Medical Spa MD is a community of physicians practicing nonsurgical cosmetic medicine. Join Us

 

2nd MD - Boarded US physicians work from anywhere.
Medical Justice
Relentlessly protecting physicians from frivolous lawsuits.

More control of your income, career, and lifestyle as a physician.
Newest Comments

Medical Spa MD is a world-wide physician community for clinicians in skin clinics, laser centers and medspas with thousands of physician members around the world. By using this site you agree to our terms of service and fine print.

« Medspa MD: Subscribe to the comments. | Main | Plastic Surgeon Study: The aging human face. »
Friday
Jun152007

American Laser Clinics: Inside ALC?

A question about American Laser Clinics business model was posted in the tread: American Laser Clinics: Armed guards and threats.

 
hammer_sparks.jpgBetterOffNow posted the following in reply:

They actually have two models, one for franchises"licensee clinics" and one for company stores.
When they purchased Advanced Laser Centers they absorbed their franchises and made them buy the rights to use ALC's name.

The licensee clinics have not done well for the company and they stopped licensing new clinics as far as I can tell. They really don't seem to offer them any support.

I'm not really sure on all of the specifics of their business plan, but the doctors are considered by the company to be their employees.

So ALC will go out and recruit or many many MD's and DO's contact them to become a "Medical Director". ALC will rent out a stand alone clinic or rent a space from the medical director.

They do check the licensing requirements of each state that's why you don't see any ALC clinics in NJ which has very tough rules about who can perform laser.

The rent they pay is pretty low,if you notice they don't seem to be in high rent buildings, maybe a few thousand per month.

They pay the MD $4K monthly and the biggest expense after that is equipment, but they have many agreements with Syneron so they aren't paying as much as everyone else does for their lasers. There was an attempt at legal action against them for creating a monopoly about 18 month sago but ALC won the anti trust suit.

If the clinic is a startup, it usually operates with a skeleton crew, 1 manager, 1 FT tech maybe one PT. they expect a new clinic to be producing 60K per month after 3 months,manager's get the axe if their clinic is not producing. No discussion, no negotiation.

They prefer the MD's not to get in the way, I think I talked to my medical director maybe once every 3 months or so.
ALC ia basically a very revenue driven company, and they pretty much try and steamroll over any opposition to their plans.

They operate their clinics in an atmosphere of fear, even my medical director was afraid of them.
Once about 3 years ago, a clinic manager in NY, wasn't feeling well. She was too intimidated to take time off to recover, and didn't want to ask to take an hour off to go see a doctor.

There was a strongly worded manager's conference call about slackers who called in sick because it was the end of the month and big numbers had to be achieved.

Well to make a long story short, that manager called her clinic in the morning and said she was still really sick but she would make it in later that morning. She never showed up and when her assistant manager was able to go to her building and get the key they found her dead. Literally worked to death.she was all of 28. RIP. Like I said - I'm Betteroffnow

For the physicians I've seen this work out extremely poorly. It's the doctors medical license that's at risk and they're always the ones sued first by unhappy patients since they're the ones providing medical oversight. For $3k a month for something you could do yourself it's just not a great deal. The pitch to the physicians is that they'll drive so much traffic into your other clinic that its a great deal. But what I've seen in practice mirrors what's stated above. American Laser tries to distance themselves as much as possible from physician involvement. 

I find it interesting that they couldn't make their license agreement work.  I guess it's just a lot easier to sell medspa licenses and franchises than it is to support the franchises.

Reader Comments (178)

It's this type of information (albeit anonymously posted) that makes this site so good. Thank you BetterOffNow.

I've been reading DermaRogue, DermaDoc, LH, Med Spa Guy. Thanks to all of you. I was thinking that I was ready to throw my lot in with one of these franchises (I won't say which one) and you guys saved me. Thanks.

I think that I'll be going it alone now. While many of the comments show that this is not as easy as some might think, I can see that the franchise route is not for me. I've taken DermaDocs comment that if he knew then what he knows now he wouldn't have gone with a franchise to heart.

It seems to me that American Laser Clinics are the worst of both worlds.

Don't mean to ramble, just wanted to express my gratitude.

I find all this discussion regarding various laser hair removal companies rather self serving. It sounds mostly like sour grapes. I've watched American Laser Centers grow nationwide. Sure there are some unhappy people out there, but when you have a company that does 100,000 treatments every month, you're bound to have a few unhappy campers out there. You don't build a business this successful without doing a lot of things right.

Unfortunately, too many people in this industry have made poor decisions and have been unfocused. The fact that American Laser Centers has avoided the bad decisions that have crippled its competitors (e.g. Sona, Nuvo) doesn't make it a bad company.

