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Author: RoadScholar5 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 885531  
Subject: Consumer Issues Date: 12/11/2012 7:52 AM
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I purchased some topical skin products online, noting on the website that the company offered a 100% guarantee.

I had an allergic reaction to the products and went back to the website to look for return instructions/policies and there are none.

I wrote to them and they refused to provide any return instructions.

I filed a claim with my credit card company and now the merchant is threatening to turn me in the credit bureaus if the credit card company charges them back.

I realize I should have read the website more carefully before making a purchase, but perhaps it was my assumption that a 100% guarantee seems to imply that if a consumer has any problems whatsoever, the company will work with the consumer to arrange a return, etc.

Could be my loss, but I am wondering now whether such language has any meaning at all?

RS
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Author: RoadScholar5 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 869467 of 885531
Subject: Re: Consumer Issues Date: 12/11/2012 7:58 AM
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I went back to to the site to get the language:

"As the leading independent online retailer of XXXX skin care products, we bypass the middle man & pass on the savings directly to you - saving our customers up to as much as as 40% off standard salon and beauty parlour rates! We don't believe in so called 'recommended retail price lists' which only serve to artificially inflate product prices to the detriment of the consumer.

All our XXXX products are completely fresh and genuine - GUARANTEED. We offer a complete 110% moneyback guarantee in this regard.
Our team of skincare professional are here to assist - and as leaders in our field, why not put our service to the test and see how we can help you ? With global support and our 110% moneyback guarantee - you simply have nothing to lose!"

RS

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Author: desertdaveataol Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 869468 of 885531
Subject: Re: Consumer Issues Date: 12/11/2012 8:16 AM
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I filed a claim with my credit card company and now the merchant is threatening to turn me if the credit card company charges them back.

Turn you in [to] the credit bureaus for what?

This sounds like some sort of fly by night outfit.

If you "filed a claim with my credit card company" you should have already received credit from your credit card company by now (it's almost automatic) and they should have been already been debited.

Something is wrong here.

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Author: tconi Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 869469 of 885531
Subject: Re: Consumer Issues Date: 12/11/2012 8:49 AM
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All our XXXX products are completely fresh and genuine - GUARANTEED. We offer a complete 110% moneyback guarantee in this regard.


so there is no explicit guarantee of satisfaction

*was the product "fresh"
*was it "genuuine" (whatever that means)

that looks like all that is being guaranteed...

do whatever you can to reverse/stop the payment.
the "threat" is probably just that - an empty threat -

peace & returns
t

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Author: VeeEnn Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 869471 of 885531
Subject: Re: Consumer Issues Date: 12/11/2012 9:01 AM
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With global support and our 110% moneyback guarantee - you simply have nothing to lose!"

There comes a point where you, as the consumer have to show a bit of gumption when reading these ads.......110% moneyback gua-RON-tee would've been my Heads-Up!

Maybe it's me.....110%?....why not a 3,000% money back offer.

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Author: MetroChick Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 869472 of 885531
Subject: Re: Consumer Issues Date: 12/11/2012 9:23 AM
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Make sure the claim you filed with your credit card company is correct - that you wanted to return the item (make sure there's no wording of "no return/all sales final" on the website) and the merchant has not answered requests for return address/procedure.

The credit bureau threat is empty IMO, since when merchants contract to accept credit card payments they contract with the CC companies on how disputes will be handled. That's part of the point of using a CC and how it's an extra layer of protection for buyers.

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Author: RoadScholar5 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 869474 of 885531
Subject: Re: Consumer Issues Date: 12/11/2012 9:54 AM
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Thank you, I was not aware that merchants contract to accept credit card payments, there is explicit direction as to how disputes will be handled.

It's kind of appalling actually that a merchant could issue such a threat...it appears that any merchant with any dispute could use that threat as leaverage?

In the case of our credit reports, it seems the party that makes the negative comment carries more weight in the credit world that than the sap who has follow up and make a dispute notation on their report?

What responsibility do the bureaus have to mediate or remove these spurious negative (but potentially false) entries?

Thanks again, RS

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Author: ChiliChild Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 869476 of 885531
Subject: Re: Consumer Issues Date: 12/11/2012 9:57 AM
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One thing I would do immediately is take a screen shot of the page with the guarantee info on it just in case they make a change to it.

Good luck.

Chili

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Author: Jennlee222 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 869514 of 885531
Subject: Re: Consumer Issues Date: 12/12/2012 8:00 AM
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I found this page:

http://www.environ.co.za/unauthorised-distributors.php

That lists Touch Of Skin Care (which I found when I googled the phrasing of the guarantee) as an unauthorized distributor of the Environ products and even indicates they might not be Environ products.

