Proactiv

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Consumer Complaints and Reviews

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I used the Proactiv 3 step process and the pore cleanser brush and within 3 days almost all of my acne was gone and not just my face. I have very sensitive skin and I'm allergic to a lot of things but this product cleared up the sweat acne on my legs, neck, face and buttock region and you just use a dab and you can feel the clean.

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I tried to cancel my order last August 11 2016. The customer service person argued with me for quite a while about just suspending the product. I told her I DO NOT WANT ANYMORE. PERIOD. Then I see on my visa I get 3 more charges after the cancellation date and for product I DID NOT RECEIVE. 7 MONTHS later another package arrives. I phone customer service. It wasn't cancelled, she suspended the account without my authorization... And I bring up the charges after I had already cancelled my account. Their answer is because I didn't call to complain about charges within 60 days they won't give me a refund. EVEN THOUGH I NEVER GOT ANY PRODUCT. Sham company that outsources their calls to people you can barely understand, so you just give up trying to get what's yours. Oh and my son's face is a zillion times better without this crap!!! St. Ives apricot scrub and Dove soap. Looks like a different teenager.

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I cancelled my membership with Proactiv in 2016 and they sent a shipment 02/17/2017. When I called customer service, I again cancelled my membership and informed them that I did not want this product. I was billed $68.82 for the unwanted shipment. The lady told to ship the product back (it is unopened) and they would delete the balance owed. She then said I would have to open the package to get the address to ship it to, at my cost.

I then Googled Proactiv and found this site. Finding that Guthy-Renker is the parent company, I called their customer service at 1-888-651-6602 and reached a very nice professional woman named Nikki. After explaining the problem and providing the required information, Nikki very kindly informed me that it was their mistake. She then terminated the amount owed, told me not to ship the package back since it was their mistake. She told me it would take about 2 weeks for the whole process to complete and offered to send me a confirmation email within an hour. The hour has not yet expired, but I thought I would review my positive experience here. BTW, the appropriate return address for Proactiv is: 6 Commerce Way, Arden NC, 28704.

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I cancelled my membership 9/2016. Both the skincare line and VitaClear. I have cancellation confirmation to prove this. Out of the blue today a box of vitamins arrive. VitaClear by Proactiv and they told me they weren't the same company. Hogwash! I asked them to credit my card and email me a return label. They couldn't email the label, will send standard mail. I recorded the conversation and disputed the transaction with my credit card company. Buyer beware!

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Being dissatisfied with Proactiv in April I canceled my account then in October they sent me more that I did not ask for and have charged me 68 for it. I returned the stuff and they have sent to me letters and today an email wanting money. It is ridiculous how they operate.

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Returned to Proactiv after a long time for my daughter after we stopped auto shipment as she didn't need the amount they insisted on sending regularly. Ordered new 90-day supply and was told shipping would be 3-4 business days. That was January 11th. As of today, the order was not received. I called to cancel and was told the shipment was in "warehouse status" and therefore could not be cancelled.

In addition they charged me twice already for $139 each time. I requested that they cancel shipment and immediately credit my credit card for both charges. I was informed that their system is so rigid that they can't stop the order from going out - even though it is MUCH LATER than promised - and they could not credit my cc until package is returned. They are sending return label for product - first telling me I would get full refund less shipping charges and I had to insist that this was their error as shipping so late that they need to pay shipping charges. Customer service supervisor - who I insisted get on the phone was nice but frustrated at having to repeatedly tell me they can't do anything as product in "warehouse status". I will never use this company again. They have set up a system that benefits the company but takes advantage of the customer.

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Please be warned this product is a trap. Per other reviews they make it extremely difficult to cancel your subscription and will bill you for unwanted product. They tell you one thing on the phone and do another later. I was never sent second items free nor a cancellation email. Seconds after ordering online, I called to correct the order. They would not let me correct or cancel. They also would not allow me to stop future orders despite confirming twice online that they would. Save yourself considerable grief a stay away from this product.

