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Phone: (808) 589-2800 Fax: (808) 597-1651 1750 Kalakaua Ave # 201-3534, Honolulu, HI 96826
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Richway International offers ultrasonic facial & body care, health & beauty services.
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A BBB Accredited Business since
BBB has determined that Richway International, Inc. 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 13 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.
Factors that affect the rating for Richway International, Inc. include:
- Length of time business has been operating
- Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size
- Response to 4 complaint(s) filed against business
- Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business
Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details
|Complaint Type||Total Closed Complaints|
|Problems with Product/Service||4|
|Total Closed Complaints||4|
Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews
|Customer Experience||Total Customer Reviews|
|Total Customer Reviews||0|
Licensing, Bonding or Registration
This business is in an industry that may require professional licensing, bonding or registration. BBB encourages you to check with the appropriate agency to be certain any requirements are currently being met.
These agencies may include:
State of Hawaii Department of Taxation
PO Box 1425, Honolulu HI 96806
Phone Number: (808) 587-4242
The number is W20233172-01.
Type of Entity
Business ManagementMr. Calvin Kim, President Renee Inouye, Sales Mr. Raymond Kim, Operations Manager
Beauty Supplies & Equipment Commercial Products Wholesale & Distributor Skin Care
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BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview
BBB Customer Reviews Rating represents the customers opinions of the business. The Customer Review Rating is based on the number of positive, neutral and negative customer reviews posted that are calculated to produce a score.
|Customer Review Experience||Value|
|Positive Review||5 points per review|
|Neutral Review||3 points per review|
|Negative Review||1 point per review|
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Problems with Product/Service
Read Complaint Details
Complaint: On 09/12/14 we took delivery from *** of a ***** ****** incurring **port duties of £989.74 on top of the purchase price. Problems occurred after 10-11 months in that the alarm on the controller on the right side came on, the left side working perfectly well. The Company took back the faulty ******, which they could not repair, sending us a new one and the alarm on the controller came on for both sides. Photographic evidence was supplied and via Theresa the following emails were received:- 29/01/16 in which she confirmed referring to owner and Operations Manager. 04/02/16 in which she confirmed that management were reviewing the case. 05/02/16 in which she confirmed that management had agreed a refund for the cost of a new ******, excluding **port duties of $3500.00 05/02/16 in which she confirmed having scheduled *** to collect on Tuesday, 09/02/16. 09/02/16 Calvin K** appears for the first t**e reneging on the above legally binding agreement without any apology for cancelling *** collection. The ****** should be with the company and the agreement for refund of $3500.00 wired into my bank account should be earning interest instead of which Calvin K** President is emailing personally in what can best be described as pigeon English with numerous grammatical errors which google initially put into junk and which we wrongly thought to be spoof mail. He knows that we are retired pensioners who invested in this product for health reasons, the current situation making us ill as he does not seem to understand or want to understand his own company`s liability if we have to instruct a law firm. We can honestly say that this is the worst situation we have ever found ourselves in and because of Calvin K** brining the company into disrepute we do not feel that your logo should be displayed.
Desired Settlement: Abide by the legally enforceable agreement. Reinstruct *** to collect **mediately and upon receipt wire the sum of $3500.00 into the bank, details already supplied, other**** face a cla** for damages for breach of contract to include storage charges and costs etc.,
Dear Ms. **** ********
Thank you for your mail with very good news.
And I appreciate your good help and make this case close well.
I wish Richway's customer service will make our valuable customer Ms. ******* **** happy.
We will send "UPS" return sticker to her,
When she received this sticker, she put that sticker on her old Biomat Box and call UPS to pick it up.
Then UPS will send to us.
After she confirm to send old Biomat shipping, we will send repaired product to her from EU country...
So, she does not need to pay anything as Custom duty or etc.
When you send me confirmation of above conditions, we will send her UPS sticker immediately.
We accept and await UPS sticker.
Problems with Product/Service
Read Complaint Details
Complaint: My 10 page registered letter dated September 11, 2014 to President and CEO Jeanna *** of Richway International enquiring about numerous major discrepancies between her products advertised claims and the products actual performance was not even acknowledged, never mind explained as requested. Yet Richways corporate mission statement is: We strive to be loving, caring human beings, and we teach what weve learned to anyone open to it. Yet when I put my hand up to learn, the CEO didnt even acknowledge my letter. Richway's mission statement also refers to integrity and scientific advancements, yet the scientific explanations given for the product are either baseless, or contradictory, or illogical, or incomprehensible. The product (******) is a heating pad supposedly delivering a wide range of major therapeutic benefits through far infrared rays, negative ions, and amethyst crystals "powers". List of issues (which will fit into the word limit of this form):1)Pad supposed to generate temperatures to 158 and cause profuse sweating, but in use I shivered in cold. Even under layers of comforters and doonas, no sweating happened.2)The back and seat of the heat pad produced very different temperatures, although this is impossible according to the companys description of how the technology works.3)Different Richway brochures give different depths of penetration of far infrared rays, each contradicting the next.4)Corporate ads apparently pass off the research results of a very different product type as applying to their own product.5)Seemingly garbled, contradictory, illogical claims about the product being a negative ion generator.6)Many spectacular but scientifically impossible (and unproven) claims for the therapeutic effects of amethysts, accompanied by ridiculous and misleading photo illustrations7)Corporate information refers to "safe" time and temperature exposure levels, but will not disclose what the potential health hazard in usage is if "safe" limits are exceeded.
