Vitamin offer smells bad

DEAR HARRY: I made the mistake of getting involved in a free-trial offer on vitamin pills. I ordered the sample pills and gave them my credit-card info for the shipping charge of $4.95. The ad was not clear as to how I could stop them from billing the cost of $89.95.

I notified them within 30 days, as the ad instructed, that I was not happy with their vitamins, and I thought that was the end of it. But the fine print in the ad (which I still have) stated that I had to return any remaining pills, which I did not do. I could hardly read the small print. Only six pills were left. I complained to the customer-service department, and it was like talking to a brick wall. My credit-card issuer refused to do anything based on the small print. I feel I was duped. How can I get them off my back?

WHAT HARRY SAYS: It certainly looks like their ad was deceptive. I don't know what kind of vitamins they were or how many you got, but $90 for a bottle of pills that were all-but-consumed in under 30 days has the look of a scam. Get your congressman to write a letter to the Federal Trade Commission's Board of Consumer Complaints on your behalf. It will get faster attention than a letter from you. A follow-up call can do wonders with various government departments.

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write to him at Daily News, 801 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19107. Harry urges all his readers to give blood. Contact the American Red Cross at 800-Red Cross.