CONSUMER WARNING ABOUT BOSLEY HAIR CLINICS AND BOSLEY.COM WEBSITE

A non-profit site for consumers who want more information about hair loss treatments. Knowledge is power.                                     = Consumer Red Flag

Summary: Bosley has been the subject of numerous patient complaints, lawsuits, and violations relating to its medical procedures, advertising, and business practices. New charges by the Medical Board are currently pending in 2020.

2020 UPDATE  Warning: The Attorney General and Medical Board of California have filed a case for unlawful and unethical conduct at Bosley

Charges include: Violating the Standard of Care, Repeated Negligent Acts, and Aiding and Abetting the Unlicensed Practice of Medicine. See www.mbc.ca.gov

 

Be sure to look out for your own interest and read the fine print. Bosley is known for setting up credit patients with onerous contracts and exorbitant fees.


 

NEWS

Claims/Disclaimers

Expensive Rent / Cheap Advice

Fear Factor

Not Permanent

Pissed Consumers

Conflicting Advice

No Control of Doctors

Targeting Women

Sales Incentives

FUT vs. FUE

No Refunds

Crisis Response

Who Owns Bosley

CONSUMER GUIDE

Side Effects

Page 2

Propecia Paradox

Censorship and Cyberbullying

History

 

 

The Board cites numerous illegal practices at Bosley's home office which serves as a model for other locations

Charges Filed for Medical Violations at Bosley HQ

The Medical Board asserts that non-medical personnel were allowed to diagnose and make recommendations to patients and perform important parts of the surgery. The case stems from a patient who said he repeatedly tried to contact Bosley for help after suffering complications including pain and swelling in the days and weeks following surgery but got little empathy or response.

 

A Hostile Environment   Conflict at Bosley

Ex Parte

John Ohanesian v. Bosley

John Ohanesian, former CEO in charge while Bosley scammed thousands of patients with false advertising and brutal surgery, is now suing them complaining they are trying to cheat him. (case active 2020)

During his stint Ohanesian launched legal action aimed at shutting down websites that published Bosley's medical violations and was mired in a case involving sexual harassment brought by a female technician.

Factoid: John's ex-wife Adela Ohanesian also sued Bosley in 2010

Unfair Workplace

Many reviews describe Bosley as a difficult place to work with a throwback management style.

As an example, the Medical Assistants (mainly women) who perform the majority of the procedure including the most important part, the placing of the grafts, are paid barely above minimum wage.

Who's Doing the Surgery

For a $15,000 five hour procedure a Medical Assistant on a surgical team is paid only about $70.

From job portal Indeed.com:

 "Average Bosley hourly pay ranges from approximately $14.15 per hour for Medical Assistant to $15.02 per hour for Office Assistant"

Copy Wrong

Dr. says Bosley copied hair transplant methods and YouTube video

Florida hair doctor Brett Bolton filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming Bosley stole his company's marketing video from YouTube, rebranded it under the Bosley name and linked it to their website.

In its court response Bosley said the royalty-free license granted by YouTube made it legal to copy and redistribute Bolton's video, plus he freely allowed his competition to use his surgical methods.

Note: Brett Bolton had his medical license suspended in 2003 pursuant to a 19-count felony conviction and in 2014 for mental illness (when he claimed to be Jesus)

Claims and Disclaimers   Bosley's business model allows it to make representations with limited accountability to unhappy patients. Although ads must carry disclaimers (due to disciplinary action) they are often buried in the fine print.

When dealing with complaints and during litigation Bosley can shift fault to its independently-contracted doctors, as they have attested in court they have no control over them.  For more see: Bosley Has No Control Over Doctors

In turn, doctors can say they have no responsibility for what is in Bosley's marketing materials or pass the blame further down to the untrained salespeople. Patients who complain are often chastised for having "unrealistic expectations".

Who is Bosley?  The Bosley Medical Institute, or Bosley, is named after founder and infomercial pitchman L. Lee Bosley. His continual pattern of deceptive advertising and medical board violations made him the most widely disciplined physician in the country. (source: Public Citizen consumer advocacy group) 

Dr. Bosley boasted of inventing the scalp reduction, a most destructive medical procedure (now discontinued). Related: Bosley Reveals Flaws of Its Standard Medical Procedure

Expensive Rent / Cheap Advice   Though it may appear upscale from the outside if you go to a Bosley office expecting accurate information from medically qualified personnel you may end up disappointed.

The vast majority of Bosley offices do not have any medical staff on site. Consultations are given by unlicensed and untrained salespeople.

Ad Nauseam   Bosley infomercials loop the same material and you can spend up to a half hour without learning anything. The patient examples leave out important details like what types and how many procedures were performed and the costs.

