My name is Renee Thompson. I am and have been a Professional international Model for 12 years. I now have my own online show called Reel2Runway (www.reel2runway.com) and still work in New York and Europe with some of the industries biggest names and agencies. I am here in Toronto after a long stint away from home to nurse myself and my skin back to good health.
I grew up in Brampton, Ontario, Canada and frequented all my life with my family and friends the Shopper's World Brampton location. this is a shopping center that all my family shops at and definitely wont after the incident I encountered yesterday.
I was at the mall looking only to take a quick stroll and pick up some skin care products from the natural foods and drug store. I traditionally never stop when interrupted by Kiosk vendors, but this day in particular I was scouted, stalked and lowered by the Natural Beauty Reps in the center Mall kiosk. [continued below]....
12/03/2012, when this young male sales person names Jino,waves me over to his kiosk to see his goods, all whilst telling me he knows me and he met my mom Avis, the week prior and we resemble so much he just knew it was me. Later on going in to tell me how he googled me and knows my work quite engaging and detailed about what my mother told him regarding my career and my ongoing battle with acne.
After telling him that I was not interested, he grabbed by my hand and puts his "product" on my forearms (the skin peel) pleading that he just wants to show me how great it is and starts massaging it into my skin.
He goes into his elaborate sales pitch and details about his knowledgeability with models and the industry as a former make up artist. After I explained that I hadn't the money to really spend, he vigorously insists I get it as an investment into my career, and offers to make me a special 2 for 1 deal if we promise to be discreet and to tell all my model friends and blog about the product SHOULD IT WORK FOR ME, whilst her unidentified co-worker, later to find out Manager is across the way completely ignoring me and him. Purposely keeping me on one side of the kiosk, away from the unidentified "boss".
I continued to inquire about the promise of natural ingredients as I am removing all harsh a, animal based and alcoholic products from my regime. he assured me the products are ideal for black skin, any weather, acne especially and my dark circles which he compared to his past skin issues attempted to use a relatability tactic.
Through pressing the issue and using my mother to engage me, he somehow convinced me to give up my debit card, and purchse the 4 products, which were unmarked and acclaimed 2 for 1. one being $140 and the other $75 with two more products equal in value as "gifts" concealing the bag under the table before I could accept or object.
I left bag in hand and 5 minutes later I receive a phone call from my mother that the bank called to inquire about money that was pending was interrupted by my purchase. Although it was unexpected, I B-lined straight back around the corner to attempt to return the products until my issue with the bank was resolved.
I went back briskly but in quite the panic as I hoped i could exercise a refund quietly and peacefully not to deter other customers. Jino said "we are sorry we don't give refunds, oh boy I don't know what to do.Let me call my manager." I told him that I was not aware of a no refund policy and if this can be an exception being that only 5 minutes before I made the purchase. He gave me some lousy website address, that from I searched on my smartphone, was under construction. (www.seacrespa.ca). I then checked www.seacretspa.com and researched the products I had bought and did a search on the facial peel product, finding that the kiosk had marked up the price over 475%. Much like the report from the lady in Nutely New Jersey. I also realized that the receipt was over charged vs. the actual sales receipt and my debit was rounded to the nearest dollar.
After calling the head office in Phoenix via Jino's direction, and the rep at Seacret Spa notified me that they are not responsible for the ethics and sales tactics nor their pricing or policies as they only provide the products but are not under franchise which means my issue is to be taken up directly with the manger and operators of that particular kiosk. They are the only ones with authority to grant an exception.
I returned again from around the corner and attempted to return the unopened products. I was told that it could not be done, and this time there was another Unidentified personnel who came to me and was very rude, belligerent and dismissive. He was sarcastic, rude and told me he will not yell at his manager or insist I get a refund or he will lose his job.
Then going on to say La Senza closed 42 locations because of a return policy and lost money. so he cannot enforce my request. I told him that I would like to speak with the manager mydself and why that was not possible and who do I report to to get it resolved and that I just wanted a quiet return of my money. That didn't happen.
He continued be rude, getting in my face, cursing and completely dismissing my claim as well as offered to take the products if I would prefer and he will have his manager contact me directly. Which he never did when I left my number. I called Cooporate back to report their misconduct, but the woman on the line was also very disrespectful and shirked all responsibility for their actions.
Later that night, I returned to the mall with my friend and past client of theirs who attests to their fast talking sales tactics and misleading pricing. she went to speak to them for me to find out who the manager was. Remember the man who was at the booth earlier when I was being product boosted who ignored us on the other side of the kiosk? Well all the time he was the Manager and he told that to my friend. He told her he will not refund me and will not speak to me.
I went to the mall information booth in the meantime, as it was after 5pm, and was told to fill out a card with my complaint. Before I even finished telling the attendant the name, she knew who it was, and agreed when I said that I must not be the first to complain about them.
Today I filed a complaint with the better business bureau. Not only did they mark up the products a disturbing amount, but also the treatment, the deceit and the
I can understand getting assaulted in a back alley somewhere, where you are caused to risk. When shopping in a mall I have shopped at for years growing up and have friends who work their I expect vendors to be better screened by the mall management. Which by the way, has yet to return my calls regarding enforcing some action. I know I am not the first to complain about
"Natural Beauty", but they continue to rip people off daily at Shopper's World Mall, and continuing to forcefully scout customers willing or unwilling.
I plan to post a blog ofcourse, but not one they will like and I will do all I can to get viral media attention to get some justice and my money back.
Please help stop these people by supporting my post on Facebook.com/reel2runway and like my post regarding the scam. and tweeting @runwayrenee with hashtage #seacretpascam #jinotheifNT