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Beware of Unethical Beauty Centre

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Old 06-12-2018, 12:44 PM   #1
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Beware of Unethical Beauty Centre

I am writing this on behalf of a close friend who recently became the victim of Dore Aesthetics' unscrupulous business practice.

My friend responded to their advertisement promoting a 'free trial' beauty treatment. They had never from the outset intended to provide any free trial session as they claimed. Because once my friend arrived at their premises, their sales staff began to aggressively market their beauty package at a steep cost. That 'free trial' which they advertised, was only meant to be included as an additional free treatment session AFTER a customer has purchased their package. My friend was quoted a figure of almost $5K for a package. When my friend declined, explaining that it was too expensive for her, the sales staff told her she will seek her manager's approval for a discount. After less than a minute, she came back with a figure of $3K plus. My friend continued to decline. But the sales staff persisted in her sales pitch and refused to let my friend go. The price was eventually reduced to $2K plus. By this time, my friend was already starting to feel uneasy with their hard-selling antics, and said no. The sales staff still persisted and suggested setting up an instalment plan for my friend if she couldn't afford to pay immediately (by this time my friend was getting rather stressed up). Suffice to say that my friend managed to get out of the situation without burning a hole in her pocket.

According to my friend, that whole unpleasant experience which lasted almost an hour left her feeling extremely upset. And all she wanted was to post a review narrating a true account of her experience on Yelp (an online platform to post reviews of businesses), to warn other unsuspecting members of the public. But you know what? She was bullied into silence by Dore Aesthetics. Recently she received a letter from Dore Aesthetics threatening legal action for defamation if she didn't immediately remove her negative review of Dore Aesthetics posted on Yelp. My friend is just a lady with simple means, who simply couldn't afford the time and money to be dragged into a legal suit against a company with the means and financial resources to do so. You can say it's a 'David and Goliath' battle, which my friend decided not to pursue and thus yielded to their unreasonable request, albeit with much indignance.

When my friend returned to Yelp to remove her review, she noticed that many other negative reviews of Dore Aesthetics which she had previously read, had also disappeared mysteriously. We believe that these other reviewers were also threatened with legal action and thus bullied into silence. Instead there were many more positive reviews pouring in.

When my friend confided in me, she did so not intending for me to write this as she wanted to let the matter rest and to move on with life. But i felt such a strong sense of injustice arising from this whole incident that i feel compelled to share my friend's experience and also to warn the public of such unethical businesses.

Sure, one can say there's no 'free lunch' in this world. Fair enough. But Dore Aesthetics shouldn't have advertised such a misleading representation. If you had intended that customers pay for the package before being able to enjoy a free treatment session, then you should have advertised as 'Free Treatment included with package' or 'Complementary Free Treatment'. That way, customers can discern and make an informed decision, and not waste time making their way down to Dore Aesthetics only to be told otherwise. I know of some other beauty businesses that practise this - being upfront in their advertisements that free treatment comes only with the package and not as a trial.

But If Dore Aesthetics had promoted a 'Free Trial', then it should have ensured that it understands the meaning of 'Trial' and live up to its words. Because 'Trial' means a try-out session before one decides to take up the package. Either Dore Aesthetics really did not understand the meaning of the word 'Trial' (which i doubt so), or Dore Aesthetics simply wants to gain an unfair advantage over its competitors in the industry. Because by promoting 'Free Trial', Dore Aesthetics gain potential customers' attention and hence interest to drop by its beauty centre to find out more. It's obvious to me that once these potential customers are lured to its business premises, Dore Aesthetics can then proceed to close the deal on them via aggressive, hard-selling tactics. Such trickery is just plain wrong to me.

They have since changed their name from 'Dore Aesthetics' to 'Dore Medical Clinic' on Yelp, and they have removed their 'Free Trial' promotion (replacing it with a $100 Voucher instead) after all the negative reviews (which are subsequently all silenced and removed so the public doesn't know about it). But still, what scares me is how they can resort to such unscrupulous measures. Can you imagine - if you are a customer of theirs, who is dissatisfied with their treatment or services, but cannot share with others your experience? Isn't that very unfair?

From what I can see online now, Dore Aesthetics maintains a squeaky clean & 'reputable' image, concealing its ugly business practice in reality. Unsuspecting members of the public can only see the positive reviews of Dore Aesthetics without knowing the truth of what happened to some who have had unpleasant experiences (people who wish to share but cannot due to fear of legal repercussions). Many of the positive reviews you can see on Google and Yelp now, are posted by people who are affiliated with Dore Aesthetics (who are trying desperately to boost their ratings and image). You can tell that these are not authentic reviews aimed at speaking the truth. Some profiles were created immediately after a negative review was posted, and some pretended to post reviews on other businesses in order to reduce suspicion. However their reviews of these other businesses were short, simple one-liners, whereas in contrast, their positive reviews of Dore Aesthetics was lengthy and they took the extra time and effort to elaborate extensively on all the 'good things' about Dore Aesthetics. I have reported some of these bogus reviews, and fortunately enough, some were removed. But more kept coming in. Until I realized that this business will really stop at nothing and do whatever they can to appear as a respectable business (while stifling the voices of its victims).

Please do help us warn the public to be wary about such unscrupulous business and not to readily trust and believe in good reviews you read (there're many wolves in sheep's clothing out there).

Thank you very much!

Last edited by Preenie; Yesterday at 08:31 PM..
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Old 06-12-2018, 12:58 PM   #2
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The first mistake is responding to a “free” trial for spas, beauty salons and hair growth. There are no free lunches.

When u fill up lucky draws even with legitimate establishment like NTUC and cold storage, AXS etc, all your data is being sent in to these kind of companies to take advantage of you.
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Old 09-12-2018, 11:25 AM   #3
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Wa thanks for the highlight.
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Old 10-12-2018, 11:17 AM   #4
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Went to Dore Aesthetics 1-2 years back and encountered exactly the same issue. But i was desperate to resolve my skin issue then. Wanted to try free trial end up they said the free trial has no real effect, only for me to feel the sensation only. So i signed up a small package with them. Initially they quoted me 3.8k for 10 sessions. I told them i have a budget. Then they ask their manager to talk to me and reduce it to $600 for 4 sessions to make it affordable for me. In the end i only paid up partial and stopped after one treatment cos it's too expensive.
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Last edited by rottingapple; 10-12-2018 at 11:19 AM..
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Old 10-12-2018, 11:58 AM   #5
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Guys, please remind your gf, wife, sis or any friends thinking of signing up with Dore Aesthetics to be careful. Be firm. Walk away if you have to if you are uncomfortable with their hardselling. Don't say yes or pay when you are in doubt or in a moment of being pressured.
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Old 10-12-2018, 04:13 PM   #6
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Went to Dore Aesthetics 1-2 years back and encountered exactly the same issue. But i was desperate to resolve my skin issue then. Wanted to try free trial end up they said the free trial has no real effect, only for me to feel the sensation only. So i signed up a small package with them. Initially they quoted me 3.8k for 10 sessions. I told them i have a budget. Then they ask their manager to talk to me and reduce it to $600 for 4 sessions to make it affordable for me. In the end i only paid up partial and stopped after one treatment cos it's too expensive.
lucky u didn't pay more than that... You see, they mark their prices up by a huge margin, so that later they can try to look like they have given you a big discount when they reduce the price for you. And if you never ask for discount, even better for them, they get to milk as much from you as they can!
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Old Yesterday, 07:57 PM   #7
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Thanks for the highlight.
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