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ViaCord, LLC

Phone: (800) 998-4226 Fax: (617) 577-9018 View Additional Phone Numbers 245 1st St Ste 15, Cambridge, MA 02142 http://www.viacord.com

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Description

ViaCord, LLC is a newborn stem cell banking, research and development company.

BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since

BBB has determined that ViaCord, LLC meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.

Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 16 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that raised the rating for ViaCord, LLC include:

  • Length of time business has been operating.
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size.
  • Response to 13 complaint(s) filed against business.
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business.
  • BBB has sufficient background information on this business.

Industry Ratings Comparison | Chart


Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

13 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 6 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 5
Billing/Collection Issues 5
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 0
Problems with Product/Service 3
Total Closed Complaints 13

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

1 Customer Review on ViaCord, LLC
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 0
Neutral Experience 1
Negative Experience 0
Total Customer Reviews 1

Additional Information

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BBB file opened: September 18, 2002 Business started: 01/01/1993 in MA Business incorporated: 06/15/1993 in DE
Type of Entity

Corporation

Business Management
Ms. Bukola Adegoke, Customer Service Manager
Contact Information
Principal: Ms. Bukola Adegoke, Customer Service Manager
Number of Employees

175

Business Category

LABORATORIES-RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT Medical Laboratories (NAICS: 621511)

Products & Services

ViaCord, LLC offers the following product(s): Newborn Genetic Screening, Preservation of Umblical Cord Blood Stem Cells, Preservation of Umblicial Cord Tissue Stem Cells


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Additional Phone Numbers

  • (866) 565-2243 (Fax)
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Complaint Detail(s)

6/13/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: In early 2013 we called ViaCord to cancel our account just after receiving our annual bill for $270. Apparently, we were supposed to fill out a form that they had sent us. We never received the form, as far as we can tell, and didn't think much about it again until this past April 2014. That is when we saw another charge for fees for the UPCOMING year. Again, I called and asked to have the service terminated. I spoke with a man named Al on April 29th. "Al" at extension #**** saw our request to cancel in 2013. He said he'd re-send the cancellation form AND he said he would credit the charge that had just been processed against my bank account to cover services for the FOLLOWING 12 MONTHS. This time, we saw the form and filled it out and sent it back. After three weeks and two phone calls into the company, I was told today that I would NOT be receiving any refund, because I was too late. The card had already been charged and it's against their policy to refund claims. I was being told a completely different story by a lady named "****" at extension #****, that there would be no refund because we called them too late! As if we can predict a charge will applied to an account that was cancelled a year ago.

Desired Settlement: Right now, I believe I am owed for both 2013 and 2014 fees. I let the 2013 fee "slide" last year, but I feel like I am being scammed. I am a business owner and merchant myself and I don't believe the ViaCord rep when she says she is unable to refund me, especially when I was promised a refund by** 3 weeks ago. At this point, I will settle for $270 if credited by Monday May 12, 2013. To the extent that I have to chase these people down, I will consider a small claims suit here in Michigan and I will certainly put my company's relationships with over 2000 media outlets across the nation to use. If this is not resolved in a timely fashion, I will send out a press release documenting ViaCord's, unethical business practices. Thank you for helping me resolve this.

Business Response:  
We reviewed all of the recording calls between the Customer and ViaCord and believe there was a misunderstanding about the refund & discontinuation process.
 
We are attempting to resolve this complaint. The Finance Manager has reached out to the family regarding properly closing their account. As we have blood samples stored within our facility, we need the family to send back the termination agreement and determine the disposition of the samples. To date we have yet to receive it. The Finance Manager spoke with **** ****** this afternoon and asked for it to be resent.
 
Once received, we will gladly make all of the necessary corrections to the account.

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

5/13/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: Customer service reps at this business are contimnually giving my personal info to my ex husbands wife. This is an invasion of my privacy! I spoke with them today about this matter and they didn't evens ya that they were sorry. I asked *** not to do it again. I have cord blood banked with them for my * year old son, which is paid off and my ex pays the yearly storage. I also banked my now * month old daughters cord blood with them, but I was laid off of work and have not been able to keep up on my payments. But that is none of my exhusbands business. They told him every aspect of my daughters account. He is not even on this account, he is not even my daughters father. I am so unhappy I could spit nails. This is my privacy I am talking about. If I can not trust the. To keep my account in confidentility, how can I trust them to do as they are supposed to with my children's cord blood?!

Desired Settlement: I don't know what to as for as a resolution. I am VERY upset!

Business Response: I have made multiple unsuccessful attempts to reach ******* using the phone number provided. She has neither answered my calls nor returned any of my messages. It is ViaCord's policy to link sibling accounts for our Customer's convenience. We apologize for any inconvenience or frustration that this may have caused. Once we were advised about *******'s desire to separate the two accounts, the request was immediately granted.  ViaCord only had discussions with Mr. **********. The only item that was mention was a past due balance associated with the joint account. There was no disclosure about any other aspect of the 2nd account. At this point, the two accounts are unlinked & separate.  

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

3/30/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I have banked my son's cord blood with Viacord since his birth on */**/2003 with an annual storage service expired every year on his birthdate at a charge of $95. So the storage for this year ended on */**/2014. On */**/14 2:36pm, I called them talking to *****, notifying Viacord about the cancellation of the storage service as soon as the current one expired on */** and I was told they would mail me a form to instruct them how to dispose the cord blood. On */**, I received the form and also a copy of receipt in a separate envelope of the $95 they had charged on my credit card for */**/14-*/**/15 storage. I signed the form expressing my desire to donate the cord blood for research, including the receipt with the marking "I hope I wasn't charged for this." On */**, I noticed the charge of $95 was made on my credit card on */**. On */**/14 10:45am, I called them again questioning about the charge. They told me that they would not do anything until they received my termination form and also, the charge would not be reversed according to their policy. I told them one, the form was not a termination of service form but an instruction on the disposal of the cord blood; two, they should not have charged me before the current service ended which was */**/14; and three, they could not keep the money when the customer clearly stated the service was not needed. I was then transferred to his supervisor, **** *****, and let him a message. Another message was left three hours later. The next day */**/14, I called my credit card company to disput the charge. We got on a three-way call with Viacord, ****. **** stated that it was the company policy to charge on */** and the charge would not be reversed. The respresentative from the bank asked if any of these policies was written anywhere for the customers and **** said no. **** offered to transfer to **** ***** and leave a message but I refused as I left two messages on */** with my contact information already.

