Vital Basics / Focus FactorConsumerAffairs Unaccredited Brand
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I was sucked into an advertisement for a product called "Focus Factor". They claimed gain in memory and function. As a student, I assumed this would be beneficial. In reality, I think Focus Factor had some type of Omega 3 vitamin (so claimed) that I can easily get from eating frozen fish. The product did nothing. I believe it was mind over matter. My trial period was for 2 weeks. I would be charged the shipping/handling of $4.95 and if I wished to cancel and not be automatically enrolled in their membership I would have to cancel within 14 days. Which is what I did.
They then proceeded to charge my credit card $34.95 for being a member which I did I had cancelled for within the 2 weeks of purchase. When i called their Customer SErvice line the representative kept repeating herself and not listening to what I was saying. It got to the point where I had to be rude and demanding of my request. After going back and forth, she finally said she will "refund my credit card within 72 hours". I will respond with a second part of my complaint if this refund is completed.
I was told that I could cancel at any time and my credit would be returned to the card. It has not happened although i cancelled months ago. I continue to get shipments and billed every month or so. I returned an unopened package today.
Ordered free vitamins for $3.95 S&H. I received membership in V8 Omega Plan. I canceled on 04/23/04 and their records show it. Un-authored deduction of $299.95 was made from my checking account on 06/03/04.
I am a disabled Vietnam veteran. Sole income is from Veterans Disability Pension. I desperately need that money to live on. Every penny counts.
My checking account was wrongfully debited twice by this company. Even though I recovered these debits, this incured 150.00 in overdraft charges which they agreed to reimburse me for. I supplied them with all the information they requested but have not received my reimbursement. AT this point they are telling me to resubmit the information.
My husband ordered Focus Factor for a free sample and got charged $70. We were billed 159.85 and then again billed 299.95. I noticed this on my bank statement. I have called numersous times and now sending a certifed letter. I have called and e mailed them with no results.
I can not afford these charges and I continually look at my statement on line to make sure my other bills do not bounce.
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While driving to the store I heard over the radio a product by the name of Focus Factor being advertised to help you with your memory. I am a senior citizen and I decided to give it a try being you could get a free bottle to try it. On 4-20-04 I called Vital basics Inc, and placed an order for a trial bottle, they said I had to pay $4.95 for shipping so I gave them my Visa debit card number to pay for the shipping. They told me I had a month to make my decision if I wanted to reorder.
On 4-25-04 I received a bottle of Focus factor with a welcome letter from the president of the company Rob Graham telling me that I was being enrolled in the prefered Customer Club in order to buy other vitamins at a discount and that I will be receiving the next shipment in 3 or 4 weeks. On 5-11-04 I called them and told them that I was not going to order any more because I did not see any difference with my memory.
They told me there was another order coming to me. I told them I did not want it. On 5-12-04 They charged to my account $299.95, $159.85 and $24.95. On 5-13-04 I called them and told them I had sent the package back to credit my account. I received a credit for $299.95 but the still owe me $184.80. I called them back and they told me it was going to be a while because the company was filing Chapter 11.
I feel what they did is something close to fraud. I did not authorize this charges against my debit card, also the charges were made after I told them I did not want the Focus Factor. I closed my debit card account because I was afraid I was going to get more charges against my account.
I returned a box of the Focus Factor vitamins, valued at $156.85 which was taken from my acct. I didn't open them. They weren't working. Also, I asked them to cancel my account for which they were deducting 29.99 a month for other services and products. I called on Tuesday, May 25, and the lady told me they had not received my package. It also contained a letter telling them to cancel my entire acct. It was shipped to them at least six weeks ago. I had also emailed them. What can I do? She wasn't any help at all. She didn't even sound trained with the appropriate answers. She only said she would note that on my account. She didn't help at all.
The 156.85 hasn't been added back to my checking account after I mailed the vitamins back even though I didn't even open them. All I did was relabel the package to be shipped back through the postoffice because it came from ups.
