Ideal Image Nightmare (Part 1)

*Reposting*

The trauma happened on Tuesday, October 13th.

I went with a new friend of mine to her Ideal Image LHR (laser hair removal) appointment. She was having her third treatment for her underarm hair ($1500 for nine treatments and payments for 24 months, no interest). Originally, I was going to wait in the waiting room and pop outside to call my boyfriend, while she was at her treatment.

Instead, when she was checking in, the receptionist asked me if I wanted to go in and have a free consultation. I half-heartedly declined, but then they were all excited and I got excited too and agreed.

The sales woman, we’ll call her Natalie. She was very energetic. Going on and on about how amazing LHR is and how she started off as a client and kept asking every time if they (Ideal Image) were hiring, and finally they were and was she hired.

I was asking about various package prices. Since I was with my friend and her referral, I got 60% off the first package and then 70% the second packages and so on. I’d heard about Ideal all the time on the radio on my way to work and class, and I always wondered about it, but never cared too much to call and inquire further because shaving wasn’t really something that bothered me extremely. It’s annoying, sure, but then you feel great after you’re smooth as silk.

I was thinking monthly payments over 24 months wouldn’t be that bad.

Nancy kept insisting how, we, as women, have the money, and that I should do this now while I don’t have a house or kids to pay for and while my parents are still paying for my school and rent. She also was saying how we have the money to spend because we spend it on other things like clothes and dinners, when clothes go out of style and you can always eat at home and cook meals. So why not spend money on something that will last longer than a trend?

I agreed with her and it did make a lot of sense. If I’m going to spend money at Target and buying clothes online, why not spend my money on something that will last years and make my daily beauty routine that much more simplified.

Natalie had me feel her legs and arms and they were silky smooth.

She quoted me very quickly, writing numbers on scratch paper, saying it would be 70% off the original price, thus making the new price $600 for lips, $600 for breasts, $600 for hands & feet (though now I can’t remember if it’s for both or for each, separately). There was never a written chart of the prices presented to me. Yes, I become overwhelmed, and I was fueled by excitement and the thrill and thought of being hair free. I think my underarms price was $1500 too. I honestly can’t recall how much the legs package was, but I ended up choosing the one that has full legs front and back.

And then, because I was curious and because Nancy talked me into it, I asked about adding on the bikini services because why not?? 70% off! Let’s do this!

No, let’s not because it’s scan.

All in all, my total for getting my legs, lip, hands, feet, breasts, and bikini area (full bikini and the backside) is $11,614.43, which is payments of $416 every month for two years. Because I added the bikini package on as an after thought, that was an additional $1500, and I had to pay $536 (one of three payments of $536) that night.

They got me in and the nurse practitioner had me lay naked covered with paper towel like cloth while she started from the top down. She laser my lip, underarms, breasts, tried to do my bikini area, and then did my hands, legs, and feet.

While she was doing my right underarm, it hurt. I asked Natalie if the lasering hurt and she said it was the equivalent to a rubber band being snapped on your arm. Lies. The lasers HURT. They hurt initially and after; it was miserable. I almost didn’t want to do my left underarm, but I suffered through it. My feet and hands stung a bit, but the lips and breasts didn’t hurt really. My legs were a mess. It was horrible suffering through her grid motions up and down my legs. I was a disgusting sweaty mess.

When she tried to do my bikini area, I almost lost it. It was so painful, I told her I couldn’t do it. She said I could try this perception numbing cream (it’s $30-40, and I have to buy it myself) and then reschedule for the bikini area.

After it was all over, she had me put some thick lotion on my legs, but they were a freaking horror sight. Red circles in lines all over my legs. I was so scared. She said that was normal and also probably slightly more so because I had been in direct sunlight in the last four weeks. Which is another lie. It was NOT my fault my legs reacted this way. I was at the beach with Terry and his friend at the end of August, which was SIX weeks ago.

I was in pain all night. Not to mentioned scared out of my fucking mind that my legs would remain permanently marked.

This was taken a few hours after my first treatment.
This was taken a few hours after my first treatment.

Looks pretty fucking awful, right?

This was a couple hours after the top picture, and after I applied ice packs to my legs.
This was a couple hours after the top picture, and after I applied ice packs to my legs.

Less horrifyingly red.

Wednesday morning, the day after.
Wednesday morning, the day after.

Okay, this looks promising.

This was taken Thursday night and it's of my upper thigh.
This was taken Thursday night and it’s of my upper thigh.

This is what has me fucking terrified. These marks look like burns or scars or something. I couldn’t sleep last night. I was full of regret like I have never experienced before. I couldn’t believe how stupid, careless, and reckless I was. I didn’t research LHR, let alone Ideal Image. I Googled around 1 a.m. to 2 a.m. and found numerous complaints from customers. I searched for pictures similar to my mine and read doctors’ comments, and freaked out some more. I woke Terry up absolutely furious at myself and also terrified I would be stuck in this contract. I scanned the contract and the only mention of refunds are if a medical examiner says I am no longer a candidate and need to stop treatments.

I don’t want any of the other treatments done. I don’t want to be locked into payments for two years. I don’t want this at all. I want out. I know it’s my fault and also the fault of the pushy sales tactics Ideal uses, but if my legs are permanently like this, I don’t know what I’ll do.

Ideal had called me on Wednesday, twice. The nurse practitioner who did my treatment left a voicemail that said it’s unusual for my legs to react that way and that she would like be to come in so she could look at them and give me some steroid cream. What prompted them to call me was my new friend, sending Ideal an e-mail about my reaction and if it was normal or not. I called them back, and wanted to speak to Natalie to request taking off the bikini package. Twice, the receptionist told me she would leave Nancy a note to call me back. Natalie never called me. I know she’s avoiding me. I just feel like another naive girl who was duped.

Terry is going to go with me when I go back to talk to them, have them look at my legs, and try my damnedest to get out of my contract. I will gladly pay for the treatments done to my body thus far, but I refuse to pay that absurd amount.

Wish me luck with getting out of this fucking shit-hole I buried myself in alive.

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