Report: #143506

Complaint Review: LA Weight Loss

  • Submitted: Fri, May 20, 2005
  • Updated: Mon, December 22, 2008
  • Reported By: Centreville Virginia
  • LA Weight Loss
    7827 Sudley RD
    Manassas, Virginia

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

The first week of November 2004 I joined LA Weight Loss in Manassas, Virginia. I've always had an extremely difficult time losing weight. I'm disciplined and can stick with a diet but do not lose easily. I chose LA Weight Loss because several years ago a woman whose judgement I trusted told me she had lost weight with the system when all else had failed for her.

I explained to the counselor who enrolled me that other weight loss systems such as Weight Watchers had not worked for me. She assured me LA Weight Loss succeeded when all else failed.
She said LA Weight Loss worked without exercise and despite hormone changes. I told her I had tested positive for diabetes earlier in the year. She said they had nutritionists on their staff who would customize a diet for me.

Soon after joining I developed bronchitis and lost my appetite. I lost five to six pounds that month. After that I lost no other weight. My weight bounced up and down from 175 to 178 throughout December and January. I complained repeatedly to the staff that the diet was not working for me. They changed the diet to include more calories after their nutritionist decided I was too active for the number of calories they were advising me to eat. By February I told the counselors that the diet was not working for me and I wanted to end the program and they should cease taking money from my account. I called their customer service department and repeated the request to them. They continued to take money from my checking account and ignored my requests that they stop. I had signed an agreement that they could be paid by a draft from my bank account. The customer service department and Alicia, the Manassas manager, told me they would extend my program by ten weeks, but would not release me from the agreement. Later on, I reread the agreement I had signed with them and discovered it said I could attend for an indefinite period of time until the weight was lost. Their offer of an additional ten weeks was as bogus as everything else they did.

By February I was becoming angry that I'd lost no weight. Alicia announced I certainly looked smaller, pulled out a tape measure, measured me all over and announced I had lost 14 inches. Since January of the preceding year I had been exercising regularly at a spa where they measured me monthly. In twelve months I had lost only twenty inches so I found Alicia's assurance that I had lost fourteen inches in three months an insult to my intelligence. In April she pulled the same trick when I complained about no weight loss. She again measured and announced I had lost three more inches. Her conclusion was, you are not losing weight, you're losing inches. My doctor said that was impossible.

They always had excuses about why I was not losing weight: I was exercising too much, the weather change had caused water retention, I wasn't following the diet properly, etc.

Sometime in March I began to wake repeatedly during the night thirsty and needing to urinate, both symptoms my sugar was too high. At that time I checked the ingredients of the supplementary bars they had sold me and discovered they contained from 12 to 18 grams of sugar each. I was instructed I must eat two of these bars per day and it was suggested I eat a third, a breakfast bar. The agreement I signed with them stipulated I must eat the bars to fulfill the contract. At the time I signed up no mention had been made of supplements that must be bought to fulfill the contract. The counselors pushed sales of the bars every time I went in. The agreement with them required that I must report to the office three times per week.

When I enrolled in LA Weight Loss a young woman working there attempted to draw blood from me. I objected and asked her if she was a nurse. She said, of course. You don't think we hire anyone off the street and have them draw blood from our clients. Shortly, before I quit going to LA Weight Loss she confided in me that she was not really a nurse. I'm very doubtful that their nutritionists are really nutritionists.

After I stopped LA Weight Loss, which I believe was in early April, I sought out a nutritionist who was recommended by the American Diabetes Association. As soon as she heard my story she said she was sure they were recommending too many calories for me. After perusing the diet they had recommended and the ingredients of the bars she signed a paper for me stating that they were recommending too many carbohydrates for a diabetic. At her office I was given a metabolic rate test and it was determined my metabolic rate is 30% to 35% lower than what is the norm for someone my weight, height, and age. She said LA Weight Loss works for people who are extremely obese because it takes a large number of calories to maintain weight that is 50 pounds are more above what is normal for them. I'm only about 30 pounds overweight. The nutritionist said I would have to eat
1200 calories a day and exercise vigorously for 30 minutes a day to lose a half pound per week.

