I received an ad in the mail that ALC provides microdermabrasion services for $49.99. First, they told me that I would have to have a consultation before receving any service. My initial consultation took about an hour, in which I mostly signed contracts, financial agreements, consent forms and had to disclose my whole medical hsitory and was pushed to buy more expensive laser services (I refused to buy anything but microdermabrasion service).
Only after that I was told that the treatment is really $139.00 per session (it is normally about $100 everywhere else), but today they would give me 10% discount plus one session at $49.99. There was a catch: I had to buy six sessions and pay right then. I refused, so the manager offered a free session on top of the package. For some reason I agreed.
After I left the clinic I had a very uneasy feeling. It was Friday night so I couldn't do anything over the weekend, so I called them first thing in the morining on Monday. I told them that I would like to cancel my Wednesday appointment (which was scheduled for Tuesday instead for some reason) and the whole contract. The clinic manager said that their contracts are not refundable and that I signed the form that stated that (it was never pointed out to me, or in fact, none of the terms were discussed with me during our initial consultation).
So, I pulled up the contract which stated that if no services rendered, I have the right to cancel the contract but will be obligated to pay 10% administrative fee. So, I demanded the refund and thought that 10% fee is a small price to pay for the lesson learned and it is obviously better to stay away from this company than receive any kind of services from them. The clinic manager was very irriated and unhappy that I was canceling the contract after she had spent a whole hour with me on Friday. I pointed out it to her that the consultations are free and I am not obligated to buy any services after that. I also told her that I felt that I was pushed into buying the package and that I wasn't comfortable working with them. At that point she became very rude and never responded to my e-mails even though I asked for a confirmation of receipt of my request.
Next day I called corporate office to verify that my request has been processed. Customer service representative said that the request was entered, however they didn't have my card number to credit a refund to. A week later, no refund. I called corporate office again and they informed me the the refunds take 12-14 weeks. Have you ever heard of anything like that? I asked them why they get to hold my money for 3.5 months and charge me 10% for it. The rep couldn't provide a definite answer. I asked to speak to the department manger and, of course, I got to her voicemail. I left several messages and am still waiting for a response.
Finally, very frustrated I called my credit card company to get some advice. They immidiately filed a dispute case stating that such terms are completely unacceptable. I was very shocked to see everyone's reports on this company and obviosuly should've read them before I signed any contracts with them. I will try to spread the word and warn people to stay away from American Laser Canters.