Mar 21, 2013

Free E-Cigarette Starter Kits? Don't Get Sucked In!

Free E-Cigarette Starter Kits!! 

We love free stuff, don’t we? But we also know from experience that nothing comes for free. And yet, I still click on those freebies!

That’s exactly what I did. I obviously don’t need a new e-cigarette starter kit (we have plenty of e-cigarette starter kits right here in our inventory!). But I wanted to follow through on this offer to see exactly what would happen.  
















I clicked to get my “free e-cigarette starter kit.”
Turns out it wasn’t free after all…

I quickly clicked on “Get a Free Trial Today” because I wanted to make sure I “acted fast before they were all gone!” (Yeah, right. We all know that ruse!)

And sure enough, my credit card was only charged $4.95 to cover shipping costs. About a week later, an e-cigarette starter kit with a single battery, 2 cartomizers, and chargers arrived. (FYI, this is basically the same as our “Try Me” E-Cigarette Starter Kits that we charge $34.95 for – only with an extra wall charger).

So you get 14 days to try it. Well, I didn’t realize that, and I made the mistake of keeping the kit. And guess what?! 

I got charged $119.95 exactly two weeks later. Yikes! THAT's not free!

Let’s do a quick calculation: $119.95 plus $4.95 equals $124.90, compared to our price of $34.95 (our e-cigarette starter kits ship for free). That’s $90 more!

These are the charges that showed up on my credit card
So I call. And I explain that I don’t really understand why I’m being charged such a high price for their single battery e-cigarette starter kit. Their phone banks are clearly very busy, as I can hear lots of other people on the phone in the background. The poor customer rep. explained that I should’ve read the fine print, but offered to put 50% back on my credit card.

But wait! It gets worse!

Less than a month later, a tiny box of cartomizers arrived.

 And another not-so-tiny charge shows up on my credit card – this time, for $69.90! 

This morning, I finally checked my credit card to see if they had issued the 50% refund. (Late, I know, but I’ve been busy!) I found out that they had indeed issued a 50% refund – but on the cost of the cartomizers, not on the starter kit. Out of the whopping total of $194.80 they charged me, I was given a $29.98 refund.

When I called the second time, I asked why they charged so much for cartomizers. The going rate (see page "Compare E-Cigarette Brands") for a box of cartomizers typically is between $11 and $17. Our cartomizers are due in by the end of March, and our prices will be reasonable, just like our other products: $9.95 + $2.00 shipping for one box, and $8.95 + $2 shipping for two or more boxes (with the code "Vamp1").

So I asked the poor customer service rep why they charged $69.90 for a box of five cartomizers. Here’s what he said:

“Our customers think ours taste better and it doesn’t make them cough. They don’t feel it in their throat. Some of the other e-cigarette brands aren’t as smooth and some of them will break.” (I’m thinking: “Seriously? They’ll break?! I have never in my life heard of a cartomizer breaking!”)

And then he made me a deal that I absolutely CAN refuse: if I buy more than three packs, they’ll drop the price to $39.95 per pack. I forgot to ask about shipping. But let’s just say they’re shipped for free. That’s $119.85 for three packs of cartomizers (the exact same kind we sell at Vaping Vamps), compared to our pricing of $32.85 ($8.95 x 3 + $6 shipping). That’s more than three times the cost!!

So the lesson we have to learn once again?

There’s no such thing as a free lunch.

And there’s certainly no such thing as a free e-cigarette starter kit!

P.S. ALWAYS make sure you read the fine print. Regal is just one of several e-cigarette brands that are running this type of scam. Google the name of the company with the word scam to see what pops up. 

Here’s another similar ad, with the fine print (I printed it as close as the original as I could: dark gray tiny print on a black background. Talk about hard to read):


Membership Terms and Conditions: If I enroll in the refill membership program I am agreeing to be charged $79.99 + S&H in 15 days and each 30 days thereafter for a 10-filter refill pack. My credit card will be billed and my shipment will be sent automatically at those times. Refill shipments will continue until I call to cancel my Membership at 1-866-830-2464 Monday to Saturday 8am-6pm CST or by emailing us at support@yourorderhelp.com. By clicking to order I represent that I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy and full Terms and Conditions of this offer and I understand that I will be liable for payment of product that was shipped to me, and future shipments of product, if I fail to notify customer service to stop supplying the product to me.

6 comments:

  1. Thank you ever so for you post.Really thank you!
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  2. Wow great post! Love to see this post. It is really amazing for us. Electronic Cigarette Starter Kits

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  3. I think one should always read the terms and conditions with the free offers and deals. Purchase your e cigarette starter kits from authorized dealers and you can also take advice from your friends and family members where to buy an e cigarette kit from. They can recommend you the shops from where they have purchased their kits. Search for the company and read client’s reviews and testimonials too. You should know what are the components and accessories in the kit prior to making any deal. To know more about what is in your e cigarette kit visit this http://blog.best4ecigs.com/2013/05/what-is-in-e-cigarette-starter-kit.html

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great posting!!! I recently blacklisted Regal on my blog for shockingly high costs. I wasn't aware of their other tricks. Note: E-cig.com and V4L were also blacklisted.
    http://ecig-filter.blogspot.com/2013/10/blacklist-alets-regal-ecigs.html

    ReplyDelete
  5. So I call. And I explain that I don’t really understand why I’m being charged such a high price for their single battery e-cigarette starter kit.
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