On September 8, 2010, I ordered a collection kit from Paternity-USA . The cost was $150. When I was unable to obtain a buccal swab from my aunt I called Paternity-USA and explained the situation. I was told that it would cost another $125. I was unable to pay this amount and explained that I would call back when I was able to pay it.
I called back in a couple of days and spoke with Ed Leon. I asked his advice as to what type of sample I should send. He explained that a hair sample would be the best option. He went on to give me the percentages of results from a toothbrush, etc. and that they had a 100% success rate when testing hair. He explained that I should obtain the hair from a hairbrush and gather several in order to have the greater possibility that one of the samples would contain DNA. I sent these samples and waited for my results. I understood that the results would be posted in 3-5 days.
I called Paternity-USA on the fifth day to ensure that the results would be posted on the website that day. I spoke with Maura and she told me that the lab was unable to obtain suitable DNA from the sample that I sent, and that I could send another sample. When I inquired as to the cost, Maura asked me to hold. She then came back on the phone and informed me that her manager had approved the test for $100, since I had had problems with the first sample. I paid the amount with a credit card.
On the following Monday, Maura called me and was unable to reach me. She then the home phone number and reached my husband. Without even confirming his identity by using the order number, etc. , she discussed the case with him. She explained that she had quoted me the wrong price and that I would need to pay an additional $100 for the sample t o be processed.
He informed her that it was a verbal agreement and that they should uphold their end of the bargain. He asked to speak to her supervisor but she explained that he would be out of the office for several days due to a family crisis. Needless to say, my family was having a crisis as well and my husband demanded that he give us a call regardless of his location.
We didnt receive a call from Ed that evening, so I called the company the next day. The call was answered by Ed. This led me to believe that perhaps it was untrue that he would be out of the office for several days.
When I began to tell him the situation he interrupted and said rudely, Yeah, I know who you are. Let me tell you what happened. We had another customer that was sending a second sample since they couldnt obtain a buccal swab. I thought that was who she was asking about and approved the $100 payment . Its usually $125, but we usually give it to them for $100. (I was required to pay the full $125, even though I explained that it would take me a couple of days to get it. I was never offered the option of paying only $100).
He then said that he had misquoted the price and that the lab work wouldnt be done until I paid the remaining $100.
I replied that it was an error on their part and that they should still honor the price that I had paid.
He became irate and said that he was in the business to make money for the company and I would just have to pay it. He yelled that if I didnt want to pay the additional $100 that he would refund the $100 that I already paid. This, obviously, is not a reasonable course of action for me since I would then have to start over with another company and pay t he standard fee in addition to the higher cost for using a non-standard sample.
He told me that it wasnt his problem and that I had to pay it if I wanted the sample tested.. When I challenged whether or not they were a reputable company he kept saying that he processed over 3000 orders a month and that they were a reputable company and this was their policy.
He said, Good luck proving that in regard to the fact that he had spoken with my husband. I told him that we had the telephone bill that would prove it, as well as a voicemail message from Maura that specified that the call was in regards to the DNA test.
Throughout the conversation he yelled at me in a very unprofessional manner. I was astounded and disgusted that someone that I had trusted with something as important as a DNA test would behave in such a way. I admit to raising my voice in response. This is such an emotionally charged situation already, and to have someone that basically holds the truth to my parentage in their hand yell at me was extremely difficult to handle.
Ed then told me that he had already explained the situation and that I and my police husband could just deal with it.
When I asked for his name he initially gave me his first and last name. I asked him to spell his last name and he began yelling again, saying that he didnt have to provide that information. I then asked for the name of the person that was in charge of the company, and he said that he was the only person I needed to talk to, that he had the last say in this situation. When I asked for his position he identified himself as the sales manager. I later found out that he is actually the owner of Paternity-USA . I continued to ask for his last name and he continued to yell at me that he didnt have to give it to me. The conversation ended abruptly, leaving me shaken and believing that I had no recourse.
I called customer service at GTL and spoke to Cindy, and explained the situation. She was very considerate and sympathetic and, after putting me on hold, assured me that GTL was going to charge back Paternity USA for the balance, and that my sample would be processed