Desired Settlement: Would prefer a genuine, credible explanation to a refund, but if no credible explanation is forthcoming, then a refund. All I have asked company for is a reasonable explanation of numerous unexplained, contradictory, illogical, unscientific, discrepant advertised claims. As a person living outside the US (but an American citizen), I would like to know the relevant American regulatory authority, if any, which has statutory responsibility for investigating fraudulent therapeutical advertisements.
I would like to apologize for the lack of clarity in my originalresponse to you. Mrs. *** had opened and read the letterand delegated me to respond.It is our standard protocol to evaluate customer complaints and attempt to determine the root cause of the problem reported. Therefore, your letter was routed throughour complaint management system, which is my area of responsibility. When Ms. *** submitted your complaint, she advised that the ****t priority was to assist you
with your concerns about the product you received. After reviewing your complaint, it appeared that the issues you were experiencing may have been due to a possible manufacturing error, based on your statement that the *****at did not appear to be heating properly. Our review of your complaintrequired we examineall your elements,which takes time; hence the delay in our communication with you. If you feel that the time was extensive, we sincerely apologize.
COMPLAINT ID ********
RESPONSE TO RICHWAY & **** *** ***. from *** ********
January 21, 2014
The Richway Group has addressed its reply to my complaint to me personally. I am not sure now whether to address my comments to that reply directly to The Richway Group or to the BBB. Since this is a process conducted by the BBB, I have decided to address my comments to the BBB. By doing so, I can also avoid directly confronting Quality Assurance Manager Janelle H*****, who is obviously doing her very best in the circumstances, but as an employee does not have the full autonomy which CEO Jeanna *** has.
One reason I addressed my original enquiry/complaint to CEO Jeanna *** (September 11, 2014) was that she alone has this autonomy. I also addressed my letter to Jeanna *** because I felt the total weight and mass of the issues raised went well beyond an issue which could be dealt with as a matter of routine by Customer Service, as cumulatively the issues call into the question the direction of the company as administered from the CEO level.
No customer who addresses a letter to the CEO of a company expects to receive a reply from the CEO. The letter is addressed to the CEO so that the CEO takes responsibility for whatever response is produced by the appropriate employee delegated by the CEO to respond. In her response, Ms H***** has not actually explained why Ms. *** never replied to my letter. Clearly the issues raised in my letter were and are of high importance to the administration of the company, as Ms. H***** has described my critical queries as “great points”, and has conceded that 8 of the issues I raised were well-founded criticisms.
The Richway Group’s admissions (so far) are:
My enquiry/complaint to Ms. *** has obviously caused such a shake-up in the company that The Richway Group has (as a result of my complaint to the BBB) self-reported its own false claims in its promotional brochures to the FDA, no doubt pre-emptively. No company would be happy about having to take such a major step.
So it is important to this complaint process to know why Ms. *** ignored my letter, which raised many issues of now acknowledged importance to the administration of her company, particularly as the corporate mission statement includes this promise: “….we teach what we’ve learned to anyone who is open to it”. Ms. H***** left me with the “explanation” that her boss is a busy person, and that “in most cases” Ms. *** does not respond directly to customers’ letters.
This does not explain why I never received a reply at all from The Richway Group to my letter filled with “great points”. Is Ms. *** too busy to open her mail? My letter was registered, so would stand out from mail received in an ordinary envelope. Indeed someone at Richway would have had to sign for my letter. A registered letter is almost always a sign that the contents have a legal significance. Did she open my letter but never read it? Did she read it but decide not to reply? Did she neglect to delegate Ms. H***** to reply to it? A specific reply to these questions is necessary to understand why The Richway Group’s practices and claims are below acceptable business standards.
I would not raise these questions now except that I am left in no better position than I was in before writing to CEO *** and after Ms. H*****’s reply in some detail to my original letter to Ms. ***. Ms. H*****’s reply has not cleared up any of the major issues in the credibility of Richway’s promotional claims. Instead, her reply has raised more concerns. In this context, the reason why Ms. *** did not organise a response in the ****t place becomes significant.
In her reply, Ms. H***** transfers much of the blame to Richway’s distributors. But I had exactly the same queries and criticisms prior to buying a ****** that I articulated in my letter to CEO ***. So prior to purchase I sounded out 5 American ****** distributors and one in Australia. Most of them informed me, in other words, that they had the same concerns as myself and had tried to ascertain the facts through head office, but management was no more responsive to the distributors’ concerns and queries than to me.
I mentioned in my letter to Ms. *** that there is a ****** website that sets out a case for the ****** being superior to an infrared sauna. Ms. H***** implies in her reply that before I raised this issue, Richway was unaware of this claim by a distributor. Yet despite stating that such a claim “may” have been made on a distributor’s website (implying she is not certain, presumably because she doesn’t definitely know which distributor “may” have made this claim on a website), in the second half of the very same sentence Ms. H***** makes it clear she knows exactly which website it is, “and will handle accordingly”. This is just one of many revealing contradictions in Ms. H*****’s letter.
The website she (and I) were and are referring to is the most dominant ****** presence on the internet. It is so dominant it takes some doing to find alternative distributors via the internet. Even Richway’s own website is a minor presence on the internet compared with the dominant ****** website operated by a distributorship conducted by a married couple.
I myself have no complaint or criticism of any ****** distributor. Of those I have spoken with, all impressed me as intelligent and trying very hard to persuasively represent an excellent product they all believe in. In the case of the distributor who tried to argue that ******s are superior to infrared saunas, I have no objection to his trying to make such a case for his own product, since he attempted to use reason, logic, and evidence to reach his conclusion. My only remark was that I was not convinced by his case, and the reason is that he has not been given the necessary evidence he needs to prove his case, which only ****** head office could provide.
