ED Magedson – Founder
Hydrolyze.com302 A West 12th Street #276, NY, NY 10014 Hoboken, New Jersey United States of America
I have had dark lines under my eyes since birth, and it has always caused me to be self conscious of myself in public. I heard a commercial on and on the radio claiming to be able to remove these dark lines from underneath my eyes. The commercial claimed that these dark lines were caused by "broken blood vessel capillaries" and was "like an ugly bruise". The commercial also claimed that the product that it was providing for a "free trial" to the public with a limited supply to callers would be able to participate in the study for the product testing. Because I had always been troubled with the dark lines underneath my eyes, I called the telephone number to request participation in the product testing for the removal of dark lines from underneath my eyes.
I have a number of grievances with regard to the business practices of the company commonly known as Hydrolyze.com. Bear with me while I outline the criteria which should DISCOURAGE YOU from purchasing any products from Hydrolyze.com. Any consumer treated in this manner has every right to bring these business practices to the attention of consumer protection advocacy web sites, governmental agencies, credit card companies, and potential consumers of those products in the general marketplace. If these warnings should discourage any potential consumers from purchasing these products, then the companies using these unfair business practices should either modify their business practices or they should simply go out of business from customers becoming better informed.
My first complaint is regarding the factor that the company indicated in the commercial that the product kit would be for a 30 day sample size, but when the product arrived it contained 3 containers or a 90 day supply of product. Does it seem reasonable to you as a consumer for a company to send a consumer a 90 day supply of product for a 30 day product trial? How could a consumer use 90 days worth of product in 30 days? It simply does not stand the smell test for reasonableness for a company to send a 90 day supply of product to a consumer for a 30 day product trial.
My second complaint is that during the phone conversation, the salesperson misled me into believing that I would only be required to pay $9.95 for shipping and handling of the product. The salesperson had told me that the product "normally sold" for $69.95, but all that I would be responsible for paying would be the $9.95 for shipping and handling. It was indeed my understanding that the so-called "Free Trial" was actually a free trial of the product to see whether I liked it or not. The term "Free Trial" means different things to different people, and it is not reasonable to assume that everybody assigns the same meaning to this legal catch phrase. If it had been clearly explained to me that a 30 day trial period in actually meant that I would receive a 90 day supply, and if I returned the empty product containers back to the company at my own expense prior to the expiration of 30 days, that I would be liable for the full amount of all 3 product samples at their full market value, I would never have ordered their product in the first place. I would have simply hung up the telephone and ignored the marketing promotion for a free trial of product samples. In other words, after the 30 days expired, I was responsible for paying $69.95 for each of the 3 product samples plus shipping and handling for a total of $217.80 billed to my credit card.
My third complaint is that there was never any mention that my credit card would be billed every month for $69.95 for an additional bottle to be sent to my shipping address. I would like to state for the record that I was smart enough to request that this auto-ship feature to be canceled the same day, as I was aware that there were some companies who made the assumption that the consumer wanted the program, and the consumer credit card would be billed for the autoship program. A company should not make the assumption that I agree to have the autoship feature without my explicit permission. There are many people who do not know to cancel the autoship program and thus their credit cards are charged for products to be reordered without their express permission. This is what would have happened had I not proactively canceled the auto-ship program.
My fourth complaint is that the company known as Hydrolyze.com has multiple aliases with multiple addresses and that it is difficult to identify it with any degree of certainty, even for purposes of filing this complaint against it to inform the public about its unfair business practices. Let us look at a couple examples of other names by which this company is known. For the most part, the company is known as Hydrolyze.com, but the name and address on the packing for the product samples is Bellezza Products LLC in Hobeken, New Jersey 07030 with a phone number of 1-866-922-9787. When I contacted my credit card company to request documentation from my filed complaint, they informed me that the company is known as "Find Longevity Now" (or www.findlongevitynow.com). My credit card company provided yet another name of Urban-Nutrition.com with an address of 302 A West 12th Street, Suite 376 New York, New York 10014 with a phone number of 1-800-515-1070. The main point that I am trying to make here is that it is my complaint that the company does not have one name and one place of business. There is even another web site that lists the same product to be available at TryHydrolyze.com. There is the distinct appearance that the company is playing a "shell game" and does not have a central office. How could a consumer trust a company and pay money to a company to purchase a product when the company does not have a main place for their business? Would you trust a company such as this one that does not have a main office, and should you purchase their products as a result? Had I known this information at the time that I had placed the order for the "free trial", I would not have gone through with the purchase, and I would have simply hung up the phone. So, I encourage you to not pick up the phone in the first place.