Business Response: ******* ********; BBB Case # *******   Dear Better Business Bureau,   We received the complaint set forth above through the Complaint Management System of www.bosbbb.org. By way of background, ViaCord, LLC, based in *********, Massachusetts, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of PerkinElmer, Inc., a publicly-traded life sciences and optoelectronics company based in *******, Massachusetts. ViaCord’s business has two parts. One part involves the research and development of umbilical cord and adult-derived stem cell product candidates to treat significant diseases. The other is our reproductive health business. A major component of our reproductive health business is a service offering through which expectant families can preserve their babies’ umbilical cord blood and tissue for possible future medical use. ******* ********’s complaint relates to our ViaCord service offering.   ******* ******** has alleged that she was inappropriately charged a $95 annual storage fee in connection with her enrollment with ViaCord. It should be noted that ViaCord has billed Mrs. ******** for annual storage on the 10th of February for the last 10 years. This was communicated to her on all of our notifications that are sent, each year, 75 days prior to billing. Please note that a Customer can cancel at any time, but whenever a Customer calls to willingly cancel our services they are not eligible for refunds for the annual storage fee they have paid.  Mrs. ******** confirmed that she did not contact ViaCord to cancel the services until after the annual storage fee had already been billed to her to card on file.    Mrs. ******** has already disputed the fees with her credit card company. ViaCord received the chargeback notification and her credit card company has returned the funds to her. We posted the chargeback and waived the $95.00 balance.  The termination agreement has also been received and processed. The account is now closed with no future billing to occur for this child. Providing refunds and waiving fees in these types of situations are not atypical. We consider ourselves to be a customer-friendly and focused company and, absent truly extenuating circumstances, are not inclined to engage in disputes with our customers. I have looked into this matter. In doing so, I found no indication of any improper, inappropriate or unlawful conduct. Our customers are informed that they will be charged an annual storage fee on the 10th day of their Child’s birth month for the life of their contract. The annual storage trigger is in no way tied to the Child’s birthday. The billing cycle was communicated to ******* ******** at enrollment and we proactively reminded her each year. She was therefore eligible for the annual fee.   We sincerely regret any inconvenience that ******* ******** experienced during her interactions with our ViaCord Team. Given that the storage fee has already been returned by her credit card company and the balance has been waived, we respectfully request that the matter be closed and that the amicable resolution of this matter be noted in our file.

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

11/11/2013 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I have been with Viacord since 2010 for my daughters cord banking. I received a bill in July for the annual storage fee of $125.00 in the mail. I filled out the form and provided my debit card number authorizing the $125.00 storage fee. On the back of the form is a check box to indicate to use this card for future transactions. I checked yes for my storage fee as my debit card number has changed since last year and I wanted to make sure it was up to date in Viacord system for future annual storage fees. . Viacord ended up charging me $1300.00 total which included a previous balance on the collection cost, to which my ex husband was supposed to have been paying on. I did not authorize Viacord to take out any more than the $125.00 annual fee. Nowhere on the form did it indicate FOR PREVIOUS BALANCES or I would NOT have checked that box or confirmed to use that card in that manner until I confirmed that my ex-husband has paid or been paying on the previous balance. I called Viacord August 21st on this and they explained to me what occurred. I stated the same thing to the customer rep on the phone, she was unable to help me, and she was going to have her supervisor call me back to which he never did. I have contacted my bank regarding this fraud billing amount. I was told by ***** to wait for the transaction to roll back as I did not have the $1300 in the account (Thank god! my direct deposit had not hit yet),and if it does not roll back, ***** will start a fraud dispute. As of today 8/27 the charge has processed and I will contact ***** to start the fraud charge investigation. This has unauthorized charge has affected the $250.00 positive balance I had in the account and has prevented me from paying other bills and buying grocery’s from my bill account. Thank goodness I have a personal non bill account too. My biggest issue here is 1.) unauthorized charge 2.) unclear shady wording on the payment form 3.) lack of a call back from the finance manager/supervisor. I am requesting a complete roll back of this transaction from my bank account and I am willing to pay the $125 annual storage fee but will do so via CHECK.

Desired Settlement: I am requesting a complete roll back of this transaction from my bank account and I am willing to pay the $125 annual storage fee but will do so via CHECK.

Business Response: The ViaCord Finance Supervisor has made several attempts to reach Mrs. ****** ********* to resolve her complaint. We have not been able to speak with her and she has not returned any of our messages. We would like to resolve this amicable but have but unsuccessful in making contact.

Consumer Response: I have reviewed the response submitted by the business and have determined that the response does not satisfy or resolve my issues and/or concerns in reference to complaint.

I as far as I know have not recieved any calls from ViaCord. There have been no voice mail messages left on my phone. I would gladly return their call if they would please leave me a voice mail stating this is Viacord calling, as I often do not answer numbers that are not local and that I do not know.

BBB's Final Determination: After reviewing the position of all parties, BBB determined that the business made a reasonable effort to address the complaint. However the consumer remains dissatisfied.

10/22/2013 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: My viacord bill for storage for the next year was due on 9/10/2013 and I called a few days ahead of time to cancel the service. The agent told me that they cannot stop the payment until they receive a signed termination letter but after they receive it they will make the corresponding adjustment and refund the difference. As soon as I received the termination letter from Viacord I signed it and sent it back expecting to see a refund in my credit card. I called Viacord today and a very rude agent told me that I would not receive any refund because they need to have the termination letter before they processed the charge, when the first time I called, the agent told me that I should not worry that they will refund the money back. I've always seen Viacord as a serious company running a honest business so I do not believe they are in business to cheat on their customers.

Desired Settlement: I would expect a full refund ($125) to my credit card and an apology letter for the bad customer experience provided by their agents.

Business Response: ******* **********; BBB Case # *******
 
Dear Better Business Bureau,  We received the complaint set forth above through the Complaint Management System of www.bosbbb.org. By way of background, ViaCord, LLC, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of PerkinElmer, Inc., a publicly-traded life sciences and optoelectronics company based in Waltham, Massachusetts. ViaCord’s business has two parts. One part involves the research and development of umbilical cord and adult-derived stem cell product candidates to treat significant diseases. The other is our reproductive health business. A major component of our reproductive health business is a service offering through which expectant families can preserve their babies’ umbilical cord blood and tissue for possible future medical use. ******* **********’s complaint relates to our ViaCord service offering.
 
******* ********** has alleged that she was not provided a promised refund after she returned her account termination agreement. We corrected the billing error and refunded the promised amount on 10.9.13. We consider ourselves to be a customer-friendly and focused company and, absent truly extenuating circumstances, are not inclined to engage in disputes with our customers. I have looked into this matter. In doing so, I found that a Rep error contributed to the billing mistake. We sincerely regret any inconvenience that ********* ********** experienced during her interactions with our ViaCord Team. Given that the refund error has been corrected, we respectfully request that the matter be closed and that the amicable resolution of this matter be noted in our file.

Consumer Response: I have reviewed the response submitted by the business and have determined that the response does satisfy my issues and/or concerns in reference to complaint. I understand that by choosing to accept the business response that my complaint will be closed as resolved. 