06.29 | Unregistered CommenterJon Nivek

JON NIVEK - you work for American Laser Center.

The last name you typed in "Nivek" is "KEVIN" backwards. You must be Kevin, one of American Laser Centers many lawyers. Hello! I pity the fool...

How do you know ALC does 100,000 treatments a month?


The reason the public doesn't hear frequently from unhappy customers is because ALC's legal team removes every possible website out there that displays any sort of negativity about this dreadful company.

Don't worry people - ALC might be winning the game now financially - but they're setting themselves up for failure. Give it a year or 2 - I look forward to watching the Dateline NBC episode about them.

I have first hand experience of how ALC works and to be honest I've never come across a company that is so dollar-driven that they have actually forgotten how to care for the clients. That company doesn't care about employees or paying customers.

In response to the post 7/13/2007. I think we should be watching date line or NBC sooner than 2 years. For any who have suffered at the hands of these lying, negligent people who pose as "medical".Watch for justice to come. b I have felt all alone in my battle with them, I am so blessed to hear the truth come out, I know I am not alone, my battle is almost won. I plan on going all the way, they operate illegally, and the right people have been notified, it is taking some time, and it is appaulling that they had the nerve to operate in this state they way they have, clearly against the medial board, the RN board, and the Consumer affairs. I have not sat back embarrassed and bullied, because I know more than they think I do. I will not let up until some one really steps up and shuts them down.

I have been going to the same ALC office in Michign for a little over two years. Sour grapes is a mild term. I have followed everything from no tanning, scrubbing legs, painful treatments 5 weeks apart, paid $3750.00 and I still have hair in every single folicle. The hair is finer and lighter, but still everywhere. It took them 8 months to fed ex me a copy of my file. Mind you, the package came with no cover letter just my file with a clip on it. You'd think they would include the past 8 months history since they made me wait so long. I had to threaten that my HIPPA right were in violation infront of potential new customers to get my file. I've demanded my money back, to only find that the regional manager wrote "this customer paid us no money". ALC bought a company that I did sign up with. Please, if anyone is considering getting this done, DON'T. Learn from my $3750.00 mistake that this does not work. I did have dark hair and fair skin. I still have fair skin but my hair is light. And all of my hair is still here after almost 20 treatments. ALC does not work

Unhappy with ALC in Michigan.
It is good to read postings from patients. I also had a bad experience, and I did get my money back. My situation may be different, my treatment ended after the fifth. I wish I could talk to other patients and see what they have experienced. Oh and by the way, ALC bought the company I originally signed up with too! Funny how that is.

I am dating a nurse that works for an ALC, doing all the laser treatments. It has now been a year, and she has not meet the physician that is supposed to be overseeing the practice. Worse off, when we looked up the physician that is in charge, we found that he lives apx 900 miles away. Is my girlfriend risking her RN degree? What can be done to stop this.

08.5 | Unregistered Commenterronnie

I'd suggest that your RN friend call the state and find out the oversight requirements. She could well be at risk depending upon the requirements and what she's doing.

08.5 | Unregistered CommenterSoftMD

thanks for the reply, we live in california, and i tried to look up the requirements, which are not very specific, but do mention that the physician has to somehow oversee the practice.

She also told me that her long hours that she puts in the 3-4 days/week gets divided over a longer period of time by the manager so she does not get overtime. They clock her off at 5pm when she works till 7 or 8, and then those three hours or so are put on a day that she only works half day, or a day that she does not work at all. Im assuming that this behavior is not legal. Is there anyone out there experiencing the same thing?

08.5 | Unregistered Commenterronnie

I havent been able to get a refund yet on a product i bought with ALC-I didnt use it and i have my receipt and they wont take it back. Their gift certificate calls are ridiculous, i got one and they said I "won". Yeah right. Dont support these clinics.

Thomas Garrison MD ----------- medical director.
where are you ?????

ALS from Seattle to San Diego California !!!!!

But you live in Utah ???? hmmmm.....

This is why "medspa" "medical director" is a "bad" word these days.

08.7 | Unregistered Commenternoway

No kidding, noway. Your looking for the same Physician that I was. The latest that I have heard...Mr. Garrison is no longer the medical director for those areas. Hmmmm I wonder why?

