On or about August 30, 2002, a telemarketer from Treehouse Marketing, who identified himself as "Josh" called me at home selling a smoking cessation product (NICphRe-Nex). He informed that the cost of the product was $19.90 for a two month's supply, and if I was not satisfied with the product it could be returned after trying it for 30 days. I decided to try the product and was charged $19.90 soon after, via my Visa Check Card (checking account).
After receiving the product, I decided to check into the ingredients before trying the product. I discovered that main ingredient Lobelia Inflata, is listed as a dangerous herb by the FDA. I intended to return the product, however didn't think much about it since I was under the misconception that I had only lost $19.90. However, on October 7, while reviewing my checking account, I discovered a debit of $199.95. After inquiring on the source of the withdrawal, I discovered that Treehouse had debited my account for an additional $199.95 (unauthorized).
I was finally able to talk with a representative of the company who informed me that the $19.95 was for a 30-day trial. However, the $199.95 was for a two month supply (perhaps the one or two bottles, I'm really not sure - I received a total of 3 bottles which I though were all for $19.95). I didn't ask for additional supply, and I certainly did not authorize a $199.95 debit from my checking account. I explained this to the representative, and explained that I intended to contact the FDC and the BBB on this business practice. I asked whether the authorization was taped, and if so, I wanted to hear it. If the authorization was taped, I don't recall being notified of such tape, and I certainly would like to hear where I agreed to pay an additional $199.95, because I know that I did not.
I did speak with a company representative, I believe his name was Tyler Turley, who was very rude on the telephone. He called me ignorant, and informed me that because I had contacted the FTC and the BBB to inform them of this business practice, the matter was turned over to their legal department and could be sued for defamation of character. When I asked him what he meant by that, he told me I was ignorant and that I could not even pronounce the word. He told me not to contact any one at the company again. He said he would mail me a copy of the tape at his convenience. He said that this is a big company and I didn't know who I was dealing with!. He said that under no circumstances were they going credit my account for the $199.95.
Additionally, I was able to speak with a salesman named Josh Michaels. However, I don't think it was the same Josh that sold me the product. He said that he always informs the customers that they will be billed an additional 199. I asked him if he said one hundred and ninety-nine or just "one ninety nine" and he said that he just says "one ninety nine" like on the script. This, in my opinion is intentionally misleading the consumer, whereas the consumer may think that they will be billed an additional $1.99 - not $199.00. Also, why just say "one ninety nine, when the actual amount is $199.95. When I brought this to Mr. Tyler's attention, he said that it ludicrous for a anyone to think that they would receive an additional bottle for $1.99. I think it's ludicrous for a consumer to intentionally and knowingly pay $19.00 for one bottle and then pay $199.00 for an additional bottle. However, I do not recall authorizing any additional monies to be debited from my checking account - and this situation has caused me undue financial hardship.
I would greatly appreciate if your office to check into this business practice. I have also contacted the FDC and the BBB, but since this is in your state, I thought you would be familiar with the company. Also, is it defamation of character to contact agencies such as yours when one feels that a company is committing fraud, and can a company representative threaten a consumer for doing such.
Thank you so much for looking into this.
The toll free number for the company is 1-800-698-9997.
The believe the company is owned by the following individuals:
Richmond, Virginia Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Treehouse Marketing