BBB's Final Determination: Consumer accepted resolution offered by the business.

BBB Comments: The consumer indicated to BBB that the complaint was resolved.

8/25/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: On 7/09/13 I called Via Cord finance department to make a payment and payment arrangements for a bill I was past due on. ******* in the finance department answered the phone. As I was speaking with ******* letting her know what I wanted and what I could do she was very rude, uncompassionate, snappy, with nothing but attitude every time she spoke. I requested her supervisor she placed me on hold for about 10 minutes and came back on the line saying her supervisor just left and that she would give me his voicemail. I asked to talk to another rep or a manager and was advised no one was available to take me call. ******* appeared to have done research on my case as I was on hold because her and I started disputing my previous call with a male finance rep the last week in June 2013. I told ******* I could only pay $160 of my $264.17 March bill and that I would pay the rest by Friday the 12th. ******* stated I would be sent to collections on July 10th (the next day) if I did not pay the full balance for March and that, that is what the guy told me on the phone call that was made the last week in June 2013. I told her the guy said he could run a payment on 7/10 not that I was being sent to collections on that day. That rep never gave me a date that it would be sent to collections he only said the payments would be within the timeframe that I would not go to collections. I told ******* the rep I talked to 7/03 advised me I would be sent to collections on 7/15 so paying March's payment by the 12th would be ok. ******* continued to argue with a VERY rude unprofessional attitude. I then gave up arguing with her and said fine I'll pay the rest of March's payment tomorrow (7/10). I asked ******* if the call was being recorded because I did not appreciate her unprofessionalism and wanted her supervisor to her how unwilling and unprofessional she is to help customers. ******* said the call might be being recorded and then per my request transferred me into her supervisors voicemail. I left a message on 7/09 on the voicemail for **** ***** advising ******* was very rude and unprofessional. That same day my husband transferred more money into my account so I called the finance department again to make a larger and unfortunately ******* again answered the phone. I tried to be civil with her and still she was very unprofessional and rude. I told her I wanted to make a payment of $260.17 instead of $160 for March and that I would pay the other $4 tomorrow (7/10) so I would be caught up to the point that I would not be sent to collections and could then make a payment arrangement on May. The unprofessionalism with the way ******* handles her calls made me shake my head. I told ******* "Wow, you still have an attitude, you don't have to be so rude" ******* then got VERY aggressive and said "this is how I talk, I'm sorry if you don't like the way I talk". I told her again to please have her supervisor call me. I called the morning on 7/10 and request to speak with **** since I did not receive a call back. **** answered and said **** is waiting to call me to hear the calls and he is ordering the calls. I said ok and called back that afternoon to make the $4 payment and to inquire why the $260.17 had not been charged. I was then told be ** that they are not able to take payments until 7/15 that they are changing their billing system. I told him the gal I talked to previously said she was charging the $260.17 and that I could pay the other $4 for March today (7/10) ** then said that there is no one in the finance department that would have said that to me. I then became even more upset! I told him ******* in the finance department who's supervisor is **** told me that she would run my card on file for the $260.17 and that I would see it the next day and that I could call on 7/10 and make the other $4 payment. I told him ******* said I WILL GO to collections on 7/10 if I did not pay March in full by that day. ** was very nice and apologetic and said there is no way for them to take a payment until 7/15. ** said he would watch my file on Monday and give me a call on 7/15 to make the payment for March since July will pull the same day. I feel so uncomfortable with my baby’s cord blood and stem cells at such an UNPROFESSIONAL location. Not only *******'s poor NON customer service attitude but also that her supervisor **** has still not returned my calls nor will he take my call when I call into Via Cord.

Desired Settlement: I want a full refund of the money paid and the return of my babys cord blood and stem cells so I can take to a professional company like ***.

Business Response: Dear Better Business Bureau, We received the complaint set forth above through the Complaint Management System of www.bosbbb.org. By way of background, ViaCord, LLC, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of PerkinElmer, Inc., a publicly-traded life sciences and optoelectronics company based in Waltham, Massachusetts. ViaCord’s business has two parts. One part involves the research and development of umbilical cord and adult-derived stem cell product candidates to treat significant diseases. The other is our reproductive health business. A major component of our reproductive health business is a service offering through which expectant families can preserve their babies’ umbilical cord blood and tissue for possible future medical use. ******** *****’s complaint relates to our ViaCord service offering. ******** ***** has alleged that the ViaCord Representative that she interacted with on 7.10.13 was unprofessional and rude. We consider ourselves to be a customer-friendly and focused company and, absent of truly extenuating circumstances, are not inclined to engage in disputes with our customers. I have looked into this matter. In doing so, I found that a Rep’s poor attitude was the cause of the complaint. A ViaCord Manager contacted Mrs. ***** to thank her for her valuable feedback, and apologize for the unacceptable level of service. Mrs. ***** was advised that the Rep would be immediately retained. The Rep will also receive additional customer service and call handling training. Mr. ***** accepted the apology and no longer wishes to transfer her stem cell sample to another bank We sincerely regret any inconvenience that ******** ***** experienced during her interactions with our ViaCord team. Given that ViaCord and Mrs. ***** were able to resolve the matter amicably, we respectfully request that the matter be closed.  

****** *******
Customer Service Manager 

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

2/15/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: My mother is seriously ill. I signed up for having my son's cord blood and cord tissue captured in hopes it might save her life or improve her chances of surviving as it was said to help so many serious illnesses. I was told the cost was high, about $3000 plus $200+ per year for storag, and that if I were to change my mind, the cost would be $150. I felt the cost was insanely exorbitant, but when your loved one is said to be dying, the cost can be obtained just as it can be obtained by a person holding a gun to your loved one's head. I signed up understanding it might help save my mother's life. And if it proved not to be useful toward that end, I could back out and the cost would be $150. This is what I was told verbally. And I was desperate enough to sign up. I was the guy whose mother was being held at gunpoint in terms of her health condition ready to pay the person who was holding a possible cure. I wanted a cure. Desperately. What I did not know was 1) it is not useful for someone 2 generations away. I was always clear that the reason I was doing this was for my mother's protection. I was not aware that better stem cells could be obtained for her from her own body, perhaps from her hip, if that would indeed help her, and it seems this, too, is not the case. So, what I was signing up for, unknowingly, was something that really had no promise to help my mother at all. There was sufficient information that Viacord should have been able to advise me of this fact, but they did not. Also, what I did not know was that if I decided to back out, I had to back out before the cord was collected, and that the amount I would have to pay now would be about $3,000 instead of $150. So, there are at least these two factors that led me to sign up for something under durress that had no possibility of accomplishing the health protection I was led to believe I was paying for.