Ronnie:

The California Medical Board states that the use of a laser is the practice of Medicine and that only facilities under the supervision of a physician can operate lasers. They further state that the physician must own 51% of the business. While they are not agressively pursuing non 51% physician owned business at this date, they will shut a non 51% physiican owned business down if they get a complaint from a consumer. You should check this web page http://www.mbc.ca.gov/MA_Article_Laseruse.htm

08.10 | Unregistered CommenterWPS

Oh “laser girl”- I think I’m falling in love! Yes you smart cookie… Nevik is Kevin spelled backwards- you know THAT Kevin, one of the principals at ALC. Sounds just like him too. Ironically what he says sounds so reasonable:
” Sure there are some unhappy people out there, but when you have a company that does 100,000 treatments every month, you're bound to have a few unhappy campers out there”
That is of course how they justify having so many very pissed off people at them. (Does the A in ALC stand for Angry?)
If you google ALC Complaints do you know that you pull up almost 800 responses? And those are just the people that complained on line- god knows how many just slink out believing they are alone with their tails between their legs.
The 100,000 monthly treatments that Kevin is referring to are not 100,000 patients; they are patients having multiple treatments which makes their % of complaints even more staggering.
How is that sour grapes? A burn is a burn no matter how you try and market it.
Meanwhile his logic is lacking. Just because American Laser Centers has avoided bad business decisions (so far) and stayed focused on their bottom line does not mean that it is a GOOD company-hello?
Furthermore- Business 101 will teach you that you cannot MAINTAIN a successful business with poor customer service. I don’t care what the numbers this month are; they will not be in business long term if they keep up this nonsense.
So go on back to Hallwood Court and have another closed-door business meeting with the “three amigos” about your EXIT STRATEGY because the whole world is catching on that this was never supposed to be permanent and long term.
I wonder how many other ALC employees will try and post here? Will they all spell their names ass backwards? Stay tuned…

As an employee, I can tell you that all of this is true. Pay is decent, but as its clients, they take advantage of us to the utmost. NO lunches or breaks on many occasions. No overtime. The patients get mad at the techs, but we are the very least of the problem, and the very least of concern from corporate.

08.25 | Unregistered Commenterlasertech

Why to you think they call Rich Morgan, CEO of American Laser Centers "Richie Rich" He is a money grubbing owner who has the worst foul mouth of any one I've met. He has his weekly meetings with all of the managers on one phone call. Everyone listens into his vulgar bantering, pushing them all to sell, sell, sell. He doesn't care if clients get tricked into buying packages of treatments. And if a client signs up for Care Credit, beware--if they for instance apply for a $5,000 credit limit, and they only purchase a $3,000 package they will go ahead and charge out the full $5,000 on credit card. Many people get tricked into this type of fraud. I am also waiting for 60 Minutes or Dateline to do a story on this fraudulant company. Their lasers aren't even a true laser. It is a radio frequency based light treatment. Syneron makes all of their lasers and they are a bunch of crap..Buyers beware

08.25 | Unregistered Commenterfrustrated

I'm having diffuculty writing a post, i cannot see what i write so please excuse any mispelling, I currently work for ALC and all i have to say is that being there is pure tortue!! I agree with everything that has been said above and feel as if this chain should be shut down!!!!!!!

I would like to chime in regarding ALC. I have been to quite a few different doctors offices, and had hair removal with all sorts of different lasers/IPL. The one thing that I have found after all of my experience/research is that technique/know how is A#1 when it comes to final results. I have had 6 treatments with the Palomar IPL and nearly all of the hair is back. One treatment with the Aesthera with zero reduction, and I have also had 4 treatments with the syneron comet and the results have been hands down better. (All on the neck/Back) My wife has had 10 treatments with the Candela Gentlelase with good, lasting results. (Arms) She has also had 4 treatments with the comet with outstanding clearance. (Legs/bikini)
FYI I have been inside an ALC, but didn't buy anything, so there must be something different, because we are both pleased with our comet experience. The only thing I can say is that I have seen many posts on here regarding the lasers I have mentioned, and everyone has had different experiences. Consumers need to do research, ask questions, and spend money with those who earn it.

09.4 | Unregistered CommenterSG

What's different about ALC is they are deliberately ignoring the manufacturer's protocols. They have rewritten the protocols that they supposedly patented so that the settings are much lower than what the laser manufacturer's recommend. Lower settings equal lower liability. There are few burns or scarring but it takes a very long time to see results: like years. What do they care-they've got your money.

