EAGAN, MINNESOTA -- Recently: Had my credit card stolen; the thief went straight to GNC and charged $240 worth of product. Suspect obviously should have been, but wasn't carded for that massive amount because GNC's employees make commissions on certain product sales. The detective working my case was pretty shocked at the lack of assistance provided by the sales assoc.
I shopped here for a short time many years ago when I didn't know better. Once I quickly realized that GNC branded product is cheaply made, yet priced like a premium brand, I left for Vitamin Shoppe. GNC reps often promoted products for their own gain that constantly gave me little to no results. Every time I see someone walk into a GNC, I just think "sucker".
ONLINE -- I have been a GNC customer for many years, but until the last few months I have always shopped at the retail stores. I now live too far away from any retail store, and must place my orders online. Today I attempted to order multiples of an $8.99 product with the "buy one, get one half off" promotion, as well as the "$10 off any purchase of $50 or more" code 22554 promotion.
My shopping cart appropriately priced the product bottles at a total of $53.92 until I entered the "22554" code, when my new subtotal equaled $56.44. I realized the price of the 1/2 off product bottle had risen from $4.49 to $5.12, and at one point even to $5.33 as I changed quantities in an effort to understand the new numbers. I called customer service hoping that the change in price was a computer glitch and not an attempt to take advantage of any lack of notice on my part.
During a 20 minute discussion, however, customer service could only state and restate that both promotions could not be used simultaneously, without being able to explain why the second bottle did not revert to the original $8.99 price if that were the case. Either the second bottle should be 1/2 off, or it should be full price...not anywhere in between. I ended the conversation with customer service and ordered a similar product from another company for less money.
To my surprise, I received a follow up phone call from the GNC customer service representative who attempted to convince me that the price difference was due to my full purchase amount dropping below the $50 minimum order causing shipping charges to be added. I informed him that my full purchase price of 4 bottles at $8.99 each and 4 bottles at $4.49 equals $53.92 which is in fact more than $50. At no time did the representative offer to credit the $0.63 difference in price for the 4 bottles despite being unable to explain the discrepancy, and notwithstanding my statement that I had found a similar product for less money with another company while on the phone with him.
I have concluded that GNC increased the price of the product in the hopes that I as a consumer would either not notice the price difference or decide the extra money was not worth the effort of rectifying. While I do not mind losing money to an honest mistake on the part of the company or one of their representatives, I will lose money before I will allow myself to be purposely cheated, which is my only conclusion in light of no other possibilities posed by the customer representative after two phone conversations of nearly 25 minutes total.
I will no longer conduct any business with GNC and will be posting this experience for others to be forewarned. I do not wish for any offers or promotions from your company, but am simply providing the information for your company since I will be providing for those outside of your company.
Update: December 27, 2013. I received a response to my email this morning. "Please accept our sincere apologies for the difficulties you experienced placing an order at our promotional pricing. The details of the $10 off promotion state the following: 'Some exclusions apply, Does not combine with any online only promotions.' As our BOGO is an online only promotion it is not combinable." Following were 3 paragraphs of generic response, none of which explained why the price changed from $4.49 to $5.12 instead of reverting to the full price as would be the case if the offers were not combinable.
I requested that the company not contact me again unless the price change could be reasonably explained, and that I was actually insulted and angered by this mathematically illogical response. I still believe this price change is an attempt to cheat the customer, and three contacts with customer service has not changed my opinion.
GROVE CITY, OHIO -- I started a workout by MusclePharm and wanted to use their products for optimal results. I walked into GNC and the sales guy said "Can I help you?" and you said "I'm just looking around." I went to the MusclePharm section which was really hidden and he immediately jumped in my business. "Oh no no no put that back" and literally pulled it out of my hands. I was like okay. He nudged me towards all the overpriced GNC bs and I fell for it and shelled out $250 for a thing of whey, 2 vitapaks, creatine, and two c4.
I tried these for a while and returned them back to the same location and the same guy was there and he's like "what are you doing here?" Very rudely I might add. I said "I'm returning them." He's like "why?" I said "because they don't make me feel right and I don't want them." He goes "whatever." And rang me up.
I went and got my MusclePharm stuff and I let him talk me out of it again and I got GNC again but diff things and he said "I guarantee you'll be satisfied." I came back again a couple weeks later and tried to return them again and he threw a fit and was like "you're returning ALL these again?" I said yes calmly. He started yelling at my grandma saying "why aren't you talking him out of this?" and actually was in her face. I snapped. I said "listen hear you ** you don't talk to her that way and I'll return them if I feel like it."
He kept arguing and I had enough. I said very loudly so everyone could hear me "BLOW IT OUT YOUR **!" And walked out with my money. I will never go to GNC again ever. I know they have quotas to reach, but you shouldn't have to yell at the customers let alone an elderly woman to sell them.
INTERNET, MASSACHUSETTS -- Ordered $100 worth of product which was supposed to be delivered within 5 days. After 7 days I checked tracking and found that it reached my town, only to be returned and then sent back my way and returned again with no explanation.
GNC customer service appear to be run by robots with standard canned responses to any inquiry. When I told them I had run out of the vitamins that never arrived and I would appreciate it if they could get more shipped out immediately for next day delivery their response was "We apologize for the inconvenience. Unfortunately, we are unable to determine why the order was unable to be delivered. Reships take 3 to 5 full business days to process before shipment, then ship with 2nd day shipping. If you would still like the order to be reshipped, please let us know and we would be happy to submit the reship on your behalf."
Clearly in the age of the internet, nothing needs to take 3 to 5 business days to sort out. Therefore I told them that they can keep their vitamins and I will go elsewhere.
