- Report: #1138384
Report - Rebuttal - Arbitrate
Complaint Review: ViSalus
ViSalus340 E. Big Beaver Rd Troy, Michigan USA
ViSalus 5 of us Enticed by Visalus ,? Troy Michigan
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I am writing to you today to inform you that several compliance rules have been broken by your ViSalus team in Pueblo, Colorado. I will explain in detail and provide documentation with this letter. I am requesting a refund in the amount of $2813.18 (exhibit 1) be returned to my account In addition, I am requesting that all of the following accounts be cancelled and that no one receive any additional charges.
R.M. - sponsored
V.M. - unsure
My sole purpose for joining ViSalus was to provide a nutritional component to my female gym members, should they be interested. From day one, I made no bones about the fact that I did not have time to run another business. I currently own two businesses that keep me very busy, The gym and a spa. I was assured by both A.B. and M.H.and that I wouldn’t have to do anything but make my businesses accessible. Furthermore, I was very clear and continued to reiterate, that if a sales person came out of providing a nutritional component to my members that would be bonus, my interest was the nutritional component. What I was told was a complete lie. My time, my staff’s time and the gym were turned upside down. I feel scammed; my staff feels scammed and I feel that my business has suffered because of this.
Within a few weeks of joining ViSalus it became clear that my vision for ViSalus was my vision alone. For weeks, every time I called the gym to check in, someone from ViSalus was at my front desk, or had been at my front desk, or was on their way. My employees, whose letters will speak for their feelings, were being tormented (exhibit 2, 3 and 4). When I tried to explain this to A.B., he talked over me. M.H., attempted to acknowledge what I was saying, but it was clear- my intention of providing my members a nutritional component was immaterial, and that leads to gain sales people were the first and foremost interest.
I should have realized that we had a difference in visions, when I asked several times, how much the commission for a shake kit is and couldn’t get a straight answer. Instead I was told by A.B., “It won’t matter. He went on, “I don’t know because I have so much money coming in I can’t keep it straight. It’s nothing compared to bonuses.” Another red flag, when I was asked to be on ViSalus conference calls when I had my own work meetings scheduled. I reminded A.B., “I told you I don’t have time… I’m picking up grandkids.. You have no idea of how busy my schedule is”, and was told, “Well L.S., you’re only going to get out of this what you put into it.” Next thing I’m off buying green balloons and shake fixings for a Challenge party because my staff couldn’t leave work and leave the gym unattended. I also mentioned to A.B. that I saw a few lead names on my website. He told me that he would contact them, but he never did.
As I said, this began with the “NURTIONAL” component in mind. I was actually signed up for ViSalus a year or so ago under, A.S. (who also works at my gym). A.S., who at that time was supposed to bring the Nutritional Component to our members was very involved with college and student teaching and wasn’t very focused on ViSalus. Apparently, with this first attempt to bring ViSalus to our gym, my membership under A.S. was never actually cancelled; which is the reason my current membership is registered under the name, D.F.. Yet another red flag, I was not comfortable with D.F.’s name, or any other name being used for my membership. I was told that the only way to get the product into the gym was to give another name of someone that I trusted to be used as the promoter name. I was told that the recognition would be given to the gym and the payment to me, or whichever bank account I provided. I was also told to submit a letter stating that I wanted to cancel my membership under, A.S.. My immediate concern for D.F. involved tax liabilities. I was told, “If you are making as much money as we think you will, you won’t have to worry about taxes.” The idea still didn’t sit well with me, but D.F. gave me his approval and I gave A.B. his verbal approval. After reading the policy and procedures set forth by ViSalus, it appears that this should not have happened.
Another concern was the fact that we all needed to have a $500 kit to start promoting Vi in the gym. I was told, by M.H., because A.B. gave her the eye that she needed to take over, that this is the only way we could all be paid and earn bonuses. I asked, can’t we spend $500 on different pieces of the kit that we could sell in the gym? I also asked, why can’t I have the $500 kit and then we spend and equal amount of money (for the rest of the staff) on product and advertising material from ViSalus? The bottom line for me was this; I didn’t understand why my staff couldn’t be set up as promoters at the lower level? I still do not completely understand why they had to be set up at the $500 level. Furthermore, I do not understand why we were given $2000.00 worth of 2013 promotional material and told that if we wanted updated material, we could buy it online.
Keeping in mind that we are in the business of sales, specifically, the sale of gym memberships, I would like to say that we do know how to sell. We also pride ourselves on the fact that what makes our business successful is that we have run an honest business for 9 years. My staff became concerned early on that A.B. and M.H. were not forth coming with answers regarding the product. My staff reported that they were being told and/or instructed to deliver minimal information regarding product, and if questioned, to refer back to the challenge. Then they were instructed to get the prospect on the phone with one of the members of the up line, who would take the call from there. This seemed to be in accordance to our original agreement, so I really didn’t interject, until my staff kept alluding to the fact that ViSalus was coming across to our members as a gimmick and not as a nutritional component. When I brought this up to A.B., I was told that the program is simple, and that my staff isn’t sticking to the program.