I got the Focus Factor for a free thirty day trial. I wrote to them and told them to discontinue any further shipments as the pills gave me intestinal problems. I have not recieved any more but twice my checking account has been debited for $34.95 from Vital Basics.
I ordered Vital Basic's Focus Factor vitamin supplement from a television ad. The vitamins never came; instead, $159.85 disappeared from my bank account. I mailed them the Consumer Affairs letter demanding my money back, and they called, telling me that they'd send me the pills and upon receiving them, I should return them and then my money would be refunded through depositing it back into my bank. It's been several weeks, rather than the few days promised, and I've seen neither vitamins nor money.
First my boyfriend orded the vitamins for memory and concentration for just a $4.95 shipping charge. They said you could call and cancel at any time, they would also send you your next shipment automatically, which was at the most suppose to be 2 bottles at the most so which would mean $150.00 at the most. Well I called 9 days after receiving the product I called to cancel and they told me the new shipment has already been sent out.
I was upset and told them I did not want the product. They then told me to send the product back and they would replace the money in my account. Well okay I thought I can deal withe that. Well then I go on the computer the next day to reconcile my check book and "BAM" I am seeing not one but two transactions on the same day one for $159.85 and the second one was for $299.95, that is a total of $495.80 plus over $150.00 in over draft charges. Well at this time I am ready to hit the fan.
I try to call the company and of course it is closed, so I call my bank and now we have to conduct a fraud case against them, cancel our card and what ever else comes along with that. Nice huh. This crap is suppose to help us but in the end it is just causing us more stress than anything. I am furious with this company. I am now leaving it in the banks hands and the better business bureau's hands.
This has caused us so much stress and worry just thinking they could do this again. We have to deal with canceling our credit cards, tons of overdraft charges, money transfered from our savings acct. to our checking acct., and much more just in mental stress from worrying about all of our bills being paid on time with out extra charges of overdraft. We now have to wait on the company and bank to disput this and hopefully refund us our money. I am ready to have a breakdown over all of this.
I called for the advertised special of $4.95 for a 30 day supply of Focus Factor and now today realized they have charged the debit account of $299.95. I, upon receipt of the 30 day supply immediatley called to cancel any further orders. To date I have not received any further orders, but my account has been depleted along with bank fees.
I saw a television advertisment for Focus Factor. The pitch was that they would send you a free trail of their product if I'd pay the $4.95 for shipping. Along with the Focus Factor they asked to include another product Omega 3 for an additional $5.00 in shipping. I repetetively asked not to receive any more bottles and was assured that I would not. I provided them my credit card information to pay for shipping charges. About three weeks later I received two bottles in the mail (One bottle of Focus Factor and another of Omega 3).
That same month my credit card bill reflected a $199.95 charge and a $9.95 charge billed by Vital Basics. When I called them to dispute the charges that they originally made abudantly clear would not be made I was disconnected. Upon calling back I was immediately disconnected again. I called American Express, who paid the charge, and explained the senario. They opened an investigation and during the interm credited my account. One month later I received correspondence from American Express advising that the charges were being reinstated.
I was watching TV when they had a commercial about Focus Factor. The commercial said that it would help with memory, energy, fatigue so I thought for $4.95 that I would try it. When I called to order the Focus Factor the salesman took my order then he started in on selling me some sort insurance. I told him that I wasn't interested. He was very persistant. I told him that if I had to purchase that then I didn't want any of it. He said that I could just order the Focus Factor.
On April 5th, 2004 I was going over my statement and noticed a $299.95 charge on my debit card. I immediately went to my bank and spoke with them about this because I knew that I had my house not that hadn't come through my bank yet. My banker got the number to contact TAI*Vital Basics so I did whith my banker there. They (Vital Basics) informed me that it was for some insurance. I told him that he did not have my permission to charge anythingelse on my account and that the only thing I ordered was the focus factor.
