I saw an ad and fell for the smart pills scam called Acceleral. Unfortunately I ordered the product. With all the hype, I just fell for the ad and purchased the product. Afterwards I was having some concerns, so I searched Google for the ad and I couldn’t seem to find it.
The ads for the product posted extraordinary claims for helping with memory and improving cognitive brain function. It was similar to other nootropic brain supplements I had used in the past. However, this time it was different.
I had unknowingly signed up for a type of bait and switch. The ad promised a risk free trial. It turns out that this was a scam that also signs you up for an automatic monthly processing fee of $90. I want to alert everyone about this shameless deception.
The Smart Pills Scam – Free Trial Offer
Let me explain how a product sample free trial offer can end up costing you a pile of cash The latest problem is brain formulas or the so-called smart pills online, are boasting risk free trials that allow you to try the product first. So, what exactly is a free trial offer supposed to be? Wikipedia says Free trials
Customers can purchase this “trial” for a few dollars to cover shipping and handling. However, these turn out to be quite different than what you might expect.
The Subscription Scam
In order to get your “trial” you have to sign onto their forms to receive their free product. Read the TERMS AND CONDITIONS before you agree to your $4.95 FREE TRIAL BOTTLE , or you are agreeing to be charged a monthly fee of $90. So, your Free Trial costs you – $90 a month!
This is a deceptive practice that falls under the FTC definition of a “Free” Trial Offer.
Hidden Terms Are Not “Clearly Visible” on the Website
But, chances are nobody will ever see those Terms and Conditions! Why? They are deliberately placed out of sight on the page!
The terms and conditions are listed completely at the bottom of the page. Nobody will ever find them in that spot! The facts of the subscription should be clearly posted as a condition of purchase. They require you to agree to enroll in a monthly subscription as soon as you order the product. But, you don’t know that!
The free trial costs $90 a month!
If these conditions were known, people would not touch THE FREE TRIAL of the product. Because it is no Free Trial , just a deception! Unknown to you, you will be charged for your free trial. They led you to believe it was only going to cost $4.95 to try the product!
Your credit card is automatically charged $90 monthly. And to cancel you have to call, or send them a letter! However, nobody answers the phone!!! Nobody takes your information to cancel. You wait on hold when you call, and nobody ever gets back to you.
Extra Added Products Scam
Some sites are tricking people into buying two products, and letting them think it is a free(low priced trial) for just one product. Then, they get bills of nearly $200 placed onto their credit cards.
Fantastic Claims And a Hidden Catch
You see the ad copy claiming all the wonderful benefits of these smart pill supplements. They prey on us because we age and experience some reduced mental function! So, these claims are sure to capture our attention!
Everyone is always looking to improve our health and well-being, especially the elderly. They are in need of help for the age related declining in mental functioning abilities.
So, when someone is making fantastic claims, and telling you the claims are medically proven, 100% guaranteed, and offer a risk free trial for only $5, it is pretty hard to pass up!
But beware! It may not tell you about all the details.
The Product Of This Smart Pills Scam
Some of these fantastic claims prey on your emotions. Everybody wants relief from these problems!
Are you are struggling to get a promotion at work , just take this pill!
Do you want Increased happiness and the ability to play harder! This pill can increase your stamina and allow you to do that! Sounds wonderful. But, does the product deliver on these promises?
The Claims-100% GUARANTEED!– DOCTOR TESTED!– RISK FREE TRIAL!
Where are the Doctor Tested results found? The risk free trial is ONLY RISK FREE IF YOU FIND THE FINE PRINT TO READ! Any newsletter subscription online has to provide you a double opt in option. Where does it mention any monthly plan?
Where is the price of this product, other than the cost of the risk free trial? No where to be found on this ad. They surely don’t want you to know it’s going to cost you $90 each and every month!
The Catch – The Smart Pills Scam
A MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTION for $89.95. Enrollment is automatic and without your knowledge.
If so, then it is not a RISK FREE TRIAL! They show no cost of anything, you will see that at the checkout!
Where are the Terms and Conditions Of The Smart Pills Scam
The terms and conditions are found at the bottom of the smart pills online website page in very small, very faint text. YOU MANUALLY HAVE TO CLICK ON IT.
Then, you must scroll to the very bottom to READ THE TERMS– and find out you are agreeing to a monthly charge of $89.95 – If you don’t cancel this by calling a phone number given in the terms and conditions, within a limited time, You agree to pay $89.95 every month.
But guess what, Nobody answers the phone! You Can’t Cancel!!
