Electronic cigarettes represent without a doubt the future of smoking – well, in this case vaping – due to the considerably limited risks associated with the practice in contrast with tobacco products. The sanctions imposed by the authorities on tobacco companies around the globe, including high taxes, lawsuits, the inability to display and market their inventory, so on and so forth has practically forced them to up the prices in order to keep turning a profit.
Without trying to play the role of the devil’s advocate here, tobacco product manufacturers are slowly but steadily losing ground to e-cigs and some of the major corporations are already showing an interest in this promisingly lucrative smoking alternative.
The basics of the free e-cigarette trials
As previously mentioned, there is an increasing number of electronic cigarette brands trying to make their way on the market through any means necessary. This includes but is not limited to aggressive marketing campaigns, handouts, ads, etc. and of course, the notorious free trials. In exchange for your credit card number, the free trial allows you to test and evaluate an electronic cigarette kit, with the money-back guarantee promise in the event that you are not fully satisfied with it. Theoretically, this free trial deal sounds pretty decent, right? As long as the company is legit, what could possibly go wrong? Well, a few things actually. Let’s elaborate.
- The trial period and the way it is calculated
Virtually every person who has never tested a free trial product erroneously believes that the trial period starts the moment when they open the package and that it ends when the item is mailed back. Wrong! In the vast majority of cases, your trial period will commence at the very point when you click the order button on the website of the retailer. At the same time, most companies only view the e-cig kit as “returned” after they receive and/or process it.
Considering that in general the trial period does not exceed two weeks (there are a few 30 days trial e-cigs) and counting 3 days for delivery plus another 3 days for returning the product, you only get to try the electronic cigarette for about 8 days tops. If you exceed this period, you will most likely be billed and not be able to return the e-cig for your money back. And, unfortunately, most people aren’t aware of how the trial period is calculated by the vendor, falling into this simple trap.
- Extremely high prices that are not justified by the product
Free trials aren’t primarily targeted at people who are familiar with electronic cigarettes, but rather at smokers who are searching for an alternative to tobacco products and have never tried an e-cig before. As of such, these individuals are unaware of the market standards and can very easily end up paying over twice what an average, decent e-cig kit typically costs. Almost all e-cigarettes with free trials are a great deal more expensive and, worst of all, the kit contains only a small part of the necessary components.
- The dreaded automatic shipment feature
In some cases, one of the stipulations in the terms and agreement section is that although you get the e-cig kit free of charge, you accept paying for the refills that will be delivered to you automatically at regular intervals. These refills are also more expensive than if you were to purchase e-liquid and blank cartridges from a local/online store. In addition, you risk running out before the next shipment.
- The intricate cancelation procedure
To add insult to injury, some free e-cig trials are nearly impossible to cancel without a lengthy bureaucratic process that involves sending mails/e-mails to the corporate office. While you assume that you can just contact the service department for this task, the truth is that the policy cleverly implemented a system that does not give those employees the authority to cancel your trial. Not to mention the fact that mails and e-mails to the corporate office have a nasty habit of disappearing in the great beyond.
There are, of course, certain legit and honest manufacturers that don’t compromise user experience for the sake of profit. To put it simply, you might be able to get a basic, free e-cig kit during handouts or from a local store that is trying to promote a vaping campaign. Alternatively, you could acquire a free kit simply by signing up for the newsletter or blog of a retailer/manufacturer. Well, the bottom line is that you should always be careful what you agree to, as with all things in life!