He then tried to sell me the insurance anyway and I told him that I didn't need the insurance and that I wanted my money back and not to ever charge anythingelse on my account without my permission. I went ahead and put a cancellation on my debit card but before they cancelled my card within a 30 minute period they hit me again with $159.85 which caused my account to be overdrawn. I have tried to contact Vital Basics and asked to speak to someone in management and after being on hold for 15 minutes and then was disconnected.This should not be legal for someone to just add whatever they want onto your credit card. What can we do about businesses like this.
On or about March 12, 2004 I ordered the 30-day free trial of Focus Factor for memory and concentration for shipping charges of $4.95 to be billed to my debit card. The Indian speaking man was telling me of this free trial for the VB Omega Discount Health Plan that would come with it, which I stated I was not interested. When I received my 30-day Focus Factor trial, they had sent a membership card for the Omega Plan anyway. It had nothing of any charges, cancellation etc included. I received this complete packet on or around March 19, 2004. I was out of town trying to use my debit card and it was over drawn. I proceeded to call my bank and the only information they had was a $299.95 charge from Vital Basics.
I was infuriated. I called on March 22, 2004 and spoke with Nicole and explained and questions their actions. She proceeded to tell me she will issue a credit to my card of $299.95 immediately, but it may take my bank up to 30 days to process. Bull I told her. I checked with my bank the following day, and no credit had been issued and I had 3 overdraft charges of $35.00 each for my automatic drafts for my regular bills due to this charge. I called again on the 26th of March, 2004 and this same Nicole tells me it has been credited and refused to let me speak to anyone other than her.
On Feb.9, 2004 I ordered the free trial of focus factor, I was expected to pay for S&H $4.95. That was o.k. with me. Two weeks later on Feb. 23, I find out they took 299.95 out of my acct. WITHOUT authorization! I immediately called them, the rep said the money would be returned back into my acct. in 24-48 hours. I continued for the next 2 days to call them, and my bank to make sure the money was being returned, each one of their reps. said the money was being processed and returned.
By the 3rd day, Feb. 28, 2004, I called my bank to see if the money was back in there and to my surprise another 159.95 was taken out!!! So now I'm furious, my rent is due and that check is going to bounce, because my bank acct. is now short over $ 400.00 and of course the billing dept. is closed all weekend. I have since learned that this company has done this before in prior years. Why wasn't it shut down completely. Why was this man allowed back on t.v. to rip people off.
Vital Basics has STOLEN $460.00 from my acct. And know I am going to suffer financially because of them. Not only am I out the $460.00, but I will be charged overdraft charges, because I don't have the money in my acct. to cover the bills I have sent checks out to.
I too ordered the "Free Bottle" for the cost of shipping on or about 2/2/04. Upon checking my bank account on 2/21/04, I see they have charged my account with a staggering charge of $299.95! I am just starting the process of trying to get a refund.
First I want to thank you for publishing other complaints about Vital Basics and for giving advice about writing letters rather than calling them. I "ordered" a free bottle of Focus Factor from Vital Basics based on a radio advertisement. The order was placed via the phone. The representative took my credit card number to pay for the $4.95 shipping. I was also asked if I wanted to try Omega 3 fish oils for free which I did (no shipping charge).
I had never heard the term "slamming" but that is exactly what they did. The $4.95 shipping charge was posted to my charge card on 1/15/2004. Then on 1/30/2004 a charge was made to my card for $299.95!!! I didn't find out about the charge until 2/3/2004. I called Vital Basics to find out what that was about. I was told it was for the "Omega Plan" which was a kind of health insurance. I requested that any on-going plans they had signed me up for be cancelled. I was told that a shipment of Focus Factor was scheduled to be shipped that day and that I would have to return it for a refund. On 2/3/2004 another charge was made to my credit card for $159.85. A refund was made on 2/4/2004 for $299.95.