A salesperson representing ALC took out a charge card with GE Money Bank
without my permission by tricking me into giving her my social security number to check if I had good credit. She told me when I was walking out that she had a special offer of payments on a monthly basis without interest charges. She knew that I was not working at the time because I told her yet, she said that as long as I had good credit it was not a problem. I assumed since she did not ask my permission to open a charge card that it was a pay as I go along offer. I voiced my concerns about pain level and scarring or burns that might occur; mentioning that I had worked at North Shore Dermatology therefore I knew to ask these kind of questions. She after examining my daughters skin type, assured me that
she did not anticipate any of concerns and convinced me that the pain level
was less than waxing. When I asked the what if!...she responded that if
I experienced any of my concerns that of course I did not have to continue
any treatments after the first one. Well!...My daughter did get burns and
said the pain was too much for her. She was use to getting waxed and had
never been shaved before. When I informed her that I was not coming back
after that first treatment that caused small burns, she explained that it
probably occurred from not shaving properly. I reminded her that I paid
ALC upfront for the technician to do the shaving. Without anymore detail,
today, I am in court with Rothman & Rubin whom represents GE Money Bank.
It has become a nightmare. The outcome, after explainging too many times to GE representatives and writing a letter requesting written approval of
signature or recording giving ALC permission to GE Money Bank...Rothman
& Rubin, attorneys for GE Money Bank lies to me and tells me that since it is considered a dispute even though I keep explaining that it is fraud, won't proceed to take any action into court. I was not notified about
court action and the civil court passed judgement. Of course, who will
believe me up against a lawyer and a bank. Then when I am served by a
sheriff to garnish salary, the workplace is not correct info...since I did
not work at the time. I question the court, who gives a $3,500 dollar
credit card to someone who is not working. I am granted an order to show
cause after detailing more info then I have given you. I explain reason why time has elapsed, as well. I am presently waiting for a 9/25/07 court
date and sit angry about my bank accounts being blocked. I do as much as
I can to try to prepare for this date and must go in front of a judge without an attorney. I hope I don't get demolished. ALC, still refusing
to speak with me...after GE Money Bank states that I must speak directly to
them. Only other option is to deal with ROthman & Rubin whom you can not
trust what they say. Lot's of hang-ups...and refusals to give me file or
information on technician they claim my daughter saw twice. I asked for
procedures and even went up to the office. Representative there told me
to leave or she would call security. I did speak with two customers in the
hall whom I hope listened and use the warning I gave them. One said that
she was did not realize that GE Money Bank was involved and thought she had
a credit with ALC without interest. She and the other client got more info
then I did...different salesperson. I am still living the nightmare.

A salesperson representing ALC took out a charge card with GE Money Bank
without my permission by tricking me into giving her my social security number to check if I had good credit. She told me when I was walking out that she had a special offer of payments on a monthly basis without interest charges. She knew that I was not working at the time because I told her yet, she said that as long as I had good credit it was not a problem. I assumed since she did not ask my permission to open a charge card that it was a pay as I go along offer. I voiced my concerns about pain level and scarring or burns that might occur; mentioning that I had worked at North Shore Dermatology therefore I knew to ask these kind of questions. She after examining my daughters skin type, assured me that
she did not anticipate any of concerns and convinced me that the pain level
was less than waxing. When I asked the what if!...she responded that if
I experienced any of my concerns that of course I did not have to continue
any treatments after the first one. Well!...My daughter did get burns and
said the pain was too much for her. She was use to getting waxed and had
never been shaved before. When I informed her that I was not coming back
after that first treatment that caused small burns, she explained that it
probably occurred from not shaving properly. I reminded her that I paid
ALC upfront for the technician to do the shaving. Without anymore detail,
today, I am in court with Rothman & Rubin whom represents GE Money Bank.
It has become a nightmare. The outcome, after explainging too many times to GE representatives and writing a letter requesting written approval of
signature or recording giving ALC permission to GE Money Bank...Rothman
& Rubin, attorneys for GE Money Bank lies to me and tells me that since it is considered a dispute even though I keep explaining that it is fraud, won't proceed to take any action into court. I was not notified about
court action and the civil court passed judgement. Of course, who will
believe me up against a lawyer and a bank. Then when I am served by a
sheriff to garnish salary, the workplace is not correct info...since I did
not work at the time. I question the court, who gives a $3,500 dollar
credit card to someone who is not working. I am granted an order to show
cause after detailing more info then I have given you. I explain reason why time has elapsed, as well. I am presently waiting for a 9/25/07 court
date and sit angry about my bank accounts being blocked. I do as much as
I can to try to prepare for this date and must go in front of a judge without an attorney. I hope I don't get demolished. ALC, still refusing
to speak with me...after GE Money Bank states that I must speak directly to
them. Only other option is to deal with ROthman & Rubin whom you can not
trust what they say. Lot's of hang-ups...and refusals to give me file or
information on technician they claim my daughter saw twice. I asked for
procedures and even went up to the office. Representative there told me
to leave or she would call security. I did speak with two customers in the
hall whom I hope listened and use the warning I gave them. One said that
she was did not realize that GE Money Bank was involved and thought she had
a credit with ALC without interest. She and the other client got more info
then I did...different salesperson. I am still living the nightmare.

