Derma Genetix & Joanna Gaines Fraudulent Access of personal funds St. Petersburg Florida
A very slick ad deploying a standard telemarketer scam centered upon the inducement of a... For a limited time. Get your free sample. Just pay shipping and handling. And, we’ll rush your sample to your address. All of which ultimately morphed into several charges to our account for a grand total of $198.44. Some “Free Sample!”
What irks us both is the fact that nowhere in print was there caveat(s) advising the purchaser of the actual motive and cost associated through your initial involvement. You know… A buyer responsibility clause of some kind. Instead, this Derma Genetix and its varied and sundry permutations sought to take advantage by taking funds without consent supported by a slew of chicanery too often associated with telemarketing. What chicanery you ask? Prolonged wait times for a customer service agent. Multiple phone numbers associated with the firm. A poorly trained, but amply scripted employee who seems concerned [and, might very well be] who rambles off the terms and conditions that, of course, we objected to because no such information was provided from the very beginning and even a hint of consent would land us in further debt owed. Then a response to our concern which was a [purported discussion with the supervisor] followed by another prolonged hold time, which resulted in a halfhearted apology for the delay and a lame offer of a 35% discount on the order. Our response? No, thank you.
Calls to our bank set a Loss Prevention investigation in motion, but, we have zero faith in that process given that the bank may pursue our claim and agree we had been defrauded, but… The bank does not refund you your money. The company has to do that based upon your request. So, folks… Let us suggest a more appropriate response. One, never use your debit card. That was our initial and significantly embarrassing mistake. Two, know that account closure, or card canceling does not constitute a legal reason to not receive your full refund. For instance, you might be told that because you cancelled your card, that the company is unable to credit your account. Wrong. Straight up strong arm tactic. So, don’t cave. Instead, insist upon a full refund using your bank account info. Third, write a letter [or, file a claim] to the Attorney General of your home State and to the State of Florida. The consumer protection arm of these offices will gladly go after telemarketer fraud on your behalf. Maintain complete records. Follow up as needed and don’t let up for an instance. This is a criminal act of fraud intended to unlawfully acquire your money without your consent. Be reminded that fraud carries no statute of limitation.
Finally, we want to also share that falling for an endorsement by a “celebrity”… In this case, Joanna Gaines of TV’s ‘Fixer Upper’ has been just plain foolish. These endorsements are cash cows for the endorsee. Do you believe for a moment that Ms. Gaines has a vested interest in how youthful your skin will be if you use her endorsed product? Instead, she’s laughing all the way to the bank while wring our hands in frustration for having fallen prey to another Fountain of Youth scam. Ladies… Aging is inevitable. Genetics reign supreme. Live well and whole. Someone no doubt thinks you are absolutely gorgeous even at sunrise!