The 100% Guarantee
Oh yeah, and the 100% guarantee…you have to keep taking the supplement for 30 days, to QUALIFY FOR A REFUND!
I wonder why they say if you get sick or have any bad reactions, it’s between you and your doctor, regardless of what they say on the website!!
This time it wasn’t that I fell for some new scheme, it is blatantly deceptive practice. Lately, many online sites are doing this very same thing. Everyone needs to report all of them to the FTC !
Overcharging Is Banned by the FTC
IN fact this type of practice is outlawed by the FTC.
In their article titled “Risk free trials were bait for rip offs” they explain how people signed up for Free Trials, and were enrolled into monthly subscriptions without their knowledge or permission. The FTC gives these directions if you get trapped A bogus “Free” trial.
If you enrolled in a free trial offer from a marketer that overcharged you, contact the company. If the company won’t give you a refund, call your credit card company to dispute the charge. Ask the credit card company to reverse the charge because you didn’t intend to order the additional merchandise. If you were wrongly charged for a free trial offer, report it to the FTC.
Report them! Each and every time we get caught up with these horrific websites, let the FTC know about it!! Some of these guys have 70-or 80 sites!! They need Reported!!
Check Carefully For Special Terms
No matter how hard anyone searches for wording that would give a clue into anything being wrong, It is not there! Well, it’s very well hidden. They lie and say it is clearly printed on their site, but in a very obscure area, not right under your nose!
There are no fancy words or double talk, and nothing that will say anyone agreed to any special terms or conditions.
THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF a Risk Free Trial ARE a TOTAL CONTRADICTION.
Any Risk Free Trial Offer Must be Scrutinized
No Price listed Anywhere
The actual cost of Acceleral, was not listed anywhere in the ad. Beware of any product that does not list the regular price anywhere!
Your focus is on the Risk Free Trial, and you are being distracted from the actual cost! This is done to confuse everyone.
The ad states “no obligation” , and try the “risk free trial offer”. I felt it was safe to buy. Boy, was I ever wrong!
To see a product making these claims, I honestly wanted to try the product, but I didn’t want scammed!
The Time Pressure – Hurry Supply is Limited
Hurry, supply is limited!!! This product is going fast! A gimmick used to sell products all the time. That is exactly why special sales are so effective. These and other gimmicks are outlined in How to Tell it’s a Scam.
They are trying to convince you that demand is so high, you won’t get it unless you buy the product right now!
It was the no risk clause, that assured me the product was safe to buy. So, what did I have to lose? The trial cost $5 and worst case I would never see my $5 again.
Unknown to me this RISK FREE TRIAL OPERATED UNDER terms and conditions in the tiny print at the bottom of the page as shown in the picture above. The purchase form does not contain any information about any subscription fee what so ever!
So I ordered. But wait, a strange new twist developed in my case.
Nobody Responds to Your Phone Calls
What happened next is really how the scam works! I found the subscription trap the next day, so I called the number they provided. My intention was to cancel my “Free” Trial Offer.
The phone is answered by a recorded message that claims someone would be with me shortly. Again, Nobody Answers The Phone
And 30 mins later, elevator music still playing, nobody answered…and so I kept on trying everyday, three times a day, for a week and still nobody answered. Wow, amazing how busy they are!! So, they give instructions to call them, but they don’t answer the phone. They ignore you.
I had enrolled into the $89.95 monthly charge without any knowledge of it.
And the company won’t answer the phone to allow you to cancel!
RISK FREE TRIAL and a 100% GUARANTEE?? – Such a lie!
Do The Ingredients In Acceleral Smart Pills Scam Actually Work?
The ingredients listed in Acceleral are common supplements.
- Folic acid – 400mcg
- Vitamin B-12 – 100mcg
* Proprietary blend – 700mg
- Taurine – ?
- Caffeine – ?
- DMAE Bitartrate – ?
- Ginko Bioba (leaf) Extract – ?
- Acety-L-Carnitine HCL – ?
- Bacope Monnieri – ?
All the ingredients, with the exception of Bicope Monnieri, I already take (or have taken) in daily supplements. Acceleral did not show a label or list any ingredients used in their product.
$90 a Month for Bacope Monnieri
Bacope Monnieri in 450 mg capsules, sells on Amazon in 90ct bottles or a 2 month supply for around $18. There are also several different brands of smart pills online and formulas to choose from.. And nearly all the products are much less costly.
To pay $90 a month is definitely a very expensive price for Bacope Monnieri. And it is only a one month supply. Is Bacope Monnieri effective in making you smart?
