Friday, February 1, 2013

Scam Alert: PV Body / Ellie

Hey guys! I wasn't sure I should post this, because I don't like to "sink down to that level" but I keep hearing about people thinking about signing up for this scam and I wanted to spread the word.

Many of you have heard of PV Body, now called Ellie. It's a subscription service that sends you cute fitness clothes each month. It honestly sounded like the most awesome thing ever when I heard about it and I immediately signed up. I got my first package from them and was absolutely thrilled.

However, today was the release of their new line Ellie and I went on their facebook to see a bunch of crazy. Not only were there tons and tons and TONS of customers complaining about orders they had been charged for (some months ago) and still hadn't received, but their website was down. After looking for a few hours with little comment from PV Body, they re-opened the site sort of and none of their paying customers could get to their accounts and will not be able to until next week.

After that a big red flag went up in my mind and I did some digging and I was completely shocked at what I found. The CEO of PV Body, Marcus Greinke, has some shady business around his name. He's started several other companies that are the exact same concept, where users sign up for a subscription and then receive packages each month. According to the information I found from user comments, the first month or so seems great, but then once they have enough customers, they stop shipping and the business closes , website shuts down, and they all but disappear leaving a lot of very upset customers. I'm including these links to information about some of his other companies so that you can read through them yourselves:

  • Snappy Tuna - This is a link to the Better Business Bureau site with a slew of complaints and a statement that the owners website was abandoned and customers problems were never resolved. 
  • Charles and Marie - Another BBB link with more complaints
  • PV Body -BBB link for PV Body already filling up with nasty reviews. This one is mostly so that you can add your own experiences! 
Bottom line: PV Body is most likely a scam. I'm putting this info out there so that hopefully I can save my readers some heartache or help them to get out fast. Please pass on this information as PV Body is trying to hide it on their facebook (I posted links to these sites and it was deleted and I was banned from their page immediately). 

41 comments:

  1. Hi girl! I actually added you on facebook after I saw you post that comment on our thread about the scam going on... It really is frustrating. HOWEVER, because I searched about the issue, I found your blog and started reading. I have asthma and am a runner.. BEGINNER but still a runner! I totally decided we should be best friends!
    Thanks for the update on pvbody. I know I appreciate the info!

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  2. Wow I was actually really interested in giving this company a try.
    Thank you for sparing me the time and money! Crossed that one off my list.

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  3. I was excited to check out this company also. Thanks for the heads up!

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  4. This is awful! What a bunch of crap! Sad for all who have been duped!

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  5. I signed up with them to promote PV Body before reading all the blogger posts and after reading decided to drop them. I'm glad I never promoted them to my readers.

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  6. Thanks so much for the post. I initially loved the concept and wanted to try it out and review on my own blog. I had received an email from in regards to some changes but didn't think much of it. However, googles "pv body" this morning and nothing popped up...but your blog. So thanks for the post, you just save me $$! :) Feel free to find me out there: www.livesweatsleeprepeat.com

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  7. I have received all of my orders, but the clothes are from the same brand NUX??? And every order had the same pants. I guess I am lucky I received my clothes, but definitely not the brands they were talking about. I emailed them about my last order last week and no response. Definitely do not sign up.

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  8. How do we get our name off their list & stop the charges? I am signed up unfortunately & experienced all the same issues you said :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure sorry :( I unsubscribed and deleted my credit card info. If I'm charged again I'll be talking to my bank.

      Delete
    2. Try disputing the charges with your credit card. This has helped me in the past to get rid of a subscription that I couldn't cancel and where I didn't receive what was promised.

      Delete
  9. I've never had a problem with them. I have received all my monthly packages and the website allows you to skip a month if the items available are not to your liking. you can even pick what you want off the website. I'm not a big name brand hog honestly and have found that with athletic wear it doesn't all have to be Nike or Lululemon to be good quality and trust me I have a closet full of Lululemon, Nike, and Under Armour. Some of my best pants are from NUX but hey to each his/her own. Don't sign up if you don't like them.

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad you haven't had any problems. I didn't care about the brand issues at all. It was the fact that the owners are linked to several scams that concerned me. I'd be cautious if I were you.

      Delete
  10. Thank you for posting this up! I've been fighting with them pretty much since I signed up for their service. It's been AWFUL! I was supposed to get a free shirt and a 20% discount (never happened). I've been charged for three months and I've only received two outfits from them. It's a huge scam. Oh and I never received the name brands like Lululemon and Athleta they mentioned getting. Thanks for posting this up!

