Report: #1105488

Complaint Review: Lice Doctors - Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: Gail — Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
  • Lice Doctors

    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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In October 2013, my 14-year old daughter was sent home from school due to a case of head lice, I looked online for information about the condition and came across ads for Lice Doctors. They advertised a 100% guarantee which is what convinced me to hire them.

We could not afford for my daughter to miss school and I could not afford to miss work because of the lice so with a 100% guarantee I believed that would be the best approach to treating the lice problem.

I contacted Lice Doctors that morning and they came out at 2 pm, about 5 hours after my call. The attendent spent about 3 hours total, on my husband, me, my other daughter and my daughter with lice. The total for the services was $300.00.

She stated that she had gotten all the lice out, and gave us instructions on how to treat ourselves. This treatement included olive oil every night for the next week. When I asked about the medicated shampoos you can buy over the counter she said they were not as effective as olive oil. She also tried to sell me a NIT comb for $20.00. I instead went to local pharmacy and picked up a nit comb kit for $8.99.

We followed her instructions and I sent my daughter to school the next day, within 15 minutes I got a call from the nurse, she had found live lice. I left work and went to the nurse's office and she showed me under a magnifying mirror several mature, large, live lice in my daughter's hair. These were not newly hatched lice, but had been alive several days, according to the school nurse. My daughter was in tears, she had to leave school AGAIN and was missing 2 tests that day.

The nurse asked what treatment plan we were following and when I told her the Olive oil treatment recommended by Lice Doctors, she said in her experience as a school nurse, the most effective treatment was the over-the-counter medicated shampoos such as NIX and RID. I followed her instructions immediately spending the rest of the day home with my daughter treating her.

The following day she went in before school started for a head check by the nurse and there were no more signs of head lice.

At that point I called Lice Doctors, and spoke with one of the owners in New York, I told her the sequence of events and that the Lice Doctors recommended treatment of Olive oil was ineffective, that the at home visit by the Lice Doctors nurse had missed several mature, live lice in my daughter's hair.

The Lice Doctor's owner said, that it was because we did not use enough olive oil, and that this was the best treatment, even according to the Centers for Disease Control. When I inquired about the 100% guarantee she did not respond with any offer of a refund, partial or otherwise. Even though the treatment Lice Doctors gave us a 100% FAILURE!

After getting no acknowledgement by the Lice Doctors that they should stand by their service. I disputed the $300.00 charge with my credit card company.  And, I doublechecked the Centers for Disease Control web site to see if the Lice Doctor's claim that the recommended treatment with Olive Oil was correct.

IT WAS NOT. This is what the CDC website says about head lice treatment:

Required using an over the counter (OTC) or prescription medication.

Heres the link:

I thought for sure after I made the effort to dispute the charge, Lice Doctors would DO THE RIGHT thing and honor their 100% GUARANTEE by refunding my money.

They did not, the charge has been resubmitted for the full amount of $300! I missed an entire day of work and my daughter missed another whole day of school because of their failed treatment, and they receive full payment for a job done wrong.

DO NOTuse Lice Doctors, they are not worth it, they are a scam. You are better off following the instructions of the actual CDC website. This is the only way to effectively treat Lice.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/09/2013 06:50 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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#1 General Comment

Lice Doctors use the right products and pricing strategy

AUTHOR: Anna - (USA)

Use plant enzyme sprays and dimethicone and you will be successful like all the other lice companies. I own one and don't have any complaints with the products I use.

I do agree about the comb. People believe they can buy any comb but they are far inferior to the Terminator comb. These combs have side grips on each tooth that literally tear out the eggs unlike anything on the market. The grips on each tooth destroy the eggs while pulling them out. That is why EVERY professional uses that particular comb.

Another note though, if they used my method you would only have to retreat on day 5 and 11. All you would have to do is apply a gel like oil to your hair and wash it out after 20 minutes. No combing or buying my comb would be necessary. It's all because we killed all live lice on day 1 of treatment. It takes a baby louse 7-10 to mature to lay eggs. It also takes an egg 7-10 days to hatch. That is why we do two treatments after so it kills any hatchlings that we missed before they can reproduce and then we kill the life cycle.

We only advise to put all sheets, blankets and pillows in the dryer on high heat for 30 mins daily, boil brushes every few days, Especially on days 5 and 11, use lint brushes on all furniture/car used daily. Don't wear any dirty clothes or towels without washing and drying on high heat.


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#2 Consumer Comment

Lice Doctor Saved the Day!

