For those of you who remember L.A. Weight Loss, they were the very typical, trendy, can't get away from their TV ads of greased up women in bikini's, weight loss scam. They were lately known as the relentless pushers of the over-the-counter version of Orlistat, sold as the weight loss aid "Alli", possibly the greatest invention ever for the laundry industry due to the violent and uncontrollable diarrhea triggered by any fat consumed. Oh, and that handy little hushed-up bit about the colon cancer. That doesn't matter, right? Isn't cancer worth it to lose those 5 pounds? Besides, Chemo will take the fat right off, you'll look great. (eye-roll)
They changed their name to "Pure Weight Loss" in 2007 after a string of lawsuits, orders from state attorney-general offices in Washington, Oregon and New York to substantiate claims in advertisements, a class action lawsuit claiming discriminatory hiring practices against men, and an ABC expose' of their undisclosed costs, hard-sell tactics and emotional manipulation.
Now they have to finally admit that a simple name change can't quite turn the ship around. All 400 branches of Pure Weight Loss have closed as of January 4th.
But weight, (insert rim-shot here)
What about the money?
Members are reporting that corporate headquarters stopped responding to calls and e-mails well in advance of the closing. By the time the doors shut, Pure Weight Loss owed refunds to a lot of people. Tens of thousands of people. They have assurances on their website that they will process them as soon as possible, but members are reporting a complete lack of response. Many of the lawsuits filed against the company in the past were to force them into paying rebates and refunds as advertised, and that was when they were still in business.
Pure Weight Loss files for Chapter 7 protection (Philedelphia Enquirer)
Pure Weight Loss Inc., the Horsham diet company, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection Friday in U.S. Bankrupty Court, Philadelphia. In a court document, the company said it had more than 100,000 creditors. It estimated its assets at $1 million to $10 million and its liabilities at $10 million to $50 million. The company announced in December that it was closing its weight-loss centers Jan. 4. The company's lawyer did not return a phone call yesterday. - Stacey Burling
Do you think these people will ever see their refund? It would be difficult, considering where the company filed the refund forms they received:
"As for a refund, Pure Weight Loss has posted claim forms on their website, but CBS4's Al Sunshine found out that's not the only place they are. He found dozens of refund claim forms thrown out in a dumpster behind the vacant Pure Weight Loss Center off Sunset Drive and Southwest 117th Avenue. Many of these forms were completely filled out with the customer's name and personal information including their address, their medical histories and their weight. In some cases, the forms even included medical reasons why they wanted to cancel their diet contracts and stop paying for them."
- CBS4.com Daily News
More news articles are beginning to trickle out from customers impatiently waiting for money they paid for nutritional bars, supplements, and counseling, that may never come:
Remember, the first one's always free.
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