HCI Direct Informative - Only agreed to free SAMPLE

Review by nitemom on 2008-04-14
PENNSYLVANIA -- I received a card in the mail offering a free SAMPLE of Silkies Enriche Skincare. I read the card carefully to make sure there was no further obligation and sent it in. I received the sample and then was told I was going to start receiving shipments I never agreed to and if I no longer wanter them I needed to send it back but they didn't send any postage-paid packaging to do that with. Now I have a letter sitting in front of me from a RMCB collection agency.

I read that they had to pay out some good size settlements for doing this type of scam using stockings so I guess now they're trying to scam people with skincare lotion. Should I try the BBB?
Comments:9 Replies - Latest reply on 2008-04-16
Posted by msnanny on 2008-04-15:
Did you keep the subsequent shipments or return them? If you kept them then you have to pay for them.
Posted by FoggyOne on 2008-04-15:
Actually, if the poster received the items without ordering them the U.S. postage service says they are a gift and the recipient is under no obligation to return them whether they use them or not. But the key is, I bet there is something on the card you returned for the free sample, regardless of how much you read it, that says you will start getting an automatic shipment unless you cancel. I've never seen a free sample given with no further automatic obligation. I think you will have to return them or pay them, but make sure you cancel the automatic shipments. The wording can be sneaky on these cards explaining what is really going to happen (that is, automatic shipments).
Posted by Principissa on 2008-04-15:
Foggy, it's probably in print so small you'd need the hubble telescope to see it. And I bet that is how I get away with it. Because when questioned they can point to the card and say, here it is in black and white. Sad truth is that most of the people getting scammed by this product are senior citizens, most of who have eye problems and wouldn't be able to read anything that small.
Poster, if you continue to get packages from this company, either give them back to your carrier if you are home when they come or take them yourself to the post office and tell them you want all shipments from this company to stop being delivered. You may also want to talk to your postmaster to fill him in on the situation. More importantly do not keep the products (even though they are considered gifts because they were unsolicited) because now they consider you signed up for an auto-ship program.
Posted by spiderman2 on 2008-04-15:
They way this is set up on their online free sample isn't the easiest to read but if you want their *free* online sample you agree to:

"Silkies Enriche™ Skincare Service Offer Terms
Get a FREE 1-oz. sample of our Silkies Enriche™ Ageless Moisturizer plus a FREE Eye Wrinkle Stick when you try our Silkies Enriche™ Skincare Service today, and pay only $4.95 for shipping and handling. Your free 1-oz. sample will be sent right away. Then, unless you decide to cancel, in about 4 weeks, you’ll receive a 2-oz. supply of Silkies Enriche™ Ageless Moisturizer in the same formula as your free sample and at our low member price of only $24.99*, plus shipping and handling. No matter what you decide, your introductory 1-oz. sample of Silkies Enriche™ Ageless Moisturizer and Eye Wrinkle Stick are yours to keep FREE, less shipping and handling. If you are happy with Silkies Enriche™ Ageless Moisturizer, do nothing and continue to receive a 2-oz. supply in your home every 4 weeks or less frequently if you prefer. You always have the option to change your product selection, size and delivery schedule on your order form. You authorize us to charge your credit card $4.95 now and the amount of each order at the time of each shipment. You’ll have the option of keeping or returning the shipment with no questions asked. If you return the shipment, you will receive a full refund on your credit card for that shipment and your account will be cancelled. There is no minimum number of shipments to buy and you may cancel at any time by contacting customer service. Your satisfaction is always our #1 priority and is always completely guaranteed."

I would stick with my theory of if you have to give them your credit card number, it isn't a free sample.

Posted by tnchuck100 on 2008-04-15:
Some people will never learn...no company will ever give you something FREE unless there is a method in place to recover the cost of what they gave you for "FREE".

In all likelyhood, in this case the $4.95 "shipping and handling" is enough to cover the cost of the product, the shipping, and still leave $2.00 profit for the company.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-04-15:
Thanks spidey, for digging out the T&C for getting the 'free' sample. Most negative option sales are prohibited. Here, the poster clearly agreed to accept future shipments and pay for them, unless the contract was canceled. The poster should cancel the contract (CMRRR) and refuse further shipments (typically a month later). I'm afraid the poster will be stuck paying for the stuff already received. Thanks for warning us about this one!
Posted by Suusan B. on 2008-04-15:
Nothing is truly free - - I'm sure somewhere in the fine print on the card you received and subsequently mailed it states that you are agreeing to future shipments. And your complaint that you weren't provided with "postage-paid packaging" to return the unwanted items isn't going to hold water as with most of these offers, return postage is your responsibility. Since this has been turned over to a collection agency I'm assuming it didn't happen yesterday, so unless you can prove that you returned the products and/or cancelled the agreement you are going to ultimately be stuck paying for them. Finally, contacting the BBB isn't going to do you any good as you agreed to the shipments.
Posted by nitemom on 2008-04-16:
Thanks for comments but to clear some things up... I gave no credit card info ,if I did they would have their money. I was informed that I was going to recieve future shipments in a letter that came with the sample and not before, I looked for this on the card and didn't see anything,if it was there it was microscopic.All I did was place a sticker on my choice (an age range) and put it in the mail box. I recieved packets of the product and the letter about the shipments and didn't sign anything or give any personal or financial information. The card already had my name and address so I guess this was sold to them. Thanks
Posted by nitemom on 2008-04-16:
I guess it's not worth the trouble for $24.99. The funny thing is that I probably would have tried the lotion for $24.99,I just don't like sneaky scam artists. LESSON LEARNED!!!

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