The last time I reported to the office in Manassas, Alicia, the manager told me she would talk to their nutritionists about me and I should return on Saturday. I drove over again on Saturday to find Alicia was not there and there was no email from their corporate office from a nutritionist. I told Melissa, the bogus nurse, that she must tell Alicia to call me. That is the last contact I've had with the Manassas office. I never heard from Alicia. By then they had all the money they could legally draw from my account.

I believe LA Weight Loss defrauded me by misrepresenting what they could do for me. Alicia, the manager, assured me I would lose a minimum of four pounds of weight per month with them. I believe they committed fraud when I was told the woman who wanted to draw blood from my arm was a nurse. They made fraudulent claims when they told me my diet would be customized for me as a diabetic. The diet they advised me to follow included white flour, rice, and potatoes. These foods all turn to sugar as soon as digested and my doctor said I should avoid them. After consulting the American Diabetes Association nutritionist I'm doubtful LA Weight Loss ever consulted a nutritionist about me. The real nutritionist identified readily what was causing me to not lose weight. Since following her recommendations I've been losing a half pound per week.

I consulted an attorney who advised me to search them out on a web page I found there many stories from former LA Weight Loss clients who believed as I do that I have been the victim of fraud.

I want LA Weight Loss to return the $716.40 I paid for their program. I spent an additional $200. approximately for the supplementary bars. I want that refunded and I want reimbursement for the car expenses to drive two to three times per week from my home to their store in Manassas.

Centreville, Virginia
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/20/2005 04:45 PM and is a permanent record located here: 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Ryandc - (U.S.A.)

I just want to make it clear I'm not an employee, nor know anyone affiliated or that has ever used L.A. Weight.

You were all sold a dream, no excercise, just eat what we tell you and the weight will fall off, just eat and watch t.v. That sounds too good to be true, and is. These companies are in business to make money, plain and simple that's the reason for the contract. If a company has you in a contract the service will deminish, customer service is a thing of necessity, if you can leave at anytime they work to keep you. I feel bad that each of you were promised something but you can't expect great results with no work. Plain and simple you need to eat right, and excercise if you want to be healthy and lose wieght and more importantly keep it off.

To the employee look for key words in job descriptions such as "up to" gotta do you homework, and to the mom, who cares that you support two kids, do your research and be responsible.
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#2 UPDATE Employee

Lies to from day 1 and Exercise response

AUTHOR: Marjo - (U.S.A.)

To the person that was "lied to from day 1" You are NOT the only 1 EVERYONE in my center and EVERYONE in my old center and EVERYONE in my training class was told they would be making big bucks. You're lucky you got $10 I got $8 did they lie to you about the average sale in the company too?

To the exercise fanatic. The plan DOES work without exercise, although exercising improves muscle tone and help to keep you from getting the saggy skin look...the LA Lites DO NOT!
For the Diabetic with the too high sugar LA Lites, they are a little high in sugar, but the protien and fat slows down how fast the sugar hits your blood stream and please don't think I am disagreeing with you I think the RD's they have working for them are stupid too because of what I know about nutrition, but you can still use the bars, they just didn't explain what carbs you should be using, and the fact is you can't expect them to, because unless trained outside of LA, NON of the counselors have nutritional training we are trained to SELL in our 3 week training, not to give nutritional advice.
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#3 Consumer Comment

To the OP ...

AUTHOR: Peter - (U.S.A.)

How can you expect to lose any weight if you admit to not exercising? You claim that "nothing worked" and "everything has failed" -- yet you never mentioned exercising or even being willing to exercise. The only surefire way to lose weight is to eat right AND exercise -- not one or the other. Fad diets like LA Weight Loss and anything else advertised on TV are targeted to the sedentary crowd who sit there watching TV all day long with their hand in the potato chip bag. Of course they are a scam!

May I suggest you invest in a pair of walking shoes and hit the pavement a few days a week, in addition to eating your supposedly healthy diet which you say you have no problem sticking too. The combination of exercise AND dieting together should show you better results than simply following a prescribed diet while maintaining a sedentary lifestyle.
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#4 UPDATE Employee

I was lied to from day 1 !

AUTHOR: Gia - (U.S.A.)