Does Bacope Monnieri Make You Smart
According to Wikipedia, it displays some antioxidant properties in animal studies. It is used in Ayurvedic treatments for epilepsy, asthma along with ulcers, tumors spleen enlargements, and various other inflammations, leprosy, anemia and gastroenteritis. But, nothing about making you more intelligent.
Research IN ANIMALS has been shown to inhibit acetylcholinesterase, a suspect compound linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
It also activates choline acetyltransferase that in turn also controls Acetylcholine , which increases cerebral blood flow IN ANIMALS. And may have some protective effects IN ANIMAL MODELS of neuro-degeneration.
A few small clinical trials in Humans found some promising evidence for memory recall, but research for other cognitive claims in humans remains unknown.
So, it may help to protect the brain, but does not make you any smarter!
Side Effects of Bacope Monnieri
Bacope Monnieri may cause nausea and gastrointestinal upset when taken on an empty stomach.
Another known fact about Bacope Monnieri use is malaise, or relaxation. After I took the product, I had reduced desire to do much of anything, and felt extremely tired all the time. I can’t feel like I want to sleep all day!
It Takes Weeks for Bacope Monnieri to Become Effective
Bacope Monnieri takes a long time to be effective. it may take 4 to 6 weeks to become effective, if it even helps. That is why they insist on you taking it for at least 30 days, well I can’t tolerate it.
Personally, I would prefer to get the Phospholipid complex in NEURO -PS GOLD. The Phospholipids form the basic structure of the brain cells that help to keep moisture in the cells. Maintaining moisture within the brain cell, keep these cells alive.
The Phospholipids also help with the bio-availability of nutrients along with the permeability of cells. And the cost is much less. Sorry, I don’t want any $90 subscription!
NEURO-PS GOLD-A Similar Smart Pill Sold Online
The reason I bought the Acceleral is because I had purchased a similar product in the past called Neuro-PS.
The cost of this product is in the price range of $15-$20 for a one month supply. So, right away this is a similar product for a lot less money!
This product is manufactured by Puritan’s Pride. I used many products from this company for years, and never got caught in any subscription scam.
The label clearly lists all the ingredients and in what quantity they are used. I actually used this product.
Overall, I did like the Neuro-PS product, but thought I would try something else.
I never expected it would turn into such a nightmare!
Age and Mental Decline
As we age is it likely we will all notice we get more forgetful, and mental focus may not be as sharp as it once was. Smart pill product marketers are aware of the growing demand for their products as well.
The more medical proof manufactures can attach to their products, the better the products sell. We all want to see medical proof, but that will not make me believe any product is worth a hundred bucks a month!
The label should include what ingredients the product contains.
I want to know how much of each ingredient is in the product. I can’t spend $90 per month on some supplement that has a bunch of hyped up claims in the ad. And never told me up front about any subscription plan automatically costing me $90 per month.
Fake Websites and Smart Pills Scams
Articles published in Forbes Magazine, claimed Billionaires were endorsing smart pills online. This was done without their knowledge or consent. These ads stated celebrities, like Warren Buffet, and Bill Gates enticing statements praising their products. They listed testimonials that were fake, and added the credibility these people swear by their products. Not one word of it was true!
A Smart Pills Scam in Forbes Magazine
Advertisements showed Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and Mark Cuban in ads and making claims they all used Smart Pills with wonderful results! However, all of it was done without permission from anyone. It was fake pictures and testimonials.
Another Smart Pills Scam
This ad included a fake book cover of National Geographic!
Conclusion – Scam
Anytime a product has to use a hidden monthly subscription to get your money, it is a scam! Even if the product has any merit at all, the subscription trap is deceptive, and morally unethical.
If there is no price of the product anywhere, the door is wide open on how much it costs, its a scam!
Always scan the whole website for any terms and conditions even to the bottom of the page!
Check Every Page
- READ THE FINE PRINT – check the bottom of the page
- Check the medical claims – any clinical tests on Humans
- Cancel Credit Card Payments – for unwanted charges
Have You Been A Victim Of A Smart Pills Scam Or Some Other Scam
- Use my checklist for information on how to get started
- Read my article What Steps to Take if You Get Scammed
- Solutions for Scams and Frauds
- Legal Help for Scams
For more information or to report a smart pill scam or others:
- Learn more at FTC.gov/FREETRIALS
- Report Scams @ FTC,gov/complaint
- Be smart, check, and re-check before you give your information
If you have any questions or have a story you would like to share, please leave it in the comment section below.
Thanks for reading!
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