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  11. I also had a bad experience and just cancelled my acct - thanks for confirming my fears on this one!

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  12. I was just about to sign up with them! I googled the name to find the website and found you instead... I looked up the BBB links you provided, thanks for saving me from a huge headache!

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  14. thank you so much for your links! this company will triple charge you for merchandise because of their (place excuse here). customer service? let's see, you go to a greeting that says hold, you hold for 2 minutes, then it says that they're "super busy!?!? and leave a message!!". you leave a message. NOTHING. you send an email to them and no response.
    You seriously need to get on FACEBOOK to talk to someone. as someone who can't stand facebook, i had to reactivate my account to talk to someone. The issue?
    I did not expect lulu or nike. I expected ellie clothing. I go to check out. I entered my coupon code AND I am a "fit fashionista member". I was supposed to be charged $29.95. I put in my billing information and hit order. some prompt comes up and hey? nothing changed. No confirmation page, nothing. its the same page. I hit order again.
    Suddenly, my husband is asking me why Puravit.com charged us 29.95 once and 75.95 TWICE. I check my bank statement this was on saturday. i called and emailed saturday and Monday. after many attempts, i go back on facebook to get a hold of someone. 5 hours later, they respond. I scroll down to only find out that they have done it since February 14th to a ton of people. Okay? not their fault right? I am still waiting for a refund along with many others who are waiting for their refund from them.
    I'm sick of their excuses of "not enough customer service" -february excuse, and "putting up more servers"-janurary excuse and "we're overwhelmed"-dec excuse. Goodness, what is it next for march?
    Thank you for the links as I will be sure to spread the word about them to everyone i know!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Unfortunately I didn't do my homework and signed up after seeing cute outfits promoted by someone I follow on Instagram. Took them two weeks to charge my card, now none of the web sites are up. Customer service is currently "closed" and the phone number in the routing info on my bank charge is disconnected. I'll be headed to the bank later to block any further charges.

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  16. Wow...I saw PV Body recommended in Shape magazine awhile back ago! Shape's editor may not have known about the owner's history of scamming customers, but this doesn't do much to improve my opinion of the magazine. As a medical professional, I cringe every time I see a health-related article in Shape (I find a lot of inaccuracies), and now I'll probably cringe when I see product suggestions, too.

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  17. Thanks for this. When I initially signed up for a trial of an Ellie outfit I didn't look very closely into their company. I got curious after checking their FB page and then found this blog and a few other sources with the connection to PVBody. I didn't get in on the PV thing and didn't give Ellie any more than my address and links to my blog. I contacted them to remove me from their ambassadorship and we'll see if they actually respond.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Everyone's saying they didn't have lululemon, but they didn't say they did. The pv body site said you didn't have to spend lulu (and other expensive brand) money to get that look. It was in different words than that, though.

    I never placed an order though. They picked boring stuff for me. I could get the same look at Target and Champion's C9 line lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. actually, I just saw a screenshot of the old pvbody site. It's a pic of two girls in the same outfit. One on the left is labeled "lululemon $150" and the one on the right labeled "pv.body 49.99"

      So, either interpretation can be applied. I assumed they were saying they had lulu knockoffs. Apparently other people assumed it meant they had actual lulu. Also, at one point they did give away lulu gift cards with the first month, so that probably added to the confusion.

      Delete
    2. I saw people talking on Facebook about how they did receive Lulu product. They gave Lulu as an example of the type of product one might receive, then it seemed like nobody did, so someone asked online "Has anyone ever gotten a Lulu product from pvBody?" and people did respond "yes."

      Delete
  19. I have received two outfits, (first was from PV Body, second just recently from Ellie) I did get what I asked for and the clothes are cute, yes....but so is Athleta and Lulu. I signed on to be an "affiliate" back in October, then I did product reviews and shared and tweeted, etc all about them. They were so helpful when getting back to me with my questions UNTIL it was time to pay me! The email repsonses totally stopped, the phone calls went to voicemail, nor were returned. I kept getting emails sharing upcoming sales and new products, to fill out W9 forms and my invoices. I have filled out all paperwork in order to get paid and followed instructions.
    I had many people beleive in me and my word and signed up only to get burned. No they can't stop there accounts from being charged and can't cancel.

