After writing my post on the image of affiliate marketers becoming tainted to the general public I wanted to touch on consumer responsibility. A large majority of the “non-legitimate” affiliates chalk up the misleading rebills to consumer responsibility.
If you’ve ever seen the acai berry landing pages you know how they’re structured – something similar to “Just Pay Shipping”, “Free Trial”, “Get it For $1″, etc. In general, nowhere in plain sight does it tell you that you’re being enrolled in an $89.99 (give or take) per month program that is virtually impossible to terminate without canceling your credit card.
The typical retort from acai berry affiliates is that it’s the consumers responsibility. That means it’s your job to find the tiny link on the bottom of the site and read through the terms of service where it quickly glazes over the forced continuity you’re blindly signing up for. That is a beyond idiotic argument to make and not a realistic demand.
Just imagine if everything in life was structured that way where this scenario is entirely possible:
You buy a box of cereal and are secretly enrolled in an $80 a month program for that same box of cereal every month. After being billed $80 for a box of cereal the following month and trying not to murder someone you decide to call customer service to cancel. The phone rings for hours with no answer and you realize the situation quickly becomes hopeless. You then cancel your credit card because no box cereal is worth $80 (unless it’s Lucky Charms).
I don’t think any society can function in a world like this. Consumer responsibility only goes so far, there are things that consumers need to do to protect themselves and then there are things that are completely unreasonable to expect of people.