I wish I would have looked up LA Weight Loss; Before I left my last Job! They Lied to me from day one. They stated that I'd be making between $35,000 to $45,000 and up. The hours were good, I'd have all the great benny's from the company. Yea, the cost per month is around $725.00 for 3 people in my family...And the hours - well I am working 5/6 days, from 8:40 a.m. to 7 p.m. and I must stay later, if a client comes in late...So what time is left for my children???
Well, After my first week in "Training" I got a Letter stating I'd only be making $10.00 hour! What are they thinking? I asked what was going on; I was told by my area Manager. She'd look into it. Ok....2 weeks pasted. I talk with another area Manager, The one who told me I'd be making up to $45,000. She tell's me - well it's based on the % of comm you bring in. I only get 2% of sales! I state, How am I going to pay my bills on $10.00 per hour!!! I just get a smile, and told to start saleing dear..
How can I pay my bills! WHY did LA Weight Loss lie to me!!!

I just don't understand! I have not worked for $10.00 in the last 10 years! I have 2 children to take care of...What kind of company are you! I will be moving to a new job ASAP!!
And about the Program - Yes, It is very $$$$
Does it work....???....Do you need to get the $$$$ LA Lites NO YOU DO NOT! That is how "WE" make the $$$$. Is to sell you UP on the LA Lites!
How can a company that states it cares so much about people - lie to a Mom, with two children to take of?
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#5 Consumer Comment

We need to organize!!!

AUTHOR: Teresa - (U.S.A.)

I have a report on here about L.A. Weight Loss
too. I wanted to know if I could go into the
parking lot and pass out copies of complaints
from this site to the new customers coming in.
No one has answered me, but if you were able
to do it, I guess it's not against the law!
We need to form some kind of alliance here and
everyone one of us needs to plan a week of
passing out these rip-off reports in front of
our nearest Center. I am in Plano/Richardson, TX.
If we could get everyone to write in and give
out home e-mail addresses we could do something
about this because none of us are going to get
our money back, and so far no body has done a
news story on this horrible company!
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#6 Author of original report

Cost of Reimbursement Too High

AUTHOR: Bettye - (U.S.A.)

My attorney wrote a letter to LA Weight Loss demanding my money back. After awhile their attorney wrote my attorney offering to return less money than I had paid in and certainly less money than the entire fiasco had cost me. There was no reimbursement addressed for the cost to me of having an attorney write to them, of the time and car expenses for traveling to their office two to three times per week, or of the time I lost from my work passing out flyers to their neighboring stores and to the shoppers in the area.

In return for accepting the money, their attorney demanded I sign a letter ending all "negative actions" and never again saying anything negative about the company. I ignored that letter and have continued to pass out flyers relating the story I've told here on Ripoff Report.
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#7 Author of original report

LA Weight Loss, Manassas, Va - Ignored by LA Weight Loss

AUTHOR: Bettye - (U.S.A.)

On Thursday of last week I faxed a copy of my Rip-Off Report to the corporate headquarters in Horsham, PA. with an updated account of what the company owes me. The Regional Marketing Co-Ordinator told me she had forwarded the report on to the Customer Service Department and they would call me back. That was four days ago and no one has called me back from the corporate office.

On Friday, July 1, I faxed the report to the manager at the Manassas Center. She called be back as soon as she had time to read it and announced she had called an attorney and was suing me for slander. I called my attorney who assured me slander involves telling malicious lies. Since I had only told the truth she can't sue me for slander.

On Saturday I made copies of the report, went to the Manassas office and told the manager I intended passing them around in the neighborhood of the store. She said, "Fine. That's fine."
She kept her cool because the store was full of customers. I laid one down in the waiting room and saw a customer pick it up and begin to read it.

I then went around the shopping center and handed the flyers out to the stores and stood in front of a nearby K-Mart to hand out more. The reponse was generally very positive with people thanking me for cautioning them about the LA Weight Loss Center. I made more copies and went about a mile away to hand them out at a Walmart store. I've recruited other people to help me and will be handing out more flyers in the city of Manassas this week. We may also carry picket signs that read:"Honk if You've Been Ripped Off by LA Weight Loss."
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#8 Author of original report

wrote a letter to Vahan A. Karabajakian, president of LA Weight Loss

AUTHOR: Bettye - (U.S.A.)

My attorney wrote a letter to Vahan A. Karabajakian, president of LA Weight Loss. He stated that I wanted my money returned within ten days. June 24, 2005 was the tenth day and Mr. Karabajakian has not responded. Today, June 29, I have sent a copy of this report and called twice. He will not speak with me nor will anyone else other than the women who answer the phone.
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