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Proactive is a really big scam. I ordered just one kit online (no monthly subscription, No member thing, just one kit). They charged me 24$. No shipping... And then after few months I got charged 35$ dollars and got the shipment. I tried to delete my credit card from account but there was no option. Then I had to change my credit card just because of them. I called them and told them to delete my account. Still I got another bill after few months that I owed them 65$... For what? I did not get any other shipment then 65$ for what? But they kept sending me notices and notices. I don't know what to do. Honestly it kinda freaks me out. I hope they don't send cops on me.

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The product is okay. It work for some, not for others. One of my daughters thought she start a new account, but maybe due to the same shipping and billing address, I don't know. Proactiv conflated the two together. She could not log on as her own username but had to use some combination of mine and hers. After trying to get them to fix it, they didn't seem to see any problem. I asked that all accounts having anything to do with our name be removed, cancel everything. They were VERY reluctant to do this, and I felt I had to get a little ugly on the phone before they finally agreed. However, they keep auto-charging me. DO NOT start Proactive account or you will never be able to kill it. I might have to change my bank card number just to shake them. I'd say, no matter the saving, do single purchases and don't get suckered in.

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I've tried most of their products for almost a year and they just didn't work for me so then I tried to cancel my order and that's where the real problem started. I contacted them 3 times and I was still receiving shipments. I finally changed the credit card but they still sent them. I started refusing the shipments at the post office and they still kept coming for over a year. Finally they stopped but then I received a failure to pay and collection notice. Why would they send products to someone who does not want it and send it without a current credit card on file and continue sending the item when it gets refused upon delivery. Now I have a blemish on my perfect credit report because of Proactiv and their shoddy customer service.

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I was very disappointed when I called to order Proactiv. I used to love this product years ago so I wanted to try it again. Very misleading advertising. It said the product was $29.99 but when I called to order, they said if I only wanted it one time, it would be closer to $60. Thanks for punishing your customers who just want to try your product. The $29.99 price gets continued to be charged monthly if you order it. Sadly, it looks like I'll need to find a new skin care product.

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I love Proactiv because it is the only thing that has ever worked for me, but their customer service, hands down, is the worst customer service I have experienced. I called to cancel my Proactiv account with them. Lo and behold, I receive another shipment with a bill three months later. I call them, and they even tell me after pulling up my records that I did cancel. Somehow they never put it through??? So she says she will send me a return shipping label, it will take 1-2 weeks, AND they cannot refund $10 due to shipping and handling, even though they admitted THEY screwed up. I know others say not to use their Proactiv vending machines, but I would rather pay $20 more once a year for the small supply I need than deal with this every single time.

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I have had problems with customer service since the very first day I signed up for Proactiv. Customer service messed up my billing, shipped me product I didn't order, billed me for product I didn't order, and the most recent issue that I can't seem to get fixed is the "order history" dates noted on my online account. The most recent kit I ordered and received is an example of what I'm talking about. I ordered a kit this month, and received that kit this month, October 2016. This kit is noted as being ordered on 11/16/16 on my online account under "order history." Clearly this isn't possible, and it's not the only order date that's incorrect.

It may not be a big issue but the bottom line is that the dates are incorrect, and I'm afraid some kind of incorrect billing at my expense may come of it. I have contacted Proactiv several times since August to fix these incorrect dates. One rep has called me claiming to have fixed the issue, which he has not, and I have received multiple emails from Proactiv that state they have received my request to reset my account password. What??!!!! I have made no such request. In my opinion, these reps clearly don't know what they are doing, or just don't care what they are doing. Either way I would say to anyone considering Proactiv... Beware of customer service, they may cause you more breakouts than you started with.

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Do not buy from Self Serving Machines. The product was dispensed wrong and I was charged 84.00+. I called the man that owns the kiosk and after waiting for 45 minutes on the phone, they tell you to leave a message. I left a message with my name and telephone number. I got a callback from a man, with an unknown number on the cell screen and he says that he will refund the money after the bill and product is produce.

