View Full Version : Screwed Over: LA Weight Loss \ Pure Weight Loss

Matt P
12-21-2007, 17:58
I just have to vent a bit. My wife joined LA Weight Loss a.k.a. Pure Weight Loss 3 months ago. She paid about $700 up front in start up fees, expenses, etc. Every week at her weigh in sessions she was barraged with sales pressure to but supplements, pills, pre packaged food, etc. Which - thankfully - she didn't buy. She did however have to buy their bars. They try to make you purchase a year's worth at one time. Fortunately, (again), she didn't but that many.

Well..what do you know. Wife shows up for her weeky weight in on Tuesday. The office was closed but had "new", very limited, hours posted on the door. So, my wife returns today during the tiny sliver of new hours. When she arrived the office was closed & empty. There was a note stating the company was going out of business. Nationally, the office managers had been fired 2 days before.

They were still signing new members and taking their money on Monday. Nationally, they closed their doors on Tuesday! WHAT THE...?!

Wife has paid $700+ for 1 year of counseling. Plus has prepaid for 10 boxes of food valued at over $300. These scum bag jack-holes took the money, locked the doors and ran. Their web site states you can come to their offices through Jan 4 2008. Unfortunatley, the offices are closed during their posted hours and NOTHING is left inside - not even a desk. We called other local offices and they said the home office has stopped sending delivery trucks. There is no way to get the ALREADY PURCHASED products and will not give a refund!!! ARRRGHHHHHH!!!!!

I'm so disgusted right now. I went through a similar experience with Bally's gym several years back. They had a huge sales push to get as many members to upgrade to a "life time" membership. After 2 months of this heavy sales pitch the gym conviently burned down. Memberships were not honored and no refunds were given.

Sadly...this will certainly end with a 5 yr class action law suit where my wife will be awarded $15. The corporate scum will go onto their next screw-you gig instead of a federal prison.

12-21-2007, 18:38
After calling the police I would dispute the charges on my credit card. And I would call the local news and BBB. Good luck with it all.

12-23-2007, 07:10
Sorry to hear about the shafting. I'd recommend Weight Watchers to your wife... they're reputable, effective, and teach healthy eating habits instead of selling you proprietary foods. I lost 30 pounds on their plan in 3 months for somewhere around $150 and I didn't have to buy a single "Weight Watchers" food product... although their diet "turtle" candies are really good.

12-23-2007, 07:57
Listen, the thing that clients and employees need to do is contact :

Your state Attorney general - they should have a website with a consumer complaint form to fill out


The PA Attorney General...(pure weight loss headquarters are located in Horsham, Pa)

This needs to be done before the 1st of Jan.

Try to do it today....if they gt enough complaints they might place an investigation the ceo Mr. Vahan Karian and the company and possibly freeze assets.

If you paid with a credit card and it has not been longer than 1 year and you did not already finish payin the balance, you may be able to file a chargeback with your credit card company, but I urge you to contact the 2 attorney generals offices even if you do because Pure Weight Loss can still dispute the chargeback.

If you mail out the "refund application" or anything pertaining to the Pure Weight Loss issue- mail it certified with return receipt, keep a copy of your file and any refund application you mail. You will notice that the employees may not want to give you a copy of your file and they will tell you corporate will be getting it and you don't need it, demand a copy, they are being told by corporate offices not to give copies.

Don't give up on your diet, the program works, you can do it on your own minus bars for now. I noticed about 3-4 weeks ago, my center was not getting in certain flavors and an increase of attempts to sell pills.

Why did they really offer a sale in the past few weeks on their inventory? They were liquidating their inventory which leads me to believe that they will not give refunds.
One minute my center is saying they are giving refunds for the unused weeks and lites, now yesterday they are saying it is only for the weeks unused and not the lites.

