“Risk Free” trials may not be Free

BBB: Why many ‘risk-free’ trials are anything but free

We get it: On the surface, doing a risk-free trial looks like it will save us money, allowing us to test a product or service before purchasing it fully. But the BBB says buyer beware.

The agency’s investigation unveiled that in many cases, offers for free product samples are outright lies and that many companies bury the stringent conditions in fine print.

“The study found that many of the celebrity endorsements are fake,” the BBB says. “Dozens of celebrity names are used by these frauds without their knowledge or permission, ranging from Oprah Winfrey, Chrissy Teigen and Ellen Degeneres to Mike Rowe, Tim Allen and Sally Field. Sometimes the fine print even admits these endorsements are not real.”

You only have to pay $1.95 for shipping and handling. The claims look plausible, and celebrities would not endorse a product unless they believed it works. There may be a risk that the product doesn’t work as claimed, but it costs next to nothing to find out. Just enter your name, address and credit card number and act quickly; supplies are limited.”

Most free-trial scams have a routine structure, which is unsubstantiated claim + way to pay. Here is a graphic that explains it from the BBB: Continue reading


The Forgotten Christmas Movies

These forgotten films offer wonderful holiday entertainment. Most are available on DVD and usually are shown on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) during the holiday season.

What Shall We Give?

(originally posted 12/1/09)

Free Netflix Alternatives: Pluto TV, Roku channel and Sony Crackle

Like Netflix and other subscription-based streaming services such as Hulu and Amazon Video, these free services have hundreds of movies, TV shows and documentaries to view.

After you download the apps, you can start streaming to your TV set within seconds by connecting a supported device.

The biggest difference between Netflix and the free streaming services that I’ve reviewed is the content itself. Netflix offers more original hit shows like “Stranger Things,” “Orange Is the New Black” and “Master of None.”

The streaming libraries for the free services are more random, but plenty of entertaining options can be found.

My favorite of the three free streaming services is Pluto TV. In addition to its library of free movies and TV shows, its live TV guide makes it easy to watch 24/7 news from CBSN, Cheddar, Bloomberg News and more. Continue reading

Four Ways to Save Even More at Walmart

If you love a good deal, Walmart is a no-brainer. America’s largest retailer offers huge savings — and if you’re a savvy shopper, there are ways to save even more money.

Sure, the place isn’t perfect. In fact, there are certain items you shouldn’t buy at Walmart if you want to score the best deal. The retailer also ended price matching at 500 stores last year.

But with that said, Walmart still offers some great everyday low prices!

So to help you stretch your budget, we found four ways for you to save even more money on your next trip. And the good news is they’re pretty low-effort — and completely free — so check them out!

Continue reading

Save $5,000 a Year on Expenses Everyone Has

Most people spend more than they have to on the following seven commonly used products and services. In some cases, lower-cost options have only recently become available and are not yet widely known. In others, sellers intentionally put up roadblocks that make it challenging to get the best prices. Smart ways to save money on…

Continue reading