ED Magedson – Founder
La Dermanique120 Smith Shines Rd Greenville, South Carolina USA
La Dermanique La Dermanique120 Smith Shines Rd Greenville, South Carolina USA La Dermanique a $2.95 S&H only bottle of cream turned into a hidden 14 day trial period and monthly automatic $87.63 shipments Greenville South Carolina
An offer from Life Extension (which I like and trust) came for La Dermanique Anti-Aging Face cream. There was a 2.95 shipping charge. I was not aware at that time that if I do not call and return at least 50% of the crème, I will get involved in automatic monthly payment/shipment for $87.63.
Few days later I received two e-mails regarding the order number and that the product has been shipped. There was no phone number to call back, there was no mentioning that in 10 days or so I will be charged $87.63 Today my bank card call me to ask me if I have authorized a purchase placed today for about $87.63. I said no, and not to accept any charges from that company.
I got the number from the bank credit card representative and called the company selling La Dermanique. I was on hold for about 15 min. The female customer service representative told me that I clicked the box regarding terms and conditions that clearly stated that I will be charged that amount after the 14 day trial. I said that I even have not opened the bottle, and was unaware that such a charge would apply, otherwise I would not have ordered the bottle only to return 50% of it later on. The lady was very courteous; I was upset about wasting my time.
She explained that she will agree for a full refund if I at my expense return the bottle with at least 50% of the cream present. I asked her what was the purpose of that - they should not sell the other half of the used product, and if this was too much to use with the trial, why would not they send half of the cream to start with anyway. This would save me time and return back charges. I knew immediately that I was dealing with a company that even if I liked the product I did not want to do business with. I also new that the lady was doing her job, but it was difficult to hold my anger realizing the sleazy business practices the company she worked for used.
I asked her if I open the bottle and use half of it in order to see what was inside and at the same time make sure they can not sell it to someone else using the same practice, would I still get the refund. She replied that they already know that I told them that the bottle was unopened and I was doing it to hurt the company. On my next question, if they record this conversation, she answered "yes". When I asked her why I was not told that the conversation is recorded, she replied that since this is done for internal training purpose they are not required to do so. Why was I not alerted for that? Her supervisor later on held on to the same position regarding recording a conversation without notifying the other party. The conversation took probably 20-30 min.
I asked to speak with her supervisor. We went pretty much through the same issues in heatting exchange which obviously upset him (to be fair I would have been upset if I was in his shoes, but I would have not taken a job with a company like that). The supervisor defended the company all the way; did not appear to be apologetic at all, and "could not understand why I thought the business practice was deceptive since I clicked on the box that stated I have read the 3,856 words "terms and conditions" document. Legality and formality was all that mattered to him, the obvious intent was immaterial.
I went back to the web page to see how can I miss such a clearly posted terms and conditions.
there is a "Tell us where to send your trial order" section on the upper right site of the page. There is "terms & conditions" all the way at the bottom of the page, where on a 24 inch monitor I had to hit Page Down keyboard three times. Clicking on that "terms & conditions" will pop up the window containing the 3,856 words document. You were not required to do so, there was not a check box at that point. After you filled out the "Tell us where to send your trial order" with you personal information and click the "Order now before the trial expires" button, another page opens asking you for the credit card information. There is NO check box I can see at that point to check on that you have agreed on the "terms & conditions". However, at the bottom of the page is a 171 word paragraph using small font regarding regarding the $4.95 S&H charge and the 14 day period window to return the cream. Very easy to miss.
Again, there was not a check box on this page regarding terms and conditions. At that point, I stopped entering my credit card information. If the check box, that you have read the terms and conditions, appears after that, I do not know. But even if it does, is this the time to agree on something, after you already paid for it? The intent is unmistakable.
I have the following questions:
1) If the 14 day trial offer was so clearly stated, why then would I pay S&H and have my bank call me for confirmation because this was a red flag to bank? I wasted more than an hour talking to a company representative who would not even acknowledge that there is a problem, and then go to the post office, return the unopened product at my expense, get a tracking number and "make sure that the product is received back by May 5, 2014, otherwise I would have to pay the 87.63 charge, even if this is a delay caused by the postal service". Is this a company you want to do business with?
2) The "clearly stated" terms and conditions is at the bottom of the page, using the smallest fonts on the whole web page. Clicking on it shows me a 3,856 word (19,406 no space characters) document. Do I really need to know all that information (provided the company wanted me to readily find and I missed) in order to get a Anti-Wrinkle Cream?
3) If the company wants me to use only half of the cream before I can "cancel my subscription" in 14 days trial period (which according to the customer representative lady may or may not be enough to evaluate the benefits of the crème), why not send me half of the crème any way? Do we need to get a pharmacy scale to measure the exact weight of the content left? Not according to the male supervisor - they will just eyeball it. Suddenly, prudency is not that important.
4) Is it too much work to remind the customer that his credit card will be charged $87.63 on a monthly basis starting tomorrow or in few days, just in case the customer missed that? If I realy wanted to continue to receive the product, and my credit card be charged $87.63 on a monthly basis, I should be able to do this with some effort on my own; I do not need the "automatic help" of the company.
Obviously, the company put a lot of thought about selling you a facial crème for a $87.63 monthly charge you may not want, hoping that the customer will miss the "clearly written 19,406 character document".
How long would it take for these people to understand that a good product and price drives customer in, the perception of deception drives customers out and a pip off attempt is not a good long term business plan?
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/19/2014 06:38 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/la-dermanique/greenville-south-carolina/la-dermanique-la-dermanique120-smith-shines-rd-greenville-south-carolina-usa-la-dermani-1140181. 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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