7 On Your Side helps woman stuck buying expensive diet pills

A Rohnert Park woman thought she was filling out an online survey for Amazon, but ended up with diet pills she couldn?t afford.
February 6, 2014 8:15:40 PM PST
A Rohnert Park woman thought she was filling out an online survey for a reputable company. But what she ended up doing was inadvertently purchasing diet pills she couldn't afford and didn't realize she had purchased.

The diet pill company this woman ended up getting the pills from is under scrutiny by the Better Business Bureau. We decided to take a closer look at this woman's story.

Nancy Mortensen of Rohnert Park was on Amazon this past August when an online survey popped up on her screen purporting to be from Amazon itself. You could get exclusive gifts worth over $50 for participation, it said.

Mortensen looked at the questions and they seemed easy enough to answer: "How often do you visit Amazon.com? Where are you visiting amazon from?"

She completed the brief survey and was offered a choice of several prizes.

Mortensen chose the diet pills from Triminex.

"I paid $4.95 for the shipping and the handling thinking that I was going to receive one bottle to try," said Mortensen.

Instead, Mortensen said she received five bottles and $148 would later be debited from her checking account. That was money she couldn't afford because she was unemployed at the time.

"Oh my gosh. Because once they had done that I only had $7 left in my checking account for the month," said Mortensen.

Gene O'Neil is executive director of the Golden Gate Chapter of the Better Business Bureau. He says once the free trial offer ends, you are billed for the full amount. O'Neil told us, "That's a standard scam. Starting the trial period from the day the order is placed. That's not a fair offer."

Mortensen returned the pills to Triminex and says she was promised a refund. Four months came and went without a refund, so she called 7 On Your Side.

Triminex declined an on camera interview, but told us by phone that Mortensen received the terms and conditions with her welcome package and accused her of not reading it. She disputes that.

The Better Business Bureau gives Triminex its worst rating, an "F".

"Triminex is a free trial offer, except it's not free. It's not a trial," said O'Neil.

The BBB has received 99 complaints about the company over the past year. When we asked Triminex about that, a spokesman questioned the BBB's credibility.

"The BBB is for profit," a Triminex spokesman told us by phone. "It's hard to deal with a company that deals for profit. Some of those complaints were from customers who had their identity stolen. They weren't even our customers."

We checked, and the BBB is actually officially registered as a non-profit. As for the exact terms and conditions, Triminex said it would send us a copy. It did not. Both the BBB and Nancy say they have never seen them. We looked on the company's website and did find one dated 2012 offering a 30 day free trial.

Triminex has since sent Mortensen her refund.

"I really didn't have any other alternative but to call 7 On Your Side and they just did a fantastic job for me," said Mortensen.

Triminex told us, "It's unfortunate our call center handled this improperly. The agent has been removed."

We also called Amazon to see if Triminex is one of their advertisers. It said it had no association with Triminex at all and that the survey is not an official Amazon survey.

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