E-Cigarette reviews for the rest of us

The E-Cigarette Free Trial Scam

You’ll see e-cigarette free trial offers frequently as you browse the Web. For a small shipping fee, you receive an e-cigarette battery, a USB charger and a few refill cartridges — a basic starter kit. If you keep the e-cigarette, you’ll automatically receive a supply of refill cartridges each month. On the surface, this might sound like a decent bargain. However, I have never seen an e-cigarette free trial that wasn’t a scam. If you fall victim to one, there’s a good chance that you will be turned off from e-smoking for life. Learn why you should stay far, far away from these offers.

E-Cigarette Free Trial Offer Scam


In this space, I previously recommended a free e-cigarette offer that I knew wasn’t a scam, because I had received and tested the product myself. Unfortunately, the company discontinued the offer because of the amount of money they were losing on it. This should tell you something about how difficult it is for legitimate companies to offer free e-cigarettes. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for other offers in the future, but in the meantime I suggest looking at something that isn’t quite free as an alternative. Take a look at my list of cheap e-cigarettes or read about what I believe is the best e-cigarette for beginners.

The E-Cigarette Free Trial: Exposed

The following is an example of a real e-cigarette free trial offer that you can sign up for right now. I won’t link to the website, but it wouldn’t be difficult for you to find if you wanted to. Signing up for this offer costs $7.95, and you receive a battery, an atomizer, a USB charger and two cartridges — not cartomizers, but disposable plastic e-cigarette cartridges, something few companies still sell. So, although the value of the e-cigarette kit is slightly higher than the initial fee, the fact that it uses disposable cartridges means that it probably won’t work very well — and there’s more.

The E-Cigarette “Free Trial” That Isn’t

According to the terms for this e-cigarette free trial offer, you have 14 days to cancel your subscription if you want to avoid future charges. However, the 14 days begin the day you order and an expected shipping time is nowhere to be found. If you receive your e-cigarette after the 14 days have expired, too bad. In addition, you can’t just ship the e-cigarette back to cancel the subscription; you have to call the company and request an RMA number. If you aren’t able to get a hold of someone within the 14 day trial, too bad. If you do get an RMA number, the company has to receive the e-cigarette within 30 days of when you originally placed the order. Finally, the terms state that all returns are subject to a $10 restocking fee. One way or the other, you aren’t getting out of this without getting burned.

Keeping the E-Cigarette Free Trial Kit

Now, things get really serious. If you subscribe to the e-cigarette free trial and decide to keep the product, you’ll be charged $97.67. You’ve now spent a total of $105.62 on an electronic cigarette worth $15 at the most. You’ll also be gouged at the rate of $67.62 each month for your supply of 24 refill cartridges. So we’re clear on what’s going on here, an e-cigarette cartridge is a plastic tube with a sponge that holds a few drops of e-cigarette liquid. Before most e-cigarette companies switched to the far superior “cartomizer,” you could typically find cartridges for as little as $1.99 for a pack of five. They’re worth almost nothing, and they work quite poorly. You’ll go through at least two per day, so your “month’s supply” will most likely last under two weeks.

Shopping Smart for E-Cigarettes

A company with an e-cigarette free trial like the one described above cares nothing for its customers, assumes that most will cancel and simply hopes that people will fail to do so within the initial 14 days. When you receive your kit, you’re probably getting equipment that has been used and returned by many customers before you and may fail quickly. If the regulatory agencies start to get involved, the owners will simply shut the company down and look for another way to dupe unsuspecting consumers. Don’t let yourself fall victim to this horrible e-cigarette scam.

Did You KnowIn 2011, Arizona attorney general Tom Horne filed an injunction against Smoke Freely, the company behind the Prado e-cigarette free trial offer. Customers had reported that they did not receive their Prado e-cigarettes until after the free trial period was over.


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