Desired Settlement: A reversal of the bill.

Business Response: ****** and ****** ****; BBB Case # *******
 
To Whom It May Concern:
We received the complaint set forth above through the Complaint Management System of www.bosbbb.org. By way of background, ViaCord, LLC, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of PerkinElmer, Inc., a publicly-traded life sciences and optoelectronics company based in Waltham, Massachusetts. ViaCord’s business has two parts. One part involves the research and development of umbilical cord and adult-derived stem cell product candidates to treat significant diseases. The other is our reproductive health business. A major component of our reproductive health business is a service offering through which expectant families can preserve their babies’ umbilical cord blood and tissue for possible future medical use. Mr. ****’s complaint relates to our ViaCord service offering.
 
****** **** has alleged that he wishes to terminate his ViaCord agreement but should only be responsible for a $150 termination fee vs. the $3170 balance currently posted to his account.
 
We consider ourselves to be a customer-friendly and focused company and, absent truly extenuating circumstances, are not inclined to engage in disputes with our customers. I have looked into this matter. In doing so, I found no indication of any improper, inappropriate or unlawful conduct. Mr. **** spoke with ViaCord Reps on 4 separate occasions between 8.22.12 and 8.29.12 to discuss newborn stem cell preservation. The ****s had plenty of time to make their banking decision and it was not made under duress. The ViaCord contact was inside their collection kit and clearly states that the “Client is responsible for payment of all fees. If Client discontinues ViaCord’s Service(s) prior to delivery, a $150 non-refundable discontinuation fee will be charged.”  This $150 fee only covers the costs associated with the coordination and work of several different departments and individuals, the preparation and distribution of our welcome kit, and if applicable, the distribution of customized collection kit containing the materials and equipment necessary to collect and ship a newborn’s stem cell sample from the hospital to our processing laboratory. The ****s opted to enroll in the ViaCord service and shipped two blood samples to our Lab via Private Courier service. The samples have been tested, processed, cryopreserved and stored for 4 months. The $3170 fee is to cover the services that the **** family requested and that have already been rendered.
 
After Mr. **** filed his complaint with the Better Business Bureau, I made unsuccessful attempts to reach him to resolve this matter. I called him at the phone number provided for this complaint and left messages requesting that he call me back. He has yet to return any of my calls. ViaCord would like to resolve this matter. We merely need the customer to follow the proper steps to close the account.
 
We sincerely regret any inconvenience that Eileen and ****** **** experienced during their interactions with our ViaCord Team. Given that Mr. **** has not responded to any of my calls for resolution, we respectfully request that the matter be closed.

Consumer Response: I have reviewed the response submitted by the business and have determined that the response does not satisfy or resolve my issues and/or concerns in reference to complaint.

I am sorry, but I often refuse to answer calls from numbers I am unfamiliar with and things were busy given the season, so I did not call back before receiving this response.  However, we talked at length on the phone before I filed a complaint with the BBB, and I was fairly certain that my reasons for filing were pretty much dodged by this response entirely.From the time I ever spoke with any person in sales from Viacord, I was clear on my motive for considering this path.  My mother has a very serious condition.  A deadly condition.  Several diseases and conditions were listed as potentially being helped.  But to my knowledge, nothing ever brought to my attention by the company suggested that a two generation distance might make this path to helping my mother non-viable. 

So, did I go into this under duress?  Well, you tell me whether you love your own mother or family members enough that you might feel a little pressure or stress created by a condition that may kill your loved one.  If you think your love one is going to die, wouldn't you pitch $3000 or more to save them?  If you spent that money and the surgery or procedure was unsuccessful, you might consider that a normal risk that didn't work out, and as long as nobody was negligent or did anything seriously wrong, you'd probably be more thankful that the people involved gave their best effort and tried.But, what if you spent the money and found out later there would never be an opportunity to benefit as you intended?  What if you spoke of your intentions and asked the right questions and got the wrong answers or a big "I don't know" but had to make your decision fast as your window of opportunity was small?  By small, I don't mean from the time I first asked questions to the day my son was born.  That was the time I spent not getting any correct answers regarding whether this would likely save my mother--not time for me to decide with valid information in my hands.  In fact, there was no time for me to decide with valid information in my hands.  All I had was a packet and a possibility it might be useful to save my mother.But, that seems not to be the case.  If there was an opportunity to benefit that way, it would more likely be from stem cells taken from my mother herself.  That means this had no value pertenent to our intentions for which we were considering Viacord's product.From our previous phone call, these issues were discussed, and we did not come to an agreement.

How might we come to an agreement when your company wants full payment and we're not happy that we received what we thought we were getting.  And by that, I don't mean that we didn't get the freezing of blood or an embilical cord, which may be said to be your product.  Perhaps in your mind that is what your customers are buying.  Period.  It isn't.  They're not buying a freeze.  They're buying safety, life, protection, a chance to save a loved one from an untimely death.  And when your product is delivered that justifies the price you charge, the loved one is protected or given a chance at life.Now, understand I am not blaming you for my mother's condition.  If you say that is not your fault, you will be dodging what IS your fault.  It's your fault that your company was asked questions by a prospective customer--questions that had a strong bearing on whether that person would choose to buy your product or not.  The information desired was apparently available in the medical community, and if it were given, we would not have gone forward with buying this product from you.  But, since the information was not given and since we were desperate, we went into this purchase with a hope that it might help save my mother.You might argue in return that it provides safety for my son or my teenage daughter.  I don't know.  But from what I know, stem cells can be obtained elsewhere if needed, and it does not seem to warrant such a high expense.  And, it was not what we were buying.  It might be just as good or just as important in your mind, but we're the customer.  And again, we're not buying a process or a freeze or a storage.  We're buying what we think that freeze or process provides.In other words, I am a customer who tried very hard to ask the right questions and to purchase a product with my eyes wide open, and I asked specific answers, and under duress, without questions adequately answered, I was led into making a purchase I would not have made were my questions answered honestly.   

Business Response: As stated before the ViaCord contact was inside their collection kit and also clearly states:  “I understand that collecting and storing cord blood cells could potentially be used as part of a treatmentprogram for a variety of life threatening diseases, including leukemia, certain cancers, and blood disorders.Although the preservation and potential use of cord blood cells is expanding rapidly, the odds that a familywithout a defined risk will ever use their child’s cord blood cells are low and they may never be needed.There is no guarantee that the cord blood cells will be a match for any particular family member or that such atransplant or other treatment will provide a cure. As with any transplant or other treatment, therapeuticsuccess depends upon many factors beyond the cord blood cells themselves including patient condition, typeof disease, recipient-donor relationship and matching, and other factors. If the cord blood donor is diagnosedwith a congenital genetic condition, the utility of the unit may be impacted. In the future, it is possible thatbetter therapies may be developed. I understand that there are alternatives to collecting stem cells from cordblood. Other sources of stem cells exist such as bone marrow and peripheral blood. These stem cells havebeen used to successfully treat the same diseases as cord blood. The decision to use cord blood stem cells fortransplantation must be made in careful consideration with your treating physician, but the ultimate course ofmedical treatment is determined by the physician.”