Please Please Please contact the attorney generals via online form or mail....if you have any questions please PM me

Matt P
12-23-2007, 07:57
thanks guys - good advice. I've recommended WW to the wife, had some success with it myself a few yrs back

Matt P
12-23-2007, 08:09
FitFix - thanks. We did write a letter to the Attorney General just yesterday. We also managed to get a copy of the rebate forms. An employee advised us that it is not likely to be honored. I don't know if that was just sour grapes on her part but I tend to believe her. Anyway - the wife sent that by certified mail yesterday.

Unfortunately, we paid by debit card which I don't believe has the same backing as our credit cards. Jeez...I try so hard to never use our credit cards. If I do use them I pay them off before we bill arrives. I'm going to start using them again for large purchases and membership/contract purchases.

I'm not going to let this go. This was not an accidental thing or a decision on a whim. The executives knew this months in advance and continued to set people up to be robbed. We work really hard for our money. I wouldn't just roll over if I got robbed on the street and I'm not going to roll over here either.

BTW - Horsham, PA. This is also where NutriSystem is located. I dont think they're in the same corporate park. But, they are close to each other. I wonder what kind of "partnerships" exist there.

12-23-2007, 10:10
With a good bank, you should have the same protection against theft like this even when using a debit card.

However, as noted, they will dispute the chargeback, so go through all the other routes as well...

12-31-2007, 16:30
Man, sorry to hear this! Those scumbags!
I dunno, mitsuguy, something similar happened to us a few months ago, and our bank said that there isn't any way to file a chargeback if a debit card was used. As far as our bank goes, the debit card gives you ZERO protection, except in the case of identity theft, or if it's stolen. Some may be different though.
Good luck with this!

12-31-2007, 16:52
Man, sorry to hear this! Those scumbags!
I dunno, mitsuguy, something similar happened to us a few months ago, and our bank said that there isn't any way to file a chargeback if a debit card was used. As far as our bank goes, the debit card gives you ZERO protection, except in the case of identity theft, or if it's stolen. Some may be different though.
Good luck with this!

quick story - a bunch of friends and I went to the zoo... total charge was going to be about $70... I decided to take everyones cash and just put it on my debit card... After three attempts to swipe my card, the teller told me it wouldn't work - we paid cash after all... No big deal...

I check my account online every day to ensure no funny business, and low and behold I see two charges for $70 on my debit card from the zoo... A quick call to my bank the next day (I use Wells Fargo) and a hold was placed on those charges, and within a week, they were refunded to my account. Upon talking to the bank, I was told that anything under $25 doesn't even need investigation, they pretty much credit it back immediately, but that they would charge back the charges to zoo if they found them incorrect...

From what I was told, they have the exact same protection as credit cards in most circumstances...

01-04-2008, 00:11
Wow! This is good info to know. Several of my friends and I were thinking about LA weight loss...I don't think we will be heading down that path now. Thanks for the info.

01-06-2008, 07:04
Don't call a branch of the bank, get in touch with corporate HQ, and find someone who services buisness accounts, "Customer Care," is close, but you need someone whom has the ability to "reverse," and ACH transaction, that is what a debit card "swipe' is. My Wife does this at the bank, both ways. It CAN BE DONE. You were charged for services never rendered, thus, you as posted by others earlier, dispute the entire transaction. You bank DOES have the ability, to "reverse," swipe the money back, without their direct consent. IF they even notice the take back, with all the stuff swirling in their sh&t tornado, your a flea in it:smiley36: they then are the ones that will have the burden of proof to re-reverse it back to them.

I got no legal chops, but the above is what my wife does for a living. We had a HVAC guy come to the house, while I was on this deployment. our AC was broke, he charged my wife, oh, say almost 2,000. in various fees, even though the house was under a warranty. As he pulled out of the driveway, it still didin't run. The last charge? for freon. We called another known name in the buisness. 99% of the stuff on the former guys itemized bill; was not done. She had a co-worker do the above, as it was our account. The guy was such a poor buisnessman, he never noticed it was taken. After we informed the warranty co. Of his "craftsmanship," he no longer feeds from their trough. I was born poor. Anything over 20. to me, is a potential blood fued. GOOD LUCK, FIGHT THE POWER.

