According to Vee Daniel of the Better Business Bureau, South Carolina businessman John Monarch’s companies and a number of his clients have received complaints from consumers.
In a strikingly similar pattern, consumers allege they were scammed by a wide variety of diet, skin care, e-Cig, and sleeping aid “free trial” negative options that billed their credit cards for charges up to $500 without their consent.
Consumer complaint examples that link back to John Monarch’s Direct Outbound Services:
“This has to be one of the biggest internet scams I have ever personally seen even if it is for relatively small amounts of money. Why they continue to get away with this is mind boggling.”
“They are a bait and switch, they offer the 30-day “risk-free” and 14-day trial, however the fine print is how they take advantage of you and charge you extra, including doubling shipping charges.”
The FTC considers the phrase “negative option” or “free trial” to broadly refer to a category of commercial transactions in which sellers interpret a customer’s failure to take an affirmative action, either to reject an offer or cancel an agreement, as assent to be charged for goods or services. For a glossary of terms used by free trial merchants, read this article.