In its reporting, CBS discovered an “F” rating from the same regional Better Business Bureau and a multitude of Web sites that FWM uses, though it is not clear if the faux-TV stations were among them. Kelly Cobiella, a real reporter from CBS, found the company’s offices. She toured the sales and shipping departments, and had a sit-down with CEO Brian Weiss who looked, in our opinion, a little uncomfortable. He told Cobiella, “We’ve sold to million and a half customers since November. So in the overall picture, the number of complaints seems high, but it’s low when compared to the number of orders we’ve shipped out.”
The Web story follows with this: “In fact, FWM is one of the most complained-about companies in the nation. The Florida Attorney General is investigating the company and the Federal Trade Commission is looking into the marketing tactic they – and companies like them – use. News organizations including CBS have tried to get FWM and others to stop misusing their reports to sell products.”
Signature statements from Walter Cronkite and Paul Harvey come to mind, but let’s think about consumers. One FWM customer told CBS News that he signed up for what he thought was one 99-cent sample bottle, but received and was billed for two more at $87 each.
Do billing practices like these reflect well on the industry as a whole? If not, what can be done so that other sellers of resveratrol and acai are not also labeled as scammers?