• Report: #624331

Complaint Review: Seacret Spa

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  • Submitted: Sat, July 17, 2010
  • Updated: Sat, July 17, 2010

  • Reported By: Jill — San Diego California United States of America
Seacret Spa
4545 La Jolla Village Drive San Diego, California United States of America

Seacret Spa DEAD SEA SPA Deceptive, manipulative sales tactics, intimidation during returns San Diego, California

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The current name of the company is DEAD SEA SPA, selling SEACRET and SWISA products.    The Israeli guy buffed my finger nail which came out shiny, but then it was totally hard sell for the rest of the products. It was strange because he wasn't aggressive while making the sale, just extremely adept at answering your concerns WITH LIES. I specifically asked if I can return the products if I change my mind, he said "yes, no problem!" It was late at night and the mall actually closed while he was still working on me. He sort of had me pinned in the chair showing me all the wonderful effects on my face. At the same time, he asked things about me and used those things as sort of ways to say I need the products, talked about skin cancer, melasma, not taking care of myself, said I was hurting myself by using Aveno products from Walmart, etc. The mall was closed and dark, and he was putting stuff on my face "demostrating" application to his assistant who was being trained. He cajoled me in to buying over $1000 worth of products. He had taken my credit card and started throwing in a bunch of "free products", and said "come on, buy one more bottle. to make it an even thousand." I felt very strange and now I realize intimidated. He insinuated that he had stayed late for me, etc.

I am an intelligent woman, have traveled around the world for work and pleasure, and have an advanced degree.   I am pretty saavy, and have never been duped by a car salesman or telemarketer.  I have never experienced this level of dishonest persuasion anywhere including in street markets in third world countries. I assumed the things he was telling me were true because it was in a high end mall in La Jolla, CA.  I asked many questions because my gut was telling me something was somehow not normal.  The salesmans answers turned out to be a lot of lies and exaggerations in retrospect.   I said I'd like to wait to think about it, he gave me stories about how nobody else could give me discounts, that he was returning to Israel, etc. I could not get away from the booth.

On the way home I realized I did NOT even want any of the products. Except maybe the nail buffer which you can probably get at a beauty supply for much cheaper than $50.   I got home and got on the internet to find they had charged anywhere from 150% to 500% over other retailers for the same products. I actually totalled up the cost of ALL of the products (even the many 'free gifts' based on other retailers such as Amazon, and the total was still hundreds of dollars cheaper. Then I read the reviews on the products and realized the product is not what they represented. They do not even contain most of the ingredients he mentioned, and do not produced any results except for the shiny nails from the buffer. I got my receipt ready to return in the morning, and saw on the bottom "NO REFUNDS, EXCHANGES ONLY" I was completely sick.  I was given a different receipt from the one I had signed, and the print on the bottom was so small you would have never really seen it unless you looked closely.   But by that time I had signed the other receipt.  And like I said, the salesman said it was no problem to return items.  I had talked about that at length, mentioning that I always ask when in doubt about products, even at Walmart.  He had ample opportunity to correct or clarify his verbal promise.

In the morning I called the mall's management office. The concierge spoke to the mall manager. The mall manager spoke to the salesman who said I could return the product, just bring my receipt. I was so grateful to the manager/conceirge, and went to return. I got to the mall, and the salesman pretended to be surprised to see me. I told him I wanted to return everything. This is where it got very bad. He became aggressive and insulting, commenting on my boyfriend (who was not there), telling me it's not his fault I could not afford the product, then said if I could afford it then what's the problem are you cheap, completely changed his story on returns.   I actually started begging him to please stop, just return the money as he promised.  He kept badgering about the products, showed me on his blackberry that the price was reasonableobviously he was completely prepared to show that to me because it was the one product from the line that was listed at quite a high price on the manufacturers website.  UNDERSTAND, all but one of the products he sold to me were at 200% - 400% higher than SEACRETs own website.  The one that was almost reasonable was still $50 more from the kiosk..   He was manipulative, aggressive, demeaning.  At some point I started crying:   I am a 45 year old woman and started crying in the mall.   Then he was laughing and gesturing, saying "call the mall manager, I already talked to him, call your lawyer, make a scene".  While I walking away to go get the manager, he said "I could return your money if you weren't so difficult."  He just wanted to keep selling me, told me he could give me $400 back because I had wasted his time and he needed to be paid.   I havent  included 1/4 of the things the salesman said to me, all bullpoop.