Despite my scepticism about the promotional advertising material produced by Richway and its distributors, the concept of the ****** product appealed (still appeals) to me greatly, and there were many convincing testimonials from satisfied customers. I therefore decided to personally experience the product for which such amazing and beautiful claims were being made.
A major fact in my decision to buy a ****** was the prominent presence of the BBB in Richway’s corporate brochures. In three of the four Richway brochures I have, the Better Business Bureau of Hawaii name and logo is prominently featured in the top corner of the front cover of their promotional material. (Less impressively, Richway has copied the famous Ferrari shield for its own corporate logo, merely replacing a rearing horse with a charging bull.)
I will now explain why Ms. H*****’s letter, for all its positive tone, has not adequately addressed the issues of concern I have raised:
In reply to this issue, Ms. H***** has not a) explained either the science or the technology of how ******s produce negative ions. All she has left me with is a statement that “we agree with your suggestion that our materials require more information so prospective customers will understand what negative ions are, how they are beneficial, and how the technology works, and we are always working on our marketing materials to provide information and clarity.”
If Richway will not or cannot explain to customers in their advertising brochures how the negative ion-generating technology works in its product, and will not or cannot provide such an explanation to a customer who has written to the CEO specifically for an explanation of this technology, then Richway has created the strong possibility that the negative ion therapy of their ******s is a(nother) false claim.
Whether or not Richway’s Quality Assurance Manager is herself in a position to explain her product’s negative ion technology, she should at least be in a position to assure me through a scientific report that her product actually produces negative ions, and in sufficient quantity to produce the results claimed by Richway. Without such scientific testing, how can Richway make any claims about the healing power of its product? Yet such scientific testing appears to be conspicuous in its absence.
This issue is important because the ****** is claimed by Richway to be therapeutic for just about every major specific disease there is, and negative ion generation is supposed to be one of three ways in which ******s deliver amazingly effective healing therapy.
All I can find in Richway’s informational brochures is a claim that a) amethysts generate negative ions, and b) otherwise something to do with Nobel Prize-winning science, which Richway doesn’t even attempt to explain.
In Ms. H*****’s statement of reply as quoted two paragraphs above, Ms. H***** has also omitted from her agreement to my suggestion for more information on ****** negative ion technology b) the issue of whether ******s produce sufficient negative ions to be significantly therapeutic.
Richway’s promotional information does, I believe, provide enough information on what negative ions are and how they are beneficial. So I mildly disagree with Ms. H***** about this. But what is conspicuously missing from the information provided to customers by Richway is a) how ******s generate negative ions and b) what scientific research exists to justify Richway’s claim that its ******s are effective in treating and preventing a wide range of serious medical conditions through negative ion generation, or at least what scientific testing has quantified the level of negative ions generated by the ****** which reach the ****** user.
Richway has now had three opportunities to provide an explanation of how a) a mattress can generate negative ions, and b) on what scientific evidence it can claim that whatever negative ions may be generated are in sufficient quantity to heal many diseases therapeutically.
The ****t opportunity was avoided by Richway in its glossy, high quality informational brochures and on its own website. This is information which should also be present on the websites and informational brochures of Richway’s distributors as well.
The second opportunity to provide information for a) and b) was avoided by CEO ***, who made the decision not to personally respond to my queries, or to delegate Ms. H***** to respond to my queries, perhaps because she knew it would mean making many changes to the way her company has been doing business.
Richway’s third opportunity was provided by my complaint to the BBB of Hawaii. Ms. H*****’s response fails again to actually provide an answer to my major query on negative ion generation in ******s. Instead, Ms. H***** merely thanks me for suggesting that Richway improve its explanation of what negative ions are and how they are beneficial, and how the technology works.
If The Richway Group does not understand how its own technology works, such that it can’t even provide an explanation of how its own technology works when directly requested for this information by a customer, then it raises the strong possibility that it doesn’t have the technology to generate negative ions as it claims. Apparently, Richway hasn’t even done any scientific testing to ascertain or confirm that its product is producing negative ions, and in sufficient numbers to be medically significant.
And as Ms. H***** is not even undertaking to specify to customers or to me at any vague future time whether ******s actually generate negative ions in provable therapeutic quantity, then this raises the strong possibility even higher that Richway’s claims about the therapeutic powers of its negative ion-generating ******s are as misleading as its many claims about the therapeutic powers of the amethysts in its ******s.
Ms. H***** can’t quite bring herself to admit that Richway’s “marketing materials” contain major misleading claims: “We realize that the way in which it [Richway’s amethyst therapy] was presented may [my emphasis] be reflected as a claim….” Ms. H*****’s use of “may” implies that it also may not be a claim. And the use of the word “reflected” implies that any such claim may be just the personal interpretation of the prospective customer.
In fact, Richway has made not just a single ambiguously worded statement which prospective customers may personally interpret to be a claim, as Ms. H***** misleadingly asserts, but multiple extravagant claims about the healing powers of amethysts for a wide range of diseases and mental states – claims so extravagant that it would even be impossible to test them scientifically. And Richway’s claims about amethyst’s healing powers are unqualified, presented authoritatively.
In her BBB reply, Ms. H***** qualifies the value of amethyst as a healing stone and presents any benefit as anecdotal: “….there are many people who believe and have experienced the benefits from Amethyst and other semi-precious stones”. But in Richway’s promotional advertising this important qualification that a non-specific number of people believe they have experienced benefit from proximity to amethyst is not there. This means that any benefit from amethyst is vague and anecdotal. What about the people who have not experienced healing benefits from exposure to amethyst? Are they taken into account? Does Richway have any knowledge of the percentage of people who have tried amethyst therapy and found it beneficial in comparison with people who have tried amethyst therapy and found it to be not beneficial?