First of all there is no receipt as it is a card charge done on the machine. Then he goes on to say about the address and to call so he can proceed to refund the money but does not leave a phone number where to call or how to send the package back. This happened at the Lehigh Valley Mall in Whitehall, Pa. I suggest you go to a doctor and see what is the cause of your acne. Proactiv is a scam and on top of it, the service is lousy. Also once they hook you onto the service they keep sending the stuff and keep charging your account.

I have told my girlfriend so many times to seek medical help and that is where her acne can be addressed correctly. Do not fall into this stupid trap. You are only making someone rich and then look at the service. I also called Proactiv the main number and they said they could not help. I had to call the mall management for the number and have called someone called Zoom to return my call. I will follow on this and will keep on calling to get my money back, and just imagine, the stuff was for a friend. I would not buy the stuff at all and neither will buy it for anyone else.

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I have canceled Proactive 3 times over the last year. I still receive product and bills. I have stopped all further credit card payments and called to notify Proactive. About 5 days later I received another order and another bill for over $67.00. I spent 45 minutes on the phone being passed from person to person explaining that I was not paying for or returning any future orders and without resolution I was disconnected. I am STILL receiving bills. Worst customer service ever.

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Like everyone else after years of seeing the Proactiv commercials, I finally decided to take the plunge and order from them not knowing their business practices would outshine their products. Outshine in a good way? Not even! As far as the products themselves go, after 2 months in I'm seeing none of the amazing results as seen on tv. But as I said in the beginning their business practices outshined their products; as soon as I received my first order I discovered as many others did that I had somehow signed my soul away to them for eternity. The letter in my package said I would be billed for 2 months but also be receiving more of the products each month, which I was ok with.

Then! I decided to check on my account and discovered after the 2 months of billing and products, the vicious cycle just repeats itself. My issue is with this company not being straight forward about their way of billing and forced membership. I called to cancel my membership and now cannot get into the account which I have major issue with since I have yet to receive confirmation email that I actually cut ties with them.

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I regret ever signing up for their products. I got this system for my daughter and it never really did anything for her skin, but we kept trying different kits and combinations. We gave it 10 months and she it still didn't work for her. I went online to cancel, but it said you have to call their customer service number. I called the number and they gave me the runaround and said I would have to wait for another customer service agent to call me within the next 24 hours. Well, someone did call me and I had people coming over for a birthday party and the woman kept me on the phone for 10 minutes asking me so many questions about the products and many of them I couldn't even remember. I realized they want to make it very difficult for people to cancel. I finally cut her off and said I just want to cancel my account and I didn't want to be drilled any more. Don't get started with them to begin with. They lack integrity.

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I will never order from this company again. I'm very disappointed. I've order before. But now. Order my package on 8/9/16. I haven't received it yet! Call back on 8/16/16 he tells me they are sending it out today! It's 8/26/16 still no package! But they charged me on the 9th when I order! And when I just call to check again they charge me again! Uuuggghhgg! "Oh! But we're mailing it out today!" They told me that last week!

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Ordered a 2 month supply for my granddaughter to try and before the first month ran out they sent another 3 month supply, and started billing my charge card every month WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION I might add, so I called. They said they automatically continue the supplies on everyone. I then said that's illegal and they should have charges brought up on the company for their deceit. Suppose to get a refund back on my card within 3 days, and a return label in the mail. I guess we will see. THE WORST COMPANY I HAVE EVER DEALT WITH by far!!! BEWARE, because their business practices are shady at best.

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The product worked, but their way of handling business sucks. They purposely enter you into a membership without your knowledge and continue to Bill you for products you did not ask for. I was only testing the product. I didn't need extra shipments. The return process is a nightmare! It's been 2 weeks and I still have not received my refund even though I've returned the product. I've been told it takes 1-2 business days. Then I was told it takes 3-5 business days. Finally I'm being told it could take up to 14 days to process returns. They could at least send people a reminder email days before charging them. They say nothing. Just charge and send. And their representatives aren't helpful. They've been trained to repeat the same phrases over. Never will I order from them again. Ain't worth it.