My fifth complaint is more than just that the company identity is hard to pin down. It is based upon the factor that I had conducted some additional investigation of the company after the creating the dispute with my credit card company. There is a web site available that provides information about the owner of all web site domain names. The name of the web site is whois.net. I examined this web site in October 2009 in an attempt to locate where the web server host for Hydrolyze.com is located. What the web site revealed is that the web server that hosts Hydrolyze.com was located in the Bahamas, a location that is immune from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations. Several other interesting facts were revealed as well. The owner of the web site used a special privacy agency to hide the ownership of the web site address and thus the owner was implicitly shielded from any investigation. The configuration from their web server also explicitly prevented any salesperson from ever deleting any sales transaction at any time, which explains why the sales personnel provided such pressure to purchase other products. More recently, I looked again at where the web server was hosted in December 2009. The web site is now hosted in Bellevue, Washington and is about to expire. Thus, the web site is now available for sale.
My sixth complaint is that the company is a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC), which means that if there were ever an investigation of the company sales practices, the company would merely close down the business and open itself as another company. From a legal point of view, a consumer could file a lawsuit against the company in order to receive their refund, but the consumer would be forced to file a lawsuit against a Limited Liability Corporation. Any potential lawsuits filed against an LLC would be limited to the amount of money contained within the legal structure of the LLC. If a company that was listed as a LLC did not have any money in the LLC, there would never be any money for any potential lawsuits to collect. A company that has sought this level of control, and implemented this level of legal trickery will most likely not have any money contained in its LLC. In other words, the complaints against this company would only cause it to close down and reopen as another company thereby discharging any losses arising from these complaints.
I am certain that while you are reading this complaint you are wondering what happened to my credit card after the so-called "free trial" period had expired? I believe that if you hear about what happened to me through my credit card as a result of my purchase of this so-called free trial offer that you may reconsider your potential purchases from this company. As you might expect, after the undisclosed time period had elapsed, I contacted my credit card company and inquired about the $217.80 debit that had been charged to my account and was informed to contact the product vendor. When I had contacted the vendor for the product to complain, the phone contact at the vendor was a contracted third party company who essentially stated that my account had "already been paid in full" by my credit card company and that my grievance was actually with the credit card company. I should contact my credit card company and file a dispute of the charges with the credit card company against the vendor using an account chargeback. When I called the credit card company to request the dispute, they registered my dispute of the charges against the vendor. I claimed that there was no mention of any time period and that there was no explanation of what this 30 day time period meant. I also maintained that that I should not have been charged for ALL THREE product samples for a total of $217.80 for a time period of 30 days. The vendor had recorded the entire telephone conversation during which I had requested the order and they pulled the entire phone call transaction. They lied to the credit card company and stated that I had been informed of the time period beyond which I would be liable for the entire amount of ALL THREE product samples and that my dispute with the charges should be dismissed.
When I contacted the vendor and explained to the dispute coordinator that if they had stated it clearly as follows: "Do you agree that if you do not return the three containers of the product by XXX date, that you will be liable for the full amount of ALL THREE product samples for a total of $217.80?" that I would not have ordered their product in the first place. I explicitly stated that there was no mention of any time period beyond which I would be liable for ALL THREE product samples, and I also stated that there was only supposed to be ONE product sample sent to me and that I had been expressly promised that I would ONLY be billed for the shipping and handling of that product sample, since it was a limited clinical trial of a product for testing purposes to the public. The Senior Rep from the Floor named "Paul P" at the vendor would NOT ALLOW me to return the two unused product samples to the company, and WOULD NOT provide me with a SRA number that I could use to return the product in any way. In fact, they had recorded in their computer that they were not allowed to provide any information to me over the phone. The ONLY way that I would be able to acquire information from the vendor would be to contact my credit card company.
