When I looked up the balance of my eBay credit card, in order to make the payment, in early February of this year, I was surprised by how much debt I had accrued. I recognized everything on the statement, except a $102.15 payment to OCEANMISTSHOP. I called the number on the statement and spoke to a female representative at Ocean Mist, who gloated sarcastically at the trap I had fallen into. “Did you read all the fine print in the documentation?” she sneered, triumphantly announcing, “You agreed to a subscription of a bottle of CBD oil every month!”

“That’s not true,” I countered, now remembering  a CBD purchase. “I only agreed to receive one bottle, and I only agreed to pay the shipping charges!”

I had responded to a pop-up ad on Facebook. It had a picture of Bill Maher. The ad stated that the pharmaceutical companies were suing Bill Maher because he was undercutting them with his inexpensive CBD oil, which was supposedly better than prescription drugs for just about everything. “CLICK HERE for 1 oz of high quality  CBD oil for the cost of shipping alone!”

The representative at Synchrony Bank, whom I spoke with after completing the call to Ocean Mist, wanted to know what proof I had to back my assertion that I had been quoted one price for a product, and billed another. Unfortunately, I have none. The whole page had disappeared once I put in my credit card numbers. I  received no email confirmation, or even a prompt from the webpage that the transaction had gone through. I wrongly assumed that the whole thing had fallen out, until about a week later, I received one ounce of caprylic acid that contained a small amount of CBD, in the mail. Still not wise to the game, I wrongly assumed that I was being billed around $7 for shipping.

Unfortunately, I threw out the shipping box, but still have the bottle. It says, “Ceremony CBD Oil, broad spectrum hemp extract, 1 Fl Oz (30 ml), 300 mg cannabidiol, THC free, other ingredient: caprylic triglycerides from coconut.” The Phoenix address of Ceremony CBD is on the bottle, and their phone number (which is different from the Maryland number I called to reach the Ocean Mist representative). 

The next time I put a credit card number into a web form, I took pictures of every page of the transaction. A day or two later, I verified that the billed amount matched the amount I had agreed to pay.

I can’t use this CBD oil, or any coconut products, anymore because my triglycerides were high in a lab test (even though I’m a vegan). Fortunately, the “subscription” was stopped after the first shipment, and, to prevent any more charges from Ocean Mist, Synchrony Bank issued me a new credit card.

300 mg CBD is 0.01058219 oz, which means the 1 oz bottle is 99% refined coconut oil, very expensive, and for me, internet shopping course tuition!

I now understand that beloved comedian, Bill Maher’s name was used on this product without his permission.

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