Friday, March 15, 2013

Internet Caution


I know my way around the Internet pretty well. I can say that so far I have not had any problems other than the normal viruses and worms that manage to find their way into the old Microsoft based PC's I used to use, But the other day I was almost taken in. I thought I'd write about this one, because it is so well done, and if you fall for it, you can lose a lot of money.

I was on the Internet the other day and found an add for a Language Learning system called the Pimsleura method. Now I have travelled to many countries and I've always managed to get along with my English and a few words in the local language (Hello, thank you, etc.), but I have always felt I really should put more effort into speaking the local languages when I visit a country. The problem is that I am really no good with languages. I only passed Jr. High French once and that was because the teacher kept me in every day for weeks drilling me. This system seemed perfect, advertising a natural way to learn. There was a video where a pleasant girl explained the system, and she had me convinced it would help me learn Portuguese prior to our trip to Portugal this year. Best of all, it was a deal; only $9.99. Even if it didn't work, I was only out ten bucks. I was almost ready to click the button to pay my money.

I finally thought, wait a minute, lets actually see how well this works. The internet has lots of reviews and testimonials of anything. I went to Google and typed “Reviews of Pimsleura Language Program.” Now be careful here, because like most of these Internet scams, they have themselves created numerous so called “Review” sites that extol the virtues of their product, so look at lots of the sites and find “real” reviews.

WOW, I never did learn if the system works. What I did learn is how one individual could make millions using the Internet to bilk people out of hundreds of dollars.

This Internet scam works by depending on people saying, like I did, “I'm only out 10 bucks if it doesn't work.” If you read the fine print, and even then it isn't clear, you will find that although it sounds like the $9.99 price is all you need to pay, in reality you are signing up for an ongoing $64.00 a month subscription that goes on forever. There are lots of statements about “Money Back Guarantee.” and “No Obligations.” but from the reviews and horror stories in the reviews of this company, they do not work.

Basically what happens is that once you sign up and pay your $9.99 with a credit card, they start charging you $64.00 a month, and it is almost impossible to get them to stop. Even if you send the product back (You pay return and shipping fees)they deny receiving it and continue charging your credit card. There were stories of people finally having to cancel their credit cards because they couldn't even tell the card companies to stop charges. All the testimonials emphasized that they found it almost impossible to get the charges to stop.

Another example of if it sounds too good to be true, read a real review.