In the end, the vendor agreed to provide me a discount of 50 percent off of the total for the product samples for the ALL THREE product samples in total. So, I was required to pay a total of $150.00. They believed that they were providing a compromise because they were providing a waiver for the full amount of $217.80, but if the company had been willing to accept a return of the two unused product samples and charged me only the $69.95 for the ONE product sample that I did actually use, I would have been satisfied and would not have filed this grievance with the ripoffreport.com and the Better Business Bureau and the Department of Consumer Affairs. The EXCUSE that they provided was that the trial period beyond which I would have been responsible for paying the entire amount of $69.95 for EACH of the THREE product samples was ONE THE INVOICE and that I should have read the invoice. However, I ask you this, how many people actually read an invoice when a product arrives at the door from a purchase from an infomercial on television? Not many people actually read the invoice only. This information should have been provided up front during the telephone conversation during which the order for the product is placed by the consumer.
I informed that vendor that it was not good customer relations to withhold information during a sales telephone call, and that the full information of the terms should have been provided UP FRONT so that a consumer could make an informed decision in which there is a MEETING OF THE MINDS. The Senior Rep at the Disputes Department of the Billing Department for the vendor informed me that the sales personnel are required to read a script to all customers over the phone, but I can guarantee that this script was not followed.
With all of these multiple company names, server names moving from one location to another, and incomplete information that had not been provided UP FRONT at the time of purchase, I DO NOT RECOMMEND any consumer to purchase any products from www.hydrolyze.com. The thing that is really an outrage to me is that the Senior Representative at the Disputes Department had stated that they DID NOT NEED TO provide me the information UP FRONT, and that the INVOICE was enough to enforce the purchase of the product. The next thing that was outrageous was that they would not accept a return of the two unused product samples and charge me only the cost for the one product sample that was used for a total of $69.95. Even if I did return the two unused product samples, the company would only provide me with a STORE CREDIT for other products of the company. The last thing that is truly outrageous is that the product to remove the dark lines from underneath my eyes DID NOT EVEN WORK!!!
In the final analysis, do not order any products from infomercials without checking with the ripoffreport.com, the Better Business Bureau, the Department of Consumer Affairs, and even your own credit card company. These consumer protection agencies and companies maintain a listing of companies with consumer grievances. They may deter you from purchasing products from companies implementing deceptive and misleading business practices. I had informed the vendor that I would be writing these grievances to the Ripoff Report, the Better Business Bureau, and the Department of Consumer Affairs, and that I would be posting them to the Internet. The vendor informed me that they have an A- rating at the Better Business Bureau and that they were not concerned about any grievances raised by consumers. If the company had only adopted my recommendation to explicitly state the terms in the telephone conversation with the sales person and not expect the consumer to read the invoice only, and if they had compromised by accepting the return of the two unused product samples, then the company would have been acting appropriately. However, withholding this information and then enforcing the invoice without a meeting of the minds is an unfair business practice. The company should be independently investigated by several governmental agencies and held accountable for their business practices.
Be very careful when considering ordering any products from any "FREE TRIAL" offers from either over the Internet or any television infomercials, and also do your homework by searching consumer advocate web sites and search the whois.net web site to determine the location of the company web server. In either case, for me it is a lesson learned. I will probably never get my money back from the hydrolyze.com, but they will probably close the company down and open it up as something else before then anyway.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/24/2009 09:57 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Hydrolyzecom/Hoboken-New-Jersey-07030/Hydrolyzecom-Urban-Nutritoncom-Find-Longivity-Now-TryHydrolyzecom-Bellezza-Products-544931. 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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