The following is a personal experience, one that’s backed by pages of complaints on the Internet.
How did I get involved? We left the high and dry desert of SW New Mexico (4000′ and 12% or less humidity) and traveled to Oregon’s Willamette Valley (elevation 426′ and humidity from 75%-95%). In NM, we don’t have much contact with grade school through high school kids. In Oregon, we have grand kids and they have lots of friends over to visit.
A week or so after arriving in Oregon, we both came down with a cold that was accompanied by some flu symptoms. We did our usual remedies, all of which are natural and holistic, and we were getting better as the days went by. Our recovery was similar to the price of gas. One day we’d be up and the next day we’d be down a little. The downs were never as low as they’d previously been and the ups were higher. Unlike the price raises of gas, the ups of our recovery weren’t nearly as rapid. Writing and my businesses keep me on the Internet a lot. On my home pages there were ads for resveratrol, most promoted by high profile people.
Hoping for an answer to our colds, I clicked through on an ad. I was taken to a web site that promised a month’s free trial supply of resveratrol for only $3.95 in shipping and handling. I asked my wife, who was working on her computer across the aisle in our motor home, whether she was also willing to give it a go for $3.95. She said she was, so I reread the web site to see if there were any hidden clauses or click throughs that would require a person to sell the farm in order to fulfill their obligation. I found none and filled out the form. The billing date for the “free trial” was May 14, 2009. I received the product May 19.
The next day after ordering, while going over our bank statement, my wife found that instead of $3.95 for shipping and handling, we’d been charged $0.99…twice. We agreed that since the web site had said the charge was $3.95 and the double billing came to $1.98, we’d let it ride. That was the first, and most insignificant, in a series of problems that were to arise.
On May 31st, our bank statement showed a charge of $87.13. On the invoice below, that was included with the order, the $87.13 charge is credited and the total is shown as $0.99.
Here’s a copy of the invoice that accompanied the product. All personal information has been removed.
Please write this number down Order # *********.
Thank you for your order,
Your order is scheduled to arrive on May 18, 2009
For Customer service or any questions, please call us at 1-866-949-0138
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SKU Product Price Units Subtotal
RSV Resveratrol Ultra $87.13 1 $87.13
Shipping and Handling $0.99
BILLING ADDRESS ********************
On the confirmation above, the shipping charges are shown as $0.99, not the original $3.95. When we checked our bank statement using the Internet on May 31, 2009 there was a charge for $87.13 for Proresvera. My order was to Resmax. The product received has the name “Resveratrol Ultra” on the label. Because we’d received a bill for $87.13, I searched the Internet for the original web site and order form but could not find it. All I could find were web sites with the $0.99 shipping and handling. I also could not find any that showed the original product name.
I called the 866# on the confirmation and was told, by a recording, that if I wanted to speak to a representative to press #3. When I pressed #3, I was told to press 0. When I pressed 0, I was taken back to the main menu and told to press #3, etc. There was no way to get out of the loop. The recording also said it was possible to cancel or change the order status by going to www.myordersupport.com.
When I typed www.myordersupport.com in the search box, I found pages of complaints under various URLs including the following. www.oprah.com/community/thread/105975 www.complaintsboard.com/byurl/ www.mythreecents/showreview-cgi?id=54356. There are many more, which can be found by Googling or using any other Internet search engine. I also found, in order to change or cancel my order using www.myordersupport.com, I had to have an account name and password. I had not been asked to establish an account or create a password when ordering the product. Consequently, I wasn’t able to use whatever might have been possible on the web site, if indeed anything was.
The first time I was able to find the parent company name in print, was in those complaints. It is also on the recorded message but I didn’t think about doing an Internet scam or fraud search using the company name until I found the complaint pages. Using SWM Laboratories, it is possible to find another long list of complaints, for many and varied items.
When we spoke with Credit Card Disputes through our bank, they gave us 1-800-219-5111 as the phone # they showed. I called the number and got the same recording which stated press #3, then 0, then #3, etc. There was a “press #2 to change or cancel your order” option, which I’d been reluctant to use before because it required the entry of my credit card #. Since there had been so many other problems and unauthorized charges, I wasn’t sure if it was even the original company. After speaking with Credit Card Disputes, I used that option, entered my credit card# and was told, electronically, the only charge on our account was $0.99. Nothing was stated about the $87.13 charge that had been posted to our bank account. I was also told, electronically, there would be no future shipments or billings to my account.
During our talks with credit card disputes, and the fraud division, we were told the company was based in Israel. The ship from address was Hollywood, FL. At the time of this writing, we have not received any other product nor have we received a credit for the $87.13 charge. Our bank, which our credit card is through, told us that since the company is based outside the country, there isn’t a lot they can do, including getting the $87.13 back. To add insult to injury, we were charged an additional fee because the company was overseas.
Now, the good part. I received the item in the early afternoon and took a capsule as soon as I walked from the mailbox to the motor home. That evening I noticed a considerable drying and de-congestion in my sinuses. I continued to get better at about the same pace as before taking the product. Could the sinus clearing have been coincidental? Possibly, but I believe it was connected with the resveratrol. I had found in research that resveratrol can send messages to the cells to stop producing viruses and that it does not promote increases in cytokines IL-6 and TNF-a. IL-6 and TNF-a increase mucus in order to help clear the body of foreign objects, such as bacteria and viruses.
Weight loss is one of the big selling points of the SWM Laboratories resveratrol, no matter what name they’re using at that time. Weight loss isn’t something that concerns me. I haven’t experienced any gains in energy or stamina. With the exception of the sinus clearing, I’m not convinced it had any noticeable effects on my getting over the cold and other symptoms any sooner. If it was a determining factor in the clearing of my sinuses, that’s a high price to pay.
To give the devil his due: if the company uses an affiliate program where others promote the product using other web sites and a click through for payments, anyone with a small knowledge of HTML could change what appears on that web site. If that’s the case, the company needs to monitor their affiliate web sites to be sure all information is correct. If the company changes shipping and handling and the appearance and text of their web sites as often as it appears, not being able to locate the $3.95 charge for shipping and the original web site it was on for instance, I personally believe they have intentions of taking adva
ntage of the buyer and know that being forced to credit the overcharges are unlikely. When reading the pages of complaints, that appears to be the case.