I went to get the mall manager, told him what happened (still crying), he said "don't, worry, he told me you could get your money back." We walked back up there, and the manager got the same treatment as I did. The manager said "Yonni, you lied to me, you said you'd give her money back". The salesman accused me of screaming at him in the mall.   I  did not scream at him or raise my voice.  I felt like a little mouse the whole time.   At that point, the manager got tough. He told him "there is no way this woman did that to you. You are being very aggressive and confrontational to me, raising your voice.  I run this mall. You need to return this woman's money, or face being thrown out of the mall along with your kiosk business. You cannot treat customers like this, and it was inappropriate for you to make personal comments about her boyfriend."  The salesman said "you think you're over me, in charge of me?" At that point the manager asked for the kiosk owner's phone number. The salesman backed down a bit, or I should say switched tactics. He said "you can try to call him but his religious shabbat forbids him to answer the phone",  and more stuff like that.  The manager said "you are operating in the United States, and must obey the law. I don't care if it is a religious holiday, you must conduct business according to the law.  This woman is returning her purchase within 24 hours.  If she changed her mind, she will get a refund.  He repeated this several times.

At that point, the manager pretty much shut down the salesman, walked a few feet away  and called the kiosk owner.  The salesman said to me in my face quietly "If you didn't behaved this way, I could return your money LIKE THIS" and snapped his fingers in my face.  I was completely intimidated, actually frightened, and crying again.


 


The manager pulled me aside and said "this will be taken care of, you will get your money back; maybe not today but by Monday."   I told the manager that it was not just that I changed my mind, that the products were highly overpriced and that the salesman made exaggerated claims about the product.  The manager said that did not matter, and that we wouldnt even discuss those issues with the salesman or engage him on anything anymore. 


 


The salesman said he'd try to call his 'other boss' who might call back. Then he said one of the bosses would authorized the return, and I could return to the mall and get my money back, but the product was now useless.   I had not even taken the crap out of the bags.

The manager gave me his phone number, and the salesman's.   The  manager did not give my phone number to the salesman, he saw the look on my face and knew I was afraid to give him my number.  He gave the salesman his phone number.  The  manager walked me to my car and carried the bags of crap for me. He said I should wait until Monday, try to relax and enjoy the weekend. He would not be working on Monday, but I could still call him.


 


I'm terrified of what is going to happen on Monday. I'm afraid I'm going to go back to the mall and go through the same verbal barrage all over again. I cannot believe that I am AFRAID of these people, but I am.  I cannot believe this happened in a high end retail mall.

I was amazed at the professionalism of the concierge, mall manager, and mall security. I just hope they will follow through with me to get this resolved. The manager apologized which was very kind of him.  I told him it was not his fault, and that my girlfriends and I enjoy this mall and go almost every Friday.   The concierge had mentioned on the phone that they had other complaints about the kiosk retailer at both of their malls, and insinuated that she had almost bought products as well.  She said the companys name seems to change.

This was the worst shopping experience I have ever had in my life. This was worse than getting felt up by a street bazaar merchant in Morocco in the back of his shop.  I know that sounds awful, but this experience did feel worse. 

I cannot believe this is even happening in America.


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/17/2010 11:03 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Seacret-Spa/San-Diego-California-92122/Seacret-Spa-DEAD-SEA-SPA-Deceptive-manipulative-sales-tactics-intimidation-during-return-624331. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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