ViaCord never claimed that the stem cells would be used for a transplant. The treatment course would ultimately be decided by the treating physician.  There was no wrong doing on our part. I tried to reach the **** family with the same number that showed up on their caller-ID during the enrollment process. I strongly recommend that Mr. and Mrs. **** contact the ViaCord Customer Service or Finance Manager to discuss resolving their account.

Consumer Response: I have reviewed the response submitted by the business and have determined that the response does not satisfy or resolve my issues and/or concerns in reference to complaint.

My concerns have not been addressed by the vendor.  I feel the vendor has continually dodged my concerns as I expressed them. When ordinary people like me who do not have medical training are told that their loved one has very little time to live, and suddenly it appears that there is a possible solution, a company that provides medical services does not need to come out and lie to this person directly.  All they need to do is provide enough information that gives a little hope and avoid giving information that would dash that hope. Here, I was told that saving this embilical blood and cord tissue had potential for curing a huge list of illnesses "and more".  That is enough to compel a person desperate to save a loved one to pay exorbitant amounts of money that this person would never consider paying without that threat of pain and death hanging over his or her head. All I needed to hear to divert me from signing up for this was to be told the information I needed to make an honestly informed decision--to know what the company should have known, and to know what the company should have informed me so that they could be responsible to their customers and know that they're not swindling them by using their fear and desperation to get thousands of dollars from them for services they had no need for. There was enough medical knowledge in the medical community to know that this material cannot be used for someone two generations back. This is like selling someone a car in California that can only be used outside California without telling the customer, and then insisting that was a fair deal since the customer was never told the car could be used in California. The only difference is that the customer in this situation does not just want a car that works.  The customer has a loved one whose life is in danger, and although there was no explicit promise made, and although the provider may consider this an honest gamble, even a gambling casino would be required to have the honor of providing an honest chance of winning.  You cannot lock slot machines out of ever giving a winning result and call that an honest gamble. And here, the company is taking advantage of someone who has a very close loved one with pulmony fibrosis and a torn mitral valve.  If someone were to say, "I am sorry, but this will not help your mother", then it would make sense not to go any further with this.  But, if the company were to say, "I don't know if this will help your mother or not, but it has been used to help cure many diseases", then who wouldn't pay thousands of dollars to save a loved one if they could scrap by and do that? So, here I am with an umbilical cord in a freezer that is of no use to anybody and never would have been of use except maybe for some purpose that in a rare situation might provide some help.  And yet it was the death threat placed on my mother by the diseases she suffers combined with the "maybe" or the "unknown" that perhaps was not quite so "unknown" to the service provider, but should have been known. It is just wrong to sell someone hope in something when that thing does not provide any real hope.  And it is wrong to sell nothing for thousands of dollars.

Furthermore, whatever the policy of the company is, I was told that if I were to change my mind, there would be a $150 fee for backing out.  The policy in the minds of the seller or in the fine print somewhere unseen may have been that the $150 back-out fee was for doing it prior to the sending in of the cord.  But, the result was I learned of that $150 over the phone, and it was a promise made to me by the sales person, and it was one I planned to use upon finding out that my mother would not be helped by this service. In the end, I was sold something at an extorbitant fee--something that the company should have told me honestly would not be of use for this situation.  And it was something I bought into out of fear of losing my mother, a fear that gave the company opportunity to capitalize on my fears, whether that was their intention or not.  The cost is expensive, and people in my situation would not spend it for security knowing that our family would be much wiser spending that money on something that would actually benefit the family in a more real way.

Business Response:

ViaCord has attempted to resolve this issue with the Customer but has been unsuccessful. We have called the Client many times to come up with a resolution but they refuse to answer the phone or call back the Customer Service or Finance Manager.  
The family was well aware of the terms and conditions of their agreement with ViaCord. Our contract states that we make no promises or claims for treatment. It also states that the $150 disenrollment fee only applies before our services have been rendered.

The Customer registered and used our services at the end of August 2012. They agreed to pay twelve monthly payments of $181.25. Their credit card declined immediately and they have not made one payment to ViaCord. They did not file the BBB complaint until December…when their account was turned over to a collection agency.  While we are sympathetic for the Customer and the medical condition of their family member, this appears to be a case of buyer’s remorse.

Consumer Response: I have reviewed the response submitted by the business and have determined that the response does not satisfy or resolve my issues and/or concerns in reference to complaint.

It is unprofessional, dishonest, and shows an unwillingness on the part of the vendor to listen and understand the nature of their customer's cause for dissatisfaction to marginalize their complaints with such blamecasting, excuse making, and responsibility dodging as to relegate their complaint to nothing more than "buyer's remorse".  Furthermore, we spoke by phone numerous times and it seems clear even here that Viacord seems unwilling or unable or reluctant to give any response that touches the objections I have raised directly.  I feel constantly rediredted away from my concerns.  I will talk with my wife and  decide where we want to go with this issue and contact *******, who I spoke with today before being accused of avoiding discussion.

BBB's Final Determination: After reviewing the position of all parties, BBB determined that the business made a reasonable effort to address the complaint. However the consumer remains dissatisfied.

2/12/2013 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: On 11/26/12 I was in the hospital to deliver my daughter. There was a Via cord kit waiting for me. I called to get information before I set this up. I on numerous times told the sales rep I did not want to sign up. He then told me he could give me a a price of $76 a month and that he would sign me up with a credit service. I agreed at this price. A week later I received a pricing sheet and the monthly price was 89.00 a month!! I called and the 1st representative stated I must have "not" understood due to being under stress of labor!! I asked to speak to a manager. I spoke to **** ******** he advised me he need to listen to the phone call. Mr. ******** asked me to give him a few days to obtain the call. I agreed. After the agreed time and no call returned I called customer service to cancel. The rep cancelled the policy and stated I would have $ 150.00 fee charged to my account. I agreed. The next day Mr. ******** called and stated he found the call and I was correct with the monthly price. I asked him if he could re activate my account and he advised it was never cancelled ??? I should have been leary then. I request him to send me a new pricing sheet. I never received that sheet son I called after the new year and requested a new sheet. I received this in the mail and yet again it was the higher price not the amount agreed on. When I called customer service to cancel they advised I needed to speak to finance department. I was transferred to that dept and the to ******* one willing to cancel my account and stating if I felt I was lied to I could only speak to Mr ******** ? I was also informed I would have to pay 2400 fee for services rendered. I was previously advised I could cancel for $ 150.00. I have requested on several occasions to speak to someone in management and they said no one can help me.i just want to cancel this policy and never deal with Via Cord again!!!