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They are a nightmare! I can't get rid of them. I have told them on the phone and by email, their product does not work for my son, and I have told them over and over. I had to pay my bank to block them from my account. They send you product and take out money when they want. Now they keep sending their junk and telling me to pay or they'll take action. Someone needs to get a class action lawsuit going on them.

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This is the worst company to work with - do not use them or their product!!! They send shipments without requests. Their billing is not aligned and they repeatedly request payment on invoices that have been paid in full. I am working with them 4 months after my account was closed and paid in full - they have sent an erroneous amount to a collection agent. I have sent over numerous copies of my paid in full check and final balance from their customer service and still they request payment for a shipment that was already paid for.

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I went online and I bought a 30 day supply for a term of three months at $39.95 per month. Instead Proactiv sent me the first month a 30 day supply with a bill for $119 split into three payments, then the next month they sent a 90 day supply and 90 days on the third month as well. The thing is they switched it to the 90 day program and I ended up paying 119 x 3. I called and spoke to a heavily accented customer service person who just talked over me and repeated that they are billing me for 90 day kit. I am furious because I checked the fine print and am fully aware that these online companies are nearly impossible to get a refund from. Do not buy Proactiv online unless you are prepared to spend 120 a month for kit advertised at 39.95.

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I have used Proactiv for 9 years! When I first started at the age of 34, I used the old system. It worked great, but I couldn't miss a wash EVER! If I did, I would immediately break out. When I turned 40, it stopped working for me. I tried the new system, and I didn't have any luck with it either. So I went to a dermatologist. I found out I had different acne than I did when I was younger. It was hormonal acne. Proactiv didn't touch it at all! So, bottom line, it works for acne on younger kids, but if you have acne for another reason (i.e. hormonal, etc.) you may have to get to the source of the problem.

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My son who is 15 years old ordered one Proactiv in May which was about $45.00. We received another shipment after few months and big letters written on that FREE SAMPLES. There was not any bill or any explanation inside the box. After few weeks I received a bill of $87 that I owe them. It is total fraud, deceptive, cheating and bad business. I have asked the company to send me the copy of any agreement or order so I can pursue legal action against them. I understand that people have bought this product at stores in malls. They do not have to undergo this bad experience. I do not know much about the response of this product on skin. But definitely reading those reviews and my experience with company very unpleasant.

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I have constant pimples, I'm covered in blackheads, and my face gets red extremely often. I've been trying to find a face care regimen for about 10 years and nothing has worked, until I tried Proactiv. When I first tried Proactiv it was really bad. The products dried my face and it seemed to make my acne worst. But I kept using it. I was using the Proactiv+ 3-step system. After a few days I stopped using the Pore Targeting Treatment because that product seemed to dry out my face the most. After I stopped using it my face stopped drying out, it progressively got better. Over the weeks my face wasn't as oily, the breakouts became smaller and less frequent. It was working!

But after a month I received another shipment. What? I did not order more. My card was just charged. What happened? I looked online and I found out that they automatically charge you and ship you more product. I was so livid when I found that out. I was about to cancel my subscription but... Proactiv actually works for me. So I did nothing, I waited until the shipment arrived, I got it in a timely manner. My face improved more after using it for 3 months. I was happy.

My happiness was interrupted though. I tried to log into my Proactiv account to change the products I was using. Every time I tried to log in I would get a message along the lines of "this account does not exist." That confused me very much and this went on for about 3 weeks, so I created a new Proactiv account and I ordered more product. Big mistake. My previous account was still active and it was still automatically billing and shipping product to me. I believe I was not able to log into my account because of some website revisions and improvements they were making.

Anyways, with 2 active accounts I was getting 2 shipments every 3 months and I was getting billed twice a month. I didn't notice anything when the two accounts shipped their product the first time because both arrived at my house on the same day. I actually noticed when I was billed twice. So I called customer support, got my second account deleted. Done, it was easy and simple. Now I am still happy with their service and products, my face looks so good right now. I hardly break out anymore and my acne scars are fading. I still have a lot of blackheads but I'm okay thing that.