The slickly-produced videos employ tricks to boost the impression of results including makeup and dyes, topical concealers or keratin fibers (fake hair), creative hair styles and combovers, and selective lighting and camera angles.

The paid-for testimonials fail to mention other treatments and drugs that were used and procedures performed by other medical groups.

Court documents revealed that Bosley spends as much as a third of its revenue on advertising and promotion.

 

Bosley Sells Drug After Denouncing It  After slamming the drug finasteride (a.k.a. Propecia) for having vicious side effects including impotence, or erectile dysfunction, Bosley now promotes and sells it, leaving consumers scratching their heads. Bosley's Negative Stance on Propecia

 

Information Is Your Wild Card  Using practices like selective disclosure (not telling the whole truth to potential patients) and Sales Incentives and Bonuses consumers may not realize Bosley has stacked the deck against them.

Bosley Text Robots?  (Bosley Medical Accused of Violating Federal Law)

A class action lawsuit was filed in 2017 against Bosley in U.S. District Court alleging violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, or TCPA. The plaintiff says he and other consumers incurred call charges and lost valuable time as a result of unsolicited text messages. LegalNewsLine

The suit says Bosley uses automatic telephone dialing equipment with the capacity to store and dial telephone numbers without human intervention in an effort to solicit more clients.

Fear Factor   When having a medical procedure most of us worry about getting the wrong information or worse yet finding out it was all for nothing.
UFC commentator Joe Rogan says he fell for the hair replacement surgery sales pitch.

After visiting an office and viewing before and after pictures he was convinced it would be a sure thing. He now says it was one his biggest mistakes of his life (not only was it ineffective it left him with scarring).

After undergoing multiple procedures Rogan now sports a shaved head.

Related Page: CONSUMER GUIDE TO BOSLEY - What to expect / Things they don't tell you

 Plus: Why the "Bosley Guarantee" is useless

Many are surprised at how invasive these procedures can be and wonder why they weren't warned -see Consumer Guide.

To share a negative experience about Bosley: info@bosleymedicalviolations.com

Feedback

Not Permanent  The part in ads where it says the replacement hair is permanent isn't true. Over time it can thin and fall out like other hair (and did!) in my case - 90% of the grafts eventually died.

Paying Extra to Heal?  Can't help but feeling gouged...the Bosley office charged me over $500.00 in extras for meds in what they call a post op healing "kit", which I would have thought most doctors would have included for free. I later found out by reading others experiences that it may have been optional. I guess the lesson here is not to trust anyone and do your research first.

Warning to Newbies  You have stumbled across one of the worst, most heartless companies there is. Take your virgin heads and run away now while you still can! (Note to noobs: A "virgin" head is one that has not been cut up by surgery -something that is very good to have) If you have not proceeded yet thank your lucky stars you may have avoided one of the biggest traps of your life.

No Redo  I went to Bosley to have treatment for thinning hair in the front of my head. I paid $12,000 for the procedure. I returned in one year. I had pictures to show what I looked like when I started with them, and what I look like now. The Doctor who saw me said they would do it over, at no charge. After careful consideration with my personal physicians, I decided that it would just be too much for me to go through one more time. I asked for my money back. Needless to say, I still have not received a penny from them.

Conflicting Advice / Confused Patient  After receiving separate consults from both a Counselor and a doctor I was very confused as they told me very different things and contradicted each other. Since I spent more time with the Counselor I ended up following his advice and had a procedure which turned out to be a huge mistake. Afterwards I learned I don't have enough donor hair to make an improvement which is common for people with a large balding pattern.

Pissed Consumers   With over a hundred reviews this website contains experiences of patients describing things that can go wrong at Bosley: bosley.pissedconsumer.com/review.html

 

Ex-Bosley Doctor Claims Racial Discrimination  Some disturbing claims from a former Bosley physician about their business practices: According to a Law360.com article William D. Yates, who is African-American, claims Bosley discriminated against blacks by charging them more for hair procedures than white customers, and that the company discriminated against him personally by directing more patients to an equally skilled white physician.

Dr. Yates, who worked for Bosley for over 5 years, recently prevailed in a breach of contract suit that Bosley Medical Group brought against him after he left to go to work for their competitor, Ziering Medical. more

Bosley Has No Control Over Doctors   During a medical malpractice case the Bosley Medical Group said it had "no control" over a doctor who works for them even though they trained him, provide him with all his patients, and refer to him as a "Bosley physician" in their ads.

BMG says it has no control over Dr. David Alpeter, who works at Bosley's office in New York, because he makes all treatment decisions independently and without supervision from BMG. This would seem to make their ad slogan "The Bosley Experience" meaningless, especially when most of Bosley's doctors work as independent contractors.