when I mention, them - I mean ALC. ALC claims that I had a second appt when
I did not. The salesperson and the technician has been transferred. I
have spoke with a lawyer, Robert Seringer (?, spelling of name) who only
wanted to know if I had pictures of the burn...or expected a refund. REFUND!
I never gave premission for a charge card. He offered me to go to another
clinic...absurd responses...when I turned it down and asked for my file and
proof of signature that I have been asking for months. his response is that I have to write for it and it will take 30 days. Why has no one given this info to me baefore? A customer rep whom I spoke with recently told me that the file would be recommended to be closed down then I spoike with
a by anotbher rep in the company and confirmed by a Maria the new salesperson, I guess at NHP...that my daugher had a second treatment which
we did not. When I asked what time and technician..she could not give that
info since she had to go into a meeting. Yet, when I came in the office...
and first did not tell anyone who I was to get general procedure info...she
realized that it was me and picked up the phone to call security. She
came out into the hall to speak with the two clients that I informed of my
troubles with ALC, she said she is instructed not to speak with me. GE
Money Bank reps are not allowed to speak with me either and tell me to
either call ALC to discuss what they call a dispute and ROthman & Rubin
does the same. Yet, I will no longer speak with them because they lie to
you. Just wanted to warn others in case. Don;t waste your time. Demand
legally that Rothman & Rubin settle the problem with ALC if you have a
similar problem with ALC opening a charge card without telling you and
getting your permission. Also, I know the level of the laser since I
questioned the technician when my daughter was given the first treatment.
I thing you should know. Good Luck to those who have to go up against
ALC, GE Money Bank and ROthman & Rubin.

I quite working as a laser tech. for ALC two weeks ago. I felt too badly about the poor people taken advantage of there. I am jobless, and moneyless now- but I would beg on the streets then go back to ALC. At least I would be asking people for their money, instead of robbing them blind.
I look forward to the day soon when this company will go under.

09.15 | Unregistered Commenterjasmin


Wow and oh my god-
OK-when ALC trained me on how to get financing for clients; we were trained to present the package and the “discounted price” and to offer Care Credit. I was trained to say (and this may have changed) “Care Credit is owned by GE Capital and can provide you with financing for one year-interest free. Do you want to see if you qualify?”
Then the client fills out an application for a Care Credit credit card. There is the fine print that states the terms of the agreement as well as the standard checking your credit legalese. It requires your signature.
If Care Credit approves you, and almost everyone gets approved, you are then supposed to fill out a Treatment and Financial Agreement, as well as a Pre and Post Treatment Agreement, a HIPPA, a 2 year Guarantee and an Agreement for Laser Hair Removal. All of these documents require a signature.
The treatment and Financial Agreement clearly states if it pay as you go or if it is paid in full. Typically there are no discounts on pay as you go only on packages.
Then the account number that Care Credit gives the salesperson is run through a credit card machine. The client is then given the slip to sign, as well as they sign a “hard copy” that has the account number as well as the terms of the agreement that you have with GE Capital. Remember that GE Capital is a BANK that has to adhere to all of the consumer lending laws etc.
What they are taking people to court for is not paying the monthly minimum payment that the client has agreed to. They will present in court 3 separate signatures that basically say, ”I know Care Credit is not my friend”
If you did not sign any of these documents or sign the Care Credit Application then that is consumer fraud and the manager/salesperson should be fired and criminally prosecuted.
If you did sign and these attorneys can introduce your signatures as court documents then you still have recourse, you can get a partial refund for services not rendered. I would advise you to go to Small Claims Court to recoup your losses. Also follow up with Rob Seffinger.
You may also want to contact attorney Ken Quat. He has a civil lawsuit against ALC and is also a Consumer Rights Attorney in MA. His website is http://www.quatlaw.com/
You sound like you’ve had a nightmare experience with my former employer and I can’t believe the sheriff came to your door! I wish you all the best and I will send you good thoughts on 9/25 for a positive outcome-good luck!

Betteroffnow
Rob Seffinger works in the legal department at the corporate office of ALC. Right?

