Deceptive testimonials

Deceptive testimonials

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Would you like to see what naked, brazen, deceptive conduct looks like under an x-ray? Here’s an example of how Mr Sam Cohen deceives his beloved public. In August 2011, Sam Cohen was responding to the TGA regarding a long list of accusations of deceptive advertising. A month later, as if no-one is watching, he uploads a new list of testimonials on his website. Let’s look at just one of those deceptive, misleading, brazen comments as underlined in red below.

We read, ‘Dear Sir… I would like to congratulate your apparent successful methods for treatment of hair loss. Dr R… Medical Centre.’

Why is this deceptive and misleading and bad and rude and abusive? How is Sam Cohen deliberately trying to deceive the public? As with anything to do with Samuel Faraj Cohen and IHRB, you have to dig deeper and ask questions. When you do this, you will find that everything he has told you is not what you presumed it to be.

That line was carefully edited and placed on the IHRB website under the section called ‘testimonials’, under a heading that reads, ‘Here are just a FEW Success Stories of the hundreds of testimonials I’ve received….’

What would the average person think when reading that line?

1) The comment was feedback from a current or former client. WRONG

2) The comment was from a doctor of a current or former client. WRONG

3) That Dr R has met with (or dealt with) Mr Cohen or IHRB. WRONG

4) That Dr R is saying that Sam Cohen’s methods are successful. WRONG

5) That Dr R has reviewed or tested or examined or understood the IHRB treatment. WRONG

6) Ultimately, that Dr R endorses and approves of Sam Cohen’s treatment for hair loss. WRONG

Sam Cohen is trying to tell us that a doctor from a medical centre endorses the IHRB treatment. This is how Sam Cohen works. He has no regard for the truth.

WHAT IS THE TRUTH?

Let’s examine the source of that note. It was part of a letter that was sent from Dr Rad Naidu of Surry Hills Medical Centre on the 8th of June 2004. That’s over seven years ago. The letter (which you can read below) was an unsolicited sales letter from a doctor who was merely reacting to a misleading advertisement by IHRB, placed in ‘The Daily Telegraph’. The doctor was trying to make contact with Mr Cohen, saying, ‘Our Hair Transplant Clinic has been very successful and surgery is encouraged as a last resort where all other methods have failed. I would like to meet with you so that we could discuss cross-referring patients. I am sure that we would both benefit from this. Your response is appreciated…’

The doctor had never met Mr Cohen. He had never examined any of Mr Cohen’s clients. He had no idea what the IHRB treatment is. He had no idea that the ad was misleading and was later banned by the TGA. The doctor had no idea that Mr Cohen operated unethically and illegally, as was discovered by the Health Care Complaints Commission. The doctor had absolutely no way of knowing anything about IHRB. He was canvassing. He was trying to grow his network. He was trying to grow his business. He took it upon himself to network — to make contact with people in the hair growth industry. He saw the ad in the paper and wrote to ask if the two ought to meet with a view to cross-referring clients.

The opening sentence that says, ‘I would like to congratulate you on your apparent successful methods…’ was a polite, simple, innocent way of starting a letter after seeing the bold lies and deceptive statements made in the newspaper ad. The doctor was just breaking the ice with a compliment, influenced by an ad that was later deemed to be misleading and deceptive, and which was Sanctioned by the Complaints Resolution Panel.

The doctor presumed that IHRB was an ethical business, so he wrote to make contact. Now, over seven years later, Sam Cohen publishes that first sentence on his website, deliberately and blatantly and ruthlessly trying to mislead the public into thinking that a doctor from a medical centre approves of, or recommends or endorses, the IHRB method.

Dear reader, as you can see, this is pure, unadulterated deception.

BREAKING THE CODES

This article reviewed just one of the many testimonials. The rest are dubious too. Here is a brief explanation as to why you cannot believe or trust a single testimonial:

1) The Therapeutic Goods Act (1989) and the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code (2007) clearly state that Therapeutic Goods cannot be endorsed by health professionals. So the implication that doctors are giving IHRB endorsements is illegal. The website constitutes a medium for advertising. It is illegal to use health professionals as those endorsing therapeutic products.

2) I had written to many former clients and I recognise their testimonials and I know who wrote many of them. Some of the people with whom I have spoken told me that they have experienced testicular pain, erectile disfunction, shortness of breath, etc. So to put their name up, and to suggest that they are endorsing IHRB, is misleading because next to their name we need to see their symptoms.

3) Some of the people on the website are now bald. IHRB ought to show us independent reviews of clients and their current condition.

4) None of the testimonials tell us what medications the clients took to achieve any of the hair regrowth. We might find that they took medications that are specifically not approved for hair growth. If IHRB wants to publish an endorsement, let’s see how much each client paid, and what they took, and we will find, as the Health Care Complaints Commission found, that clients were risking their health and wellbeing taking non-approved, dangerous medications — some given non-approved prescription-only medications without any doctor’s prescription.

5) Even if everything else were fine and dandy, and assuming that some of those clients are really happy, we need to ask: how happy would they be when they find out that they have been scammed? If their hair grew as a result of certain non-approved dangerous medications, and those clients were happy to take those risks which include heart failure, what would the clients say when they learn that they were ripped off, paying $900 for a bottle that any pharmacy would have sold to them at $70. Or how would those clients react when they learn that their great results could have been achieved by using those medications bought from any pharmacy at a fraction of the price, not to mention the $4900 starting fee charged by IHRB for nothing at all. How would those endorsements read when clients really understand that IHRB never had any special Indian Curries or exclusive herbs and spices? That was a lie. IHRB had no such curries, which meant that if Minoxidil etc did work for those clients, it worked because they are some of the lucky people for whom Minoxidil does work, and as such, what they were taking could have been ordered from any pharmacist, at a fraction of the price. The supposed natural extracts from IHRB never existed. What would clients say about that? To thank Sam Cohen is to presume that he had done something. He had done nothing. He has no special herbs and no special curries. So he was just a middle man who lied and scammed and operated illegally because he was never permitted to handle or sell medications. The treatment might have worked, but that would have worked thanks to the Minoxidil (available anywhere) and Retin-A (not approved) and Finasteride (could cause permanent erectile disfunction) and Loniten (could cause heart failure), but thanks to the medications, and no thanks to Sam Cohen, so why is he pretending that he has a treatment? He has no treatment. He is forbidden to handle medications or to supply medications, so why is he still in business? The Permanent Prohibition Order placed upon him and his business means that he can’t have anything at all to do with medications. So why is he still selling medications? That is illegal!

6) There are strict Codes about how therapeutic goods can be promoted. Those testimonials break the codes. So why is Sam Cohen still disregarding the law?

SUSPICIOUS TESTIMONIALS

Here is a link about IHRB’s Suspicious Testimonials. Here is a link about the Outrageous Testimonials.

In addition, we now find that after months of investigation, the Complaints Resolution Panel found (in November 2011) that IHRB’s ads are unlawful, misleading, and unverified. Sam Cohen and IHRB, despite the help of their lawyer, were unable to verify a single claim. The Panel noted that the testimonials do not comply with the definition under the Act. You can read the Panel’s Determinations here.

 

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