It all began about six weeks ago. Well, no. Actually it started several years ago when I first experienced osteoarthritis in my fingers and, coincidentally, insomnia. But, for the sake of this tale, the story began six weeks ago when I saw an ad on Facebook for CBD gummies.
In case you have never been in need of or interested in the by-products of the cannabis industry, I should explain that CBD, or cannabidiol, is a component of the Cannabis sativa plant. It is also very helpful in relieving chronic pain, moderating seizures, and reducing insomnia. It is not the component of Cannabis that most people think of which is THC or tetrahydrocanabidinol. That is the stuff that makes you high. CBD doesn’t make you high; it relieves pain. At least, it does for some people and I am one of them. CBD may contain a small amount of THC, so that has to be on the label, but it is not a significant amount.
I should also add that I am fortunate enough to live in a location where these products have been legalized, and I have been benefitting for about three years from CBD oil drops to help me sleep and CBD cream to alleviate the stiffness and pain in my knuckles for about a year. Neither product produces side effects, and that makes them much more desirable than the pain killers that make me dull and the sleep agents that make me stupid.
So, when I saw an ad on Facebook for CBD gummies with the endorsement of David Suzuki and that guy who is nasty to people on Dragons Den, I thought “Oooh, that reminds me. I’m running out of CBD oil.” And I clicked the links. I figured that whatever I ordered would arrive at just about the date when I needed them.
I ordered a jar of gummies, avoided the obvious teases to buy larger quantities, and paid by Mastercard. When I got the receipt I saw that it was for more than twice what I had anticipated. First of all, the prices quoted had been in US dollars, not Canadian dollars, so automatically I had to pay more than I expected. Secondly, I had been billed for twice as many gummies as intended. Then, there was a shipping charge for the “free” samples of other stuff. And there was a charge for the “subscription” that I had not signed up for. The cost had gone from an acceptable $62 to an unacceptable $162.98 (Canadian).
Immediately, I called my bank and asked them to cancel the payment. Unfortunately, they cannot do that for online purchases that I have agreed to buy. So, I called the company and, as calmly and sternly as possible, I asked them to cancel the order. I told them that they were using deceptive marketing practices and I was not happy. They said they couldn’t cancel the order. It had already been processed. Yeah, right.
So then I contacted Facebook and let them know about the deceptive ad on their site. They didn’t respond.
After a few days I received notice from the CBD gummy people that they couldn’t cancel my order because it had already been shipped, but they were going to cancel my subscription and put the credit for that on my card. Gee, thanks guys. I didn’t even know I had subscribed to anything. Following that I got about five emails telling me that my shipment was on its way. It still has not arrived.
Today I saw an article on CBC online about this very issue. Apparently it is a scam that has entrapped many people, and the police are now involved. I had thought that it was just a personal faux pas, but it turns out I am far from unique in being deceived by this company. The name of the business is a moving target, but the ad and the use of David Suzuki are constants.
Inspired by the article, I contacted my bank again and this time they agreed to open a claim against the company on the grounds that no goods have been received. I was thankful that no-one at the bank mocked me for my naïveté, although they might have been secretly grinning.
The same cannot be said of the trolls who write comments on the CBC website. Several people there felt it their duty to smugly denounce my ignorance and to make it clear that they would never, ever, have fallen for such an obvious deceit. I tried to maintain my dignity in responding to a couple of these comments, even though I know it is a wasted effort, but in the end I just stopped reading the responses.
I do, though, want to give my support to everyone who has ever been scammed. You are in very good company! Not only am I on your side, but so is everyone throughout history who has ever been conned. We may have shortcomings but we will never be as low as the people who insult and mock the victims of crime.