09.17 | Unregistered CommenterInjured

yes- he is a lawyer for ALC and is actually a pretty nice guy.Their department is absolutely inudated so all of the legal dept.gets very overwhelmed and stressed just like everyone else in that company, so you may convenietly slip through the cracks-good luck

Sorry, but Robert Seffinger does not have my sympathy. My experience (since 5/2006) is that he talks to get you off his back, does not follow through, demands documents of proof, disregards them, and finally he flat out said, "I do not care about your legs". I have titled myself as "injured" for a reason. I eventually received my refund,including various medical supplies I purchased on my own to nurse the injuries I received. My refund was not because of his efforts. He made a mistake to say he did not care about my legs, true as it is, the ALC I went to has no supervising Medical Director, never did. In California that is not ok. The laser is a prescription, who writes prescriptions. I had three different nurses provide the 5 treatments I had, they just kept loosing staff. I requested my records, 5 treatment records: improperly documented, one with no RN signature, and flat out lies. This improper treatment of patients is called "intent". If a Nurse/MD/Medical facility does not follow the regulations they are liscensed by, then it's is viewed as an intentional act to do harm. I do not blame the nurses, I do however believe they were misinformed by ALC, fooled. I have made my complaint with the Medical board and other agencies regarding ALC and its practice. I believe they should be held accountable as would any other professional who prescribes and treats patients. From the other comments I have read, someone needs to go to the Labor board. Any liscensed professional should feel obligated to request that regulating agencies investigate this company.

09.19 | Unregistered CommenterInjured

wow-just dumbfounded
I left ALC before your injuries occured. I cannot believe Rob Seffinger or ANYONE would tell you they did not care about injuries that you suffered in their clinic.
I am certified and registered. To my knowledge, AlC broke no laws and followed all regulations in my state. However the laws are different from state to state and CA is one of the toughest states to perform laser treatments. Be that as it may, I can't understand why your treaments were improperly documented and why they weren't signed off on. That's sorta Laser 101. Where was the manager? Where was the regional? Where was the medical staff whose department my clinic's sales subsidized?
just gobsmacked how piss poor this company has become and I'm so glad you were able to get your money back

The Manager is a very young person. When I complained I was told, "oh, that has never happened to anyone else", She gave me names and numbers for "regional people", I have records of the many people who I spoke with, never got a return call or follow up. Looked up ALC corporate office, got in touch with Robert my self. Robert had this strange concern about me talking to the manager at the center he required that I not botherthem, I was only to deal with him. After months of chasing him, and getting a different story about my refund, ie...required the credit card # I used so he could put the credit on it, I waited, couldn't reach him, sent faxes, etc....then he said, "we mailed the check to you". You can see why he left me with such an impression. Finally, I called the Manager back at the clinic, told her the conflicting information I was getting, she was surprised and said, "they have already deducted the amount from our center". She made the credit to my card. This was followed with an angry Robert who said, "ok, we are done with this, your not going to call the clinic anymore, everything is ok?" I replied, "not my legs" he replied, "I don't care about your legs". I had 4 months of antibiotic treatmenst ending with Clindimycin, IM injection and 30 day oral treatment, until I started having bleeding from my intestines/bowels. I am not finished by far.

09.21 | Unregistered CommenterInjured

what the...
back in Jan of this year, the president of the company made the corporate wide committment of awarding refunds to all clients that had requested one, or who had an "adverse reaction" such as yourself. His comment on a conference call was "we want to be the Nordstrom's of Laser Hair Removal."
Close to 13K was deducted from my pay as my clinic had many many refunds pending.
Being a little older and more cynical than the manager that you have been dealing with, I took it upon myself to call each and every refund just to make sure that ALC was actually giving back the money and not just ripping me off too.
They were 2 large refunds totalling over 6K that were not given to the clients, and I informed my regional manager as it comes out of her pay too.
We were both pretty pissed but were slightly mollified by the explanation that the sytem was new there were alot of kinks blah blah blah.
We were absolutly forbidden to process refunds on the credit card terminals, in fact they were all disabled so the refund cannot be electronically processed through.
The manager that you are dealing with must have called in the refund and she probably got into big trouble for it.
sounds like a coverup to me...
we were also told that if there was an injury like yours, the refund was "fasttracked" through the system to get a refund out even more quickly. Looks like the system is failing miserably.
just bizarro-I was a manager for awhile and I never saw injuries like yours ever. There were burns, but I can count them on one hand. My center was really busy too, so it was rare-maybe one every couple of months.I trained my staff to know what to do in the event of a burn but we secretly freaked out if it ever happened-it just made us look bad.
Without knowing anymore that what you've put on this site, it sounds like there were several safety and protocol violations that honestly just aren't supposed to happen. The company is sleazy but I never thought it was dangerous to my clients health!
good luck, I wish you the best

