Without asking permission from consumers, Kevin Trudeau is offering to rent the names and addresses of his customers to telemarketers, junk mailers and other direct marketers,� said Teresa A. Santiago, CPB Chairman and Executive Director.
Customers who call one of Trudeau�s toll-free order numbers have received spooky junk mail from a Nevada company, claiming to be a �secret society� with �personal knowledge� about these consumers.
This junk mailer calls itself the �Nouveau Tech Society,� but it is actually another book publisher in Henderson, Nev. That sells a $150 book teaching people how to rule the world.
�The only personal knowledge they have is the information that Trudeau is selling to telemarketers and other direct marketers,� said Santiago.
Many customers are also being charged unexpected fees, such as $71 for a monthly newsletter, when they order the �Natural Cures� book over the phone.
Consumers report trouble in obtaining refunds, problems reaching customer service agents and they�re paying long-distance charges in order to cancel the $71 fee.
�I ordered the book, �Natural Cures�� then 2 weeks later they took $71.40 out of my account without my approval,� a Hudson Valley woman wrote in a complaint against this practice. �They have more rights to my money then me. I feel they robbed me and they do not even have someone at their contact number to talk to you.�
A woman in Atlanta, Ga., estimates that she has lost close to $2,000 because of overdrafts to her debit-card account resulting from these unexpected charges. She said she was promised that the matter would be corrected, but monthly charges of $14.95 continued to her account. Finally, she said, she was forced to close the account altogether and she is still waiting for a refund.
�If consumers can�t get through to customer service then they can�t cancel the $71 charge in time to avoid an automatic billing,� said Santiago. �Mr. Trudeau should either end this sales practice or he should have his staff do a better job of explaining this automatic-billing process before more people find unwanted charges on their bank or credit-card statements.�
To get a refund, customers are told to call Trudeau�s company on a toll-free number. But, they cannot get a refund unless they call a local number in Illinois. This results in long-distance telephone charges for most callers, Santiago noted.
Trudeau charges $71.40 per year or $499 for a �lifetime membership� for the newsletter and access to his website.
�When consumers seek cures in Trudeau�s book, the book often instructs them to go to the website to get the answers they thought they find in the book,� said Santiago.
�The cover of the book says it �includes the natural cures for more than 50 specific diseases,� said Santiago. �But after 355 pages, Trudeau writes: �It�s important to know that people who are looking for a specific cure for a specific disease are missing the point of this book.��
�He should be ashamed of these deceptive tactics,� said Santiago.