    PV Body does not exist and now it's Ellie. AS an affiliate I have NEVER received any payment for my sales and this is now March. This has been a first and hard lesson for me, as I have never been involved in a "scam process". I am sick to my stomach. I really tried giving the benefit of the doubt for months, but have come to realize that this is nothing but bad trouble ahead. Shame on this company. Workout clothes are everywhere and we can find great ones elsewhere.

    Yes, be VERY aware of this company and stay far away!!!

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  20. I'm another unhappy customer who is owed a refund.... I've been waiting since December. PV Body / Ellie is AWFUL!!!!

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  21. Thanks for the info, I was about to order, ladies search the net and beware! Thanks for sharing!!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Go to the Ellie site and call their number! My original order was quite a while ago, however I had missed part of the transaction and never received anything. I just went to the Ellie.com website, called their number, and was given the info I needed to proceed. I was able to get into my account and choose my two pieces. Because another discount code had automatically been entered, I was not able to enter my TopFloor code (I ordered through TopFloor), so customer service submitted my order. To maintain my $39.95 monthly rate I just have to order by April 8th and submit my billing information. Customer service was very accommodating. Give it a shot.

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  23. I appreciate the info and will keep an eye. I joined 3 months ago and have gotten two shipments and supposedly the 3rd is ont he way. I have been able to reach people on the phone... sometimes it takes a few tries and they always respond back via facebook. I like the clothes. I will cont. to be a member and if for some reason i do not get a shipment within 30 days and if I can't reach someone at the company I will cancel and do a charge back for that month. So far, it has totally been worth my investment. Lets hope this company is a new start for him and maybe this time ethical...

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  24. pvBody was absolutely a bait-and-switch, I have no doubt now after doing more research. I first heard of it in November 2012 through Giuliana Rancic's FabFitFun newsletter and joined with a promo code for $39.95/month plus the $25 Lululemon gift card. Long story short, after two bizarre product delivery and credit card charge experiences, I am thankfully no longer a customer and do not miss the headache one bit. I first heard of Ellie in January 2013, through communications from pvBody that said they were going to start designing their own clothes in order to best meet the tastes of their customers. Also, they said that this was in response to customers being unhappy with their surprise items and that now they could choose what they wanted in advance. This was pitched to the existing pvBody customer as a new idea, in response to negative feedback at the pvBody model. Well, follow the breadcrumb trail a little and it turns out Ellie was funded with $2M in May 2012 through the internet start-up incubator company Science. The company's description and mission from that start-up is clear as day - Ellie was in plan all along. The shady part of how they gained customers through the pvBody solicitation is simply unethical. Everyone can do what they want with their money, if you love Ellie and don't care that they baited and switched literally thousands of customers, do what you want - I'm not hear to preach. I would only say that the experience has personally made me a more cautious customer. I found this out through some more research off info in the BBB links you shared, so thank you and here are links to the information I found as well:
    http://brawnybombshell.wordpress.com/tag/marcus-greinke/
    http://science-inc.com/what-we-do/clothing/

    ReplyDelete
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  30. AVOID ANY COMPANY MARCUS GREINKE IS INVOLVED WITH . I am a designer who licensed a product to Charles and Marie, in 2009. Marcus was the CEO , and the person I dealt with . He sold the product very well. What he didn't do, was pay me my royalty . Every quarter he would send me the sales figures, and I would invoice him. he would then come up with very colourful excuses as to why he couldn't pay me my fee , for my product! He had been paid for every unit sold through web sales, and my royalty payments ended up adding up to Thousands of USD. he then disappeared and closed the company , leaving my self and many designers unpaid . I tried everything I could to get the money back from him , and had to stop when I realise how much stress it was causing me and time it had taken up. So i appreciate this post being created, and cant emphasise enough that anything he is involved with is to be avoided.

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  32. I had the very unfortunate experience working for this guy....He is the shadiest worst person ever. Not only is Marcus Greinke (and often working with Lindsey Daniels) a total scam of a business man, he also takes advantage of young women and you would be appalled by the things he has done.

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  33. I have just read this site. Marcus is someone I worked for. He was inspiring and incredibly intelligent. He went out of his way to help me to become a better designer and strategist and did excellent design work for both local and global clients. He decided to embark on the digital path of entrepreneurship. Its been a rough market for many tech start-ups; but despite numerous knocks a passion to try create something prevails in him. This is not to say that when company's struggle, that errors may not have been made. I am sure there were errors, but the above is a bit extreme. Charlesandmarie wasn't a sample site; it was a design collectable site with daily specials. There are two sides to every story. I cannot fathom the above to be true of the man I knew.

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