Sue is right—the low-calorie FRS "healthy energy" drinks are sweetened with sucralose, also known as Splenda. And an 11-ounce can of FRS contains 38 milligrams of caffeine. "When I first tried the drink it made me feel good, but it was short-lived," Sue explains. "I think I got a buzz from the sugar and the caffeine, not the quercetin, like the FRS Company claims.
"I know that most of these so-called healthy energy drinks contain Splenda and they can get away with being called 'sugar-free.' And it's not just FRS drinks; it seems like every company that sells these energy drinks practices false advertising and marketing.
"I signed up for the free trial, but when I found out that I couldn't choose what I liked, I had to get out of it. They only sent me the low-calorie orange drinks with Splenda and I don't believe that is healthy. It was so hard to get out of this trial—when I phoned the toll-free number I got so frustrated because these people who answer don't know how to do anything; I don't think they have been trained for even a day in customer service."
Because of her FRS experience, Sue says she won't take any more free offers. "The burden is on you to get out of these offers and it is just one big trap," she explains. "As soon as I see these free coupons and offers—when you have to stop them from sending you their product—I turn another page.
"I don't think that FRS is fair advertising because some people don't understand that they have to read the fine print. I realize now that all these offers are traps and I've learned my lesson. I guess some people are organized and remember to phone and cancel after the designated two weeks, but a lot of other people don't, and those are the people these companies like FRS bank on.
"I admit that I liked the taste of the orange drink but I can do without the fake sugar and caffeine, and I can only afford it half price at the vitamin shop. I think that is why my local vitamin shop keeps putting FRS on sale—because they can't get rid of their stock. A lot of these energy drinks are expensive and now I hear they are sometimes just colored water. At first I believed that quercetin can help allergies and it would boost my immune system, but after doing some research, including the information on Lawyers and Settlements, I think it is good that attorneys are doing something about stopping these false claims."
Sue says she is a consumer activist; she has called consumer complaints about products such as "mega tea" and Dannon Yogurt—both regarding false health claims, but it has become too much work. "I don't have time to fill out all these consumer complaint forms," she adds. "The last time I filed a complaint, I was supposed to fax a company to tell them I didn't want to be in their program anymore and then phone them to make sure they got the fax. Who needs all that rigmarole? They should call me to confirm they got it. I have family and a life here—some of these places think we live in offices. Luckily my bank changed my credit card so they couldn't charge me anymore.
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"I filed two deceptive product complaints with Lawyers and Settlements a while back. And because of my complaints I got a check in the mail for $40 and then another for $60, and then I got a check for my Dannon Yogurt complaint for $23. That is cool! Maybe these lawsuits will stop the food supplement companies from fooling people. Maybe I will get a check in the mail from my FRS energy drink complaint too!
"Aside from FRS, there are a lot of these scammers and it seems like there are more since the recession. I keep noticing that these companies want time from you, including your money. In my experience, it is better to get involved through lawsuits."