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April 08, 2008

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Laura

Slim4Life BEWARE! All they want is your money! They don't care about you! See my complaint with the BBB!

Zylene has been working for me! www.body123.com

The reason I started this program was due to my initial phone contact with Slim4life. It was my intention to lose weight while eating “real” food as the company heavily stresses in all of their advertising. As it turns out, their focus is on selling huge quantities of their products.

I would like to make mention of Slim4life’s “medical review”. The company dresses their employees in medical scrubs which gives the impression that they are medical personnel when, in fact, they are not. Ms. Lindblom’s reference to a” medical interview” consists of clients being asked if they are healthy enough to use their program after which they sign a statement to that affect. At no time was I given a “medical exam” or made aware of such, so what is the “medical review”?

Before I knew it, I had applied for $5000 in credit with their credit program. This happened so quickly and was so fast paced that it was difficult to follow. I have been in sales for 20 years and have never encountered a program as slick as this one. It is designed to maximize the sale of the company’s products without taking the time to fully explain their contents or how the program works. Another appointment is necessary to accomplish this! At no time prior to purchase was I given a product to examine the ingredients. The products are quickly boxed and, in my case, the representative even carried them to my car.

I began to feel bad shortly after starting on Slim4life’s “Thermo-Boost”. I was feeling tired and irritable so I mentioned this to Denise . Her response to my concerns was “drink more water”. I felt my concerns were not addressed properly. On the contrary, I felt my concerns were being shrugged off.

I had a 4-day convention to attend shortly thereafter and didn’t bring any Slim4life products along. I noticed I was starting to feel better in just a day or two. This made me wonder if there was a connection. When I returned home I re-started with the products and began noticing the same tiredness and irritability, just plain feeling crappy, again! The big turn came after I began to eat a portion of Slim4life’s pudding and noticed a tightness in my throat and on my tongue. This is when I looked hard at the ingredients and found their cappuccino product also contained aspartame. I avoid products with this ingredient, but the bottom line is that when I stopped taking all of Slim4life’s products, aspartame or not, I began to feel better.

I contacted Denise at Slim4life to voice my concerns and see if there was some way to amend this situation. Before I could explain, Denise’s response was to inform me that “all sales are final” and there was “nothin I can do” “it’s outta my hands” and that she would contact someone named Joey, but she already knew what Joey would say. Needless to say, none of my concerns were ever addressed. It was all about retaining the sale. Ms. Lindblom’s statement ,” What we probably neglected to do is try to explain why our policy is what it is” , is well represented here. It is my belief that a company with integrity will do anything it takes to make sure a client is well cared for, especially when it pertains to their clients health and well-being. Arrogance and denial has no place here.

I want to make it clear that my initial complaint to the BBB included my request for a full refund and that this request is NOT an escalation due to further avoidance by Slim4life to address this in a swift and ethical manner. The amount is significant, $2,056.99.

Further, I would like it to be known that Joey, the person I was told was an area supervisor of some type, was extremely reluctant to reveal Slim4life’s ownership when asked. She replied that she couldn’t “reveal that information at this time” and actually intentionally misled me when pressed for that information. I was finally given the name Kathryn Ott which turned out to be false. I also asked about where the products were manufactured and was never given this information. I was simply told they had many manufacturers. When I pressed her regarding this she told me she would provide me with their names…I never received this information either.

Slim4Life and their staff have made it intolerable for me to continue. I will not do business with a company that I feel is dishonest and unethical and places far more importance on their fiscal health than the physical health of their clients. A quick look at BBB complaints in both Minnesota and Colorado will illustrate the fact the company should take a long, hard look at their constrictive practices that are giving them an unsatisfactory rating even though they aren’t even BBB members. I am still asking for my original request of a full refund.

Please feel free contact me directly with any further questions.

Best regards,

Laura Hansen

Ph. 303-755-4119

On June 04, 2008, the business provided the following information:
Contact Name and Title: Dianne Lindblom Dir of Op
Contact Phone: 720-384-3187
Contact Email: dianne@slim4life.com
June 4, 2008

Response to Consumer Complaint
Case # 7505123
Laura Hansen

This is in response to the complaint filed by Ms. Laura Hansen.