Desired Settlement: I would like to cancel my policy and pay the $150.00 cancellation fee I was told I would need to pay by the customer service representative. I would like this resolved before Via Cord charges my account.

Business Response: ********* ***** ; BBB Case # *******
 
Dear Better Business Bureau, 
We received the complaint set forth above through the Complaint Management System of www.bosbbb.org. By way of background, ViaCord, LLC, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of PerkinElmer, Inc., a publicly-traded life sciences and optoelectronics company based in Waltham, Massachusetts. ViaCord’s business has two parts. One part involves the research and development of umbilical cord and adult-derived stem cell product candidates to treat significant diseases. The other is our reproductive health business. A major component of our reproductive health business is a service offering through which expectant families can preserve their babies’ umbilical cord blood and tissue for possible future medical use. ********* *****’s complaint relates to our ViaCord service offering.
 
********* ***** has alleged that she was misquoted the wrong payment plan options during the enrollment process. We have corrected the billing error and switched Mrs. ***** to the payment plan that she was promised. We consider ourselves to be a customer-friendly and focused company and, absent truly extenuating circumstances, are not inclined to engage in disputes with our customers. I have looked into this matter. In doing so, I found that a rep error contributed to the pricing mistake.  We sincerely regret any inconvenience that ********* ***** experienced during their interactions with our ViaCord team. Given that the payment plan error has been corrected, we respectfully request that the matter be closed and that the amicable resolution of this matter be noted in our file. 
 

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

12/26/2012 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I have two accounts with ViaCord dating to 2005 and 2007. I have decided to cancel the storage on these accounts over the summer, and at the same time hanged my credit card and didn't update my records. I received numerous calls for late payment. I explained, repeatedly, to customer service that I no longer wanted to store the blood cord. They sent me a termination form, which I completed for both accounts and returned, I gave permission for the company to perform research on the specimens, rather than toss them for garbage. The customer service calls continued, approximately one or two per day. I finally was able to speak with someone who said the for s were not received, so they were sent to me again. Once again, I completed the two forms, one for each account, and mailed them back. Te second time was the Monday before Thanksgiving. I am still receiving calls daily from ViaCord. Tonight I received a call from a collection agency and told them I will not be paying because as far as I am concerned, I've done my due diligence, twice now, to terminate my storage contract with ViaCord. These calls have reached a level of harassment.

Desired Settlement: I just want the accounts to be closed and for Via Cord to lose my number, once and for all. And to receive a letter of termination from them.

Business Response: ******* ********; BBB Case # *******
 
Dear Better Business Bureau, 
We received the complaint set forth above through the Complaint Management System of www.bosbbb.org. By way of background, ViaCord, LLC, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of PerkinElmer, Inc., a publicly-traded life sciences and optoelectronics company based in Waltham, Massachusetts. ViaCord’s business has two parts. One part involves the research and development of umbilical cord and adult-derived stem cell product candidates to treat significant diseases. The other is our reproductive health business. A major component of our reproductive health business is a service offering through which expectant families can preserve their babies’ umbilical cord blood and tissue for possible future medical use. ******* ********’s complaint relates to our ViaCord service offering.
 
Mrs. ******** has alleged that ViaCord has ignored her requests to terminate her contract for the two cord blood samples that are stored at the ViaCord Processing Lab. She also believes that ViaCord is charging her continued storage fees for the unwanted samples. We at ViaCord consider ourselves to be a customer-friendly and focused company and, absent truly extenuating circumstances, are not inclined to engage in disputes with our customers. I have looked into this matter. In doing so, I found no indication of any improper, inappropriate or unlawful conduct. Mrs. ******** initially contacted ViaCord on Sept 18 2012 and requested to cancel her account. She was advised by a Finance Rep that there was a balance on her account and (per the contracts that she signed on 6.15.05 and 5.27.07) the account must be in good standing to close out. Mrs. ******** was also advised that as there were two blood sample stored in the ViaCord Processing Lab, she must determine a disposition for the sample. ViaCord cannot legally destroy or move a stem cell sample without signed documentation from a customer giving permission. A termination agreement was mailed to the family on that date, but Mrs. ******** failed to return it. In a subsequent conversation Mrs. ******** stated that she was unsure if she wanted to discard the samples. The accounts were kept active until a formal decision and the termination agreements were signed and returned. The termination agreement clearly spells out all the items needed to properly cancel an account. Mrs. ******** called the ViaCord Finance Team twice in November to check on the status of her account. She was informed both times that we had yet to receive the termination notice. Mrs. ******** stated that she had mailed them. I’m not sure if the letters were delayed due to the holiday season but they did not arrive until the 3rd week in December.
 
Both accounts were cancelled on 12.21.12. While providing refunds and waiving fees in these types of situations are not atypical, ViaCord has waived the 2012 annual storage fees for both stem cell samples. Mrs. ******** currently has a zero balance. We sincerely regret any inconvenience that ******* ******** has experienced during her interactions with our ViaCord team. Given that the accounts have been closed and the storage fee has been waived, we respectfully request that the matter be closed and that the amicable resolution of this matter be noted in our file.

Consumer Response: I have reviewed the response submitted by the business and have determined that the response does satisfy my issues and/or concerns in reference to complaint.

BBB's Final Determination: Consumer accepted resolution offered by the business.

BBB Comments: The consumer indicated to BBB that the complaint was resolved.

6/9/2012 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: When I first contacted the company "Via cord," I thought it would be promising for my unborn child. I called the company to inquire more information about it. They told me what they did, the process they went through, and how
it would benefit my child. I thought it sounded good, that if my kid were to develop the certain illnesses that via cord says they can cure through stem cell research, my child would be covered. So, then the representative started taking down general information such as my name, number, and credit card information and told me that at any time i wanted to cancel i could do so. He failed to mention that if i did want to cancel there would be a $150.00 cancellation fee. The following week I went to an OB/GYN visit with my pregnant wife and discussed Via Cord information with him, and he advised me that i not proceed with it. I went back home to cancel, and upon my call to
Via Cord another representative had rudely accused me of lying, that the previous representative would have absolutely mentioned this, when I clearly told her that he didn't. I did not sign any papers or forms, my call was only
to inquire about what it is the company could do for my child. A few months, after my rude conversation with the representative to cancel, i still received a package with the Via Cord umbilical preserve contents. I called again to cancel, and they refused to cancel without a $150 cancellation fee, which the first representative failed to mention.

Desired Settlement: I would like to have these charges expunged, my account cancelled, and no further contact with Via Cord.

