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A Warning about Karen Becker and Mercola

I have been on the mailing list of Karen Becker and numerous holistic vets and natural health companies in the USA, Canada and other countries for many years. Natural diets and natural healing for my animals is certainly not new to me. 

I contacted Karen Becker 18 months ago about my English Setter, Hobson. I was not impressed with the response. Therefore I did not purchase her products.

The probiotics product I have been giving to Hobson is unavailable until end May 2013. I have been using a product developed for humans rather than dogs from a trusted supplier. I decided to give Karen Becker a try. This would determine whether or not she was reputable. I paid $128.57 USD for my order. Yesterday I received a letter from The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) advising me that the supplier i.e. Mercola had not obtained a valid import permit; that these veterinary products were in contravention of the Quarantine Act 1908; and that these products had to be destroyed. 

When I contacted Mercola, I was advised that they would not issue me with a refund because I should have read their ordering policy. 

I did not read this policy because I did not consider that Mercola would accept orders from overseas customers without first obtaining a valid import permit from their country of residence. All the other overseas holistic vets/natural health companies I have dealt with have considered that it is their responsibility to do this. 

The natural health industry has become as greedy as the drug companies. Karen Becker and Mercola are definitely not on my trusted list now.

 

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I know the law in the U.K states that the onus is on the consumer to check out the terms and conditions before purchasing, and if the terms and conditions are clear, then you haven't got a leg to stand on in consumer law.  However, I do feel that any reasonable company would have flagged this on their system and contacted the consumer (you) before they accepted your money and certainly before shipping. I am really not happy about this.  I will be looking very carefully at Mercola's terms and conditions when I get a moment.

I am thinking back to when I tried to order something from Jerri Brunetti's website in the States for Tallulah. The order was accepted by the website, But then I got a very snotty email from some woman saying "we don't ship to the U.K" and something along the lines of piss off.  I was NOT impressed, but at least I was told, and my money was put back in my account. 

If you paid by credit card, it may be worth talking to them as you may be covered for such an eventuality.

Hi Lesley, I have also suggested the card route to Susan. If I were in her shoes, I would not let the matter drop!  Another suggestion would be to find a good consumer advocate.  We have a great one at our local radio station.  He sorted out a really nasty situation for our training school, when a company we booked some advertising with (recommended by a local vet too) seriously tried to rip us off.  The man at the radio station gave them such a hard time that they rang us begging us to call him off them !  He deals with a lot of companies like Mercola whose systems clearly needs a good looking at.  I am also wondering if he would advocate for Susan if I say that I know her and that I recommended their products to her.  He really does enjoy a good challenge and somehow I think he would do this.  If you would like me to give it a try Susan, please pm me, and I will go for it next week.  The amount you have spent is an amount worth pursuing!

Fran, please don't feel bad about this. I was on Karen Becker's mailing list many years before I read an ES forum topic when you mentioned Karen Becker and Mercola. I accept responsibility for ordering these products and I do not regret my decision because this has shown me the true intention of Mercola, ie, greed. Karen Becker is not saying anything different from what holistic vets have been saying for a very long time. I have been ordering natural products for my dogs and my horses from overseas for more than 15 years. I was arguing with my vet about yearly vaccinations years before I purchased my English Setter, Beau in 2001. I have had several negative experiences with "holistic animal healing" companies based in Australia and overseas but never have I encountered a company that expected the customer to check their quarantine permit. Probiotics and Digestive Enzymes are strongly promoted and marketed by Mercola. I would say these products would be 2 of their "best sellers". The fact that Mercola has not bothered to gain an import permit for Australia for these 2 products says a great deal. Why does Mercola choose not to mention this important fact on their ordering page? I did not even notice the link to their ordering policy because this is obscure.

I gave Mercola 3 opportunities to do the right thing. They failed. I have lodged a dispute with PayPal. If I do not receive a refund, I am not bothered because I have far more important things to do than chase up $130, even though I certainly cannot afford to waste this money. One thing I will be doing is raising awareness about Mercola with dog owners I meet. This is why I posted this forum topic. This will cost Mercola much more than $130 in the long run.

Huh, and yet that guy comes on every so often asking "how are we doing?" and when you order direct from his website you get a video message saying how wonderful their customer service department is.  However. I have found quite a few comments on websites saying the exact opposite.  I use one of their distributors in the U.K who have been wonderful and have replaced anything I have been unhappy with. They are a small Oxfordshire based company, who sell lots of other healthy products apart from Mercola.. I have had some nice freebies thrown in from them every so often too.

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