Ms. Hansen said she "would have NEVER taken their product if I would have known they contained Aspartame." If Ms. Hansen would have disclosed to us that she had sensitivity to Aspartame, our staff never would have allowed her to purchase products that contained Aspartame. She had ample opportunity during our medical review when we asked her if she had any sensitivities or allergies. Her only reply both at this time and when she completed her consultation sheet was that she had allergies to some soaps, Tide & Zest. These questions were asked prior to Ms. Hanson enrolling in the Slim4Life program and again before she purchased thermo-snacks. She denied having any sensitivities both times she was asked to disclose them, with the exception of soap. This fact is documented in her file. One would think that she would know right away to reveal this information when asked the question, if this is such a concern to her. The degree to which Ms. Hansen is reacting to how dangerous Aspartame must be, one would think that this is not something she would forget about or overlook. The facts are, if Aspartame was such a dangerous product, the FDA would take it off the market.
Ms. Hansen is correct about stating she approached Denise in our center about exchanging her products containing Aspartame, and was told that our policy would not allow any exchanges, returns or refunds. What we probably neglected to do is try to explain why our policy is what it is. Maybe there would have been a better understanding at that point. Thus, Ms. Hansen was probably left feeling like she had nowhere to turn. However, Denise did advise her that she would discuss her dilemma with her Area Director, Joey, and would get back to her.
In this process, Joey called Ms. Hansen to discuss this situation with her. During this call Joey reiterated our policy of no exchanges, but told her she would take the situation to our Advisory Committee to see if they would make an exception to this policy, especially since Ms. Hansen said she would like to continue with her program if she could exchange her product. Joey told her the Committee was meeting the next day, Wednesday the 28th. Ms. Hansen told Joey that would be ok. Joey was to get back to Ms. Hansen after the meeting with the decision.
Rather than wait for Joey to get back to her with the Committee's decision, Ms. Hansen filed this complaint with the BBB on the 27th, the same day she spoke with Joey and agreed to let it go before the Committee. The Advisory Committee subsequently agreed to make an exception to the no exchange policy, on the basis that she had agreed to continue with her program. We thought it would be a great opportunity to help her complete her weight loss objectives, and we did sympathize with her situation. Joey called Ms. Hansen on the 28th with the news that we would exchange her product, as she requested. At that point, everything seemed to be satisfactory, and Joey told her we would review each product she had to make certain they did not contain Aspartame. Ms. Hanson never mentioned that she had already escalated her complaint; in fact, she led us to believe that this situation had been resolved to her satisfaction.
This whole issue has been blown out of proportion due to Ms. Hansen's impatience. Ms. Hansen, in fact, later admitted that she was angry and filed her complaint with the BBB immediately after talking with Denise the first time, before Joey even came into the picture. Why would she not mention that to Joey when Joey was trying to get a resolution for her with the Committee? Ms. Hansen is over-reacting to a situation that could have been prevented if she had been more patient and, even more importantly, avoided all together if she would have originally disclosed to us her sensitivity to Aspartame. Ms. Hansen should accept responsibility for causing this event in the first place.

Slim4Life handled her complaint expediently and fairly and our offer to exchange her product containing aspartame for product that does not was the resolution she initially asked for. To now, not accept any responsibility for this concern, to not return our phone calls accepting the resolution she initially asked for and to threaten to further take her complaint to the Tom Martino show, is unjust and disingenuous . Her complaint is essentially without merit.

It seems further disingenuous of Ms. Hansen to up the ante each time we talk to her. With each succeeding conversation, she has asked for more than her initial exchange of product and now wants a full refund, blaming us for the way we managed this situation and making it intolerable for her to continue her program. Again, she is the one who created this problem by not disclosing to us her sensitivity to Aspartame. The complaint resolution process requires fair consideration from both parties. Ms. Hansen apparently does not feel that she needs to participate in that process.

The team of professionals at Slim4Life made a fair, quick and generous offer to Ms. Hansen, which we will continue to stand by. We will exchange her product containing Aspartame for non-Aspartame product, and she can continue her program if she desires. The offer to make this exchange will be valid only within two weeks from the time the BBB forwards our response to Ms. Hansen. After that time, if we do not hear from Ms. Hansen, our exchange offer will expire and we will assume that Ms. Hansen has decided not to continue her program. Refunds of any other nature will not be considered.

We will await a response from Ms. Hansen.