My girls spent numerous “PAID” hours in November and December calling our members and inviting them to Challenge Parties. This was completely against my better judgment because I felt, and I stated several times, that November and December are traditionally slow months in our gym. Our membership consists of women “moms” who are busy during the holidays and really do not have a lot of dispensable income during November and December to spend on weight loss. Sure, I expressed, we may come across a few, but our time… our months are January, February, March and April. Not only was I ignored, but it became obvious at this point that our members
were not the only target for “promotership” leads. Our gym members became 2nd, while the number one focus became community members, personal contacts and our connections with other area gyms. At one point A.B. said to me, “I want you to personally call so and so, and so and so, and personally invite them to the challenge party. He actually had the nerve to text me later that day to see if I had done what he expected of me.
I attended one of the challenge parties. There were about 8 women in the room who were all ready to hear about losing weight. One of our members asked how this product compares to the other shake products that are on the market. It was apparent that A.B. did not want to go there and instead wanted to shift the interest and/or question to the 90 day challenge. At that point, I saw for myself my staff’s concern. I remembered seeing some information in our kit that broke down the differences between the ViSalus shake and other shakes on the market. I tried to regain member’s assurance by explaining that I did see some information and that I would make sure that we got that information to her. I deflected to R.M. and asked her to make sure that she found and provided our member with that information on Monday. The next thing I knew we were talking about how ViSalus can change your life via conference call with the up line in Florida. This is not what I had in mind at all.
Shortly after joining ViSalus, while balancing my checkbook, I noticed additional charges in the amount of $31.15 from ViSalus. I contacted A.B. and questioned him about the charges. At that time, he told that the charges were for the websites. I expressed to A.B. that I was unaware of this charge, he started his “fast talk” about the benefits of the backdoor dashboard. When we asked why one of us couldn’t have the more expensive website, while the others had the free Vi Lite website, I was told that in order to be active, or be paid, we all needed to have the Vi Pro website. Even more so concerning, while reviewing my checkbook a week or so later, I noticed an additional charge for product. I immediately contacted A.B.. He told me that he would look into it and get back to me. After a few days passed I contacted him again. He told me that he had gone into my account and changed my auto ship order from the smaller package-$49 (which was the one I told him I wanted) to the larger package-$99. I had no knowledge of this, nor did I approve this transaction. He went on to say that I needed the volume in order to get paid and that he would reimburse me the additional money that I was charged, which he did do a few weeks later.
Last week R.M. and I had a meeting with A.B. to express our concerns. We touched briefly on the issues that we had already been experiencing and expressed concern for a new issue, that the last 3 prospective sales that we had in the gym were lost to Amazon. The prospective purchasers told us that Vi Shake could be purchased on Amazon much cheaper than through us. As usual, A.B. diverted, this time he diverted to Project 10 Kids, rather than the usual 90 day challenge diversion, because the focus of the company had shifted away from the 90 day Challenge. A.B. minimized our issues and maximizing the fact that kids are being feed through this challenge and that you can enter to win $1000, which he personally has won. I’m looking at him and thinking, Did you not hear a word I just said? We lost our last 3 sales to Amazon. Specifically, I asked him doesn’t ViSalus have a diversion plan? A.B. stated, “Oh I’m sure these are just people who decided that they didn’t like the product and are selling it on Amazon.” Well, it’s of my opinion that the issue is much bigger than a few people who dislike the product. Please find attached copies of one seller on Amazon, who after a few clicks you can be directed to sign up for the 90 day challenge (exhibit 5, 6 and 7). The bottom of the sales page looks like this…
Keep clicking and find this…. the promoter name: P.K.
A few more clicks and there is the persons Vi number… 2013 Visalus Shakes Body by Vi Independent Promoter ####8928. The bottom line is that the internet is full of this type of activity making it impossible for us to promote this product in our gym.
In December/ January my staff, in particular A.M.and J.L.were about ready to give me notice that they couldn’t work at gym anymore, not because they didn’t like their job, but because they couldn’t take the pressure that was being put on them by A.B. and M.H. to give them leads and work ViSalus. Couple of side notes, (side note #1) At this point, I also said to A.B., enough with my banking information being used; everyone needs to provide their own banking or arrangements need to be made by the girls to pay for their own product. A.B. was well aware of the fact that I agreed to get the girls started. I made it clear from the beginning, that after a month or so, the girls would need to provide their own banking and be responsible for their own monthly product. (side note #2) As of today’s date, J.L.has not been formally trained to perform her job at LOA, because ViSalus took over our regular day to day operations. Now we are in our busy season and do not have the time to go back and start training J.L..
