Philip’s happy ending

Philip’s happy ending

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Here is Philip’s story that does have a happy ending. It is a story about Sam Cohen’s former client who was right-royally ripped off. Philip persisted with his demands and finally took the matter to CTTT (Consumer, Trader, and Tenancy Tribunal). In the end, Philip won the case and was awarded a refund, and Sam Cohen of IHRB was forced to cough up the $3400 that was owed. Sadly, Philip cannot claim the interest nor the many expenses associated with having to drag Sam Cohen though the Tribunal. In the end, it was not a grand financial victory, only a moral one.

I had communicated with Philip, and we shared horror stories. We got along well because we shared something in common: a con man who ripped us off. I offered to assist him, and after numerous phone calls, we prepared for the first CTTT meeting held at Castlereagh Street. Inside the CTTT hearing room, I sat at the back, and I was as quiet as a mouse. CTTT is open to any member of the public. I am a member of the public. Sadly, Samuel Cohen turned around, took one look at me, and jumped up like a winner at a bingo hall. ‘I object’, he shouted at the Presiding Member. With his blood pressure rising, Sam added, ‘I refuse to be in the same room as that man!’ Sam Cohen was ruffled. His voice was escalating and his verbiage was 13 to the dozen.

It’s a long story, but in the end, after a mixture of funny and sad incidents, and embarrassingly bad behaviour on the part of Sam Cohen, the Member permitted me to stay in the room. As an added bonus, the Member said to me, ‘Mr Nader, Why don’t you come up to the front table.’ Bingo. Now I was sitting next to Philip, head to head with Sam Cohen who instantly furnished fake documents in his defence. The documents were, as I had expected, fabricated. I had forewarned Philip about Sam’s modus operandi, but poor Philip was not really ready for such a dirty rotten game. Philip was disturbed, and I was whispering to him saying, ‘Calm down, lower your voice, don’t be so aggressive.’ Philip was furious. He could not believe that Sam Cohen would fabricate lies and present forged and fake documents within the first 30 seconds. Philip knew that Sam would stoop so low, but it was quite sudden.

The Presiding Member was at a loss, so he tested the waters by saying to both parties that they ought to meet in the middle. ‘Why don’t you settle half way? Because if it goes to a formal hearing, one of you is bound to lose, whereas if you now both agree on a partial refund, at least you both walk away with a known outcome.’ Philip would not budge. He said, ‘I am here for justice.’ The Member replied, ‘CTTT is not about justice.’

Philip then said, ‘I would not respect myself if I were to stoop to this. I cannot accept a partial refund, simply as a matter of principle, Sir.’ So the matter was set aside for a formal hearing.

This long story is similar to every other story. Sam Cohen of the Institute of Hair Regrowth & Beauty of 105 Pitt Street Sydney had promised Philip hair regrowth, or his money back. It was a 100% money back guarantee. Philip contests that not a single strand of hair had grown back, and his doctor concurred, and furnished a letter to say so. Philip was hard-pressed to borrow the $3400 to pay IHRB and Sam Cohen for a bogus treatment. You know the story by now. Promises of Indian Herbs and Curries, mixed with Minoxidil that Sam Cohen is not licensed to sell. It was all illegal, improper, medically risky, and completely deceptive. The phony guarantee was promised, but Sam Cohen furnished some fabricated document at CTTT to alleged that Philip had relinquished his rights for a refund. Sam was saying that no guarantee was in place. Another diabolical lie. Mind you, it’s not as frustrating as the repeated consultations during which Sam Cohen would tell Philip that his hair was growing back nicely. Sam would not let Philip get a word in, insisting that the treatment had worked brilliantly.

At the formal hearing, Sam Cohen did not seem to want to argue about his alleged deceptive scam. He just wanted to point the finger at the group of us who had arranged for Channel 7’s ‘Today Tonight’ to feature Sam Cohen on national television. It was I who had instigated the investigation by the Health Care Complaints Commission that led to a Police Raid that resulted in a temporary Prohibition Order and later a Permanent Prohibition Order being slapped on the Institute of Hair Regrowth & Beauty and its Managing Director Mr Sam Cohen. Somehow, Sam felt it relevant to point this out at the Hearing, in search of sympathy. He received none.

Luckily, the CTTT Member was convinced by Philip’s evidence, and an order was made for Sam Cohen to refund the money. A few days later, a cheque for $3400 arrived, and Philip cashed it, wondering why Sam Cohen lies through his teeth. Sam Cohen continues to deceive people. He puts clients and the legal system under so much pressure. He has been getting away with it for decades. The consumer protection systems are not all that great. More often than not, Sam wins. He has managed to dodge every department and evert investigation, and those that do manage to pin him down, he just disregards and ignores. However, this was one skirmish he lost. And rightly so. It’s not often that an IHRB client gets to the finish line, but Philip did, and with it came a happy ending. Jolly good show!

P.S. The client’s story is a real one, only the name ‘Philip’ had been changed to protect his privacy. Philip’s real identity is known to the Health Care Complaints Commission.

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