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Buyer Beware! Counterfeit / Fraudulent Products
on October 15, 2012
This review may be quite lengthy, but as an Amazon consumer, I recommend that you thoroughly read and understand this review, as I guarantee it to be worth your time and the health and safety of your pet. Frontline Plus for Dogs when packaged and sold properly (by most Veterinarians and most reputable companies) works as it is described to work. For those instances, I would give the product a 5 star rating. But being that this is a consumer review of Frontline Plus for Dogs for the marketplace of Amazon, I would like to bring a particular experience that I became a victim of, to the attention of the consumer.
Merial produces the product named Frontline Plus for Dogs (of various weights) for US consumers and for the consumers in International markets. Products produced for US distribution are EPA approved. Products for International markets, are not EPA approved. EPA, in this instance, stands for Environmental Protection Agency. This agency sets and enforces rules and standards that protect the environment and control pollution. If a manufacturer produces and distributes EPA and non EPA approved products, it seems like a safer option to administer the EPA approved product.
Here goes the story of how I fell victim to a fraudulent sale of Frontline Plus for Dogs through a Seller / Store utilizing Amazon:
Upon receipt of a Merial Frontline Plus for Dogs product from a Seller / Store on Amazon, the packaging appeared identical to those sold by my previous Veterinary purchase as well as a previous purchase of this product from Amazon directly. While the outside appeared legit, the inside contents had me on alert instantaneously. Here are a few of the red flags that came to mind: 1) The inside contents did not contain the stickers for the consumer to mark their calendar on usage dates. 2) The back of the sealed vials stated the product as Frontline Combo and not as Frontline Plus for Dogs. 3) The back of the sealed vials displayed three rows of orange that read as follows: "AD US. VET - USAGE VETERINAIRE - FOR VETERINARY USE." 4) The plastic vials contained a pull like backing as opposed to the difficult plastic tab opening that most consumers avoid and end up puncturing the seal to pull the vial from the individual packaging. 5) The sealed area of each vial shows individually, Fipronil 10% w/v, MethroPrene 9% w/v, and 0.67 ml. (I do not recall my previous vials ever showing these figures) 6) The lot number that can be found on the outside of the box contains a lot number that is different from the lot number listed on the back of each of the inside vials.
I made the decision to not use this product on my pet and contacted the US 800 number for Merial, the manufacturer. After explaining the item that arrived to the representative, I was provided some interesting information that confirmed that my intuition of the product I received was correct and that this product was non-other than a fraudulent product that needed to be returned to the Seller / Store that sold this item to me through the use of Amazon. I gathered the following information from the representative at Merial: 1) The box is a US EPA approved Frontline Plus for Dogs. 2) The contents are not EPA approved as it contained vials for a different country. 3) The lot numbers on the box and vials are not consistent, when they should be. This product that I fell victim to was a foreign label product and when questioning the representative as to what she would do if she had this item on hand, she said that she would not use the item and request a refund because foreign label products are not EPA approved.
So, as the title of my review states, "Buyer Beware", please beware and pay close attention to the product that you are receiving. If key points that I have listed in my review clearly identify your item that you received as a foreign label product, please contact the Seller / Store and request to process the return of the item immediately. Pets are like family, the last thing that I believe you should administer to your pet is a non EPA approved product.
Additionally, if a consumer is sold a counterfeit / fraudulent item through Amazon's Marketplace, the consumer should report it to Amazon. These fraudulent Sellers / Stores don't belong on Amazon and the only way that we can initiate an investigation and seek their removal is to report each counterfeit situation to the attention of Amazon directly and warn potential consumers of these fraudulent Sellers / Stores.
I had some issues initially handling my return with the Seller. I refused to pay to ship the counterfeit / fraudulent items (that shouldn't have been sold to me in the first place) back and I insisted that the Seller either pay for the postage and tracking of the products or refund it to me with the refund of my original purchase (Including my original shipping costs). The Seller after multiple email communications emailed me a prepaid USPS mailing label with tracking.
I was hesitant on naming the fraudulent Amazon Marketplace Seller / Store until my entire return was processed and refunded. Now that my refund was successful, the fraudulent Frontline Plus that was sold to me was sold through the Amazon Marketplace Seller / Store of Discount Flea. The return address company name was Doc's Discount Flea Control located in Las Vegas, NV. The front of their sold product contains a sticker that refers you to re-order from unitedpetmeds2010.com with a 10% discount off of an order of $100 or more. I do not recommend purchasing these products from any of these companies. I would also be wary of any other company that you receive items that look as I described and suggest requesting an immediate return and issuing a complaint to Amazon of the fraudulent Seller / Store that you encountered.