Following are the claims Richway has made for the amethysts inside ******s:
These claims - not qualified in any way - can be found in Richway’s informational brochures given to prospective customers to help them come to a decision about buying ****** products. For example:
Right next to a large photo of a smiling woman in a white lab coat with The Richway Group black block on the lab coat breast, posing with very large gem collectors-quality amethyst crystals on the microscope stage, Richway’s brochure asserts unequivocally:
“The world’s best source of Amethyst is in Korea [what about Brazil?]. Amethyst crystals are most famous for their power to detoxify the body from alcohol and other harmful elements.
“Amethyst also produces Far Infrared Rays. These Far Infrared Rays (FIR) revitalize biological functions of cells to help promote blood circulation and perspiration, provide relief from neuralgia, backaches and arthritis, and eliminate toxins. Far Infrared Rays provide relaxation, antibacterial effects and purification of the air.”
In another brochure advertising Richway’s Amethyst Pillow, Richway makes the following unequivocal and medically authoritative claims for amethysts:
“…..Amethyst can be used to treat toothaches, skeletal discomforts, posture and other bone and joint-related sickness (like arthritis). Amethyst also cures problems within the stomach and digestive tract, the heart and hearing disorders. It has been known to treat various types of blood disease, and helps to balance blood sugar. Amethyst, as a healing stone or crystal, is used to treat and heal problems involving the central nervous system. Amethyst is a treatment for both convulsions and neuralgia.
“Some other qualities it possesses are:
These statements are placed in a Richway brochure next to a photo of a “scientist” in a white lab coat, protectively defended by germ mask, safety glasses, gloves, and plastic hair protector as used by surgeons in operating theatres. This highly protected “scientist” is squeezing an empty dropper into a test tube filled with what looks like a radioactive yellow liquid. Never mind that neither amethysts, nor negative ions, nor far infrared rays are liquid, fluorescent yellow, toxic, or would ever appropriately fill a test tube, Richway makes other unequivocal claims about amethysts next to this strangely inappropriate pseudo-scientific image:
“Amethyst is universally accepted [my emphasis] as the healing crystal, and has been since ancient times.”
“Amethyst is found to heal and align ailments.”
“Besides being a stone of tranquillity and repose, Amethyst is also known to enhance mental strength, stability, and vigor. It is also effective in protecting the mind from psychic attacks [this is not a concept known to science], and transforming negative energy into that of positive and tranquil tenacity.”
This brochure also includes another paragraph of claims for the therapeutic powers of amethysts which I will not reproduce here, as hopefully it is clear enough that Richway has been much more specific and authoritative than merely make claims for amethysts in such a way that “the way in which it was presented may be reflected as a claim…….”, as Ms. H***** has claimed in her BBB reply.
It is generally considered that the hottest place in the world is Death Valley, California, where a peak temperature recorded historically was a mere 134°F. This absolute peak temperature at the hottest place on Earth is 24° lower than the maximum temperature which Richway claims can be projected deep into the body of the ****** user at the touch of its controller. Can anyone imagine a person trapped in Death Valley desert heat shivering rather than sweating?
Ms. H***** deals with this impossible situation ****t by explaining that the maximum heat of each ****** varies from the advertised 158°F by as much as 4° either way. That is, quality control is so precarious that the maximum heat might only be 154° or as much as 162°, depending on which unit you receive in the mail.
This lack of standardised temperature between mats is not something that Richway informs its customers about. If this quite large variation between mats is acknowledged at all in the company’s information brochures, it must be in very fine print. I could not find such an important admission in any of the Richway brochures I was given.
Ms. H***** explains that all ******s are subjected to temperature testing during production. Therefore, there can be no purpose in testing the temperature output now, as Ms. H***** has proposed, either with a heat gun or thermometer, or by returning it to the factory. If the testing was done during the production stage, as Ms. H***** has claimed, then there is no point in testing the temperature now.
Ms. H***** casually suggests I use a heat gun to test the mat temperature. How many ****** customers would own a heat gun? I’ve never even heard of a heat gun before. It’s not an instrument normally kept on standby in the home. I do have a thermometer at home, but a thermometer is designed to be inserted into a body orifice or in the armpit, covered by the arm. There is no body orifice in the ****** to insert a thermometer into, and needless to say no armpit either.
The best I could do would be to fold the ****** over on itself, sandwiching the thermometer in between. But is a thermometer, which is a glass wand with a quantity of mercury encapsulated, going to react like the human body? According to Richway’s explanation of FIR heat, it is a very different heat from, say, the heat created by an electric or gas burner on a frying pan. From the Richway advertising brochures:
“Unlike an electric blanket, the mat does not get hot when it is turned on [my emphasis]. However, if you lie down on it, it warms the inside of your body [my emphasis] and the part of the pad making contact with your skin gets warm.”
“The heat comes from friction generated within the body through the effects of Far Infrared Rays [my emphasis].”
“A pleasant warming sensation is felt within your body. It feels as if the heat is coming from the inside out. This is basically true since the Long Wave Infrared Rays do penetrate about 6 inches into your body.”
So the mat itself is not heated to 158°. Rather the FIRs penetrate the body as light waves and cause the body cells to resonate internally, and this resonance supposedly generates heat to the dialled temperature inside the body. I can’t believe that a thermometer, which is a glass wand containing only mercury, is going to resonate exactly like the flesh and blood cells of the human body when penetrated by ****. Thermometers were designed and are calibrated to measure internal body temperature, not their own internal temperature. So how can a glass stick resting on the surface of a heating pad, which never itself gets hot but rather projects light rays that agitate human body cells internally to produce heat, meaningfully measure the temperature inside the human body as projected into the body by the special friction influence of ****? From a scientific point of view, Ms. H*****’s proposed solution sounds breathtakingly nonsensical, if Richway’s explanation of its FIR technology is taken at face value.