Sincerely,

Slim4Life Advisory Committee

Response


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Karen

• Report: #320026
• View Similar ReportsReport: Slim4Life
Category: Weightloss Programs
Slim4Life Slim4Life Deceptive Sales Practices Edina Minnesota
Rebuttal Box
Respond to this report!
Are you an owner, employee or ex-employee with either negative or positive information about the company or can you provide "insider information" on this company?

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Slim4Life
Phone: 952-698-7500
Fax: 952-698-4160

4550 West 77th Street Suite 130
Edina, Minnesota, 55435
U.S.A.
Submitted: 3/21/2008 3:19:31 PM
Modified: 3/21/2008 3:20:00 PM

Kkinmn
Saint Paul, Minnesota

My husband encouraged me to check out Slim4Life because he listens to KFAN radio and they went on and on about how there was no packaged food, and that you could eat out at restaurants. This is outright false advertising, as they do require you to eat two of their packaged snacks each day, as well as take a boatload of pre-packaged supplements, and for the two-plus months I was on this plan I was never told that I could eat out at a restaurant.

I had a lot of weight to lose that was going to take me 6 months to lose, according to Rita, the sales 'counselor' in the Maplewood office. Rita was trying very hard to sell me the full six-months of product she said that I would NEED, and she was very convincing about the money I would save by buying during my initial consultation. She specifically told me I would never get this kind of savings after the initial consultation.

I was never shown the food plan, Rita told me I would have to attend a 'training' class three days later to find out exactly what the program entailed. Rita also told ME what product I would NEED for the plan and she never pointed out that they had a no exchange/no return policy.

I could not afford to buy 6-months of these very expensive products and I agreed to purchase enough for three months instead. The no return/no exchange policy was written in small print on the back of the receipt, but I didn't get that receipt to review or sign until Rita had already packed up the product in my car and left me at the counter with a cashier because she had to meet with another client.

I felt like crap every day and as my symptoms (acid reflux, heart burn, stomach pain) increased, my complaints increased but the counselors kept telling me to take them with more water, or space them out further in the day, etc. When I finally contacted my doctor about the gastrointestinal symptoms I was having, he told me to get off of all the supplements immediately.

After that, I went in to the Maplewood office with the product I could no longer take because of all the side affects, and the 3-boxes of laxative tea that I knew I would never even have to open having only tried one bag in all the time on the program. I was told that they could not even do an exchange for product that was working well for me, much less give me a refund.

I asked to speak with the manager after Ron, my 'counselor', threw his hands up in there saying he was just a 'pee-on', that this was a corporate policy and he couldn't help me. Michelle was the manager on that night, and she looked at the product I brought back and told me there was nothing they could do for me. When I told her my doctor told me to get off these products because of the GI side affects, Michelle said 'if you have a doctor's note, that's another story, bring the product back with a doctor's note' and they would be able to do something for me.

I was very determined to succeed, and I kept taking Priolosec and Tums to get me through the terrible side affects I was experiencing. I was so disappointed because even though I was not at all feeling well most days, I was pretty successful on the program losing an average of 2.8 lbs per week, even though I was suffering with terrible heart burn and stomach pain.

A few days later I brought the product in with a note from my doctor. Conveniently, I was told there was no manager on duty. Further, Anna, the counter attendant, told me she didn't have the authority to help me. Anna said that I should leave the product and the doctor's note because 'corporate was always very responsive' to these things. There was a waiting room full of people and it was obvious she wanted to get me out of there as quickly as possible so as not to affect any potential sales. I insisted Anna make a copy of my doctor's note and sign a written inventory of the product I was leaving, which she did.

I had to travel for work and a couple of days later my husband took a call from Rita, the 'counselor' at the Maplewood office, and he explained the situation. Again, he got the 'I'm sorry I can't help you, this is a corporate matter' and he was told she would have the regional manager call.

I was still traveling when my husband took a call from Christyann Delworth, who said she was a regional manager, and he explained the situation again to her. She said she couldn't do anything unless she talked to me, but unfortunately I was out of the country for another two weeks before I could return her call.

When I returned home, I called every single day and left messages for Ms. Delworth, stating exactly what phone number she could reach me at during different times of the day. Ms. Delworth persisted in calling during the times I specifically told her that I would be unavailable until I finally got though to her without getting her voice mail.

I explained to Ms. Delworth that the only refund I wanted was for the product I was unable to take, and that I was happy with the product that didn't give me side affects. I told her I was very upset at being treated this way and that they would still have a happy customer with 3 more months left on the plan, if they would do the right thing and either exchange or return the money for the product I was unable to take.

