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Report: #206757

Complaint Review: American Laser Centers - Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

  • Submitted: Fri, August 18, 2006
  • Updated: Fri, August 18, 2006
  • Reported By: Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
  • American Laser Centers
    875 Greentree Road
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

American Laser Centers unethical sales, alleged HIPAA violations, disrespectful, unprofessional, poorly rendered services Ripoff Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

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I feel I have been a victim of false advertising, extremely pushy and unethical sales in order for this company's Pittsburgh area manager to meet her quotas. In addition, I have been treated with bold disrespect by both the clinic manager and one of her technicians. They appear to be friends and look out for one another. Further, given that these treatments are conducted with a medical grade laser in a professional clinic associated with Dr. Mark Boland it should not be taken lightly that I have reasons to believe a form the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is in violation at this branch. These experiences have been building up for a while and I have tolerated them. With the most recent change in management and staff I am appalled by the way I have been treated and spoken to and I am no longer willing to accept this caliper of service.

Most disappointing of all, I have given the company every opportunity to redeem themselves and they have blown it off every time. The regional manager that I brought my concerns to has promised to call me back 6 seperate times and EVERY single time she has broken her promise.They don't even pretend to care about cutomer service here. the regional manager won't even answer her phone unless I block my phone number when calling.

Below I have detailed most of my negative encounters with ALC, although as I am trying to resolve an issue there are new negative encounters I record each day. American Laser Centers are by far the WORST, most disrespectful company I have ever delt with.

1)7/2005- Relentless, unethical sales tactics which never ceased.I wouldn't sign a contract in the office so. As a result they called me at home three more times, each time offering me a better deal than before. Finally I caved.

2)7/19/2005- My first full body treatment. The technician took much longer to do the procedure than I had been told it would take. I had to make an unexpected second trip (7/26/2005) to complete this treatment, arranging for more time away from work.

3)10/03/2005- I am informed that my regular technician was fired and unexpectedly forced to undergo treatment with a stranger. No one called to let me know this in advance. Neither my hairdresser nor my physician would ever try this. It was very uncomfortable to have to get completely undressed and into several awkward positions in front of yet another person.

4)12/20/2005- After informing my new technician that I preferred to have only her do my sensitive full body treatments, I come in for my appointment and the manager informs me that she (the manager) has to cover my treatments this time. No one called to check with me about this. I was upset. But I let it go.

5)12/20/2005- Manager, who was less experienced than my usual tech was unable to complete my full treatment in the proper ammount of time. I had to make two additional trips to complete them (12/30/2005 and 1/4/2006)... Not to mention, the entire visit was a big sales pitch.

6)12/20/2005- While the manager was working on the back of my neck, she used clippers to make the hairs she would be treating a little shorter. In the process, she accidentally clipped off a small tuft of hair at the base of my hairline. It is still growing out and looks strange when my hair is in a pony tail.

7)12/30/2005- More extremely aggressive, misleading and unethical sales pressure. Again I caved after this relentless pressure and signed up for a photofacial treatment which was sold to me to clear up the spots on my back for before wedding...A later trip to the dermatologist confirmed these spots were birth marks, not sun damage and the $1700 I just spent on a foto-facial treatment would not do anything for them. I felt pretty ripped off.

8)4/06- Missed a foto-facial appointment due to being tied up at work. No one mentioned on the phone to me that there would be a fee. I assumed that because of all the times that ALC wasted my time, requiring me to make extra trips back and take extra time off from work and accidentally cut my hair etc. that they would not dare charge me for a missed appointment...especially for such a short foto-facial appointment.

9)5/25/06- I show up for my full body and am brought into managers office where she informs me that I have to pay the $35.00 or not get my foto facial treatment for the day. I tried to explain why this was unfair based on all I had been through and that it was just a quick appointment. Her solution to my customer service issue: I am sorry, honey, there is nothing I can do. Condescending, inappropriate and unhelpful. I was livid.

10)5/25/06 I watched the clock to see how long my foto facial treatment actually took. After 11 minutes I was completed.

11)6/6/06- My regular full-body technician was unavailable. Disappointed, I asked where she was. The stand-in technician, with a twinge of impatience, asked if I would like to reschedule. I explained today was the only time I had to get this done. To my surprise, she fired back with: REALLY? Because I really don't feel like spending the next three hours working on someone who is unpleasant. She then launched into a defensive tirade spouting off numerous things she could only know if she and the clinic manager had been disregarding HIPAA regulations???

12)6/6/06- Realizing I wasn't going to win this one and this angry tech was coming at me with a laser in a minute. I stopped talking..and strangely enough the angry tech began talking, this time awkwardly trying to be civil. Listed below are the infuriating things she told me during my treatment:

-She admitted to rushing through my last foto-facial appointment because, as she put it: it seemed like you wanted to leave. There's no way it would ever take only 11 minutes.

-She told me they recently bought a new microderm machine, which should now work much better than the old one. So, apparently I was being treated with a sub-par machine.

-She told me not to tell her manager, but that if I sent my friends to an ALC center towards the end of the month they would get a better deal because of the monthly quotas managers have to fill. Although a regional manager denied this when I confronted her...I actually found proof of it ($60,000/ month)on their website before they updated it. It was under the clinic manager's job description.

-She also reminded me of the great deal I received on my full-body packageinsinuating I had no right to be upset about anything.

13)6/24/2006- I called the manager to ensure that all my future appointments would be covered by my usual tech. She told me that my usual tech had quit and that she would set me up with yet another new tech. She assured me that this past angry tech was a great tech and proceeded to say you and I both know you were in a bad mood that day because of the $35.00. I'm sure "angry tech" will be just as happy not to have to cover your appointments too. The manager had totally missed my point, not to mention, again led me to believe that her and "angry tech were engaging in conversations that come uncomfortably close to the HIPAA line.

The ALC website states the following:

At American Laser Centers, our greatest asset is our people. That's why we invest the way we do in attracting the best technicians and support staff and provide them with the specific training they need to ensure that your experience with us is safe, effective and pleasant.

If this is truly what ALC is promising to deliver to its clients, the Pittsburgh office is way off the mark....and from the looks of it, the company appears to deal in very sneaky and misleading business practices across the country

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/18/2006 10:22 AM 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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