For the same reason, the special properties of FIR heat, as described in the Richway brochures, mean that there should be no difference between the back and seat temperatures of the *******, which is the ****** type I have: “Unlike an electric blanket, the ****** does not get hot when it is turned on. The heat comes from friction generated within the body through the effects of Far Infrared Rays.”
The ******* is designed with a back and a seat, and a fold line between them. Ms. H***** suggests that I may have confused the back from the front of my *******. I haven’t. I realise that only one side of the mat is active. However, there is a major difference between the heat generated by the back half and the heat generated by the seat, and yet there should be no difference.
In Ms. H*****’s (contradictory) reply to this, she starts out by saying that “if the ‘back and seat’ of the ****** is referring to the ****** while it is set up in a chair, the ‘seat’ tends [my emphasis] to generate more heat through the weight that is distributed onto the ******.” But in the very next sentence she goes on to contradict and correct herself: “However, the temperatures should essentially be the same.”
But they aren’t, and that’s the issue. The temperatures at the back and seat are very different if the ******* is set up in a chair. And different again if the ******* covers the front of the torso when the user is lying on his back. I would estimate perhaps a twentyfold difference in heat between the back and the seat portions of the ******. If the ****** is just a heating pad, then this large differential makes sense. As Ms. H***** herself explains, the weight distributed over the seat magnifies the heat. But if the heat in ******s is truly generated by FIR technology, and the ****** is not just a normal heating pad, then the back and seat should generate equal warmth in the back and seat of the user, as Ms. H***** acknowledges, because the **** are being projected into the user’s body as light waves and agitating the cells therein, with weight distribution being irrelevant.
Since the back and seat don’t generate equal warmth, and there is instead a huge differential between the two, the most likely explanation for this discrepancy is that the ****** is just a heating pad, and Richway’s claimed FIR technology is yet another false claim, to add to probable false claims of negative ion generation and amethyst therapy as capable of healing just about any and every human disease.
So it is highly important that a very different amount of heat is generated between the back and seat of the *******. This is because according to the theory of ****, which is explained by Richway in its advertising material, there should be no variation in temperature if the ****** is used in seat profile or underneath the user, or on top of the user. As I have experienced major variations in all these different positions, and as the heat generated by the ****** has never approached the 158°F showing on the controller, the actual temperatures and **** generated by ******s are called into question. Whether ******s even produce a significant level of **** – or any **** - is also called into question, as my user experience is inconsistent with the theory of how **** work (as explained in Richway’s own brochures).
Ms. H***** claims that “******’s user’s manual states that with the use of the ******, one ‘may [my emphasis] sweat profusely’”. I have read through my user’s manual four times now, and I have been unable to find this statement that not all users will find the ****** experience makes them sweat profusely. Instead, I can only quote from Richway’s prospective customer information brochures that customers will sweat intensely when using their ******, as sweating is the major sign that the ****** is working as designed.
In one of its major large format customer information brochures (12 pages), Richway explains how **** work:
“Combined with the elimination of toxins and waste produced by the intense sweating [my emphasis], your overall health and resistance to disease is increased.”
“The profuse sweating [my emphasis] achieved after just a few minutes on the ****** carries off deeply imbedded impurities….”
“Combined with the elimination of toxins and waste produced by the intense sweating [my emphasis], your overall health and resistance to disease is increased.”
“Daily sweating [my emphasis] can help detoxify your body as it rids itself of an accumulation of potentially carcinogenic heavy metals, as well as alcohol, nicotine, sodium, sulphuric acid and cholesterol.”
Nowhere in its manual or informational brochures does Richway give an advisory that some “body types” which do not sweat will not benefit from the purchase of a ******. Yet Ms. H***** claims to know that such non-sweating body types exist. I therefore request to know which body types she is referring to, and why a necessary advisory about this is not included in Richway informational material.
Whatever these non-sweating “body types” may be, I certainly do not have such a body type. I explicitly and thoroughly explained to CEO *** in my original letter that my body’s reaction to exercise, heat, and extra clothing in full detail. To repeat myself, I sweat when it is hot even when not exercising, and I sweat when I exercise even when it is cold. I can even sweat in winter just walking slowly when the temperature is as low as 40°F if I am wearing a low-tech down jacket. ******s are high-tech, yet do not generate enough heat to make me sweat even under a heavy comforter, whereas in contrast a low-tech down jacket even in cold winter weather makes me sweat. In the past, during childhood illnesses, I have sweated when my body temperature reached just 100°F. Yet I produce no sweat when the ****** temperature is set at 158°F. What does this say about Richway’s claims for ****** technology?
Richway would readily agree that if I’m not sweating then I’m not getting all the claimed benefits of a ******. Sweating is required for the ****** technology to work, as I quote from Richway brochures:
“As it works to combat the fever, your body’s immune system is strengthened. Combined with the elimination of toxins and waste produced by the intense sweating, your overall health and resistance to disease is increased.”
“Far Infrared Rays’ deep heat raises your body temperature, inducing an artificial fever [my emphasis]. As it works to combat the fever, your body’s immune system is strengthened.”
“The deep heat of your Amethyst ****** helps peripheral blood vessels dilate, bringing relief and healing to muscles and soft tissue injuries. Increased blood circulation carries off metabolic waste products and delivers oxygen-rich blood to oxygen-depleted muscles, so they recover faster.”