01-07-2008, 10:30
Those weight loss centres just sprung up from no where. I don't even think they did market research to where to open and how many (to see what is viable). They just want to cash in on the quick hype and then they claim bankruptcy. I know in some countries claiming bankruptcy is not allowed, you can't pay you go to prison. I like that I idea. I know a couple people who borrowed money from my family and put us as a list of creditors and we got nothing but they paid for a lavish wedding for their child 2 months prior to their bankruptcy. People like that should goto prison for a long time.. Or work at some Job to pay everything back even if it takes a life time.

Matt P
01-07-2008, 11:08
kancho - I couldn't agree more

01-28-2008, 14:33
Press: The Attorney General's Press Office - Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General (http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/press.aspx?id=3343)

For those interested in follow-up.

01-28-2008, 17:23
I hope this turns out alright for you... Unfortunate that they can do this. Thanks for posting so others can learn.

NucMed Man
01-28-2008, 18:08
I have noticed a great increase of ads on L.A. weight loss out here as of late. They seem to be centered around/pushing some of the same things that you talked about. Fortunately, I have followed the way of my parents and have used Weight Watchers. You may not lose the weight as fast aas the 'other guy' says you can but you do lose. Plus they teach you better eating habits and how to prepare 'your own' food so that you don'y fall back into the same rut afterwards. Best of luck on getting your money back.

01-30-2008, 09:43
With regard to the debit card issue: If you have a debit card with a Visa or MasterCard logo on it, you will have the same protections, usually, as a regular Visa/MC. I had my card "misplaced" and a place of business and was on the phone cancelling it within minutes. While in process of cancelling it, they "found" it at another table. The rep I was speaking with told me that if it's run as debit OR credit, you get the same protections, and this was backed by my bank (local to Dallas, ViewPoint).

Your mileage may vary, of course, but something to think about. If it's a straight bank branded debit card, you don't have the same protections, though, unless the bank wants to work with you/keep you as a customer.

As mentioned above, go as high in the bank as you can (publically traded? Call the executive offices, info should be on their Investor Relations page or their annual report which you can pull from numerous locations). Call the main desk and ask for the person (Dir of Cust Svc, etc) by name. You will get their secretary but, usually, he or she will have the authority to act on their behalf and, usually, if the secretary calls on lower managers the managers act as if the call came from the executive themself. They may or may not advised the director of the info, but usually do.

Also, as echoed above, try WW. The meetings are good for morale, but you can do the plan on their website. They are running a special right now where they'll waive the setup fee (again, YMMV; this is Texas and it's for my wife who did it before getting pregnant again).

01-30-2008, 22:24
Call the AG. If that doesn't work, track down the person that sold the contract and eat them in small portions for the next four months.

Matt P
01-31-2008, 21:49
PlatypusMan - thanks for the link. I read the whole article. It reminded me of something else that happened. About 3 day after the S hit the fan we started receiving letters from Jenny Craig. They knew how much my wife had spend and were offereing to apply some of the balance to one of their programs.

Jenny Craig knew: (1) that my wife bleonged to LA Weight Loss, (2) how much time she had remaining on her contract and (3) that LA weight loss was screwing people. AND, they were able to send us a flyer detailing all this info within 3 dyas of LA closing their doors.

At a minimum LA sold their customer info to JC. I suspect there's even more to that story. Either way - we said heck no to JC. Waaay to creepy/predatory...whatever you want to call it.

02-10-2008, 17:20
ALWAYS use credit for service based purchases. Also for purchase over $100 I always try to use credit. Credit charges are easy to dispute in case of unexpected problems like this. Bank or debit are uncommon to dispute and unless your account has specific coverage I just gotta say good luck.

Personally I would contact the bank and write a couple letters. Then just try to forget about it.