Proactiv

    Overall Satisfaction Rating
    1.78/5

    Based on 35 ratings out of 524 reviews

    • 5 stars3
      9%
    • 4 stars2
      6%
    • 3 stars0
      0%
    • 2 stars3
      9%
    • 1 stars27
      77%

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Consumer Complaints & Reviews

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!)

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.

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.

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.

I thought I was only getting one shipment and one charge. Then I received a second shipment and is very hard for me to go to the post office because I am disabled. They charge 3 times for the second shipment so I cancelled the third shipment before they had a chance to ship it. The acne improved but I could of had the same results from over the counter medications which are much cheaper. Not worth the money.

My husband and I used the Proactiv - good for 30 days/1 month set and we were very satisfied. It really vanished our acne and definitely made our skin smoother. We had to buy a second set in order to see a big difference but I guess it's worth it. The only thing is, it's more expensive buying it here in the Philippines than in the US. But I guess it's okay because after 2 sets you won't be needing Proactiv anymore.

I happen to like the product, but sadly had a horrible experience with it... I ordered it couple years or so ago. And wanted one set. And was mislead and kept receiving multiple packages and being charged... so it would be nice if this would be fixed. I've read another person had the same problem... scam!!! So if you want this product to sell... you should stop scamming people. That's exactly what is being done.

I really disappointed with the service the company offers. First of all it on automatic subscription basis, which is difficult to know as they don't give too much information regarding this mechanic. But this is not the major issue with them. It is that when you cancel the service, they still send you the product and continue charging you. I blocked my credit card to stop them, they send me legal notifications so I paid them with another card. But that is not all. Now after almost one year they start sending me again their products and suddenly they said I owe them +US$300. Really??? This is dishonest business!! This has a name and it is SCAM!!! The cancellation service very laborious, they even ask to send a FAX (who uses FAX?) and you cannot cancel through phone or email.

Proactiv... when you buy and have issue with them they won't contact you. They did steal 175 from my account. They send an empty box, and they refuse to send you the money or even talk to you. Smart way to steal.

My son ordered a 30-day trial of Proactiv. Next thing he knows, he sees in his bank account that they took the first installment out of 3 for a 90-day supply. He called to cancel shipment that said was still in warehouse. They refused to reverse charge in his account. They said they canceled his order and when he gets the return label he can return the product. My son went to print where it said order was still in warehouse after they said they already shipped it, they locked him out of his online account with them. This company needs to be shut down! He had to change his card number to prevent future charges.

Have a "Thank you for your order" paper I printed out and a items ordered with a order number with the shipping amount and the total amount. They are saying they need to bill my card again for shipping and I have this paper I printed saying "thank you for your order" and that was 10 days ago. I've been waiting on my order. What's going on.

My daughter has not used this product in 6 months - we have called multiple times; were assured that the shipments are canceled. And then they auto draft the payment for 6 months totaling $189. I called again today and asked to receive a personal email confirmation. We will see what happens. They (Rodan and Fields) have now developed products for maturing skin (aka - us moms who are being lied to by Proactiv). I predict a very short business plan - predatory business practices, lying and non-existent customer service will not survive.

I will never buy this product again. They are scammers and need to be shut down from doing business. I sent my pkg back after receiving it because I didn't need it and didn't know I was billed under autopay. They are the worst!!!

I called to cancel my account back in AUGUST!!! It is now MARCH. I received more shipments and charges on my credit card. I called to cancel again. I received a bill saying I owed money. I called again. The man told me it would be all cleared up. I received ANOTHER bill and a letter saying it will be sent to a collections agency. I CALLED AGAIN. I was told it would now be cleared up, no need to worry. Two months go by... I get a shipment?! I call AGAIN. The lady doesn't know why it wasn't cancelled. OH, and I still am "in collections" because shipping and handling was not canceled from the last time they sent me a shipment after I canceled and I sent it back. She said she cleared it up but I really don't believe it. I am absolutely disgusted.