“Increases Blood Circulation and Strengthens the Cardiovascular System. As your body increases sweat production to cool itself, your heart works harder pumping blood at a greater rate to boost circulation.”
“Perspiration is directly related to body temperature. The Long Wave Infrared Rays penetrate deeply into our skin, and they eliminate waste materials through skin pores. They promote good blood circulation which helps cure hangovers, fatigue, and arthralgia. When the body’s temperature rises, perspiration begins to help control the body’s temperature. The evaporation of 1 gram of water takes about 0.6 Kcal of heat away; therefore, the role of perspiration is very important in controlling our body temperature.”
So, according to Richway itself, if I’m not sweating I’m not benefiting as claimed from my ******.
And I’m not sweating. As a result, I stopped using my ****** altogether months ago.
One other seemingly glaring inconsistency or contradiction is that despite a claimed heat range starting at body temperature and going up to 158°F, Richway advertising brochures describe the experience of lying on a ****** as “gentle”, as in: “The gentle warmth of your Amethyst ****** gives you an overall massaging effect, soothing…..”
Yet if you flip to the next page of the brochure, it reads: “A lot of people give up during the ****t 60 minutes because it is difficult to withstand the heat.”
Flip the page of the same brochure again and you can read: “As you relax in the gentle heat of the ******, your body is actually hard at work, producing sweat, pumping blood and burning calories.” Please note that this sentence does not say you may possibly burn calories. It says you will. How can your body be stimulated to be “hard at work”, “pumping blood and burning calories” if the heat is only gentle? As Richway explains elsewhere close by in the brochure, “perspiration is directly related to body temperature”. So Richway seems to be “explaining” things in contradictory, nonsensical ways.
Flip the page again and Richway explains that the heat projected into your body is so high that it induces shock, which produces fundamental changes in the body identified as Heat Shock Protein. If the temperature is not high enough to stimulate the creation of Heat Shock Protein then the technology is not working for you.
So it is clear that the ****** is a composite of impossible opposites: gentle, relaxing, soothing heat simultaneous with literally shocking high heat that induces such “profuse”/”intense” sweating that the experience of lying on a ****** is, by Richway’s own admission in writing, almost unbearably hot and sweaty.
The strong impression given by all Richway brochures is that at best the company has no idea what it is manufacturing and selling, and that whatever it claims in its brochures is manipulative of prospective customers. In other words, Richway gives the appearance of saying whatever is going to sound persuasive to the prospective customer, even if the claims are contradictory, and therefore actually unbelievable.
Where does that leave me, a normal perspirer who found myself shivering when lying covered by a heavy comforter on a mattress in which the temperature was set to 158°F? I have experienced neither the unbearably hot and profusely perspiring claim not the gently relaxing, soothing claim.
On the inside cover of its largest informational brochure, Richway has featured an old engraving of a bust of Hippocrates, western civilisation’s founding doctor. Underneath the bust of Hippocrates is printed one of his famous principles of medicine: “Give me the power to produce fever, and I will cure all disease.” Next to the bust of Hippocrates is a gold-framed shield filled with amethyst crystals and the Richway symbol of a charging bull, with a gold swag across the amethysts reading “AMETHYST ******”. How am I supposed to participate in the fever cure if the ****** experience leaves me shivering?
If Richway would like to have my mat back to test, I will of course cooperate, but, as analysed above, I doubt very much the problem is that the unit is likely to be found “faulty” by Richway. In this context, I previously did have to send the controller I originally received back for a replacement because it was wandering all over the temperature scale rather than remaining at a set temperature.
But before going to the (further) expense and (further) inconvenience of sending the mat back to Richway, where is the scientific proof that the ****** produces negative ions and far infrared rays a) at all, and b) in sufficient quantities to be therapeutic?
Although Ms. H***** has given me a belated reply, I am still none the wiser about where and how the **** are generated in the ******, and whether they are produced in therapeutic quantities. Richway provides a diagram of the 17 numbered layers comprising the interior infrastructure of the ******. Layer 3 is described as amethyst (with tourmaline), yet in the diagram this layer shows as a textile material rather than a layer of amethysts and tourmalines. Layer 3’s function is described as “transfer of natural Far Infrared Rays”.
This would imply that the source of the ******’s **** is the amethyst/tourmaline layer. If so, what is the function of the temperature ranges produced apparently by electricity? According to the Richway explanation, the heat is supposed to be generated by ****, not electricity, as in a standard heating pad.
According to the Richway quotes above in this section, the temperature is not in the mat itself but rather projected deep into the user’s body on light waves. But if the **** are being generated by amethysts, or just a layer of textile material labelled amethyst, as Richway’s explanation seems to be saying, how does the increase of temperature through household electricity increase the temperature of the **** in the body of the user, if the **** are being generated by amethysts, which are not heating devices? And what role is played by the pockets of the small, irregular, unpolished amethysts filling an asymmetrically located strip on the surface of the ******?
If ****** technology works at all as claimed, it would seem that normal household electricity must be somehow transformed into ****. I say this because it is the agitation of interior cells through FIR light waves which is the explanation Richway gives for the creation of the heat inside the body to 158°F. A ****** is not supposed to be an ordinary heating pad temperature controlled by electricity. So how are light waves controlled so perfectly by ****** technology that they can reach any temperature being dialled up on the ****** controller? This mystery is not explained by Richway.
Nor does Richway explain where the many kilos of amethyst crystals enter this explanation of FIR generation. According to the Richway explanation, amethyst crystals generate ****. But how does ****** technology harness and precisely control the crystals so that they generate the exact dialled temperatures inside the body of the ****** user?