I was certainly not going to buy more product, not even product I could take without side affects, considering I was out over $400 in product that made me physically ill.

Today I received a letter stating 'they would appreciate further explanation from my physician as to exactly what ingredient in their supplements were causing these complication'. The letter was unsigned other than 'Slim4Life Advisory Board', and they left me no information concerning whom I should contact or where this additional correspondence from my physician should be sent.

Futher, they did not return the $400+ of product to me, which even though I can't take it, I feel this is my property unless they refund my money. So now they've stolen from me on top of ripping me off in the first place.

I intend contact every consumer action group, the better business bureau, as well as the attorney general regarding the very shady sales practices. Further, I feel obligated to visit the Maplewood Slim4Life center frequently to hand out fliers warning other potential clients of these practices so there are no other victims.

Karen
Saint Paul, Minnesota
U.S.A.

Tammy

• Report: #168488
• View Similar ReportsReport: Slim 4 Life Weight Loss Centers
Category: Weight Control
Slim 4 Life Weight Loss Centers Deceptive Marketing Practices, Hostile Work Environment ripoff Maplewood Minnesota
*Consumer Comment ..Slim 4 Life is a weight loss business, not a rip-off
Rebuttal Box
Respond to this report!
Are you an owner, employee or ex-employee with either negative or positive information about the company or can you provide "insider information" on this company?

Victim of this person/company?
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Slim 4 Life Weight Loss Centers
Phone:
Fax:

www.slim4life.com
Internet,
U.S.A.
Submitted: 12/19/2005 10:09:06 AM
Modified: 12/7/2007 9:14:37 PM

Tammy
Oakdale, Minnesota
After losing over 50 pounds on my own program, Mind-Body Connection, I thought that while I was getting my business off the ground, I would go work for another company to 'learn the business' or weight loss industry. Little did I know that I would learn something else entirely!

I applied to be a 'weight loss counselor' with Slim 4 Life because I thought I would actually be a 'weight loss counselor', when in reality, I became a sales attendant. After reading all about LA Weight Loss on this site, I began realizing something; the practices are all the same. Every single client that comes through the door is a dollar sign, not a person. They used deceptive marketing practices I couldn't agree with. For example, when someone calls to ask a question on the cost, the correct way to answer that question is to ask other questions and go into the phone script. Then, if there are still cost questions, the answers are all supposed to point to the famous, 'Service fees are only $9 a week!' But then when someone comes in for their 'free' consultation, they find out that they have to pay it all up front, plus buy $270 worth of products, as the 'starter kit'.

Then, there was this person who wanted a refund because she was allergic to something in the bars, or supplements as they are called at Slim 4 Life. No one would give her a refund, or an exchange for other products, because she didn't have a doctor's letter telling what the allergy was. She was expected to sell the dang bars to people in the lobby! How absurd is that??

The owners wanted their employees to go along with the whole charade and lie to the customers. It's all about who can sell the most. Even when someone sold alot of products and services and was with the company for 6 years, they fired her because she wanted to make the company better and make positive changes. 'It's been this way all the time, so we can't change it now.'

I am quitting at the end of this week, because I cannot abide by their practices. They have created a hostile work environment for everyone, and a lot of people are leaving.

Because they are just starting up in this market, they are not getting that much business. They say, 'Oh, wait until the holidays are over, then business will pick up.' Really? And after people get sick of their practices? Will they?

Many people's hours were cut very short last week and again this week, which is why many people have quit, or are quitting.

If you are thinking about going to Slim 4 Life to lose weight, don't. It would be cheaper to do it on your own, or buy a book. Buy one of mine at the above website, or go buy someone else's weight loss book. Just save yourself a lot of time and money and don't go to a weight loss center, because you will lose out on a lot of money and you will never see any of that again.

Tammy
Oakdale, Minnesota
U.S.A.

Nick Watson

we all know how artificial sweeteners are just horrible for the system ... all for profit....

