I went to the West Hollywood Hair Club (formerly Hair Club for Men) for a consulation for their biomatrix non-surgical hair system. I once wore a hair system 13 years ago and not much has changed, although they were the first to tell me how much technology has changed and the systems are completely undetectable.
Within minutes the Consultant that is there to help me weigh my options for their services they have available, including their hair transplants. The first thing she did before anything else was to take picture of my hair in every angle possible, which I saw as a useful tool for her to talk about their services available, but I get into why this has come back to haunt me later in this complaint. Erika, the consultant (sleazy salesperson), for Hair Club in West Hollywood, asked me my budget and what I was looking for. I explained to her I was ideally wanting a hair transplant and gave her my budget.
She told me that I should go with the non-surgical procedure because they are closer to my budget. What she didn't tell me was I would most likely benefit more long term from a transplant like I found out recently given my hairline and the direction I was losing my hair. Matter a fact, I was told I was a perfect candidate for the transplant due to the plentiful stock of hair on the back of my head they would use to harvest for my transplant. Erika was quick to tell me it would be approximately $8,-9k for the procedure , which was out of my budget at the time.
Now that doesn't seem so bad, but once she told me the price of the system, I was a surprised considering I had come to them in 2005 and it had increased in price by $1,500. When I explained that to her, that is when she continue to tell me about the amazing evolution of technology used to create the system. She got me excited gave me a book to pick a hair style I liked and started moving the sales pitch through very quickly. I found a hairstyle with in minutes, I started to get excited, but I was still had reservations, because I knew there was going to be maintenance after.
I asked her how much it cost to maintain the hair. She was very vague and told me that Dora, the Customer Service Advisor, would explain the plans they have available. I asked again what the average cost was per month and she said $95. Come to find out $95 pays for a full service and it is an hourly rate.
So far the one full service I had since the process started took almost 2 hours. That was not explained to me at the beginning of course. During the consultation, Erika, made it seem like she really was excited and wanted to make this work. I guess I was naive, because she didn't care, she wanted her sale.
She called my "team" in to meet me, and it was literally a meeting. When Dora came in to meet me, she never discussed the maintenance packages, because I would have stopped the entire transaction at that moment one I found out it would cost $259-$359. The reason I say this is because although I didn't have hair, I would have rather had permanent hair through the transplant process rather than the hair system. At the maintenance rate, I would have the money by saving what I would spend each month on maintenance for hair in 3 years.
What I find so disappointing was the fact Erika knew I was stretching my budget for this and it was a big purchase for me. When I arrived on the first day for the application of my system, even though I did not tell them, nothing had changed from my system in 1999 to the system I wear now. I was disappointed and excited at the same time hoping the adhesives were going to be better than 1999. That was not the case, after 2-3 days, the frontal starts to life and I have to do my hair in a way to cover it or once I've had to lift the system and reapply with more adhesive.
This is while I am on the plan I go into the Club each week for service. After 2-3 weeks, I was explain the price structure for each package. The cheapest plan was $259, and that entire bare to the bones maintenance. I get a full service every six weeks.
So I am paying a month charge for something I don't even get each month. I have been in this financial and emotional funk for the past month, because I can't afford to pay the monthly maintenance packages. When I told them I was going to have to cancel my membership and take the system off, they brought my file out and showed me pictures of my bald spot I mentioned they took during my consultation. This is why I think it is a team approach to make you feel like they are doing everything to make this work for me, by decreasing the price to a lower plan for $207, which I don't even know how long I would have to wait for a full service, I am assuming 8 weeks.
I was just so discourage and honestly, if I didn't already pay the maintenance for this month, I would not go back ever. They just simply don't understand, I feel completely ripped off right now from the deception of Erika not completely providing all the financial obligations I would have to pay after I received they system. On top of that they gave me a list of things to do and not to do. One of which is to only use their club stylist and to only use their hair care products.
I could see why a company would say this, but everything in that club is outrageously priced. Seriously, the system looks great, but why where something that makes me financially insecure with the monthly maintenance fees. Also, the system are not completely undetectable. There have been many occasions it starts to come up and I don't know why, but I have friends that think its funny to touch my hair (this has been going on for years) and twice I've had a few looks and questions to what I'm wearing.
So now, I get self-conscious about this whole deal. My plans are to go into my weekly appointment and cancel my plan, finish out the month I paid for and *** the system or find something alternative to keep it at a rate I can afford ($100/month). It's really too bad because I have a friend that was interested in getting the same system, but I think I will recommend a different company that is not only after the dollar. I understand they need to make money, but there is a ethical way to do it and Hair Club doesn't have it.
However, I can certainly say, they should get an award for their acting abilities. They sure know how to make it seem like they do, and they may to a certain degree. But I am just so frustrated I can't see past what I feel about this and the some of the other stuff I read about HC. I am not the only one.
I guess I will just have to cut my loss and go back to a 32 year old balding man. Thank West Hollywood Hairclub!
Product or Service Mentioned: Hair Club Hair Treatment.
Location: Bellevue, Washington