Home $ Archived $ The E-Cigarette Free Trial Scam


May 6, 2012

The E-Cigarette Free Trial Scam

Archived | 9 comments

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.

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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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  1. Michael Lee

    Awesome read. I only wish I’d seen this prior to getting free starter kit. Fortunately, they only charged 9.95 and I’m going to the bank tomorrow to cancel my card of which I used to pay, so they well NOT be getting anymore money from me. Lol, sucks to be them.


    I have just put a block on this company with my bank after recieving a survey from Argos re their service and this was meaqnt to be a thankyou free gift. It even had people authenticating the gifts. When the eamil came through with the order it stated free trial. Within minutes I emailed them to cancel the scam gift and phoned and emailed my bank. I have also informed Argos of this practice as I know Argos would not involve itself in such a scam. The survey comes up when you read the Argos emailed reciept. I have also told my daughter not to accept the product if it does show up.

    • Vapegrl

      Which company was that, Christine?

  3. Casey Gonzales

    Greensmoke gives free trial kits for around $1.00. I have gotten 3 so far and never has it been a scam. It has been very reliable, They also have given me offers for 2 batteries for a $1. Product is very good, doesn’t look sketchy and never have had them try to charge my card after they sent my trial kit. They have changed the kits since I have received my first one. They now give you two sample packs for their classic tobacco and signature red where as before the only gave you one full sized pack with the starting kit. So, it honestly gives you some options.

    I provided a photo link of my kit for reference: https://i.imgur.com/xyZHT3q.jpg

  4. Jean

    THe “free” promotion I agreed to was from Ecig.com. At not time before I authorized a VISA charge of $4.95 or so, was I informed that this would auto-enroll me and there was a cancelation fee. Only afterwards did they send me an email to this effect, and it went in my junk folder. I never saw it. I had to go onto my online email account to find it. I have disputed the $99.95 charge and will change my card number tomorrow. I cannot even access their “easy cancel” website – it is always unavailable.

  5. Steve Kramer

    Just received another ‘Free Trial’ email ‘scam’ from ‘Triple Crown’! Usual 14 day ‘trial’ period. However, if you check the small print in the terms & conditions, to qualify for a refund if you decide to return the kit within the 14 days (from delivery / receipt!) the kit must be returned in a ‘new’ ‘re-saleable’ condition, with all wrappings intact!

    See link, for full T&C’s

    [edited: link removed.]

    In other words, if you actually open & try / test the kit, you WILL be charged the full amount, even if you return it within the specified period! Surely this is illegal scam marketing?

    In addition, the ‘trial kit’ for which you will be charged £79.99 GBP if you even open it, is actually currently on sale on their website for only £23.99 GBP!

    • Steve Kramer

      BTW. I’ve just reported this to the UK trading standards, who checked my claim & confirmed that the offer was illegal / in breach of regulations, in addition to other irregularities in the ‘terms & conditions’. They (trading standards) confirmed that they would be contacting the company.

  6. Sheri Maguire

    I ordered a Ecigs free trial 2,95 I got it after cancel time bt I called early because not all items were there. There sending new items 2990$ I told them not to charge card any more I.m suppose to get it today. Can’t wait I’m calling them but I already cancelled.

  7. Jessie

    Another scam company you should be aware of is E-cig.com and E-liq.com (sister siter to E-cig.com and not to be confused with ecig.com). After i had ordered a couple bottles of e-liquid from this site only hours after my debit card i had used was compromised and a charge for $750 was attempted to be put on it. Thankfull my bank is smarter than that and not only denied the charge but shut off the card and sent a new one with a new number. Not only that but when you place an order they dont give an order number or email receipt proving you even bought anything And they NEVER respond to emails of any kind. At first glance it looks like a legit company but its a scam site designed for people to actually have their personal information stolen. Ive reported the site but so far nothing has been done about it.

    [Editor’s note: Comments are the opinions of those who post them. I have not researched the truth of the above statements.]