AUTHOR: Courtney - (USA)

 I feel Lice Doctor is a heaven sent business! Both my daughter came home with nits & lice, so bad I knew I would never be able to get rid of it! The over the counter combs did nothing! Frustrated, I called Lice Doctor - even though I was out of their service area at the time, they still had a rep come out. The 4-5 hours she was out and did my hair, my 2 daughters and my sons hair, just to be sure - was well worth the $400+ spent! I bought the $20 comb and am SO glad I did (my girls got lice again a year later) and their sure fire method of olive oil and their Terminator Lice Removal Comb & the combing technique they showed me?

Worked like a charm! The schools were amazed! 1 day missed for each girl! The standard 24 hour protocol, then check by the nurse. All were amazed & asked how it was done & what I did. I referred Lice Doctor the first time and said its a secret the next time! If directions were followed 100%, and maybe, just maybe you had a crapoy tech that came out? You can't knock the company, if you or you daughter didn't follow every single step as instructed. I did it the the "t", and I'm a single mom to 4 kids, I missed work, well because my kids come 1st & it's just what you have to do sometimes. Best money ever spent, I didn't think so at the time, but I'm SO glad I did now!!

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#3 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Follow Instructions Dummy !

AUTHOR: PhillyGirl - (USA)

When a professional lice company gives you suggestions and you go out and follow your own rules, you deserve to get what you got.  They told you to buy the correct comb and you admitted that you ignored their advice and went to your local drugstore and picked one up for $8.99.  Do you do the same thing when you go to the doctors? He gives you a prescription and instead of filling the prescription .... you decide to buy baby aspirin instead?   The Terminator Lice & Nit comb is the best comb on the market and the ONLY comb you should have been using. The double sided comb you brought from your local drugstore was garbage and I guarantee that within 3 weeks to a month the nits you didn't remove hatched again. Of course you wouldn't admit that because it's going to show how stupid you are.  Secondly, you admitted that you went out and bought over the counter head lice treatments? Did you know that they are toxic to your children? They have been linked to Leukemia, seizures, neurological damages and other serious health problems?  LiceDoctors is a good company and they know what they're doing. They've been in business for 15 years. Although I don't necessarily agree with the using olive oil for two weeks, it would have taken care of your problem 100%. People like you make me ill.  You say you're desperate, you call a company and then blame them when you don't follow directions. 

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#4 Author of original report

100% Guarantee is not honored

AUTHOR: Gail F - ()

I am simply trying to understand when the 100% guarantee offered prominently on the LiceDoctors website is honored. In my case it wasn't. The point of the in-home $300.00 house call that my family experienced was to get the problem taken care of efficiently and thoroughly. It wasn't - as I have previously explained in earlier reports.

I was able to do that on my own after the Lice Doctors' recommended treatment failed: by using advice by the school nurse, purchase of an over-the-counter medication kit, and purchase of a nit comb kit for $9.99. If I had done that to begin with, I would have saved myself an entire day of work, and an entire day of school for my daughter and $300. Not to mention all the time I have expended writing these complaints. 

I have taken a considerable amount of time to write these reports because on principle, I feel it is necessary.  I am frustrated and feel cheated. And, I'm surprised that Lice Doctors would take such a harsh stance and make no attemp to make the situation right.




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#5 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Response to complaint

AUTHOR: LiceDoctors - ()

We reiterate that our goal was to eradicate the lice in Ms Fireman's family's hair. When we spoke with her and she told us that she found live bugs, we told her that is highly unusual and explained the next step. To remedy that problem, we urged her to use more olive oil in the follow-up that night. We explained to her that bugs can hold their breath for 6-8 hours but when saturated will die. Our point in telling Ms. Fireman this was not to shirk our responsibility to eradicate the case but to ensure that she understood that so that she could properly execute the follow-up plan. In the rare instance, when a client sees a live bug the next day, and we advise that she put more olive oil in the hair, the problem is always resolved.

After we spoke to Ms. Fireman on the phone and urged her to do the follow-up, we did not hear from her until she posted her complaint on this site 6 weeks later (yesterday). We assumed that she followed the protocol and that it worked.

On the very rare occasion, that a family has a problem, the best way to remedy it is for the person to call us and we will work with them; it may take an extra day or so, and if need be we will send a technician back (again this need is rare). We are a company whose goal is to help people; having a single conversation with us, only to show up with a hostile complaint on line 6 weeks later, is not productive nor does it allow us to help you achieve that goal. It is always a shame when a person would rather spew venom than work constructively to resolve a problem.

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#6 Author of original report

Lice Doctors does not stand by their 100% guarantee

AUTHOR: Gail - ()

There are several factual errors in the Lice Doctors rebuttal to my initial report.

The last line of the rebuttal states the following: "We wish that Ms. Fireman had contacted us directly as soon as she was dissatisfied and had been open to our helping her achieve our mutual goal."