Laura Hansen

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Deb Smith

Seems to me that anyone who goes to Slim4Life and is dumbfounded by the variety of things listed above has lived a rather sheltered life. I went there, and listened to their sales pitch. Of course it's a sales pitch. They are in business to make money. That's why it's called a business. People need to take responsibility for themselves. If they can't use artificial sweeteners, it might be a great idea to mention that. Also, they DO require you to eat two of their snacks per day, but they don't require that you take all the supplements. It's merely a recommendation, a suggestion to help move your weight loss along. I've had nothing but success in the program. Regarding the restaurant issue, why would a person need to be told they can or cannot eat at a restaurant?? As long as they follow the plan, they can eat sitting in a cage at the zoo or in the middle of the freeway. It doesn't matter where you eat the food, it matters what you eat. I hope people will give it a chance. It works.

Kristen Johnson

I've been on the Slim4Life program for about 9 weeks and have lost about 16-18 pounds. My biggest complaint is the introductory sales pitch. I agree that they are not up front with the costs and they put too much pressure on folks to buy the products so rapidly and without really knowing what you like or don't like. I voiced my complaints over that type of practice and told them until they changed that practice, I will never recommend their program to anyone. I think their products are very expensive but would be more willing to pay that price if they were more up front about the costs involved and not so deceptively pushy at the start. I needed the structure to lose so will continue to participate. Does anyone know where to find comparable products, especially the bars and the double bites?

John Harris

You can find replacement products here:
http://www.dietdirect.com/protein-diet-bars-15.html

My wife and I have been using the plan for a couple of months now and have lost over 45 pounds and about 36" combined. I honestly can't tell you if the pitch "would" have been deceptive, because we ASKED QUESTIONS. That's right, we actually believe in self accountability for our decisions and actions. We asked what the products contained to avoid interactions because we both have known intolerances to certain things such as artificial sweeteners and wheat. We asked what the products cost per serving, we asked about return policies if we did not like a product for taste or other reasons, and bought limited quantities on the first purchase, just in case. We asked about weight loss guarantees. We asked if we could use other vendors supplements. We asked about the consultants qualifications and training. Hey, if we are going to plunk down several thousand dollars, shouldn't we ask a few questions? Here is an idea for a diet: How about a diet where we loose the amount of complaining we do about how others have wronged us and gain confidence and control of our lives through self-responsibility for our choices. Yes, I chose to eat the big macs that added the pounds. Yes it was my fault that I had the excess weight - not McDonald's. Yes it's my job to make the right personal choices to change that situation. Those choices are made by educating myself about my options.
I am an adult. Mommy does not hold my hand. I have to find the restrooms on my own now.

We can all start our complaint-loss/blame-loss diet, and start CREATING a better life by going here:

http://www.acomplaintfreeworld.org/

May you be blessed by walking in the light of your own truth, and may you reach your full potential through the empowerment from your self-discovery and self-actualization!

www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=643445565

My wife has lost 60 lbs to date. She has stuck with the plan to the minutia. My wife is of the nature to when she makes up her mind she does it. When we initially went there, I was skepitcal. Here we are about to plunk down $1,000+/- for this but I saw the merit in it. I agree with the post above "Of course it's a sales pitch. They are in business to make money. That's why it's called a business. People need to take responsibility for themselves. "

The thing that impressed me were:

1. Yes they try to get you to buy supplements, but most of the supplements can be found in other forms elsewhere, such as fish oil and multivitamins. You don't have to buy your weekly groceries there. This isn't like Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers. They do tell you after some time that they will wean you off of the supplements and re-introduce the foods the we are used to only sparingly and that is what they did.

2. They spend a year with you to RETEACH old habits! Yes there is a lot of water to drink. Yes there is a lot of weighing food on scales so you can have the right portions. The lack of such discipline is what lead to her being overweight. They tell us to look for the wrong and right things in food. Yes you can go to a restaurant ,but just be mindful of what you order. ULTIMATELY YOUR THE PERSON WHO IS PUTTING THAT FORK IN YOUR MOUTH ! What got us overweight was bad habits to begin with . So in order to TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE THERE HAS TO BE A LEARNING CURVE! Your not going to feel the same the first few days on this. In fact, you're not going to feel the same the first several weeks of this, but you will return to "normal" with the added benefit of feeling BETTER.. Your body chemistry is changing, but in the long run the medical benefits outweigh the temporary "hassles".

My wife has went through 4 plateaus when losing the weight. I have only heard of 1 or 2 when people diet but she went through 4. Each time she hit one of them, they knew what to do with her each time and told her what to expect to get her through it. This really impressed me.

My wife and I are thankful for Slim4life for instilling some hope and confidence back into her. She finally had enough of being overweight and she took control of it, Slim4life helped her in that vain.


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