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Published on July 11th, 2014

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NoFlame E-Cigs Blows Smoke about Terms

Consumers should be wary of making purchases on noflameecig.com, the website for the NoFlame e-cigarettes brand. What’s the problem? Automatic enrollment into a “continuity program” that carries steep recurring charges for additional products every month.

From the terms and conditions:

If you decide to purchase a starter kit or cartomizers and join or (sic) monthly delivery program please note that upon placing your order for our NoFlame E-Cigs starter kit, you will be automatically enrolled in the company’s continuity program…

NoFlame says a customer can opt out of the program at anytime but there is confusing and conflicting information on when a consumer will be charged.

The terms and conditions do not explicitly state when a customer is first charged as a new member of the program; that is, how long after the purchase of a starter kit or cartomizers. The refund/return policy indicates a 30-day period for products but it is unclear if that also covers the monthly delivery program.

TINA.org investigated further and received an email from a customer service representative confirming NoFlame’s automatic enrollment program and saying there’s a trial period of 14 days (Emphasis added):

…upon placing your first order, you will be enrolled in the Company’s Program. As a member in the Program, We will immediately send you a Starter Kit which includes one extended battery, USB charger, one pack of cartomizers and an instruction manual and all you pay is for shipping and handling at a rate of $4.95 (USD). You have 14 days to try the Product and give us your feedback and decision. Otherwise, at the end of your Trial Period, you will get (sic) to pay $109.67 the full price of the kit with a lifetime warranty. Then every 30 days thereafter, you will be sent a new supply of the refills containing 2 packs of cartomizers, (A total of 10 cartomizers) for $69.62.

Perhaps not surprisingly this lack of transparency has led to many irked customers. The FTC has received 113 complaints against the Florida-based company and the BBB — which gives NoFlame an “F” rating — has received 426 consumer grievances against the e-cig company.

Said one consumer in a complaint to the FTC: “When I received the starter kit, there was a card in the package, thanking me for the order, NOTHING is stated anywhere on it about Charging me the 109.67 OR 69.92. … THERE WAS NO BILL or Statement of any kind saying that I owed any ADDITIONAL money OR would be billed for any.”

NoFlame’s continuity program is a typical negative-option offer. More information on TINA.org’s investigation of the e-cigarette industry can be found here.

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