I have never wrote a review on anything but Proactiv has really made me mad. I like the product, I just hate that I have to go through the website to get it. I miss the kiosk in the mall. Anyways, I cancelled my Proactiv back in December and received the confirmation email. Well, I look on my statement today a month later and they've billed me $33. I called and the lady on the phone said that yes, my account was cancelled but I will still be billed until all three installments of $33 have been paid. Well, that would've been nice to know when I called back in January. As soon as I get home, I am sending that back to them and I want my $60 back. The product they sent is bigger than the one I signed up for. They are so misleading and don't recommend doing business with them. Like I said, I like Proactiv. It's just the billing part that sucks.

After paying for two Proactiv products I received, we cancelled any further shipments. We were automatically charged on our credit card for a third shipment we never received. We disputed the payment on the credit card. Then we started receiving bills in our mail for two more shipments and after that, threatening letters from a collection agency. We contacted the Better Business Bureau where they are located and filed an online complaint. About two weeks later, we received a letter from Guthy/Renker stating that as a gesture of good will our account has been cleared. My suggestion to all is to go through the BBB.

Please shut this website down www.getproactiv.ca. Ever since I placed an order for 29.99 I did not get an order confirmation, no email confirmation. I called customer service which was in Iowa, not Canada. I immediately cancelled any auto ships, and since then I have getting suspicious charges from various Iowa companies. The fees don't add up, and I don't recognize the pseudo companies they are using. The charges are up to 300.00 CAD for the one small order I placed online.

I placed an order 2 years ago and canceled within 30 days. I never had problems with them charging my account or shipping more. Until today... I got 2 boxes of products with a bill for $197.00. I was never charged since the CC they had on file I don' have anymore. The invoice says to call to make payment. I can't even imagine how crazy their system is to send products after 2 years and not even charge me.

I keep getting bills from Proactiv, when in fact I've NEVER signed up for it. I have no idea if the bills are real or not but I NEVER SIGNED UP FOR THEIR PRODUCTS (if that doesn't make it clear enough). I don't even have acne (no offense to those who do) but I don't understand how they've obtained my information. I wrote to them stating this and I still keep getting billed. I am not paying for something I've never applied for. Just spoke to a debt collector this morning and told them the same, let's see if they can resolve this issue. I feel like I'm getting harassed by this company. They call, they write, but still don't fix the problem. I will definitely make my friends and family aware of this so they never go through the same as me.

My son wanted to try Proactiv so I decided to buy a 1-month supply. After we received it, he changed his mind about using it but I decided to keep it in case he wanted to later. Next thing I know, a bigger supply arrives on my doorstep for no reason along with credit card charges. I called & was told I'm signed up for auto renewal. This was in some incredibly fine print that I found later. I told them I'll keep the additional box I received but cancel the renewal. All was fine for a couple months until another pending charge showed up on my credit card. I called again and was told that the service rep I spoke to said she cancelled my order but didn't actually cancel it. She said she can't stop the next box from arriving but I would receive a return label to send it back and would not be charged anything. Never got the label. Had to call & request it again.

Finally received the label and returned the box immediately. Then I got an invoice in the mail indicating I owe them $106.97. I returned the invoice with a note that the box was already returned to them. Then I got an invoice stating I owe the shipping cost for the box they sent me in error. Had to call yet again to explain that I don't owe that money because they shipped me the box in error. The woman told me that shipping cost isn't part of their money-back guarantee. I told her she better remove it because this has nothing to do with their product guarantee but rather a mistake on their part. She claimed she will reverse the charges but it will take a week because their system is being updated. Who knows what I'll get next. This has been a total nightmare. I will never order anything from Guthy-Renker again in my life.

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.

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Proactiv Profile

Basic Information

Company Name:
Proactiv
Year Founded:
1995
Website:
http://www.proactiv.com/