Business Response: ********** *** and ******* *****; BBB Case # *******
 
Dear Better Business Bureau,
 
We received the complaint set forth above through the Complaint Management System of www.bosbbb.org. By way of background, ViaCord, LLC, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of PerkinElmer, Inc., a publicly-traded life sciences and optoelectronics company based in Waltham, Massachusetts. ViaCord’s business has two parts. One part involves the research and development of umbilical cord and adult-derived stem cell product candidates to treat significant diseases. The other is our reproductive health business. A major component of our reproductive health business is a service offering through which expectant families can preserve their babies’ umbilical cord blood and tissue for possible future medical use. ********** *** and ******* ***** complaint relates to our ViaCord service offering.
 
Mr. ***** has alleged that he we would have been inappropriately charged a $150 termination fee in connection with their enrollment with ViaCord. The fee has been waived and their account has been cancelled. Providing refunds and waiving fees in these types of situations are not atypical. We consider ourselves to be a customer-friendly and focused company and, absent truly extenuating circumstances, are not inclined to engage in disputes with our customers. I have looked into this matter. In doing so, I found no indication of any improper, inappropriate or unlawful conduct. Our customers are informed, verbally and in writing, that they will be charged a termination fee if they change their minds about enrolling with ViaCord after giving us their credit card information, selecting a payment plan and initiating the enrollment process. ********** *** and ******* ***** had done each of these things and therefore they were eligible for the termination fee.
Mr. ***** was reminded about the fee when he called ViaCord to discontinue their enrollment with ViaCord.
 
The termination fee is not meant to be punitive. Rather, it is meant to cover the expense that we incur once the enrollment process begins. The enrollment process involves, among other things, the coordination and work of several different departments and individuals, the preparation and distribution of our welcome kit, including enrollment documents, and, ultimately, the distribution of customized collection kit containing the materials and equipment necessary to collect and ship
a baby’s cord blood from the hospital to our processing laboratory. We sincerely regret any inconvenience that ********** *** and ******* ***** experienced during their interactions with our ViaCord team. Given that the termination fee
has been waived, we respectfully request that the matter be closed and that the amicable resolution of this matter be noted in our file.

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

4/13/2012 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: Since February 29, 2012 I have received at least 6 phone calls from, 617-577-0141, a number reported online by many people as receiving persistent and annoying phone calls and belonging to ViaCord. (http://800notes.com/Phone.aspx/1-617-577-0141/2, http://whocallsme.com/Phone-Number.aspx/6175770141) I have not asked to receive these phone calls. I did fill out one online give-away for free cord blood banking, but specifically indicated that I do not want to be contacted. I believe it is false and misleading to use a free giveaway promotion to gain some adhesion "permission" to call me, period. But particularly inappropriate to use this tactic to call on a repeated and harassing basis.) Even if I did want to be contacted, repeated "hang up" calls does not constitute a reasonable, appropriate or professional method of communication. I have voice mail on my phone for a reason. If anyone has anything important or relevant to say to me they can leave a voice mail, and if I have interest, time and resources to return the call, I will. It is an obviously harassing and predatory approach persistently calling people and not leave a message.

Desired Settlement: All I really want is not to be harassed by these calls. However, I would LOVE to see Via Cord change their policy (see above online links, it is clearly a policy) of making repeated, annoying, and harassing phone calls to individuals.

Business Response: ******* * **********; BBB Case # *******
 
Dear BBB Rep Name:
 
We received the complaint set forth above through the Complaint Management System of www.bosbbb.org. By way of background, ViaCord, LLC, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of PerkinElmer, Inc., a publicly-traded life sciences and optoelectronics company based in Waltham, Massachusetts. ViaCord’s business has two parts. One part involves the research and development of umbilical cord and adult-derived stem cell product candidates to treat significant diseases. The other is our reproductive health business. A major component of our reproductive health business is a service offering through which expectant families can preserve their babies’ umbilical cord blood and tissue for possible future medical use. Client Name complaint relates to our ViaCord service offering.

******* ********** has alleged that she received repeated and unsolicited calls from ViaCord after she requested to be removed from the Sales call list on the ViaCord website. We have since removed Mrs. ********** phone number and address from all Sales manual call, auto-dialer and mail lists in the ViaCord database.  We consider ourselves to be a customer-friendly and focused company and, absent truly extenuating circumstances, are not inclined to engage in disputes with our customers. I have looked into this matter. In doing so, I found there was a glitch that prevented her request from being properly processed. The error has since been corrected and Mrs. **********’s info was immediately removed from our system. While an error occurred, there was no indication that we knowingly engaged in any improper, inappropriate or unlawful conduct.
 
We sincerely regret any inconvenience that ******* ********** experienced during their interactions with our ViaCord team. Given that her removal request has been processed and the processing error has been corrected, we respectfully request that the matter be closed and that the amicable resolution of this matter be noted in our file.

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

3/17/2012 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: My daughter was born in February 2, 2010 at which time we enrolled in the Viacord stem cell storage services. We utilized the service for a short period of time only to realize that the services were not necessary and that we needed to cancel the service. My husband and I cancelled the service around August of 2010. We contacted Viacord who's customer service representative advised us that the services would be cancelled and that he was sorry that we felt the need to cancel. The customer service agent was not rude or demeaning in anyway however, he DID NOT! advise us of any additional fees or cancellation fees required to opt out of the program. Viacord no longer debited our account just as the agent stated. However, TWO YEARS LATER on February 9 2012 we received a debit to our personal banking account of $125.00 from Viacord with no explanation or authorization. At first we thought we were the victims of fraudulent activities. On January 31, 2012, I received an email from Viacord asking me to fill out a Survey on how the experience was. I have not filled out the survey as of yet but fully intend to after this matter is resolved. Their has been NO activity from this company prior to the survey request, no letters, no statements, no emails, no phone calls of any type to even notify us that we owed any money or that they would be debiting our account for any amount. We were under the impression that no further dealings with this company was required. We live check to check just as many people in this economy are doing and we have been completely caught off guard by this charge. As I stated earlier, we cancelled their services over TWO YEARS ago and had no reason to believe that they would result to utilizing our personal banking information without our authorization or consent. Because of their actions, we are seeking your assistance in having our money refunded and a formal letter stating that no further activity will occur in the future. I hope this letter is posted on your site so that others may be cautious about giving their personal banking information to companies regardless of how well the discounts for direct debit maybe. Sincerely, ***** ********

Desired Settlement: I would like a complete refund of the debited amount of $125.00 and a letter of apology for not attempting to contact us or inform us that any fees were due. If they were able to submit a survey request they should have easily informed us that a charge was due. Certainly not two years after a customer cancels a service should a business debit a previous customers account without authorization or notification. This just seems like extremely poor management.

