How Global Electrolysis Supply denies refunds
Once a company like Global Electrolysis Supply has duped you with their sales pitch, you are going to have a very difficult time getting back any money from them. They are very experienced in foiling your attempts to get your money back. Here’s how they’ll do it.
Delayed responses to run out your 90-day time limit
Impossible to follow packing directions that must be followed to the letter
Denial of refund based on #2, with option for partial refund
Denial of partial refund after additional complaints about their policies
For those of you who want a preview of how your attempt to get a refund from Global Electrolysis Supply will probably go, just check out this correspondence from Darren, a dissatisfied Global customer who contacted me on 10 October 2002:
Thanks for creating such an informative and helpful website. I wish I came across it before I bought anything from Global Electrolysis Supply. I returned a product that I had bought from them and instead of receiving a full refund, which is what I expected, I received a denial of refund notice. They said I could receive a "partial refund" if I mailed in a written request to the following address:
429 Danforth Avenue Suite 403 Toronto, ON M4K 1P1 Canada
It is a different Canadian address than that given in your website; maybe it is new. Hope it helps!
I got a follow-up the next day:
Thanks for responding to my email so quickly, unlike Global, if they respond at all! When the package arrived(via FedEx), I simply opened it, examined its contents, and checked the instruments inside to see if they were operational. That is when I discovered that a piece did not fit into another piece it should fit into. I carefully packed the contents back in the box just like the way it was sent to me, and the next day, out of frustration, I mailed the package back to Global. I was not concerned since there was a 90 day Unconditional Return Privilege on all their items.
More than a month later, instead of a refund, I received in the mail a typed letter which said that Global had denied my request for a refund based on the fact that I did not return the package according to their specifications(a new box to mail the package back, in addition to new packing material, and all opened instruments must be sealed in plastic containers). I was given the option of sending additional money to have it mailed back to me or I could send them a written request for a "partial refund" to the same Canadian address where the original letter was mailed.
Sorry, I discarded the postmarked envelope, but it did have the same above Canadian address on it. I was not given any additional new name or addresses that you don’t have in your hairfacts website. I will file a complaint with the FTC like you recommended, I don’t know if they can do anything. I do think that I shouldn’t send them a written request for a "partial refund" at the moment, that seems like just what they want me to do! -Darren
Then, six weeks later, on 22 November 2002, Darren forwarded the following:
I am forwarding an email I got today from Global in response to an email I sent them referring to your consumer-helpful website. I hope you don’t mind. After all, you mentioned in your website:
"Another way to help support this type of activism after you donate is to tell others about hairfacts. Mention it on bulletin boards, websites, newsgroups, in chatrooms, email, etc"
I don’t think it was at all a hostile email and I don’t think I have ever done anything hostile towards Global, except for complaints to FTC, BBB, etc. I take offense to this; I have always been a gentle man and a decent human being. They even said that I was a "disturbed person."
From: "Global Administration" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 2002 18:53:52 +0000
Subject: Re: comment?
After reviewing the hostile emails sent by you due to the denial of your refund, we have concluded that you are a hostile customer and have placed your file in our hostile customer list.
The company will no longer accept emails, calls, or letters from you.
You were given the chance to dispute the denial decision with the provided re-evaluation letter and to cooperate with us for resolution.
If you choose to contact the company in any form, you will be reported to our attorney as a hostile customer and further legal action will be taken.
We regret that it has come to this conclusion, but we will not tolerate abuse of any kind toward this company or its staff.
In response to the website of hairfacts.com, the comments on that site are defined as "cybersmear".
Cybersmear is a very serious problem online. Just about every company has some ‘disturbed person’ (such as yourself) on a crusade against them.
