Stemologica Scam story - beware!
Claim for £149.93 for the returned items and £197.93 charged for the ‘samples’
1. 7th March Trial Order placed
2. 9th March confirmation emails received from Stemologica and Beautemer detailing my account information on websites:
a. Beautebelle for the Beautemer items
b. And cellapure for the Stemologica items
3. 1st April Beautebelle debited £99.98 and Cellapure £97.95 at which point we looked at the website and realised that according to their T&C’s we should have returned the items and thought nothing of it, other than we had been conned.
4. 1st May Beautebelle debited £79.98 and Cellapure £69.95 and we duly received another unwanted shipment. At this point I searched for and found the emails and our account details, logged in read the details of the T&C’s and found where to cancel any future shipments, none of which was clear at the start.
5. 3rd May the second shipment was returned recorded delivery – separately packed to Stemologica and Beautemer as they had been received - as they advised and a refund requested. Photographs were taken of the unopened boxes and the stages of packing and copies of the parcel tracking was retained and a covering letter was enclosed.
6. 7th May proof of receipt was copied from the Post Office Tracking website
7. 26th May following a long conversation with ‘Rich’ at the US customer service call centre (he was the “Customer Satisfaction Support Specialist” on duty), I was advised – as I believe everyone is routinely – that the products were received damaged and opened and I was offered as a ‘goodwill gesture’a total of £40 refund, conditional on:
a. Not seeking further compensation
b. Not disputing the charges with the bank
c. Confirming that I ‘had not been contractually bound to receive the products on a recurring basis’
This was confirmed from Beautemer by email
8. The identical email was sent from Stemologica offering £30 refund
9. 26th May I emailed copies of the photographic evidence to support my contention that the items were undamaged and unopened and requesting a full refund.
10. 27th May the email was re-sent to a different cellapure email address as the main support address “does not accept attachments”
11. 4th June an email received asking me to accept the ‘goodwill offer’ so they could process the refund
12. Initially I accepted the offer to draw a line under the sorry affair, but when no refund was received by the 22nd June my husband began a series of calls to expedite payment.
13. 5th June email received:
“Thank you for your acceptance.
We are more than happy to credit your account with the promised amount.
However, the payment processor your transaction went through, sets a monthly limit or refunds/credits we are allowed to process with them, and since that limit has been exceeded, we will have to wait for them to suspend the restriction, in order for us to effect the refund.
If you are happy to bear with us for a couple of days, I will bookmark your account and try again, beginning of next week.
Thank you in advance for your kind consideration!
Kind regards, Yana”
14. 12th June emailed them to expedite as no payment received
15. 14th June email received:
We apologize for the inconvenience. We have been unable to issue your refund due to a system error. We have filed an "issue form" to our finance department. Our finance department will take a look into the account and resolve the issue in a timely manor. Again, we apologize for any inconvenience.
16. 22nd June tel call – refund confirmed as being actioned and an email received as confirmation
17. 28th June with finance to refund
18. 2nd July – ditto
19. 3rd July – advised by ‘Jordan’ that a full refund was in fact going to be issued for the returned goods as it was noted on file that photographic evidence had been received but that this would require ‘an extended time to refund’, but that they were ‘working on it’
20. 9th July – escalated the call to a supervisor who advised that it could be 1-2 weeks before the issue of the refund is resolved
21. 23rd July – advised on the call that there is a technical problem preventing them from refunding the money to my debit card, although the details they had were correct.
I will be sending an email over to the technical department regarding the refund issue. I do apologize inconvenience. We are working to get this issue resolved as quickly as possible.
22. 11th August – advised that they were unable to process the refund (technical problem) and that their Finance department would call within two days. No call received.
23. 28th August – called and informed them that I wanted it noted on file that I planned to take legal action to recover the debt if no refund had been received by Friday 11th September
24. 16th September – final throw of the dice I sent this email:
It is now almost 4 months since I first requested a refund for the returned products. I kept photographic evidence that they were securely packed and unopened and I still expect a full refund.
As no money has reached my account despite repeated telephone calls to your customer service department, I can only presume that you have no intention of sending me the money due to me.
If a FULL refund is not received into my account within 5 working days, I have instructed my solicitor to pursue a claim through the courts for a full refund, legal costs, and damages for the undue stress that you have caused and the time I have lost from my business spent chasing payment.
Furthermore I have prepared statements for the BBC television consumer affairs programmes, Watchdog and Rip Off Britain and the Trading Standards Authority.
I have no intention of allowing your company to keep my money and I will use all the resources at my disposal to bring this unethical practice to the attention of the public, unless I receive payment by this time next week.”
Needless to say nothing has been received and I am sure they probably field hundreds of such emails every week.
Reason of review: Fraudulent scam.
Monetary Loss: $535.
Preferred solution: Full refund.
I didn't like: Automatic subscription, Underhand tactics, Charged for returned product, Rude supervisory personnel, Technical issue blamed for non payment of refund.