The amethyst stones are enclosed in little bundles in separate pockets running asymmetrically down the surface of the ******. Where and what is the connection between these isolated stones and the electricity flowing into the ****** from the wall socket? What is the technology which commands these clumps of loose stones in their isolated pockets to precisely radiate light waves into the body of the ****** user so that body cells are agitated to produce exact internal temperatures up to 158° as dialled by the user on his controller? How are these internal cellular temperatures even measured? And since the amethyst stones are located asymmetrically on the mat, how do they evenly target all the cells in the body?
It is clear that the technology for the generation of FIRs in ******s is just as unexplained and mysterious as the generation of negative ions in ******s.
For both of these claimed main assets Richway has not provided any scientific evidence that either the **** or the negative ions are produced in quantities which could be considered therapeutic. Nor has Richway even explained the method of generation of these two claimed healing forces. And based on my own experience, the high temperatures claimed which promote healing cannot be real.
“The ******'s infrared rays can penetrate 6-8 inches into the body so placing a towel on the ****** will not interfere with the infrared/negative ions.”
There appears to be a corporate culture at Richway which has at its centre a casual disconnect between information provided to customers and the scientific evidence on which this information is supposed to be based.
“According to a report in the Journal of the ******** ******* *********** ******, in a single Infrared Ray sauna session, you may burn as many calories as you would rowing or jogging for 30 minutes. So you lose weight – not just water.”
In my letter to Ms. ***, I asked whether the FIR sauna session tested by scientists and reported in **** was a ****** session or a sauna cabinet session. A sauna cabinet uses different technology, and a sauna cabinet that you sit enclosed in is quite a different concept and experience from a mattress you lie on. Ms. *** avoided an answer to my question by not replying to my letter. In the BBB complaint process, Ms. H***** in her reply on behalf of Ms. *** has also avoided giving me a direct answer to my question.
My question was:
“Unless the **** article results were achieved on ******s, use of the results by Richway may be misleading. Has Richway commissioned any scientific research of its own to confirm that ******s are equal to, or exceed, the performance of FIR sauna cabinets in shedding calories (or in any other performance measurement)?”
In her reply, Ms. H***** avoids directly admitting that the scientific study published in the medical journal and featured in Richway promotional brochures applied only to FIR sauna cabinets, and Ms. H***** also avoids straightforwardly admitting that ******s were never tested in this scientific study reported in **** and featured in Richway advertising. Instead, Ms. H***** says that someone at Richway read a book on **** being a medical revolution, and therefore felt entitled to plug its own product into the scientific results found for someone else’s product using different technology.
I agree with Ms. H***** that Richway’s reasoning on this, as she has explained, seems theoretically reasonable, but only if a) ******s actually produce the **** Richway claims are produced, and b) in significant quantity to have significant therapeutic value.
As I have explained above, at the moment it is unfortunately not possible to accept at face value Richway’s unsubstantiated claims that a) ******s produce ****, and b) in significantly therapeutic quantity. ****** **** may indeed be everything that Richway claims for them, but Richway has not produced any scientific proof for any of its many amazing claims, and what information it has provided to me and other customers raises enormous doubts, as I have analysed in detail, and also based on my own ****t-hand, non-sweating experience with ****** technology.
One of these doubts is raised by Richway’s attempt to pass off the scientific testing of the therapeutic value of FIR sauna cabinets as reported in a prestigious medical journal as scientific proof of the therapeutic value of ******s. In my view, this is not Richway’s claim to make. Richway’s appropriation of positive scientific results for another company’s quite different product using different technology is yet another serious matter.
I mention in particular the 24 page brochure which is stripped of its connection to Richway because this brochure claims, or strongly suggests, that negative ions and far infrared rays together form a powerfully efficacious cure for a wide range of medical conditions, including cancer. Together with the other extravagant claims made for the presence of amethyst, it is clear that Richway makes a practice of making amazing, beautiful, wonderful claims for the healing powers of ******s.
This doesn’t bother me at all. Rather, as a prospective customer and then customer I have been excited by these fantastic claims. However, as the ****** did not work for me at even the basic level of producing sweat, I believe I am now owed scientific proof of the healing power of ******s, or otherwise an admission from Richway that no scientific evidence exists at all that its ****** product is a healing device in any of its claimed modalities: negative ions, ****, or amethysts.
It would be unethical for Richway to trifle with the aspirations and expectations of the customers it has attracted to buy Richway products. I myself live with cancer. The truth of Richway’s claims have life or death consequences for people like me.
At the very least, I believe I and all other customers and prospective customers are owed an explanation of how the technology actually works (for **** and negative ions) in a ******, and whether the ****** product has been scientifically tested to prove that ******s generate a sufficient quantity of negative ions and far infrared rays to qualify as medically therapeutic.
There are other troubling, or doubtful, claims which Richway has made for its products, extending the pattern of magnificent product claims without any corresponding scientific proof that the products perform as claimed. I did not buy a *******, although I considered buying one. According to Richway, people put on weight around their waistline when they are cold. The extra abdominal fat warms the stomach, which is a beneficial state for digestion. Richway unequivocally states: “Therefore, abdominal fat is generated for the purpose of warming and protecting our organs. Hence, if our abdominal region remains at a low temperature, abdominal fat will never go away no matter how hard we work out [my emphasis].”
This is an interesting and attractive theory, and I do know that it is easier for me to lose weight in summer. But I have never heard any scientist or weight loss specialist, of which our civilisation now has hundreds of thousands, expressing awareness of this Richway information “fact”. And I can think of many cultures living in permanently hot climates where the people never experience cold and yet have their share of fat people. Pacific Islanders come to mind immediately. And I know of people living in cold climates with no abdominal fat whatsoever. So this central “fact” which Richway uses as the reason for the existence and purpose of its ******* product just adds to the questions of doubt about the scientific reliability and ethical grounding of Richway’s claims.