So far, thanks to you, the damage is primarily my time. I called the credit card company and asked if I could dispute the charges and if I could stop Vital Basics from making charges in the future. The credit card company said that charges could only be disputed after the monthly statement was issued (I check charges via the internet and so see them before they are billed). They also said there was no way to stop Vital Basics from charging my card in the future. I wrote Vital Basics a letter exactly according to the format you posted and sent it via Certified Mail. The letter specified that they were not authorized to charge my card, to refund all money charged to date, etc. We'll see what happens.
I ordered a bottle of Focus Factor from Vital Basics in response to their "free " offer ($4.95 shipping). I was leery of them and told the represenattive repeatedly that I did not want to enroll in any automatic payment program or any of the dozen or so other offers she tried to entice me into. Several weeks passed after the initial charge of $4.95 was deducted from my debt card and I still had not received the product so I called them.
I told the representative that I had not received the product, did not want their product, and did not wish to ever have anything to do with their company again. That day they charged my account $159.85 despite me repeatedly telling them that I did not want their product. To make a long story short, my bank tells me that the only recourse is to close my account, otherwise this company may continue to withdraw funds indefinately.
In November of 2003 I ordered a trial offer of Focus Factor for $4.95. At that time, I let them know that I was only wanting to try the product. They said that there would be information with my order to purchase more products if desired. Less than 30 days later my account was charged $109.85. They did not have my consent. I noticed the debit from my account because I was checking my account online. Thank you for the assistance with the demand letter. I'm going to have the bank on Monday start the reversal process and I will follow up with the demand letter.
I ordered a free bottle of Focus Factor from an ad in our Sunday paper. The only amount I had to pay was $4.95 shipping. When I called in, the woman started telling me about being on the automatic shipment every 3 months. I said "No, I am not interested in that. If I feel it helps me I will call in and order another bottle myself." She kept on about it and I said again, "No." Well, lo and behold last week I received 2 bottles of Focus Factor in the mail and they had used my Debit card to charge my Bank account $159.85. I did NOT authorize them to do this!!
Since I have payments taken out of my check for Medicare, life insurance, etc. this amount overdrew my account. I am retired and on a limited budget and this has caused me a hardship. I called them and told the girl I talked to and after some arguing she agreed to refund my money. I went to my Bank and told them about this. Today the gal at the bank called and said they had sent back $149.90 which was short $9.90 which was apparently the shipping and handling. I called them again and told them I should not have to pay shipping and handling on something I did not order, besides I have to pay the shipping for sending it back.
The girl said "Well, you were explained to several times about automatic delivery." That's when I blew my cork and told her in so uncertain terms that I DID NOT AUTHORIZE this and I want my $9.90 refunded immediately or I will be contacting an attorney and I will sue them for unethical practices and for unlawfully using my Debit card. She said she would refund the $9.95. Now I have to send back the pills and I will still be out another $9.90. I shouldn't have to even return them!! The American consumer should be protected by these practices. I live in fear now that they will use my Debit card again and pull the same stunt in a couple weeks. What can I do about them?
The company advertised in a local health magazine. I called for the free bottle for $4.95. I used my debit card and was assured I had 30 days to try the product then call if I wanted to continue and be billed for two more bottles. The vitamins affected my digestion so I called back in less than 30 days, partly to make sure I did not forget to call as I was moving from Tucson, AZ to Grapevine, TX. At the time, I called they said they had already sent the order and charged my account with $159.85. After a fuss and a chat with a supervisor, I was credited only $149.90 on the date I called 8/27/03. They said when I received the order mark return to sender and they still charged me for delivery of $9.95.
I received shipment as was forwarded to Texas address and marked return to sender. When I got this month's bank statement, I find a charge for $139.00 for Vital Health Club, obviously same company and was told I had signed up for membership in a discount health club. I never discussed, ordered or in any way ever heard of this supposed club. This is a real rip off and someone should get this supposed doctor for false advertising. I make only $600 a month in Social Security and cannot afford to be ripped off. Is there not some kind of protection as others appear to have had the same problems? I was treated rudely when I called the company and was hung up on by last supposed customer service rep and said this could be deducted off one of my next two statements.
