French dramatist Jean Anouilh had a great saying about free. He famously said "What you get free costs too much."
Indeed some consumers have discovered free hair sample dangers.
Free Samples Which Morph Into Long Term Buying Commitments
Case in point? The Honest Company which sells a range of premium natural, non-toxic, lifestyle products including personal case items such as hair and body care.
As reported in the 10/03/2014 issue of The Hollywood Reporter, The Honest Company has drawn complaints from consumers who signed up for free samples only to be automatically enrolled for monthly deliveries.
Unfortunately many of the consumers found it difficult to cancel the monthly delivery services.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) logged 30 complaints since the company's launch.
Although the company now has an A-minus rating, this is just one example of where free hair sample dangers lurk in the shadows.
Phishing Scams Offering Free Samples
Many marketing companies will use the hidden hooks of free samples, e-books, coupons or similar gifts to build e-mail lists or in worst case scenarios, cover up others scams.
Note: Sally Beauty and Roux recently offered samples of the brand new Roux Anti-Aging Keratin Repair Shampoo & Conditioner. This was a legitimate offer which was perfectly safe when provided directly by Sally Beauty of Roux.
As phishing scams become more sophisticated some of the con artists are offering a range of free products via email including free hair, beauty and related coupons.
In order to receive free product samples or free coupons the phishing scams usually require you to fill out a form providing a range of information including, in some cases, credit card information.
Scams Which Look Legitimate
Phishing free sample scams often look completely legitimate.
The emails sent out to consumers offering free samples and/or information also seem legitimate.
What these phishing con artists are really after is your banking and financial information. Not only don't you receive free samples or coupons, you may get your computer destroyed in the process.
How To Protect Yourself Against Free Hair Sample Dangers
In today's world it's very important for consumers to be extremely careful when accepting any type of free samples. Especially if the offer of free samples originates from random unsolicited email offers.
If you sincerely wish to try a product and hope free samples will give you a true sampling, only accept free samples from legitimate companies with a long term trusted reputation.
Even better, purchase the smallest sized options of the products you wish to try and inquire about a money back guarantee option.
Many companies will offer legitimate money back guarantees in order to encourage new customers to try their brands.
Be aware that even with 100% money back guarantees there may be hidden shipping, tax or other fees attached to the refunds.
Read The Fine Print
After consumers were upset with The Honest Company over the free sample programs which led to automatic product delivery enrollment, the company revamped their customer care practices.
If you decide to order free samples from the company and you carefully read the fine print you'll note that new members have 7 days following receipt of the various Discovery Kits to cancel membership "at any time, for any reason."
The Honest Company also advises those who receive free samples what will happen if they choose not to cancel and how much they will be charged on a monthly basis, including shipping and handling.
The Better Business Bureau
Before signing up for free sample kits or after you find yourself in a unexpected committed buying situation with a company offering initial free gifts, check out the Better Business Bureau connection.
If you research Wen Hair Care which is famous for offering all sorts of special offers and related on the Internet, you will find many consumer complaints about billing issues and problems cancelling a recurring subscription account.
The good news? Wen is a Better Business Bureau accredited business. This means if consumers provide legitimate complaints with all the appropriate documentation to the BBB, Wen will make every effort to respond appropriately.
Even though Wen currently maintains an A+ rating with the Santa Monica based BBB, they have closed over 464 consumer complaints in the last three years.
Although filing a BBB complaint doesn't automatically promise you'll receive the response you want, it does mean the BBB certified company will make every effort to work with you.
Unfortunately many companies who offer free samples or have ulterior motives for their free offers do not have an active relationship with the Better Business Bureau.
While you can still file a complaint with the BBB, this dos not guarantee you will receive any response from the company in question.
Additional Ways To Avoid Being Scammed
When considering accepting free samples, gifts or trials never provide the following information under any circumstances unless you are 100% sure the company is legitimate.
Even then I would not recommend providing any of the following info:
1. Credit card information2. Paypal information
3. Social security information4. Email first before receiving any information.
If you are asked for any of those items, beware. If you wish to provide an email to investigate further, use an email address which is a burner or throwaway account.
Summary - Free Hair Sample Dangers
A very popular saying which has been around since the 1930s and 1940s is there's no such thing as a free lunch.The same is true with free hair samples or related gifts. If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.