Okay this might seem like a really long comment but I just really need to vent my frusteration. This company, ALC, has made my life a living you know what....I cancelled my treatment package two days after being "set-up" for it because I realized I had a medical condition that I would not feel comfortable having laser treatment near the infection site. However, they then turn around and tell me my medical condition has to follow under their medical conditions list in order to terminate even though I signed a cancellation fee and even though I was never told about this medical conditions agreement nor did I sign anything stating this. Now I am already receiving payments that are due for services I have never even had done. My question for anyone out there is that even though I know how little I can do because these people are so good at what they do, if I take them to small claims court, what are the chances that I will get a refund or even anything at all?Thanks please e-mail me with you response....strawbariblon@yahoo.com

If you have an infection, hopefully you have been seen by your doctor. Explain to him/her you need a doctor's note stating that your infection is a medical contraindication for laser hair removal. (If you are embarrassed the note does not have to state what the infection is.)
Fax the note to the center to the center manager with a written request for a refund for the full amount or for the amount less the 10% refund fee. Or send it certified letter.
While ALC has a strict list of what they will accept as a medical contraindication- so what. If you and your doctor don't want you to have laser done, ALC can't force you into it.
Follow up with the manager and tell her you want to speak to her regional. Be nice-you’ll get more flies with sugar. Tell her that you know it’s not her decision etc. etc. She’ll be really bitchy to you, but don’t let her or anyone bait you into losing your cool. You have a legitimate request and they have to honor it.
Keep a careful log of the times you have called to follow up, who you spoke to, the messages that you left etc.
In the meantime, PAY THE MINIMUM CARE CREDIT PAYMENT. Call Care Credit and tell them you are in dispute with the vendor but you want to protect your credit so you are paying the minimum. Get the name of who you speak to, document document document. Ask them to put a note on your account that you are disputing the charges because you have not received service.
If after 30 days of written request for refund, you have not gotten anywhere, I would file in small claims court. File in your town/city and name the center manager as who you are suing. Hopefully it won't come down to going to court because it's a real pain, but you will be able to get a refund.

oh my gosh,
i signed up with alc a year ago , i was also told about the treatment being pain free! and intrest free credit! they are full of lies! this is a world of lies! and having a hard time getting treatments! i guess i got to bite the bullet and pay it off, i am afraid of hurting myself from their machines! it is true about their workers getting no lunch brake, i was in their office today and the girl by the desk was starving!! she had no lunch brake, how sad! she told me the saps was not called pain, go figure, then what is it called??? there was a lady who wanted a refund, but they won't give her one. i dont feel safe in their office!
i am sorry, i signed up with them! maybe the way to go is at someones home? it would be nice not to shave or wax! but i am afraid of the laser, it sounds like there are so much negative things that come with it.

10.10 | Unregistered Commenterwow

To wow-
When used correctly, there are no short term or longterm side effects from Laser Hair Removal other then no hair. ALC deliberatly keeps the settings as low as possible to avoid thermal injuries.
If your treatments are painful-inform the tech and they can pre-ice the skin. Five minutes of icing provides 20 minutes of numbness which will make your treatments more comfortable.
The girl at the desk was most likely a manager or an assistant manager, and they are salaried. Of course they are entitled to breaks, and usually they take a pretty long one- longer then the techs because they work longer hours.
Each clinic is run differently and it's own "culture", however, they all should be following the federal labor laws regarding breaks.
If you don't feel safe, ask to speak to a manager to voice your concerns, or ask to be transferred to another center.
If you truly want a refund, there are ways to get it, but ALC makes it very difficult as you saw from your own experience at the desk.
What clinic do you go to?

Has ALC ever been sued?

10.12 | Unregistered CommenterPuzzled

The following sites might help. The 3rd one is the best and free. If you have problems with ALC (like I did) then please fill out a report and get help from the Better Business Bureau. They should be fair and helpful. I am waiting for my results. My story is at the first link below. Good Luck!

1. http://www.thesqueakywheel.com/complaints/2007/AUG/complaint17282.cfm
2.
http://www.ripoffreport.com/default.asp
3.
http://welcome.bbb.org/.

10.12 | Unregistered CommenterNatasha

Are you in California. My complaint began back in 9/06 for injuries occured 4/06. with BBB, the Medical Board, the RN board and Chiropractor board. How long have you been waiting for an official response?