When I mentioned to A.B. that he was turning my staff into mush, he suggested that remove A.M.from promoter and put V.M. (one of our personal trainers) in her spot. He said that he spoke with V.M. briefly at one of the Challenge parties and that she showed an interest in promoting. A.B. scheduled a meeting with V.M. at the gym to discuss the details of the program, but he never showed up for that meeting. During the past few weeks, A.B. and I discussed V.M. taking over A.M. spot, and he assured me that V.M. was ready to go and that he had it all the details straighten out. In the interim, as you can see by V.M. and my Facebook conversation (exhibit 8, 9 and 10), V.M. for some reason did provided A.B. with banking information; however, she had absolutely no idea of the website charge (which she has already charged for). Additionally, until yesterday, V.M. did not realize that she was actually signed up for Vi because she never signed anything. Even worse, she believed that if and when she did sign up all of her product would be free because she took over Angel’s membership. The bottom line is, A.B. did not have everything all straightened out. Furthermore, upon reviewing the ViSalus policy and procedure guide, it is apparent that this type activity, including the transfer of promoter ship is not simple. In addition, there are strict guidelines that should have been followed.
As you can see by our Facebook conversation yesterday, V.M. did not have a user name and/or password to be able to access her account (exhibit 11). Last night, after we received the information from A.B. and attempted to gain access to V.M.’s account, it appears to be A.M. account with V.M.’s banking information (exhibit 12,13,14). This could explain why there are 4 website charges on my banking statement and a 5th charge on V.M.’s banking statement. It does not appear that A.M. account was cancelled and that V.M.’s account opened.
When speaking to ViSalus yesterday, I was told that there is no way to remove banking information from an account without adding new banking information to it. I obtained these facts by using one of my staff member’s information , because ViSalus would not speak to me because I am not, D.F. It seems to stand to reason that if I have 4 charges for websites and V.M. has a 5th charge that may be the case. Otherwise, worst case scenario, I would have had 3 charges, not 4.
I feel that enticement was used in our case, in particular, with my staff. A.B. told us that he has 150 on his team and personally sponsored 11. M.H. told us that she received a check one month for $30,000.00 and that she had earned her BMW in no time flat. Your office would be able to confirm this as being true, or not. As for my staff, this all sounded really great, until they felt pressured and uneasy about what they were expected to do to earn the same things.
I did send an email to ViSalus on Sunday with regard to all us canceling our memberships as well as being refunded. I also requested an address to send this complaint to. I have not received an email back, nor have I received an address to send complaint to. Thank goodness for Google.
I understand that ViSalus has requirements that need to be met in order to receive a partial refund. In this particular case, I am sure that it is very clear that we need deserve to be given a 100% refund. If there are any questions please do not hesitate to contact me. In the event we cannot come to an agreement, please be advised that I will not hesitate to contact the States Attorney General, The Better Business Bureau, our local news and the national news.
Thank you very much for your time.
After several weeks.. This is ViSalus response..
Per your request, we have investigated the matter regarding allegations of policy violations by your upline promoters, A.B. and M.H.. Based on the information provided and during the course of our investigation, there is some evidence of questionable activity surrounding two polices, our twelve-month waiting period and sale of promotership. Any other allegations pertain directly to the behavior of the promoters involved. We have taken the steps to address this behavior as it relates to the Promoter Code of Ethics.
With regards to the 90-Day Money Back Guarantee, none of the accounts qualify for a refund on the promoter kits per the promotion. A.M. had one auto-ship order (Because she was Tormented by these people and was locked out of her website when V.M. scandal occurred) . J.L. had two auto-ship orders (Because she too was tormented by these people and anyone who provided banking wanted it removed due to what was happening.) Although, R.M. had three auto-ship orders, she did not complete the Challenge by posting the final results to her timeline (Per R.M. “I couldn't complete my Challenge because they froze my account due to the investigation”.) Because of this, any refunds will be limited to product which is returned to ViSalus. Promoter kits are excluded from this promotion. No mention of V.M. and the issues she experienced.
Please provide us with any information regarding unopened/unused product. (Our product was used up at the Challenge parties.)We will provide return information to you, including authorization numbers and the address for our returns facility. In regards to the monthly Vi-Net subscriptions, we will make an exception to refund the charges. (No Refund Yet)
You can e-mail us directly at email@example.com with the requested information. We apologize that this has been your experience and want to thank you for allowing us the opportunity to resolve this matter.
340 E. Big Beaver Rd, Suite 400, Troy, MI 48083 | fax 877-547-1570
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/12/2014 02:05 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/ViSalus/Troy-Michigan-48083/ViSalus-5-of-us-Enticed-by-Visalus-Troy-Michigan-1138384. 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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