Complaint Category: None of the Above - Refund or Exchange Complaint Issue
Complaint: Maple Grove Wellness Center has not refunded me for a treatment/procedure. After meeting with their doctor I did not feel confident in his abilities.
I purchased a discounted rate for Zerona treatments at Maple Grove Wellness Center (now called Non Surgical Clinic of the Twin Cities) through the online Living Social. When I called to schedule a consultation with Maple Grove Wellness my consultation was scheduled for 6 weeks out, that was the earliest they said they could get me in.
Even though I researched Zerona treatments over the web, at the consultation I learned that these treatments can be taxing to the liver as toxins are released from your fat cells when the fat is released.
I had additional questions during the onsultation that I feel the doctor either did not understand or did not want to answer.
I had asked the doctor "what happens to the metabolism of the cells after they are emptied of their fat." He answered " that depends on you, if you keep a healthy lifestyle and get moderate exercise you should be able to keep the weight off" then went into salesman mode to talk about other benefits of taking off a few pounds.
I was asking about cellular metabolism which is very different than when you talk about a person's metabolism. So he either did not understand a simple biology question or he was choosing to misunderstand because maybe a) there was not research on how this procedure affects cellular metabolism of the adipose tissue or b) there were studies on what happens to cellular metabolism of the adipose tissue( fat cells) and he did not want to mention it as the research results would have been bad news.
After he slowed down his sales pitch to ask if I had any other questions, I asked another but similar question hoping he could give me the answers. I asked " so, does emptying the fat cells affect either their levels of/ or reactions to insulin, letptin and ghrelin?" He said that many things affect a person's insulin level, like diet, exercise etc. Again showing that he was not understanding that my questions were about what happens at the cellular level. Not to mention he did not even address leptin or ghrelin, leading me to believe that this doctor who wants to help people loose weight is not up to date the many different hormones that affect weight and satiety.
My concern is that if cells are altered/ emptied of their fat content would that cause them to act differently than normal fat cells. Has that been looked at by the research? If not then I expected the doctor to just tell me that those questions were not researched. But I felt that he did not understand my questions.
I don't want to receive treatment from a doctor that either does not take the time to understand the concerns of his patient ( me), or does not have enough education to understand cellular biology, or has not read all the research about the procedure.
These are questions and concerns that I would expect a patient should be able to ask and get answers to from their doctor during a consultation and that if a patients questions and concerns are not answered the patient should be able to decide that this doctor is not someone they want to have perform a procedure on them.
I contacted Living Social only to learn that their refund window is 5 days. I couldn't even get in for a consultation in 5 weeks. I contacted Maple Grove Wellness Center for a refund and they said that they would have to contact Living Social about it, that they could not give me my money back.
I feel that the relationship that Maple Grove Wellness Center has with Living Social is a scam. That one entity has a 5 day refund policy and the other cannot get you in for a consultation about your procedure for 5 weeks and then they disagree about who can give you your money back if you decide that you do not feel confident in their doctor.
A reputable clinic and doctor would refund a person's money if after a consultation (which is the proper time for a patient can ask more questions to see if the treatment is right for them) the patient makes an informed decision not to get the treatment done.
Business' Initial Response
In response to any and all internet coupons, marketing etc. Any individual who purchases an internet coupon (aka Groupon, Living Social,Crowd Cut etc) is eligible for a full refund before services are rendered. I have spoken to Living Social and Mrs. ******** is eligible for a full refund as she is not a Zerona candidate/nor will she ever be a patient in our clinic.
Living Social issues the refund becasue they, Living Social, originally collected the money. Living Social maintains the credit card information. We are not privy to the payment informaion, hence we can not issue a refund on the credit card.
We have had many individuals who are not Zerona candidates have their monies refunded without issue from Living Social. This individual has created a series of "smoke and mirrors" as to the real concern here. As to the other "complaints" mentioned, they are moot and not applicable to the issue of refund.
Living Social does have a "generic" 5 day return policy, but it does not apply to our Zerona protocol.
As the Zerona protocol is an elective procedure, not everyone that purchases an internet coupon is a candidate. We have not had one person not be able to receive a refund. I have spoken with Living Social directly in this matter and Mrs. ******** will be refunded.
We will and are working with all persons in this matter to have Mrs. ********'s money returned.
Complaint Resolution: Company addressed the complaint issues. The consumer failed to acknowledge acceptance to BBB.