10.13 | Unregistered CommenterPUZZLED

Natasha-
As a former employee I can tell you that while these sites may help you vent your frustrations, they won't get your money back.
ALC doesn't care about the BBB-in many states that are blacklisted as a bad company to do business with.
My biggest frustartion I had as a manager was that my bosses who made the refund decsions were not listed on the BBB website as having fraudulent business practices-MY NAME WAS.
Even though I no longer work for them my name is still up on the website as the bad guy who wouldn't give out refunds when in reality my hands were completely tied.
The only surefire way that I know of to get back your money is to go to Small Claims Court and sue for services not rendered.
There IS a class action lawsuit that I believe you can still join:
http://massachusettsconsumer.blogspot.com
The lawyer's website is http://www.quatlaw.com

Another ALC lawsuit:
This time the EEOC vs. ALC for civil rights violations in employment
http://dockets.justia.com/docket/court-miedce/case_no-2:2007cv14063/case_id-224300/

I have been working at a relatively new ALC. I don't think that I have ever been treated so poorly by a manager, ever.
I have numerous SERIOUS complaints against my manager. Who is so money hungry it makes me sick, the woman sells her soul at the end of every month and makes everyone else sell their soul too. I never saw the class action lawsuits that were against this company before I started, if I had I never would have applied. My manager has a basic knowledge of the skin, and by basic, I mean really none at all, this also goes for her ass kissing assistant, too. On numerous occasions I have felt compelled to speak up about different clients treatments only to be met with bs remarks that are based on her lack of education and laser knowledge.
She quotes "what they taught me in esthetics school was....." but as estheticians, we all know what you learn in school does not apply to all situations and as a SMART esthetician you would know what to do differently.
I have questioned them on numerous occasions about procedures, protocol and correct 'skin typing' only to be talked down to.
If you read the application for employment, they actually state that you have 6 months to file anything against them if you feel that you should sue them....that really surprised me! I did not see this when I filled out the application.
I am disgusted with many of the procedures that are done because I feel that many of the estheticians are just not trained well enough. I know that this post is a mish mosh of things, but I had to get it off my chest...thank you Betteroffnow for your previous post on civil rights violations. And if you want to know, yes I am looking for another job.

To the person who posted as "Injured" they only clean their laser heads with a towellette that supposedly kills bacteria, etc.
This could be why you had an infection.

Hello Smarter than they are,
It is a suprise to me they actually have a "protocol" to clean it. Of course I never witnessed it being done, but I am sure they didn't. Anyway, for interesting reading about one of the "Medical Director's" Thomas Garrison,MD, Then go to the California medical board "hot sheet", then do a MD search with his liscense and see what he is under investigation for....there is an interesting piece of information about some education dvd this doctor developed, it should make for a laugh. For more reading, read the agenda minutes from 8/30/07 with the CA Medical Board.

10.22 | Unregistered CommenterInjured

is americal laser center and american laser clinic the same

10.22 | Unregistered Commentercurious

To Curious,
I think that a l center and a l clinic might be the same

Type in Garrison on the last name portion of this website http://publicdocs.medbd.ca.gov/pdl/mbc.aspx

10.24 | Unregistered Commenteryep

American Laser Centers purchased Advanced Laser Clinics 9/2005.
It looks as though Garrison was the Medical Director for Advanced Laser Clinics in Redding and Hermosa Beach CA. He continued as Medical Director for American Laser Centers after the takeover.
I say WAS because the CA medical board yanked his license due to gross negligence for an incident that occured 8/17/06.
interesting reading

What I don't understand is if there are people on here that work for the company and know that there is obviously something wrong with what they are doing, why doesn't anybody post direct phone numbers to help the patients out? I was a patient and am also trying to get a refund for services I've signed up for, and whenever I have asked for upper management's phone #'s I am blown off and they tell me they are not allowed to give out that information. Can anyone help

I am a former employee-I always trusted that once I escalated a client up the chain of command it was being taken care of. The money was being taken from my checks for refunds so I assumed that it was handled.It is only since I left and have seen these postings have I realized how many cliemts are left twisting in the wind.
Typically you would contact the clinic manager, then the regional manager, then Nicole Vitale VP of Operations cell248-756-0981 or Tony Zanglungo EVP of Operations cell248-756-3499.
even though I have posted these numbers I doubt that they will really help you. The only thing that works is a lawsuit and/or smalll claims court.
good luck

Betteroffnow... where do you work @ now?

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>

Join Medical Spa MD

captcha
MEDICAL SPA MD
Medical Spa MD

A community of dermatologists, plastic surgeons, laser clinics, & skin clinics world wide.

Medical Spa MD is a world-wide community of physicians and clinicians practicing cosmetic medicine. Please read our Terms of Service, Advertising Terms and Privacy Policy.

Copyright © 2011. All rights reserved.

LEGAL NOTICE & TERMS OF SERVICE