May 7th, 2020
There may be another reason why about 70 percent of people who order Relief Factor’s 3-Week QuickStart “go on to order more,” as a recent radio ad claims. And it has nothing to do with how much they loved the product, which is described by the supplement company as a “100% drug-free botanical and fish oil research-based formula.”
While the radio ad doesn’t mention it and a video on the Relief Factor website muddies how long customers have to cancel, ordering the discounted three-week supply of pain pills automatically enrolls consumers in a “Preferred Customer” plan that charges consumers’ credit cards $79.95 (plus $6.95 S&H) unless they cancel within 15 days of their initial purchase date. Or, as Relief Factor co-owner Pete Talbott says in the website video (underneath which is a big orange button to “Order Now”):
We discounted the 3-Week QuickStart to only $19.95. That’s about a dollar a day to see if we can get you out of pain and after that it’s less than the cost of a cup of coffee a day to stay out of pain. Just $79.95 a month.
A reasonable consumer might interpret “after that” to mean “after three weeks” since that is how long the 3-Week QuickStart is meant to last. But in reality customers who purchase the 3-Week QuickStart have less than two weeks to try the product and, if they are still experiencing the “everyday aches and pains” Relief Factor claims to eliminate, cancel before incurring additional charges.
This is due to the fact that it takes two to three days to ship the product and the 15-day trial period begins when customers place their order online or over the phone (the supplement is not available in stores), as opposed to when customers receive their order. In addition, Relief Factor asks that you give the company 24 hours to respond to cancellation requests.
While other sections of the Relief Factor website, such as the order page, warn – in mouseprint that could easily be missed – about additional charges for additional products, the question remains: Why send consumers a three-week supply when they don’t have three weeks to try it? Before consumers can make up their minds — Talbott says in the video that “many” customers say it takes two to three weeks for the supplement to kick in — additional products are on the way.
For its part, the company says in the terms on the order page that “[t]his timeframe guarantees that your order will arrive 2-3 days before your 3-Week QuickStart runs out, for your convenience.”
So whether you want to be one or not, you may end up one of Relief Factor’s repeat customers.
TINA.org reached out to Relief Factor for comment. Check back for updates.
Find more of our coverage on products marketed for pain relief here.
9/11/20: Relief Factor has changed when it first bills consumers as part of its “Preferred Customer” plan, from 15 days after their purchase of the 3-Week QuickStart to three weeks after their purchase date. In addition, the video on the Relief Factor website has been taken down and replaced with a video testimonial.
5/11/20: In response to an inquiry by TINA.org, Relief Factor CEO Seth Talbott (Pete’s son) acknowledged that the video on the company’s website “needs to be clearer” about how long customers have to cancel enrollment in an autoship program before being charged a second time after purchasing the 3-Week QuickStart. “I am instructing my web team to take down our video immediately and replace it with language that is far easier to understand,” Talbott said in an email on Friday. He added that the company will conduct a review to ensure there aren’t any other ads that misrepresent the time frame in which to cancel.