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Claims against LifeStyle Lift

08/24/2009 - Riley Allen Law - Link to This Entry

The New York State Attorney General recently reached a settlement with the “cosmetic surgery outfit” LifeStyle Lift for completely false and deceptive advertising. Apparently, Lifestyle Lift enlisted its own employees to post fake positive reviews to “trick Web browsing consumers” into believing that the reviews were actually from satisfied customers. This practice, known as astroturfing, is a growing problem on the Internet. Attorney General Andrew Cuomo described the practice by LifeStyle Lift as “cynical, manipulative and illegal.”

LifeStyle Lift has more than 40 locations around the United States, including Florida offices in Orlando/Maitland, Ft. Myers, Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Our firm has received several referrals of clients who were left disfigured as a result of these procedures. What is especially disturbing about the company’s actions is that they were a targeted attack on consumers who had posted legitimate complaints regarding the company and the procedures being performed. Not only were employees told to create fictitious accounts and post “glowing” reviews, they were also told to attack those who had posted negative messages and even to try to get those negative posts removed from message boards. Internal company emails revealed that employees were specifically instructed to “devote the day to doing more postings on the web as a satisfied client” and to “put your wig and skirt on and tell them about the great experience you had.”

The company went so far as to deceptively create websites that were designed to appear as if they were created by independent and satisfied customers, such as “MyFaceLiftStory.com.” Some of the sites even offered forums for users to add their own comments. Of course, LifeStyle Lift made sure that all of the comments were either created by employees, or heavily edited so as to appear favorable to LifeStyle Lift. Negative and critical reviews were deleted and removed altogether.

LifeStyle touts its procedures as safer than “traditional” procedures and promotes its doctors as being “board certified or board eligible” in some unspecified subspecialty. A close reading of the qualifications of many of its physicians reveals that they are not board certified plastic surgeons. The only real board certification is one recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). The ABMS recognizes board certifications issued by the American Board of Plastic Surgery – but one would be hard pressed to find a doctor at LifeStyle Lifts who has such a certification. Furthermore, being board “eligible” is essentially meaningless – does that mean the physician didn’t bother to prepare for and take the rigorous examinations required, or failed repeatedly to pass those tests? Either way, being “board eligible” is hardly a factor to rely on in selecting a qualified physician to perform surgery.

A quick Google search reveals that while the company may have gotten caught distorting the truth once, it is hell-bent on making every effort to drown out any criticism of its procedures. Websites such as www.mylifestylelift.com, www.myfaceliftstory.com, and even one deceptively titled www.lifestyleliftproblems.com are actually owned and operated by LifeStyle Lift. For just a sample of “real world” concerns, check out this website: www.realself.com/Lifestyle-lift/reviews.

If you have undergone surgery at LifeStyle Lift and have any concerns about the procedure or outcome, please contact our office at 407-838-8000, or email us at info@floridatriallawyer.com.
 

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