"Please be aware that these sellers have not been approved or certified by our company. We do not sell to these parties and so we cannot assure the authenticity or condition of any Environ® products that they claim to sell. "

My guess is they're completely scam/unethical. I also found another complaint by someone who was unable to return something.

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Author: cabinsmama Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 869515 of 885531
Subject: Re: Consumer Issues Date: 12/12/2012 8:18 AM
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I googled their blurb and only one company came up. When I googled the line + complaints, one theme kept popping up: that there was no satisfaction guarantee, and it was that oddly worded guarantee, that everything was fresh and original, not that it would work or you could return it if you weren't satisfied.

Just MHO, but it sounds like they were aware that they would likely have unsatisfied customers, and worded the guarantee to be a loophole for that.

Some of the positive reviews of various sites have very similar wording, which sounds like they may also "seed" positive reviews.

I try to google the name of whatever I'm thinking about buying + reviews and name + complaints. It doesn't always help, but it can weed out some of the problematic stuff out there.

If it is the same company, another issue is that they are vague on the ingredients, so it would be hard to know if you were allergic or not. If a lot of people are having allergic reactions and they still don't give out all the ingredients so consumers can protect themselves, personally, I'd feel totally justified in trying to get my money back. Good luck.


cm

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Author: Jacketfan Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 869520 of 885531
Subject: Re: Consumer Issues Date: 12/12/2012 10:16 AM
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What responsibility do the bureaus have to mediate or remove these spurious negative (but potentially false) entries?

None, unfortunately. The key is "potentially false." If you can prove the entry IS false, they have to remove it or face punative damages. However, the burden is entirely on you to do the proving.

This is one of Clark Howard's hot buttons...or item he's always harping on. I think he may be the only guy in media who doesn't really have "hot" buttons.

v/r
Tom

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Author: MetroChick Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 869522 of 885531
Subject: Re: Consumer Issues Date: 12/12/2012 11:41 AM
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It's kind of appalling actually that a merchant could issue such a threat...it appears that any merchant with any dispute could use that threat as leaverage?

Of course they can, since any merchant could be a small one-person type shop, who might not even read the contract they agreed to when they agreed to accept CC payments.

What responsibility do the bureaus have to mediate or remove these spurious negative (but potentially false) entries?

Credit bureaus don't have to, so it becomes the burden on the indivdual to prove proof. In this particular case, you should keep copies of any correspondence between you and your CC company in case you need proof you disputed the charge with your CC company and they decided in your favor.

Something similar happened to me last spring. I ordered a set of curtains from sears.com - not knowing Sears' website was actually selling these for another merchant (kind of like Amazon marketplace). When I got the curtains the color didn't look good in-person, so I checked the site for Returns, and shipped them UPS. About a week later I got an email from UPS saying they couldn't deliver them to the address I had given and needed a new address. I emailed Sears explaining the address I gave and included a copy of the email I got from UPS, but they only responded with the same exact address. So I disputed the charge with my CC under the claim that the website says I can return the item, I attempted to using UPS, but UPS is saying they can't deliver it to that address and the merchant won't give me a different address. The dispute was found in my favor, got a credit on my CC for the charge, and I haven't heard anything further from the merchant or seen anything on my credit reports.

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Author: Jennlee222 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 869579 of 885531
Subject: Re: Consumer Issues Date: 12/14/2012 7:55 AM
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I emailed the company to get more info on what their guarantee offers and the response from their staff indicates the guarantee only covers if the product was not by its sell-by date or that it is not authentic. You may have a case here under the guarantee if your credit card company needs evidence - this website indicates that they are not authorized resellers of the Environ product: http://www.environ.co.za/unauthorised-distributors.php

What they actually cover is not what they indicate on the website with their terms of "risk free" and "100% money back guarantee." They also indicated that if your product is not "fresh" (within sell-by date) that they send a replacement or give credit for other product, so it is not even really a money back guarantee, although they do use that term on their website.

One other thing they did say, when I asked what I could do if the product caused skin problems, is this:

the Environ system is built on the concept of a Vit A ladder ... starting on lower concentrations and working your way up to higher concentrations. Retinoid reactions ( whilst not common ) can occur with any topical Vitamin A product. They occur as a result of the skin adjusting to increased concentrations of the essential anti-oxidants. An uninformed user may believe a retinoid response to be an issue with the product - not understanding the chemistry behind the science and that such a response is only temporary whilst the skin adjusts.

Now, I have used Retin A products in the past myself, and Retin A can give a rash. A lot of people can use Retin A products at a lower application frequency if they tend to have a reaction - like weekly instead of daily, and working up as you are able to. It may be that you are not allergic to the product, but that you need to start slower - use less and less frequency.

That said, given the suspicions that this company is not selling actual authentic Environ products, you may want to just cut your losses.

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