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I was surprised when I came across all these negative reviews for the product and company. Several years ago I used the original Proactiv and it did clear my skin up, but it was somewhat strong and irritating to my skin, so I discontinued service. I had no problems doing so. Later in life I heard that they had a more moisturizing formulation with added skin care benefits. I love it! If you use the product regularly your skin will thank you for it. I now seldom break out, but when I do it's manageable. Plus if you use the wonderful sulfur mask you will see the blemish just about disappear overnight! No more burning my skin with those zit creams! It can be pricey but the price is broken down into 3 payments which are monthly and detailed exactly when they will be billed on the invoice in your shipment. You can adjust your products, how often you would like to receive your shipments and read reviews on products.

As far as I know I believe you can buy items without being on an installment plan... but you won't get the members pricing. You basically do a 3 product shipment and can add items to your shipment for only 15 each (products are based on a 3-month supply). Having confidence to go without makeup has been really great! (I've been a member of Proactiv Plus for around 3 years now and share shipments with my teenage daughter. WISH THEY HAD THIS WHEN I WAS A TEENAGER!)

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As the other reviews have indicated this company only lets you purchase if you commit to a recurring order. And then you have to phone to cancel the recurring aspect, and although this is clearly stated it is still deceitful.

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After reading through a good deal of the Proactiv reviews, I am struck by how many of the negative reviews would NOT have been an issue had the consumer simply READ THE DETAILS. 1) Company CLEARLY states that your payments will be spaced out, and that you will receive future products unless you cancel. All you have to do is READ THE DETAILS before purchasing any product online. I love that I can have regular deliveries (which I can adjust or cancel at any time).

2) Acne is not a problem that is cured after a few months of treatment. Acne needs continual medicated treatment. Some of these customers were expecting a miracle outside of capabilities of current dermatology science. Again, you must continue, indefinitely, with any acne treatment if you want continued results. Proactiv beats anything that I have purchased over the counter. I suspect that the 'whitening' ingredients help with that.

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Despite cancelling shipments months ago, I received two more. After speaking with several reps to explain the problem, they finally sent me a return label and I returned their products by USPO. However, I am still getting notices about their good faith efforts to collect that threaten further action. They pay no attention to cancellations, continue to bill me, and don't recognize me as an existing customer when I've called to correct this. I recommend paying as you go or dealing with a legitimate third party that understands the word: CANCEL.

Expert Review

ConsumerAffairs Research Team

The ConsumerAffairs Research Team believes everyone deserves to make smart decisions. We aim to provide readers with the most up-to-date information available about today's consumer products and services.

Proactiv is a household name when it comes to acne treatment. Launched in 1995, the company's popular products are the result of 10 years of research.

  • Hydrating ingredient: The best kind of acne treatments can dry out your skin, which is why good skin hydration is important during treatment. Proactiv uses hyaluronic acid to put moisture back into your cleansed and treated skin.
  • Money-back guarantee: The company promises to return your money if the product doesn't work for you. Just send the bottles back if you are not satisfied.
  • Free products: Proactiv's introductory kit comes with free gifts to help support your clean, healthy skin regime.
  • Smart target: Patented technology helps to direct more of the medication into your pores. This means better overall coverage and faster treatment.
  • Full range of products: Products can be purchased individually or as part of a kit. Extra products like the exfoliating brush can be added to any order.
  • Anti-microbial: In addition to anti-bacterial ingredients, Proactiv has added an anti-microbial ingredient to better treat localized infections within and outside of the pores.
  • Best for Teenagers, young people, pregnant women, those receiving hormone treatment and adults.

Compare Acne Treatment

Proactiv Company Profile

Company Name:
Proactiv
Year Founded:
1995
City:
Des Moines
State/Province:
IA
Postal Code:
50336
Country:
United States
Website:
http://www.proactiv.com/