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INTERVIEW: Don't Bother With Proactiv


I saw  this interview exposing what many of us suspected about TV-hawked, celebrity-endorsed "acne system" Proactiv, which is that it's left scores of disgruntled customers in its wake. 
Recently, Jezebel ran two articles exposing what many of us suspected about TV-hawked, celebrity-endorsed "acnesystem" Proactiv, which is that it's left scores of disgruntled customers in its wake. Here's one:

For over a month I have tried to contact the company via telephone (using several posted telephone numbers) but each time I am met with a recorded out going message stating they are "experiencing technical difficulties". I wish to cancel/close my account and am unable to do so. I have also sent the company a letter via US Mail to notify them of my desire to "quit them" and still have received no response.
Jezebel focused mainly on customers' struggles to terminate their subscriptions, though there was some dissing of the product itself, which is marketed as if it's a miracle drug for your zits. So I decided to reach out to cosmetic chemist Perry Romanowski, who writes for The Beauty Brains, a blog dedicated to helping consumers sort out the truth behind claims made by cosmetics companies, to get his thoughts on the Jezebel pieces and Proactiv's magic pimple-zapping powers.
Amanda Marcotte: I sent you this article about Proactiv and complaints about how the company runs its business. What are some of your initial thoughts about it?
Perry Romanowski: Sounds about right. They follow a business model that takes advantage of their customers' tendencies to not pay attention to what's being charged on their credit cards—a subscription model that keeps charging even when you might not want the product any more.
Marcotte: I suspect a lot of people are wary of buying skin care products sold on TV, but they sign up for Proactiv because the ads do a good job of implying that it is better than anything else on the market for clearing up acne. Is it?
Romanowski: No. They use standard (effective) technology, but their products are not better than the stuff you could buy at Target or Wal-Mart. Anti-acne products are over-the-counter drugs regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Manufacturers are limited in the technologies and claims they can use.
 equal better. You can read the remaining story at the source

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