Consumers are invited to order a sample pack of the Glucomannan and Vihreä kahvi slimming products but are not clearly informed that this constitutes a commitment to a fixed-term subscription. The company responsible for marketing the products, Xellim Oü in Estonia, has not adjusted its marketing as demanded by the Finnish Consumer Ombudsman.
The Finnish Consumer Ombudsman and the consumer advisory service have received hundreds of complaints concerning the Konjak-Glucomannan, Glucomannan-konjak-juurikuitu and Vihreä kahvi / Green Coffee Fresh slimming products. These products have been advertised on Facebook; clicking the ad took the consumer to the Glucomannan.fi, superkuitu.com or vihreäkahvi.fi website. Consumers have also received ads for these products by e-mail.
On the aforementioned websites, a sample pack of the slimming products was offered at the price of EUR 4.90. What came as a surprise to consumers was that ordering the sample pack amounted to signing a fixed-term subscription agreement unless they specifically cancelled the subscription within 14 days of receiving the sample pack. Marketing such as this where the terms and conditions of placing an order are not clearly specified may be considered misleading and as such violates the Consumer Protection Act.
More information and instructions for consumers:
Consumer Ombudsman's press release (18 June 2014)