Sono Bello SonoBello Body Contours Centers Ripoff/Deceptive/Shady business practices Atlanta, Georgia
I went to visit Sono Bello in Atlanta, GA in early August 2011. I scheduled a visit on my lunch break, which the scheduler confirmed would be enough time. I arrived 15 minutes before my appointment and filled out the paperwork. 20 minutes after my appointment time had passed, I was called back. I spent the initial consultation with a Barbie-doll woman who asked me medical history questions concerning diabetes, heart issues, cancer and any other genetic issues I may have and then she went into depth about why did I want this done (for my wedding) and had I had anything else done (LASIK). Then we discussed my LASIK I had 10 years ago and I gave her my doctor's name. She then looked me upand down and said, eh, you look healthy enough. Then she left the room, asked me to undress except for my bra, underwear and a pair of big shorts. Then she came back, had me stand in front of a mirror and she pulled and tugged around my midsection (pulling back my fat, calling it a banana and showing me what I could look like). She told me to get dressed and she would go over some other info. When she came back, she asked how would I pay for it? I told her that I would have to either borrow it or do a credit card, but I didn't have that much money at one time. She then said, no problem, let's see if you qualify for a Care Credit. So, she went on the computer, made a call and had me speak with a lady who asked me some personal facts and questions. Then I put her on speaker phone since the consultant said, she's going to give me a number to see if you qualify and I need that number. (Later I would find out it was my new credit card number and they were charging me $5,180 right then and there!!!) Then she said what day could I come in to talk to the doctor and what day was I potentially looking at to have the surgery. She then said they needed to do some additional paperwork and she walked me into another room. Another lady, whose name I did not get, came in, flipped some paperwork around, pointed where they needed my signature and had me sign. She said it was just some run of the mill stuff. Myphone kept ringing with my coworker saying I needed to come back to the office. I kept telling them that I needed to go, can I come back to fill out paperwork? They said that was all, gave me a folder of my initial consult with the doctor and my tentative surgery date (30 days out) and post op dates. The next day I get an email from the practice manager welcoming me. I emailed her telling her I had not had my initial consultation with the doctor, but that I had some initial concerns I wanted to discuss. I did ask her what her expert thoughts were on the situation because I wasn't sure about moving forward. I waited and waited for a response and never got one. So, 3 days later, I emailed her again. I waited and then called them after lunch. After being transferred to her, she had me on speaker with their nurse to ask my some questions. I went over my health history, what I felt, etc. and she said for me to sign a medical release to see if I was eligible or not. That same afternoon, I went to my doctor. After speaking with my doctor, I decided not to do the surgery. I sent an email cancelling the initial surgeon consultation and the tentative surgery itself. I also asked her who qualified me for borrowing money, because I wanted to cancel that process too.I waited and waited...no response. I send another email 2 days later asking for the information once more.I waited again and there was still no response. So, I called the office and spoke with the Practice Manager. She said her Regional Sales Manager was there that day and she was going to discuss this with her and get back with me. When she emailed me, she was requesting a letter from my doctor. So I called back again and asked her why did she need a letter from my doctor? I wasdefinitely cancelling within 14 days of the tentatively scheduled surgery (it was almost a full month away), so why was the letter necessary? She said she was definitely going to refund $4,180, but in order to refund my last $1000 (which was needed because according to her, they are so busy, it's to hold the surgery date), she needed a letter from my doctor at least stating I had the issue. I had sent this email:**Also, you mentioned the $1000 deposit was the only part of the $5180 that was non-refundable without the letter, since it was required to hold my surgery due to the office being so busy. Wouldn't it then also make sense that if someone else booked that slot after me, you'd have your money back and I could have my deposit back?**No response back. Of course.That same day, I get home and I have a the new credit card in the mail. I called to see what the new balance was (since I was already starting to get shady-vibes) and they said there was still $5,180 charged on it from Sono Bello!! They never heard from Sono Bello to refund the $4,180!!!! So, I sent another email:**Hi Practice Manager, I still never received any emails or phone calls from youregarding the questions posed below.Also, today in my mail, there was the credit card from CareCredit and the balance on it states $5,180. The last time we spoke, you stated everything was going to be refunded except the $1000 deposit, which you told me would be refunded when I provided you with a letter from my doctor. (Which, by the way, was never verbally told to me during my initial consultation) Now, with thisbill, the lack of an agreed-upon refund, the lack of a reply from you regarding this $1000 deposit, I am not feeling confident about Sono Bello at all. With the amount of money in question, the whirlwind way the initial consultation was handled, the lack of indepth questioning before being charged and all of this, I feel really overwhelmed and as though I'm being taken advantage of and its not a comforting feeling at all. I went in for myconsultation feeling amazing about your company and now I have many concerns ofmy own. Please help me resolve these questions and these issues, especially getting the $4180 refunded immediately. Feel free to call me at any time.**Still no response, nothing from the Practice Manager or Sono Bello. I finally went to my doctor's office and picked up a letter stating I suffered from the disclosed medical issue. I faxed it over and sent this email:**There was a letter faxed over from my doctor. Please refund my money ($5,180) as soon as possible.** And yet, still no response from any correspondence via email or the phone messages left. And there is still $5,180 on the Care Credit Card, so nothing has been refunded and no amounts have been reduced, per a prior conversation with their Practice Manager and even according to theirdocuments, which state if it's cancelled within 14 days of the surgery, my money would be refunded. I just want my $5,180 back and it's ridiculous the amount of phone calls, emails and multiple conversations I have to go thru to get my money back or to even get someone to speak with me. I haven't had an initial consultation with the surgeon and yet I don't get a refund?!I would never recommend any one going in to see them. I have already filed a formal complaint with the Georgia Better Business Bureau, and will contact all my friends, coworkers and other media outlets in the Atlanta area.