- Monday.February 19. 2018
Widespread media coverage highlighting unfair contract terms which may pressure people into signing up for 12 months of hair loss treatment, highlights the need for hair loss patients to seek medical advice about their condition.
Independent reports refer to how the Australian consumer watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), has alleged that Ashley and Martin hair loss clinics have padded their contracts with unfair terms.
These contract terms, which have landed Ashley & Martin, a chain of clinics throughout the Asia Pacific in court, were also referred to in the February 2018 issue of the consumer watchdog magazine, Choice.
According to media reports and a statement released by the ACCC, tens of thousands of people have paid from $2000 to $4000 for Ashley & Martin’s Personal Real Growth treatment since 1994.
The ACCC alleged that patients who signed up for the 12 month program were mandated to pay 12 months of hair treatment without being given more than two days to consider medical advice.
Ashley & Martin has not agreed with the ACCC, however, it updated its contract terms in July 2017 to include a seven day opt out period in their contracts.
Renowned hair loss researcher and hair restoration surgeon Dr Jennifer Martinick says the news highlights how critical it is for hair loss patients to gain a medical diagnosis for their condition.
Dr Martinick says only doctors, particularly ones with specialist training in hair loss and clinically proven treatments, are in a position to diagnose the cause of hair loss and prescribe clinically proven treatments.
Sadly, many vulnerable people with hair loss, find themselves being advised by non-medical patient coordinators or sales people.
A big portion of the public continues to be duped by the ‘pseudo science” surrounding hair loss treatments.
It is no accident that complaints regarding hair products have grown considerably since 2016.
“Ninety percent of money spent on hair restoration goes to large organisations run by salespeople who offer wigs and various shampoos and over the counter lotions.
“Unlike these companies, doctors have a limited advertising budget and have strict guidelines about how they can promote their treatments.”
Dr Martinick says while hair restoration surgery is a proven natural and permanent solution to hair loss, not all hair transplants are equal.
Hair loss patients, who are considering surgery, must know what questions to ask their treating physician.
These questions should be who trained you, do you work full time in this field, how long have you been practising, can I see examples of your work, what is the best way to harvest viable follicles with the least injury and what proven expertise do you have in relation to artistically placing the donor follicles?