Acne wash product Proactiv has received endorsements from some pretty big names in entertainment: Lindsay Lohan, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, and Jessica Simpson have all repped the brand at some point, and commercials featuring their exfoliated, flawless skin shining brighter than their whitened smiles are hard to miss airing on television any time of day. The integrity of the brand and how well the products actually work has been questioned for years, but with such high-profile celebs backing them, people - mostly younger, as that's the company's target demographic - still shell out cash in hopes of acquiring perfect, acne-free skin.
Unfortunately, as this Jezebel piece featuring first-hand accounts from people who were sucked in to using Proactiv reveals, customers are often left with more problems than they had in the beginning. And that's not only with their skin - though one former employee of the company says that the products' active ingredient, benzyol peroxide, is bad for the skin and makes "break outs come back worse" if you stop using it.
Customers also say that the company's methods of dealing with the payment processing is shady as can be, and that Proactiv doesn't inform prospective customers that they're all automatically signed up for "auto ordering" when they request a free trial. And when people inevitably call to dispute charges to their credit card from the company, most claim to receive a technical difficulties message, if anything at all. Basically, mad sketchy. As one person writes:
So, after reading your article, I began to wonder if my account with Proactiv that I cancelled on December 6th was actually cancelled (that day they sent me an email confirming it had been and I can't log on to their website any longer). According to my credit card statement, they charged me $50 on the 10th. So, although they did cancel my account, they still charged that "closed" account 4 days later. Before that $50 charge I was never charged more than $29.00 in a month. Now I'm trying to call them and not a single number is working. Their recording says they are experiencing "technical difficulties". Bastards.
The remaining stories are some more of the same - most claiming that it's near impossible to cancel an account with Proactiv, unless you threaten to sue and report them to the Better Business Bureau. Considering how much the company has shelled out for endorsements, these accounts are pretty incredible and shocking in the worst way possible.
You can check out more Proactiv customer horror stories over at Jezebel.