Despite the doubts I have raised in my letter to CEO *** and in this response to Ms. H*****’s letter, I still have some admiration for the ****** concept and would very much like the beautiful claims Richway has made for it to be true. I have written in such detail because I have had high expectations of my purchase of a ****** - high expectations created by Richway’s amazing claims. I therefore believe Richway must take seriously the issues and requests for scientific proof and basic explanations of the technology that I have raised in this document and in my original letter to CEO ***.
Finally, Ms. H***** has not dealt with the issue I raised about the gemstone status of the amethyst content of ******s on page 7 of my letter to CEO ***. The brochure photos show huge perfect clusters of amethyst crystals being assayed for gemstone quality by lab technicians, even someone impersonating a doctor, giving prospective customers the false impression that actual gemstones – highly valuable gemstones - are being packed into each ****** by the kilo after being meticulously checked to meet gemstone standard.
In fact, when the customer receives his ******, the amethysts are visible in their transparent window pockets. They are very small, unpolished, unfaceted industrial-grade amethysts. They could be described as amethyst rubble. Since it is possible to buy a polished, faceted large and attractive amethyst gemstone for as little as $10, Richway’s advertising is enormously exaggerated about the fabulous gemstone quality of the amethysts in ******s, and therefore misleading.
Although I never bought a *******, I believe my concerns about the astonishing inconsistencies in Richway gemstone descriptions, as described on page 7 of my original letter, are relevant to the issue of this complaint, which is about the reliability and trustworthiness of the Richway company’s claims. Both Ms. *** and Ms. H***** have avoided responding to this issue – Ms. H***** in her letter to me via the BBB of Hawaii.
Dear Mr. *** ********,
Thank you for your further assistance.
From: *** ******** ******************************
Richway International & *** **** have now had several weeks to refund my purchase price as agreed. But it hasn’t happened. There are probably no commercial benchmarks for reasonable refund turn-arounds. But RI&BF have certainly gone way past the “prompt” time period.
I will leave it to your good judgement to decide whether the company needs to be reminded of its obligation at this point. I will let you know when my credit card is credited by the company.
Dear Mr. *** ********,
Problems with Product/Service
Read Complaint Details
Complaint: On April 6, 2012, Allen Yu sold a "used" biomat single and pillow under the pretense that it was a "new" biomat single and pillow under invoice no. 4101776 for a discount price of $2,330.00 paid via credit card. Discovered a few weeks ago, the single and pillow are defective: there are now 2 tears in the horizontal panels with the amethyst crystal spilling out and the horizontal panels in the top are no longer clear. The amethyst crystals are turning colors, into black. The control panel would turn off automatically. The pillow's amethyst crystals horizontal panels are also cloudy and the crystals have changed colors.Richway Headquarters advised that invoice no. 4101776 is not in their system. In January 2015, Allen Yu later provided RI 10589 under Shih Chuan Yu, which is Allen's father for the amount $2,525.00 for a single biomat dated April 18, 2012, to cover the repair. The single can still be repaired at my expense. Currently in the third year, the biomat is covered under my credit card's extended warranty provided documents are sent. After Allen Yu advised that my $2,330.00 was used to purchase 2 biomat professionals not purchased by me, he denied my request for the original invoice for 10589, an itemized receipt with the date for RI 4101776, as well as invoices/receipts for the original $2,330 purchase. Due to the bulky nature of the single, he was willing to help out with buying the box, packaging and shipping, but later reneged on his promise to help out. A box was never provided with the original purchase. He never told me that the mat was used. I am now left holding the bag since he refuses all help. I am highly dissatisfied with the purchase since it was purchased to help with upper and lower back issues which have not improved as well as the horrendous customer service and lack of professionalism.I would like a refund since he misrepresented an item's condition by claiming that it was "new."
Desired Settlement: Refund of $2,330.00.
Business Response: Business Requested Response to Not be Published.
Problems with Product/Service
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Complaint: Unethical business practice regarding RETURN POLICY IT cost me 65 dollar to receiver their product the BIOMAT professional shipped from ILLINOIS I had 7 day return guarnatee policy giving 100% refund NO questioins if not happy - they insisted I RETURN IT at considerable cost to HONOLULU it weighed 49 lbs in large box and cost me $ 175 via *** ** ground rate - I got the item for 65 bucks shipping but was told to return it to HONOLULU for $ 175 shipping fee - this is unethical and has left a very bitter taste in my mouth - I am asking for additional 100 dollar refund for being told there is NO OTHER OPTION - You get it for 65 bucks shipping but we DEMAND you return it to HAWAII for 175 dollars shipping . There was NEVER any disclosesure in the GUARANTEE about returning it at high cost to HAWAII - it did not come from HAWAII - why can I not return it to ILLINOIS where is was ORIGINALLY sent - This company RICHWAY international has unethical business practices as doing business protocol !
Desired Settlement: I am seeking and additional 100 REFUND for the exceedingly high cost to return the ****** professional - I used a RMA return authorization code - so I will be getting a REFUND ( approcimately 1600 dollars) minus the original shipping fee about 65 dollars - I would like an ADDITIONAL 100 dollars - they would cost me 75 dollars to RETURN the unit to HONOLULY Thank you for your kind attention
Business Response: Final Consumer Response /* (2000, 6, 2014/02/24) */ thank you THIS CASE HAS BEEN RESOLVED Richway International has made it RIGHT !! **** ****** ****** NEVADA *****