Warning issued about diet supplements

January 6, 2009 9:02:24 PM PST
Consumers are being told to be wary of weight loss products containing the acai berry.The online ads were enough to convince Raquel Acosta to give them a try.

Acai berries come from Brazil. The berries have become popular helping with energy and weight loss. So Raquel ordered them through what she says was a risk-free trial.

But when she got them, she decided otherwise and tried to return the unopened bottle for her money back.

"She said I had to call them to cancel and I did and nobody answered," said Acosta.

No one replied to her email either.

So eventually she went to her bank and the Better Business Bureau which has heard hundreds of similar complaints about some companies selling acai products.

"The poor customer service, not answering the phone. Emails are bouncing. They gladly take your money on the internet," said Steve Bernas of the Better Business Bureau.

The bureau issued a national alert warning consumers to beware of online sales offers of acai berry products and to be sure and read the fine print.

Many of the ads use statements from celebrities like Oprah Winfrey. But a spokesperson for Oprah tells ABC News she does not endorse any of these products. That's what helped sell Raquel Acosta on the pills in the first place.

But she says when the company never responded she had to change her credit card number to keep them from charging her.

"It made me more leery when purchasing products online," said Acosta.

The Better Business Bureau said they have gotten a lot more complaints since new year's day when a lot of people make resolutions to lose weight. They are hoping to keep those people from losing money too.


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