Prepayment Nightmare

Lambrini Lukidis
Created: 2/24/2008 11:06:09 PM

Updated: 2/24/2008 11:39:34 PMWYOMING- Kim Belanger has buyer's remorse; nearly $2,000 worth. In an effort to be healthy, the college student signed herself up for LA Weight Loss. “I --> WYOMING- Kim Belanger has buyer's remorse; nearly $2,000 worth.In an effort to be healthy, the college student signed herself up for LA Weight Loss.“I just have a hard time with the motivation part so I thought going with them it would help me be accountable,” Belanger says.Belanger signed up in May, and paid $643 for their Premiere Service. It included the sign up fee, vitamins and on-line services. She also paid extra for about ten boxes of nutrition bars, which she says cost her about $1100.By summer time, Belanger stopped the program. She was contracted for one year, and says she could re-start her routine for as long as she was a member. When she decided to try again, her contract was taken over by Pure Weight Loss which has since closed. A letter informed clients that medical weight loss was taking over."They said we don't have any of their nutritional bars, we don't have anything to do with them," Belanger says.WZZM contacted Pure Weight Loss' landlord. He says they left in January on an extended lease and still owe rent. The Pure Weight Loss web site declares bankruptcy, but noted some states like Michigan could be operational where branches are independent."If they were part of a franchise, there's probably little legal emphasis and clout to go after the headquarters, because each entity will stand on its own two feet unfortunately," says Ken Vander Meeden of the Better Business Bureau of Western Michigan.Vander Meeden warns consumers not to pay up front. "If there is sales pressure on the front end to join up and pre-pay significant amounts for long periods of time be cautious,” he says.While Belanger may have lost her money, she hangs on to her determination."It's just the basic eat healthier and exercise,” she says.

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