Avoid the scams, find out which Business Opportunities actually work
13th July 2008
Filed under: Internet Marketing — Ben @ 3:11 pm

The latest and greatest marketing technique being used at the moment seems to be “forced continuity“.

Internet marketers are offering high value products “free” (just pay postage) but you are signed up to be billed monthly for some kind of magazine, newsletter or DVD club.

Most of the time you won’t want any add-on and probably won’t read the offer properly because it is priced so low. As the famous saying goes – if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Some marketers are very upfront about the forced continuity aspect of their offer. Others attempt to hide it from their customers.

One particular marketer, who I have had A LOT of problems with for over a year, now seems to only use online videos rather than sales letters.

He briefly mentions details of the monthly billing in the middle of the video but nothing appears on the order form.

Never one to pass up a bargain, I like to take advantage of these offers but I don’t want to get caught in a trap where I see a $29.97 charge on my credit card each month.

I realise I can cancel it but is it really worth the hassle?

There are some companies who are starting to get a reputation for extremely poor customer service.

Do I really want to be hoping that some $5 per hour helpdesk assistant will deal with my cancellation request correctly? Not really.

So, how can you take advantage of the offers but make sure you are not billed any further?

Simple – use a temporary credit card. A credit card that will let you pay for the postage but will decline any further attempt to bill you.

Perfect – a solution that allows you to get the initial product (the ‘sweetener’) but halts the forced continuity danger immediately.

I use a service called “3V” which is available to anyone in the UK.

This is how it works:

(1) You sign up at http://www.3vcash.com and receive a card through the post

(2) You then take that card to a nearby newsagent and ask them to credit your card with £20. He gives you a receipt with your temporary credit card number on it.

(3) When you get home, you check your email and find the expiry date and CVV number of your “credit card”.

(4) Using these 3 numbers, you can now pay online for any product and not have to worry about being billed monthly – because if there is no money on the card, the card will be declined.

Here’s how I used mine…

  • Credited it with £20
  • Bought “Free DVD” with one month free membership from marketer 1 – £10.11 ($19.97)
  • Bought “Free DVD” from marketer 2 – £5.96 ($11.77)

Both of the above offers have forced continuity attached but I have just £3.93 on the card so any attempt to bill me will fail.

So my mission is accomplished and I don’t have to cancel an unwanted continuity program.

What about the £3.93? I guess I can pay myself £3.93 via PayPal to empty the card.

For those not in the UK, you may want to check out a similar option offered by PayPal called “PayPal Plug-In”.

I haven’t been able to try it myself but it certainly looks like the kind of thing to use.

Any questions/queries, please leave a comment below.


  1. How interesting

    I’m pursuing with VISA DISPUTES what is more curious than this with [high profile marketer] but of the same broad nature. Yes I cancelled it (registered letter) but no ‘phone answering and no website where messages can be left. They won’t have received the letter, hem

    When I see his endorsement on a product I know what to do. Thanks for the tip

    Good luck with your efforts


    Comment by Ed Kangai — 14th July 2008 @ 12:17 pm

  2. Thanks for the comment Ed.

    Quick Update: I just discovered that it IS possible to send the excess funds you have on your card to your PayPal account. This avoids spending £1.75 to transfer the money to a new card.

    For example, I had £3.41 left on my card and “bought” a product from myself which cost exactly £3.41. This has cleared my temporary credit card of any funds and added £3.09 (£3.41 – £0.32 fees) to my PayPal account.


    Comment by Ben — 15th July 2008 @ 2:22 pm

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