I purchased the Lypoderm diet patches from Turley Thompson at Treehouse Mkg. on 3/28/03 for $19.90 (a 1 month's supply). I don't remember what date I received the product because it arrived with an undated letter from Turley Thompson. However on April 4th or 5th, I received a letter dated 4/3/03 from a company called "Monterey Financial Services, P.O. Box 2809 Carlsbad, CA 92018."
The letter stated that Treehouse Consulting & Marketing, LLC had assigned my account to them for servicing. They further stated "as authorized, we have set up your account for a debit of $199.95 from your credit card on your due date." The payment due date was 5/05/03.
I immediately called them at 760 639-3520 because it seemed as though I was going to be charged regardless. I was reassured that as long as I returned the product before 5/05/03, my account would not be charged. She said I could even overnight it.
Although I followed the directions, the patches did not work. Therefore, on 5/2/03, I wrote a note to Monterey in Carlsbad to not charge my account and I sent a copy to Treehouse as well along with the remaining patches which I overnighted on 5/03/03. They received them on 5/04/03.
To my surprise, Monterey charged my account on 5/05/03 just as if they were in their right mind. When I called them about it on 5/05, I was referred to another phone number for "TMG" at 800 698-9997. She gave me a song and dance about how it had been explained to me that I had to return the unused portion by so many days after the purchase plus another 3 or 4 days which ended up being 4/28/03. I said I did not hear anyone mention 4/28/03 and that I had assumed that the date on the letter was the one I had to worry about. She swore up and down that I was given that information and even offered to play back the conversation.
Needless to say, when I heard the playback, there was no mention of returning the merchandise by 4/28/03. She apologized and stated I should have been told that the merchandise had to be returned in 30 days which would be 4/28 in order for me not to be charged. I said that I assumed the 30 days were up on 5/05/03 since I didn't get the merchandise on the day I ordered it. I also told her that if I had known "5/05/03" was not the date to worry about, I would have overnighted it a lot sooner because it certainly did not work and I had begun to feel stupid anyway by the end of the first week. She said there was nothing she could do except return my patches to me. I babbled something about suing and she told me to "have a nice day."
The patches were returned in about 3 days and the package sits unopened on my dresser as a constant reminder of how stupid I was to believe those people.
When I went to small claims court last week, they had a lot of difficulty trying to find out who I should sue - Treehouse or Monterey Financial since one was in California and one was in Utah. Finally, one of the advisers looked up Treehouse Mkg. on the internet and that's when I learned about all the others who had been scammed by them. Since I cannot do anything alone, I plan to join them in filing a civil suit. These people need to be stopped!
San Diego, California