaw noticed Revival Beauty had withdrawn $99.88 and then another $89.99 for a total of around a $189.

"And suddenly I'm without $189 and I can't get anybody to help get that back,” Boshaw said.

The fine print of the terms and conditions read that when Boshaw ordered Revival Beauty, she agreed to become a member who's billed monthly for the product.

Felecia Thompson, spokeswoman for the Phoenix Better Business Bureau, told 3OYS that "free trial offers" are one of the agency's top complaints.

“So, from our experience, we do hear a lot from consumers who sign up for a free trial offer and just simply couldn't get their cancellation of their membership,” Thompson said. “Or (they) didn't realize they were added to a membership because all they simply wanted to do was get the free trial product."

Boshaw said it's an expensive lesson and that others should be warned.

“And I always thought I was pretty smart about that,” Boshaw said. “Obviously, I wasn't smart enough. And, it's just happening to a lot of people."

 By the way, Boshaw was able to cancel with Revival Beauty and stop any future billing.  However, she is still on the hook for the initial $189. 

 3 On Your Side tried contacting Revival Beauty several times regarding a possible refund, but no one with management ever responded to my requests.

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