First, I did just that when I contacted Lice Doctors 48 hours after the initial home visit and spoke with a woman, who identified herself as the owner of the company. I have my cell phone records to prove the date, time and length of the phone call. The claim that she did not speak to me until after credit card dispute is FALSE. The credit card dispute was not initiated until 2 weeks after the incident. The cell phone record of our initial call below. I blocked out the last four digits for privacy, but have the entire phone number in my cell phone records.

10/22 2:18 PM 516-398-xxxx 5 Peak --

The conversation was a calm one, at this point I was not angry - I was baffled and wondering why the $300.00 home treatment given by the technician had failed to remove large, live bugs from her hair. These had been clearly missed by the technician. When I explained that to the owner, her only response was that it was my error: that I did not put enough olive oil in the hair over night. Then what was the $300.00 charge for? To tell me about olive oil? At no point in the conversation did she offer to work together, or give a refund, partial or otherwise.

My understanding from all the promotional materials put out by Lice Doctors that is that for the $300.00 I would have all live bugs removed from the hair. Below is an excerpt from their web site:

    "Our Pittsburgh lice treatment staff, Kathryn, Beth, Naomi, Lydia and Desiree, is experienced and will    meticulously remove the nits and bugs fro your hair. We use a Copytrighted plan that was developed bya board-certified phsician and has been used successfully for 18 years. We guarantee our work - 100%. Give us a call; you will be relieved that you did. We guarantee it!"

When I called the owner to follow-up and tell them that their treatment did not "meticulously remove the nits and bugs" - I was told it was my fault. How is that a guarantee?

I completely understand that lice eradication is a multi-step, on-going process with follow-up necessary. In fact, while the technician was treating my daughter, I was vacuuming all surfaces, and did 6 loads of laundry in hot water. And, I continued to do that, changing linens everyday and vacuuming everyday.

But it is only through my own research, and speaking with the school nurse, that I was able to effectively treat the lice problem. Lice Doctors did not help at all. In fact, I missed an entire day of work, and am out $300.00

Another factual error: that Lice Doctors would never quote another organization. But in that same phone call I had, the owner of company clearly cited The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as an information source to support their treatment plan that included the oilve oil because of the "resistance" to medicated shampoos.

Another factual error: that the nit comb I mentioned that I bought "is a plastic one that comes in a Nix or Rid kit"

That's simply wrong. It was not part of a Nix or Rid kit and I never said it was. These nit comb kits are sold at Rite Aid. In the kit are 2 combs: one with long tines, another with short tines, both of these combs are metal with very closely set tines. Also in the kit is a magnifying glass and a small brush. This is sold for $9.99. Here is the link to the product I bought:

I still think I am entitled to a refund in order for the "100% guarantee" claim to be truly honored. Will Lice Doctors do the right thing and stand by their service?

I hope so.


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#7 REBUTTAL Owner of company

We Stand Behind Our Guarantee and You Have to Do The Follow-Up

AUTHOR: LiceDoctors - ()

LiceDoctors has treated nearly 30,000 families successfully and this is the first report of this kind that has been filed. Our treatment plan, which was developed 18 years ago by our board-certified physician director, works and we stand behind it.  Of course, we are sorry that Ms. Fireman did not have a positive experience with our company. 

We learned that Ms. Fireman was unhappy with our protocol through her credit card company. She did not call us to allow us to help her. We tried calling her several times leaving messages for her which she did not return. Eventually, we got her on the phone and when she angrily told us the problem we offered to send a technician to her immediately, which she declined.   We have never had a case where, as she claims, multiple live bugs were in the hair the next day.

We explained to her that if there is ever a live bug in the hair the day after treatment (which is EXTREMELY rare) then it means that not enough olive oil was in the hair for the overnight follow-up. Lice can hold their breath for 6-8 hours, but will suffocate during that time when soaked in oil.  In the few times over the past several years that a client has reported a  live bug the next day, they acknowledge that they did not, in fact, follow-up by saturating the hair. 

In addition, the  nit comb that we offered to sell her that she referenced is a professional quality metal comb, far superior to the plastic one that comes in the Nix or Rid kit that she went to buy. The tines of the comb are close together in the metal comb and therefore pull out any remnants left in the hair.  We pull out all visible nits, with the comb and manually, but there may remain a few that were laid the day before we treated and were therefore too small to be seen. That is why we have an aggressive follow-up plan. 

I have no idea what she is talking about re: the CDC as we never discuss recommendations of other organizations. Our plan is fully effective and we fully guarantee it. In order for it to work, the client has to follow the follow-up plan, which she did not do.  We tried to work with her to ensure success but she was not willing to do so. 

Over the years, we have received a number of positive reviews and this is the first time we have been cited on this site. As proud members of the service sector, our goal is to get rid of lice in everyone we service and in 99.9% of the cases, we do that. We wish that Ms. Fireman had contacted us directly as soon as she was dissatisified and had been open to our helping her achieve our mutual goal.

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