I NEED MY MONEY NOW NOT IN ONE OR TWO MONTHS. If I am not the only one, what is being done? I hope this complaint is not an exercise in futility. This supposed doctor advertises in newspapers, heath magazines, on the radio and who knows where else. THEY DO HAVE THEIR PROCEDURE DOWN PAT AND TREAT EVERYONE EQUALLY IN THE RIP OFF DEPARTMENT.
Very much the same this as other Vital Basic Complaints. I responded to the free bottle of Focus Factor for the $4.95 S&H. I was then offered services of another company. I refused, they were persistent and so was I. Before I hung up, I once again verified that the only charge against my credit card was the $4.95 S&H fee. He responded with, "That is correct". One week after receiving the free bottle of Focus Factor, they charged my credit card $159.85, eight days later I received two bottles of Focus Factor. I am deeply offended. This action is absolutely NO different than theft of property. They have violated my rights, stolen money from my account, and they should be punished simply because they have done it several times over to others.
I responded to an ad on the radio for Focus Factor product. I ordered it, and after 2 months called and cancelled the auto debit to my credit card. My next credit card statement, they had charged me for another $150.00, I then called them again, and they informed me that the shipment I was charged for had already been shipped at the time of my cancellation. I now am 3 months past the first cancellation, and they still are charging my credit card $150 per month. How do I get them to stop?
Telephone solicitation for free diet pills - wife gave credit card to prove "adult" - then she was told there would be charges - immediately cancelled. I followed up with an email at their customer service site on 7/7/03. Product arrived 7/7/03 and was refused. Two charges on credit card for $139.00 and $149.90 - neither authorized...
i would like to know who authorized you withdraw $139.00 from my account. I want my money back now. I cancelled my membership when I order the free trial. I want an answer now, my money back.
I listened to the Focus Factor radio ads for a couple of months before I decided to order the "Free $75 bottle for only $4.95 shipping". I was told that in about a month they would charge my card $149 and ship me 3 more bottles - a 3-month supply and that I could cancel at any time. They tried to sell me some other stuff, but I said no. On Feb 3, 2003 they charged my account the $4.95. I got the bottle and started using it. They did have recommendations with the bottle to take more than the originally recommended 4 tablets a day. I didn't notice any marked improvement and planned on canceling at about 3 weeks; however they charged my card $149 on Feb 20 (17 days later) and shipped me 3 bottles.
$50 a month is more than the $35/mo I had been paying, but I figured I would test them a while longer, but was going to cancel. I put it off because I am so busy and knew I had 3 months to do it - it was on my list. On Apr. 28, they charged my card and shipped 3 bottles again. This is only 8 days more than 2 months since the last shipment, not 3 months. They seem to keep moving up the shipping dates. I called and told them to cancel further shipments. Two days later, after looking at these dates and at your web site, I called again and told them I wanted to return the last shipment. They offered to let me keep the bottles and refund me $75. Since I had opened one of the 3 bottles, I decided to take the offer and save the cost and hassle of sending them back, but that is the last money they will get.
At the time of me cancelling, my wife was looking at my bank statement and had questions about a charge for $139 from VitalHomeClub, thinking that Vital Basics had charged me twice for the Vitamins. I called the number by the charge and found out that I had been "referred by" Vital Basics. I told them I did not ask for or want the "service". The man on the phone, with a hard to understand foreign accent, said he would "send me the packet". I told him I just want the $139 charge removed.
This was just yesterday, so I do not know yet if this is all that it will take to end this, but it looks to me that these guys are a shady group. What bothers me is that it sounded so legitimate and was advertised on a very reputable radio station. I will be forwarding to that station copies of this complaint and of others from your site. I also will cover myself and send letters to Vital Basics and to Vital Home Club drafted as you have suggested.
