I too am joining the ranks of people irritated and negatively affected by Melaleuca's ridiculous cancellation policy. Melaleuca claims their cancellation policy that insists on the receipt of a signed letter prior to the 25th of a month, is for the protection of the consumer. This is not so. This complicated and time-consuming cancellation policy is a money-maker for Melaleuca, just as overdraft charges are money-makers for banks.
I checked the ripoff report site before joining Melaleuca and at the time there were only a few reports, which I "wrote off" as sour grapes. I see now that there are many reports similar to the one I'm having -- difficulty with their cancellation policy and their practice of continuing to process charges after cancellation, due to loopholes in their fine print. I wish those had been there before I joined the company.
First, let me say that I actually DO like many (not all) of the Melaleuca products, so this is not sour grapes. I would love to keep using their laundry and some other cleaning products, but at this point, I can't afford to keep paying the prices they charge, plus shipping charges (plus the charges for the tools I was paying for monthly, to try to work the business opportunity). Had they simply cancelled my account as requested and not shipped and charged me for a backup order AFTER I cancelled my account and made numerous phone calls -- and sent 2 faxes, trying to assure this would NOT happen, I wouldn't be complaining about Melaleuca now. My complaint is not about their products -- it's about their policies and business practices. I am not complaining about their sales tactics -- direct to consumer sales can be legitimate and we are all adults and choose willingly to become involved in any business opportunity.
I am however, complaining and wanting to warn anybody considering joining Melaleuca and/or certainly considering signing up as one of their marketing representatives -- be sure you have plenty of money in your account. Be sure you read every detail of the fine print in the "Membership Kit" you will receive via mail after you have paid your membership fee AND your other fees. If you sign up online or by phone and don't have to send in a faxed/signed authorization, don't assume it will be that easy to cancel your account, because it's not. You can only cancel by sending a signed letter, to be received at Melaleuca by the 25th of the month. THEY will determine when they have received and are able to process that letter. Even if you fax and/or call and speak to a person who confirms that you want to cancel your account, NOTHING WILL BE DONE to actually cancel your account until they have the signed copy and it has been processed through the organization at Melaleuca. Don't assume they have received it -- you will be charged surprisingly, early the NEXT month, when they start processing the backup orders (vitamins, for $60+) after closing out the prior month. Even if you call then, they will tell you that your may have been received, but couldn't be "processed" until after the prior month had been finalized. Ironically, "finalizing" the prior month means all sales through the 31st, but not all cancellation notices -- interesting, huh?
Melaleuca is a multi-billion dollar company. Many people are making a legitimate income by representing Melaleuca. However, a big chunk of the profits are realized by selling the business opportunity and marketing tools -- and this commits you financially. It is true that you have to spend money to make money, so no one should be surprised by having to invest in your business if you expect to be successful. Where Melaleuca is WRONG is that when someone goes through every channel possible to cancel, Melaleuca makes it as difficult as possible, so that they can get another $60+ before finally actually cancelling the account.
Here's the shame -- Melaleuca could update their policies to provide actual protection for the consumer, rather than charging consumers who really cannot afford the ongoing monthly commitment. Melaleuca COULD offer a temporary suspension of the account and potentially save a LOT of customers who are simply enduring a temporary hardship. Melaleuca executives have chosen NOT to pursue such a policy, apparently because of GREED. Or, Melaleuca could make it less cumbersome to cancel. Melaleuca could do as numerous other companies have done and put in place policies and procedures that really do offer the CUSTOMER protection of private information, but allow the customer to cancel by phone, upon proof/confirmation of private information. The lack of willingness to do that is what provides interesting insight into Melaleuca practices. Melaleuca COULD turn a negative situation into a positive one, by simply LISTENING to their customers and offering some solution, rather than giving lame excuses about the fine print.
Melaleuca makes money by selling business opportunities. If you are a successful executive with plenty of money in the bank, who is looking for a part-time business opportunity -- you may do well. If you are a financially strapped, recently unemployed consumer, do NOT sign up unless you have enough money in your bank account right now, to cover at least 6 to 8 months+ of the $ needed to meet your monthly commitment order AND the costs of your business tools. Anyone trying to sign you up for the business opportunity who doesn't tell you that, is not someone you want to work with because they don't have your financial interest at heart. ASK about the $ required and if they won't tell you or give you a "song and dance" -- back off and find someone else to work with. And ask about the details of cancellation policy and make sure you are prepared.
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