Business Response:

***** ********; BBB Case # *******
 
Dear BBB Rep Name:
 
We received the complaint set forth above through the Complaint Management System of www.bosbbb.org. By way of background, ViaCord, LLC, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of PerkinElmer, Inc., a publicly-traded life sciences and optoelectronics company based in Waltham, Massachusetts. ViaCord’s business has two parts. One part involves the research and development of umbilical cord and adult-derived stem cell product candidates to treat significant diseases. The other is our reproductive health business. A major component of our reproductive health business is a service offering through which expectant families can preserve their babies’ umbilical cord blood and tissue for possible future medical use. Venus ********’s complaint relates to our ViaCord service offering.
 
Mrs. ******** has alleged that she was inappropriately and unexpectedly charged a $125 ViaCord storage fee two years after she cancelled her account. We at ViaCord consider ourselves to be a customer-friendly and focused company and, absent truly extenuating circumstances, are not inclined to engage in disputes with our customers. I have looked into this matter. In doing so, I found no indication of any improper, inappropriate or unlawful conduct. Mrs. ******** contacted ViaCord on Nov 11 2010 and requested to cancel her account. She was advised by a Finance Rep that there was a balance on her account and (per the contract that they signed on 2.2.10) the account must be in good standing to close out. Mrs. ******** was also advised that as there was a blood sample stored in the ViaCord Processing Lab, she must determine a disposition for the sample. ViaCord cannot legally destroy or move a stem cell sample without signed documentation from a customer giving permission. A termination agreement was mailed to the family on that date, but Mrs. ******** failed to return it. The termination agreement clearly spells out all the items needed to properly cancel an account. Mrs. ******** has never settled her billed or advised ViaCord about her disposition intentions. Her sample is still stored in our facility and her contract is still active.
 
ViaCord has made (and still continues to make) several attempts to collect payment on this account. .

Three past due notices were mail to her between 10.10 and 12.10.
Five declined credit card notifications were mailed to her between 9.10 and 1.11
Eleven automated past due messages were left between 10.10 and 11.10.
Ten additional automated past due calls were attempted from 12.1.10 to 12.17.10, but no one answer and voice mail failed to engage.
Several more automated past due calls were made after 12.28.10, but the phone number on file came back as disconnected.
Two annual storage notifications were mailed in 11.10 and 11.11
Mrs. ******** was sent to collections on 1.15.11. The collection agency than made separate efforts to reach Mrs. ******** to settle her balance.
Two annual storage bills were mailed in 2.11 and 2.12

One thing to note is that Mrs. ********’s past due account/status have not been reported to a Credit Bureau. Her late payments (and current non payments) will not negatively affect her credit score or history.
 
After Mrs. ******** filed her complaint with the Better Business Bureau, I made several unsuccessful attempts to reach her to resolve this matter. I called her at the phone number provided for this complaint and left messages requesting that she call me back. She has yet to return any of my calls. ViaCord would like to resolve this matter. We merely need the customer to follow the proper steps to close her account.
 
We sincerely regret any inconvenience that Venus ******** experienced during her interactions with our ViaCord Team. Given that Mrs. ******** has not responded to any of my calls for resolution, we respectfully request that the matter be closed. 
 

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

1/19/2012 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: My first son was born on October 28, 2009 ("Baby #1"). Prior to Baby #1's birth I entered into an agreement with Viacord to bank his cord blood. Prior to the service I asked multiple questions about the service including several questions about costs. The primary reason we chose Viacord was because my wife's OB was part of the Viacord network. I was satisfied with the service for Baby #1. My second son was born on December 27, 2011 ("Baby #2"). Prior to Baby #2's birth I again entered into an agreement with Viacord to bank his cord blood. I again asked questions about costs and if there were any discounts available because my wife's OB was part of the Viacord network (the same OB for baby #1). The sales person had all the information for my wife's doctor from Baby #1's blood banking. I had asked if there was anything different in terms of cost or otherwise than Baby #1's cord blood banking experience and the answer provided was "No". Baby #2's cord blood was collected at birth and sent to Viacord's storage facility at a cost of $1,750. I then received a bill from my wife's OB for $250 for collecting the cord blood. I was not charged for the collection for Baby #1. I have now learned that my wife's OB is no longer part of the Viacord network in which Viacord pays the doctor a referral fee for patient's that select Viacord for cord blood banking. I contacted Viacord and spoke to Doug Wineburger who refused to do anything about the charge from the OB. He said that Viacord does not feel it is responsible to inform customers that they may be charged by a third party for the collection of the cord blood. I find this to be unfair sales practices and Viacord has a duty to disclose to the customer verbally that there may be other charges from the OB. Although Mr. Wineburger does not believe Viacord is responsible for informing customers of third party fees, Viacord does provide for this warning in the fine print of their contract. The failure to disclose potential costs is particularly poor practices given that the sales person never told me that my wife's OB was no longer part of the Viacord network and would not receive a referral fee which could result in additional charges.

Desired Settlement: Viacord should reimburse me $250 for the cost of the cord blood collection. they should also make it a policy to let customers know that there may be other charges.

Business Response: ********* ******-*****; BBB Case # *******
 
Dear BBB Rep Name:
 
We received the complaint set forth above through the Complaint Management System of www.bosbbb.org. By way of background, ViaCord, LLC, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of PerkinElmer, Inc., a publicly-traded life sciences and optoelectronics company based in Waltham, Massachusetts. ViaCord’s business has two parts. One part involves the research and development of umbilical cord and adult-derived stem cell product candidates to treat significant diseases. The other is our reproductive health business. A major component of our reproductive health business is a service offering through which expectant families can preserve their babies’ umbilical cord blood and tissue for possible future medical use. ********* ******-*****’s complaint relates to our ViaCord service offering.
 
Mr. -***** has alleged that he was inappropriately charged a $250 collection fee by his OB. ViaCord does not control or determine whether a Physician will charge a Patient for their services. We inform our Clients that it is a possibility and ultimately recommend that they discuss the matter directly with their Physician. ViaCord clearly states this in our contract. The *****s filled out and signed their contract on 12.21.11. While we do not claim responsibility for the charge, we have since credited the family $250. Providing credits or refunds in these types of situations is not atypical. We consider ourselves to be a customer-friendly and focused company and, absent truly extenuating circumstances, are not inclined to engage in disputes with our customers. I have looked into this matter. In doing so, I found no indication of any improper, inappropriate or unlawful conduct. Our customers are informed that there Physician may charge a collection fee in association with their stem cell collection.
 
We sincerely regret any inconvenience that ********* ******-***** experienced during their interactions with our ViaCord team. Given that the termination fee has been refunded in full, we respectfully request that the matter be closed and that the amicable resolution of this matter be noted in our file.

BBB's Final Determination: Consumer accepted resolution offered by the business.

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