I heard an advertisement many times on TV and the radio which advertised "FOCUS FACTOR" pills. The ad stated that for "only" $4.95 I could receive a trial offer of 30 pills, which would be charged to my debit card. When I called to order, they assured me that I could call to cancel within 30 days which I did. They offered me a monthly "deal" whereby my card would be charged a monthly charge - I declined. To my surprise, a month later, I had a charge of $139.00 plus resulting overdraft fees charged to my checking account. I called them immediately after seeing this and they gave me a list of things I needed to send to them in order to rectify the matter. They even asked me to send a copy of my bank account statement and other personal account info. When I asked them if a letter from the bank stating the situation - the charges etc. they said no, It has to be the statement.
As advertised on the radio I called for a no obligation 30 day trial supply of focus factor. I was told that after the trial period if I did not cancel then 3 bottles for the price of 2 would be shipped to me and thereafter automatic shipments. After 15 days following the instructions on the bottle I ran out of the supply and called to tell that I noticed no change and to not send me any more. I was not interested. They told me that they had already sent out a shipment of pills and call when I received them. I called back. Told them I was returning them. They said if I accepted the shipment they will charge me only 50%. I said NO. I returned the package, return receipt, signed accepted. Still they did not credit my charge account. My credit card company is now pressing for a credit on my account.
This vitamins are to be for memory and energy. Well made my stomach upset. Requested to cancel service for future shipments, they didn't. They send me a 3 bottle supply and charge my acct anyways. Requested credit and send it back. It's been over 10 days, still not getting my acct credited for 149 dollars and change.
I heard a radio advertisement for a free bottle of "Focus Factor" + $4.95 shipping. I called the company and spoke with a representative. I gave them my credit card information to order my free bottle of Focus Factor. After giving them my credit card number, they then decided to tell me about several other offers. I told them all I wanted was the Free bottle of Focus Factor for 4.95. They said that I would receive information with the Focus Factor to cancel this membership. When I received the focus factor, there was nothing in the box that said anything about calling anyone to cancel any membership, etc... A week or two later, I received something in the mail from "Vital Basics" that looked like junk mail, I almost threw it away. Something prompted me to open it. When I opened the envelope, there was a membership card and a letter.
The letter stated try this membership out for 30-days. Cancel if you don't want the membership, after 30 days your card will be billed. Not knowing who this company was, I was outraged and called the 888 number in the letter. I spoke with a representative and told them I wanted to cancel any memberships and demanded to know how they got my credit card number. The rep then told me that they did not have my card number. I read the part of the letter to him that said that they would charge my card. I finally told him to remove all account information, credit card, address, etc on me. He told me that he noted the account. A while later, I received a box from Focus Factor in the mail. In the box was 3 bottles of Focus Factor. I thought that was odd. I only ordered the one free bottle. I immediately checked my bank information to find that I had been unauthorized and illegally charged $149.90. The bank information had a phone number for the transaction, BASICS INC 800 695 8374.
I immediately called the number and explained that my account had been charged without my authorization and that I had also received 3 bottles of Focus Factor that I did not order. I demanded a refund. The lady on the phone told me that I could send the box of Focus Factor back, and I would receive a 50% refund. I told her that I would receive a 100% refund because I did not authorize this transaction and that I did not want the 3 bottles of Focus Factor, only the "Free" bottle. She then told me to send the bottles of Focus Factor back and I would receive my refund within 5 - 7 business days. I then told her that I wanted my money refunded now. She then put me on hold. When she came back, she told me that they would refund my money within 24 hours and for me to send the Focus Factor to them. I asked them what to do about shipping this box back. I told them that I was not paying shipping on something I did not even request. She then told me that they would send me a shipping label.
I am currently awaiting the shipping label. The $149.90 was refund 3/26/03. Today, 3/27/2003, I have received another membership card and letter from Vital Basics Health Club. This letter states the same as the one before (30 day trial, then they will charge my card). I have already told them very plainly that I do not want my card charged from them again. These people do not understand that when a person says DO NOT CHARGE my card, that they really don't want your business or clubs or anything.
Vital Basics / Focus Factor Company Information
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