GROVE CITY, OHIO -- I ordered a large tub of protein from Amazon last week, but it hasn't gotten here yet, so I decided I was going to buy a small container of protein at GNC to hold myself over until my order from Amazon arrived. I went into GNC, looked around for 2-3 minutes and was about to walk out because of the outrageous prices, when I noticed a "clearance" rack of sorts. There was a small tub of Muscle Milk protein powder on sale for $12.49. I was ecstatic.
The employee ** asked me what I was looking for. I explained my predicament and how thrilled I was that I found what I was looking for and was ready to check out. ** proceeded to tell me that it was a bad choice and tried to talk me into buying a bag of 1 pound GNC protein. When I asked a few questions, I realized that it would only be 7 servings and would cost me $30. I said that I was happy with my purchase and was ready to check out.
The employee seemed irritated and walked straight to the register. He then said that I had to sign up for a Gold Card to get the sale price. I agreed and gave him my information. Once he had my information, he threw my card on the counter and rang out my protein. He then finished the check out process without stating 2 words to me. He definitely did not have the customer's best interest in mind, and for now on, I will drive out of my way to go the Vitamin Shoppe, because the customer service is far superior.
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA -- I would never think GNC would hire someone so rude like this guy. He was mistreating a co worker. Very rude to customers. His level of patience it is definitely a ZERO!!! I have heard someone else complaining about him before and now I've seen it myself. I would never go back to that store. BTW, his name is ** or something like that.
I cannot explain how frustrated I truly am at this moment in time with my attempted order with www.GNC.com (GNC). I placed an order online on March 8th. Here I am on the March 15th and I get a call form them asking if the can verify some information. Verify Information? Based on their stated terms on the website shipping should take 6 - 8 days. That would have already had my order delivered and they are calling me 7 days later to verify my address.
I am doing 99% of all shopping online. I know how to enter my address and I don't need someone to call me and verify anything. I select my products, I review the shopping cart, I enter my payment info and shipping address, and click pay now! Done. Now all I do is sit and wait for the goods to arrive on my door step in 6 - 8 days.
I called today to see what is going on and they informed me that they still have not shipped anything. The customer service person was trained to give only canned response and when I asked for specifics she became rude and hung up. I called back and got to speak to a much more friendly person and she told me that the previous call center person canceled my order 5 min ago!!! CANCELED MY ORDER! So now I have waited 7 days for goods to arrive that never shipped. I called to sort things and get answers only be to spoken to in a rude way and have the order canceled!
The person I ended up speaking to was helpful, polite, generally I felt that she wanted to help to make me happy. THANK YOU TO HER SERIOUSLY! If GNC would train all people to be as kind as this lady they would not have as many unhappy customers. They also need to stop this verifications of online orders! It is inconvenient for the customers. So long as the credit card matches the zip code on the billing address entered the order should be processed! PERIOD!
I am a GNC franchisee and I am writing about GNC as a company. Granted, some of the corporation stores set a HORRIBLE HORRIBLE HORRIBLE example of customer service and overall treatment of their clientele. On the other hand, if you find a franchise they will be much more inclined to help since someone has their own business at stake, and they will generally be willing to negotiate discounts and suggest products based on individual needs, I know I am.
As far as GNC being 10X more than everyone else, that is just not true. In fact, GNC's amino acids, vitamins, proteins, herbs etc. are cheaper then those OF COMPARABLE QUALITY, especially when store discounts are combined with gold card memberships. Sometimes the discounts are enough alone to come close to internet prices. If REGULAR prices seem higher, remember these stores actually have to make money, they are not online warehouses that have NO OVERHEAD AND NO CUSTOMER SERVICE AND DON'T DO A THING FOR YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD.
One issue is that so many people are concerned about price and not quality, when it should be the other way around. Take protein powders and multivitamins, and fish oils for example. Not all are created equal, whether we are talking about the GNC brand or not. A certain protein powder might be double the cost of another, but it might absorb twice as well as another, taste better, and mix better. You get what you pay for.
As for not comparing to other stores prices, that's not true either if you go to the store and tell them to match a price. They do that at GNC and if they don't THEY ARE NOT FOLLOWING THE SYSTEM AND SHOULD BE REPORTED. I will match ANYBODY'S PRICE if I can do it without going under. I hope this puts things into perspective. Let me know what you guys think of this, I'd love to hear it (really!)
PIQUA, OHIO -- I went to the Piqua store to buy Liquid Fish Oil and left my card on my desk. I was told my card expired and tried looking up my name and phone number and said I was not in the system. I told him my other phone number but I guess when you have 1 other customer in the store that would too much trouble. I came home picked up my card that does not expire until May 2013 and I called him and let him know my card is good and I would NEVER ever purchase from the Piqua store again. I will drive to Troy or order online until May 2013 when my card expires and will no longer be a customer of GNC.
ANTIOCH, TENNESSEE -- I went to GNC in Hickory Hollow Mall in Antioch. I was advised by the salesman, **, the item I wanted to purchase had a special: Buy 1 get 1 half off. The item I purchased had a price sticker of $23.99, which would have added up to $36.00 plus tax. He asked if I had their Gold Card reward program. I advised that I did not. He said that's not a problem and proceeded to hand me one. When he totaled up my bill he charged me $60.86! I asked to explain the charges.
He advised me the items I purchased, the one box was $23.99 but the second box was $32.00 due to the expiration date and he charged me for the Gold Card, that I did not ask for, he never disclosed a price for it or ask if I wanted it. I declined the items and requested the one box for $23.99. Which he gave me a hard time and tried to convince me what a savings I was getting. I finally was able to get my charges refunded. I filed this complaint with the BBB. My advice is to contact the BBB. They will do something about it.