Alpeter was sued by a patient who complained of widened scarring, excessive pulling of the scalp, and hair and skin loss after his 2nd Bosley surgery. After cutting out a chunk of the patient's scalp over 12 inches long, and then another section during the same day, Dr. Alpeter speculated that the widened scar may have been caused by the patient's "poor healing response" or "genetic disposition to scarring". more

  Targeting Women  Bosley has adjusted their marketing effort to take advantage of women as another way to sell more surgeries. Unfortunately, we have received numerous reports from women that say they are extremely unhappy with their results and are far worse off than before, both from a cosmetic standpoint and from the physical damage the procedures caused. They say Bosley's staff failed to warn them about the side effects including damage to their natural hair.

Keep in mind that even if you're assured by a Bosley "Counselor" that you're a good candidate for surgery this may merely be a sales tactic to sell you a procedure, as most Counselors have no formal medical credentials whatsoever and are not qualified to give medical advice.  

From a WebMD article: "According to experts a very small percentage of women are candidates for hair transplant surgery. About 2% to 5% of women with hair loss will benefit from this type of procedure." - Source: American Hair Loss Association

What's Their Motivation? / Sales Incentives  People who assume objective advice from medical providers can be at a disadvantage if they don't know that Bosley gives incentives and rewards based on the number of surgical procedures that are sold, from upper management down to its sales force (a.k.a. Counselors). Even its doctors can be biased toward pushing surgery when their compensation is tied to their branch's sales.

A business journal article revealed that an employment contract for a Bosley doctor guaranteed him a compensation of $10,000 a month plus a percentage of “adjusted charges” received by the practice, from 5.5 percent during his first year to 8.5 percent in the sixth year of the agreement. He was also entitled to a “super bonus” of 6 percent of the annual adjusted charges over $1.9 million.

FUT Faults: Bosley Reveals Flaws of Most Common Procedure   This information doesn't appear in most ads so consumers should be aware that while promoting other services Bosley describes some major problems with its standard surgical procedure, the Follicular Unit Transplant, or FUT. It suggests that it's not for: A) Those who want to wear their hair short; B) Those who do not want a linear scar; and C) Those with a limited donor supply or scalp elasticity.

Note: Every person has a limited donor supply and will progressively lose elasticity with each procedure.

It further indicates that its FUT procedure has many drawbacks including scalpel incisions, linear scarring, stitches, and changes in donor area appearance, as well as slower recovery time and more downtime.

Note: A quarter century after other doctors started using Follicular Unit Extraction techniques, or FUE, it appears that Bosley may be trying to emulate them. (Reports are that it is charging twice as much as its standard procedure). To learn the primary differences between the two methods consumers can start with a Wikipedia page.

Emergency Response   Some warn that Bosley assembly line methods can cause the doctors to become unaware of what's going on around them. If you worry about their ability to respond in an emergency this will not comfort you: A male patient ended up with permanent disability after he had a stroke during a Bosley procedure and the staff failed to take action, according to a civil jury*. The Plaintiffs said that during the procedure the patient began convulsing yet the procedure wasn't stopped and the patient was sent home as usual though he could not walk or talk. When the patient's wife phoned the Bosley office for help they told her that his failure to come out of anesthesia was a result of pain medications and "not to worry." *Los Angeles Superior Court BC445812 2010-2013 (thanks to juryverdictalert.com)

No-Refund Policy   Before handing your credit card to a Bosley salesperson or Counselor for a deposit on a procedure know about their policies. After canceling surgery ten days in advance a customer was surprised when Bosley wouldn't return their deposit. When trying to dispute the charge with the credit card company they got the response "We regret to inform you that we are not able to assist you as the merchant has a no-cancellation and no-refund policy". This policy can discourage patients from backing out of surgery and penalizes those who want to change their minds or need more time to make a better informed decision.

FTC Settles Charges Against Bosley   The Federal Trade Commission has imposed restrictions on Bosley after alleging it shared pricing information with competitors, an illegal practice that can result in higher prices. article

On a related note Bosley's parent company has acquired Hair Club, known for its infomercial "hair systems". Consumers should be alert that Hair Club now trys to steer clients over to Bosley offices for surgery.

Business Troubles   Despite its efforts to appear successful in recent years the Bosley business has barely broken even or lost money. Bosley's overseas owner, wigmaker Aderans of Japan, has already closed the offices of one US-based hair restoration chain.

A Bosley Senior staff member warned: "Stay away from being an employee of this company. The place has gone downhill and is heading for closure at a very fast rate."

 

Next: Consumer Guide to Bosley

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