Resolved American Laser Centers — terrible business practise
I met with American Laser Centers Clinic Manager Sara Patton on August 19, 2006, where we discussed the process and signed the paperwork, and I had my first laser hair removal treatment at the Cherry Creek, Colorado, location on August 25, 2006. The brochure Ms. Patton gave me states that it will take six treatments for the procedure to work, and ALC has a two year guarantee, which begins to toll after the hair is gone. I found out later that she lied about this; the 2 years begin to toll after the 6th treatment, regardless of whether or not the procedure was successful.
There was no difference in the area I had treated after 10 treatments in almost 2 years. According to the brochure I was given on August 19, "treatments must be repeated six times;" I have had almost twice that number of treatments with no improvement. My main concern was that my 2 year guarantee would pass without the procedure working and I would be out of luck.
I expressed my concerns at each appointment, but I was told over and over that I would see a difference soon. There was still no improvement, even with a higher laser setting and more frequent visits.
I contacted the corporate office last December in an attempt to speak with someone about the issue. I called multiple times, leaving messages for Kevin Piecuch and Robert Seffinger, but never received a call back. The following is a record of my phone calls and the duration of each:
12/18/2007 11:17AM [protected] 3
12/19/2007 10:12AM [protected] 2
12/19/2007 10:14AM [protected] 1
12/19/2007 2:00PM [protected] 1
12/19/2007 2:01PM [protected] 1
12/19/2007 2:02PM [protected] 3
12/20/2007 9:32AM [protected] 2
12/20/2007 3:06PM [protected] 2
12/20/2007 3:08PM [protected] 3
12/21/2007 2:37PM [protected] 1
12/21/2007 2:38PM [protected] 1
12/26/2007 12:54PM [protected]/26/2007 12:55PM [protected] 2
12/28/2007 2:32PM [protected] 1
12/28/2007 2:33PM [protected] 1
12/28/2007 2:34PM [protected] 1
12/28/2007 2:34PM [protected] 1
12/28/2007 2:35PM [protected] 1
12/28/2007 2:36PM [protected] 2
12/28/2007 2:47PM [protected] 1
12/28/2007 2:49PM [protected] 2
12/31/2007 1:45PM [protected]
01/15/2008 8:39AM [protected] 2
02/16/2008 3:21PM [protected] 3
04/04/2008 8:55AM [protected] 2
04/04/2008 8:57AM [protected] 1
04/04/2008 8:58AM [protected] 1
04/04/2008 12:36PM [protected] 2
I finally spoke with a Customer Service Manager, Eva, on December 31, 2007 (the only call more than 3 minutes long - the other calls were me leaving messages for corporate management). She advised me to have the Cherry Creek ALC take a picture of the treated area, and the corporate office would make the determination of whether I should continue treatments. She told me that if they decided that I would not benefit from any future treatments, I could begin the process of getting my money back. According to Eva, I would get a response from the corporate office within two weeks of submitting the pictures.
After not hearing anything for over two weeks after the picture was taken, I tried to contact the ALC corporate office, but was again unsuccessful. As a last resort, I filed a claim with the Better Business Bureau on April 4, 2008. After repeated attempts by the BBB to obtain a response and the threat of losing their status as an accredited business, ALC finally responded with the following:
I have recently received your correspondence directed to American Laser Centers. We at American Laser Centers take immense pride in our services and products offered to the general public. Therefore, whenever a consumer is not satisfied with his or her treatments, we not only take it very seriously, but do everything in our power to rectify the situation. Ms. Goldberg concerns are of no exception to our guiding principal of complete customer service.
After reviewing a non-responder report our technicians do not believe that further treatments will change the outcome of Ms. Goldbergs results. Therefore, out of the spirit of good customer service, we have begun the process of issuing Ms. Goldberg a refund for the amount of $1563.73. This refund is equivalent to the purchase price of Ms. Goldbergâ��s package less 10% administrative fees as agreed in her contract.
Given the explanation above, it is our firm belief that this matter should no longer be in dispute. Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.
I responded with the following:
I read the response sent by Ashley Willis on May 12. I appreciate that the BBB was finally able to get a response from them. Ms. Willis said that "out of the spirit of good customer service" they are refunding me $1563.73. However, I still expect the entire amount I paid without any deduction for administrative fees, as well as interest of the standard 8% that I am entitled to by law. She states that I agreed to the 10% deduction in the contract I signed with American Laser Centers. While this is true, they also agreed in that contract that the services they were providing would be completed in six treatments. As you are aware, they took quite some time to respond, which as far as I am concerned does not reflect their "spirit of good customer service." It is unconscionable for them to expect me to adhere to their contract when they would not do so. I also highly recommend that the BBB investigate American Laser Centers for false advertising and unfair and deceptive business practices.
After again not getting a response, I contacted the legal department representative who sent the letter directly. She had not received my rebuttal or additional information, so I e-mailed that directly to her, along with the following message:
The following is what I sent to the Better Business Bureau after receiving your letter. Like I said, I do expect reimbursement of my full purchase price plus 8% interest. Please also send me the contact information for the registered agent of American Laser Centers who would receive a court issued service of process. Thank you.
After a week with no response, I wrote again and finally got an answer: I apologize for the delay in their response. I forwarded Robert Seffinger and Jacqueline DeLuca your message upon receipt. I also spoke to them regarding this issue. They are both currently in a meeting but I will urge Jacqueline to call you when she returns.
Have a nice day!
Ashley M. Willis
Corporate Legal Department
American Laser Centers
ALC is offering to reimburse me $1563.73, the purchase price minus 10% for administrative fees. They claim that I agreed to the 10% deduction in the contract; nowhere in the contract does it state this. Furthermore, rather than a check, ALC gave me a credit for the amount. It is an absurd assumption that I will use the credit towards future services.
Based on the circumstances, I am not satisfied with this. It has taken over five months for ALC to take any responsibility. I believe I am entitled to $1878.88, the full $1739.70 purchase price plus the standard 8% interest I am entitled to by law. Note the amount of time it took ALC to respond (I filed the complaint 4/4/08 and they did not respond until 5/12/08). I have attempted to contact ALC in addition to the 28 phone calls listed on the BBB report to get an explanation, but no one will speak with me. I will be serving them with legal papers in the next couple of weeks.
This company is incredibly unprofessional and something must be done about their false advertising - their brochure guarantees "complete satisfaction" and states that treatments must be repeated six times. This is not true and a violation of Colorado Revised Statute § [protected])(r), Deceptive Trade Practices. They deserve to be sued and shut down.
DO NOT EVER GO TO AMERICAN LASER CENTERS
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