The slander is not true. Please see what a real Doctor has to say (not a malicious transvestite who thinks he/she knows everything about something he has no real experience with). http://www.truehairfacts.com/
Just look at what one simple search in Yahoo turns up for ‘cybersmear’
Global Electrolysis Supply
[references to irrelevant materials removed]
———- Original Message ———————————-
From: –@–.net (Darren)
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 2002 11:08:24 -0600 (CST)
"Global Electrolysis Supply
This disreputable company markets extensively on the web and through a mail-order catalog. Their slogan, "the most respected name in epilation cosmetology," couldn’t be much further from the truth. Global Electrolysis Supply should be avoided by all consumers."
Taken from www.hairfacts.com. Your fraudulent company is featured, but I am sure you already know this!
I wrote back that day:
Thanks for forwarding that message! It’s unintentionally quite humorous. May I put it up on my site (with your name and email address removed)?
These guys are pretty clueless about legal matters– they seem to cobble most of their information together from television shows or something. "Cybersmear" is a term used to describe libellous comments online, often made anonymously. My information is all completely factual, so although it does defame them, it is completely legal. The First Amendment provides me the right to say anything truthful, even if it runs them out of business. Threats of legal action like this became so common among unethical companies that they have their own name: SLAPP suits. This stands for strategic lawsuits against public participation. Many states have laws against this sort of lawsuit. In fact, I’d love for these guys to try to sue me. I would give them a very good lesson in how the law works.
This so-called "hostile customer list" and threats of lawyers are their way of trying to make you go away without paying you. You should forward the new information to the Better Business Bureau and other agencies.
They are out to make money, pure and simple, so they are going to do whatever they can to avoid paying you a dime. If you do not consider this matter resolved to your satisfaction, the BBB can help you negotiate. I very seriously doubt you will ever get any money from them unless they are coerced by the BBB or some other entity.
I’m sorry you have to deal with these people calling you names and threatening you. They have absolutely no legal recourse against you. You are the one who has been wronged.
Thanks again for the email, and let me know if it’s OK to put it up anonymously.
Darren is the kind of consumer I admire, who stands up for his rights when he’s been ripped off. Below is the response he got from the Better Business bureau, indicating the company was not operating from the Vancouver drop box any more.
I am forwarding an email I received from the Canadian BBB in Vancouver. It could give some additional information concerning Global’s true location. Hairfacts claims that their phone number, 1-800-325-8656, is a northern Ohio number, but this Ms. Chue determined it was specifically in Toledo, Ohio. You may already know this, but it is the first time I heard of Toledo.
Also, did you see where the Vancouver address has "moved". This is the same address listed in the BBB’s business registry data base. Ms. Chue has been very helpful in my case, even though she is in Canada. She said that the BBB has no legal authority over businesses(I figured that) and that the power lies with the government. Do you know exactly what she means by that? -Darren
Darren sent me a letter from Rita Chue with the Vancouver Better Business Bureau, which I included with her contact information. Ms. Chue has since asked me to remove that letter, and has supplied the following information to me.
Global does not have a physical address in Vancouver. The only way the BBB was able to reach them was by faxing to (410) 710-4577. Their response came via fax from that same number so we are under the assumption that they may have an office in Toledo, OH. When the BBB questioned the company, they said that they operate out of London, UK. They stated that they did not have offices in the US or Canada. They will not provide any information regarding its principals. A search through the Registrar of Companies did not yield any results.
As you can see, this company is quite evasive. They have an unsatisfactory rating with the BBB due to several unanswered complaints over the past 3 years.
The BBB’s suggestions for consumers are as follows:
1) Check the company’s reliability report with the BBB before initiating any transactions. They can go to: www.bbb.org
2) Always try to pay by using a credit card. That way, if there are any problems, they can contact their credit card company and request a chargeback for non-delivery of product. To read more on this subject, please click on the link below:
3) American consumers should contact the FTC if they have had problems with this company. Their toll free number is: (877) 382-4357.
This company is currently listed as out of business.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Once these people have your money, you will have a very hard time getting it back. Better to avoid disreputable companies like Global Electrolysis Supply altogether.