Another bloody disgrace from Groupon!

Excuse my belligerent tone but I truly am appalled and frustrated that despite  numerous complaints, innocent members of the public are still being misled by Live Blood Analysts promoted by Groupon.

In addition to making misleading claims in his advertising, one practitioner, Errol Denton, has even – according to comments made online – been treating customers appallingly, resulting in a ‘mass refund’ from Groupon, as well as an adjudication by the Advertising Standards Authority against the original ad.

One might reasonably expect Groupon to respond by removing the problematic ad and refraining from running a similar promotion again – as they were asked to do by the ASA, who said that “the ad must not appear again in its current form” and that “they should hold documentary evidence to prove claims that consumers are likely to regard as objective and that are capable of objective substantiation”.

Over a month after adjudication, not only is the ad still appearing in its current form (EDIT 02/12/11 The link now goes to what seems to be a forthcoming deal) but a remarkably similar promotion is running as I type –  this time for Stephen Ferguson (who, incredibly, boasts three PhDs and over 200 letters after his name) at his Natural Health Clinic. This latest ad (pictured above) makes similarly dubious claims regarding the supposed suitability of live blood testing to screen for allergies, parasites and nutritional absorption.

Over the last few months, complaints have been made about both these practitioners, by various people, not just to the ASA, but also to Trading Standards. I have even written to the BBC – since Denton is using his 2009 appearance on The One Show to enhance his credibility.

In Denton’s case, the problems go beyond his misleading advertising claims – I have been contacted by three different women, all unhappy customers, all of whom took part in the April Groupon deal. I have also found similar tales of woe regarding this deal on two other websites.

(EDIT 17/10/11 I have now been contacted by five disgruntled customers.)

These comments suggest that people are being treated rudely, are having difficulty redeeming their vouchers and are being encouraged to spend large amounts of  money on further consultations without ever having been seen. Perhaps most shockingly, the one correspondent who actually succeeded in undergoing the test came away having been told she had yeast and mould in her blood and with the impression that Denton had implied her test indicated markers for cancer and diabetes.

This is all very upsetting and frustrating. I feel like I’m banging my head against the wall:

(EDIT 09/01/11 The One Show contacted me in November with a view to making a film about Live Blood Analysis but unfortunately this did not come to be. See comment here.)

Despite all the setbacks, I am not going to give up. I have written to Groupon outlining my concerns and have written back to the ASA over this issue. Because my latest commenter admitted she felt his appearance on The One Show “made him credible” I also intend to contact the BBC again.

I welcome any practical suggestions as to what else can be done – either by commenting below or by contacting me directly.

I will of course report back any interesting developments where possible.

For those who want all the unpleasant details in one place, I have taken the liberty of pasting the unfortunate customers’ comments below.

Read and be appalled…

***********************************************************

Comments thread, Introducing the curious world of the Alkaline Diet and Live Blood Analysis

“I am not one of those people who believes in miracle cures, but after looking at the Live Blood Test website and seeing the offer on Groupon, I thought maybe the blood test could tell me what the dreaded standard allergy test could not and maybe identify potential health issues. I thought that Errol Denton appearing on television made him credible (not sure why I thought that, given that television also brings us the likes of Cheryl Cole and Colleen Rooney…).

Anyway, I really should have known something wasn’t right when the receptionist who gave me the appointments wouldn’t send a written confirmation, and then tried to upgrade my £59 Groupon voucher to a £495 ‘extra nutritional consultation’. I kindly refused and later told my husband it was a bit weird that they were trying to sell me nutritional supplements without even having seen us yet. As I’d bought the vouchers though, I felt I should just attend the appointment despite my concerns.

I booked the appointment in July for 8 October (this past Saturday). We organised the babysitter first thing in the morning and went all the way into Harley Street (we live in Kent, an hour and a half journey). When we got there, we couldn’t even get into 1 Harley Street. No one answered the buzzer at any of the entrances. I knew something was really off when the name plate on the buzzer said Errol Denton with a different company name rather than Live Blood Test. We called both numbers from the Groupon voucher, which went straight to voicemail. No one called back.

I contacted them by email and have received no response. I contacted Groupon and got an email back within the day to apologise and state that Live Blood Test was no longer honouring vouchers and that Groupon would give me a full refund: “I am really sorry that you have not had contact with Live Blood Test. I have investigated this deal and they had cancelled their Groupon offer. A mass refund is being given to all customers. I have now cancelled your Groupons for Live Blood Test and refunded the amount of £118 back to your method of payment. Our partner has already been informed that this Groupon is no longer valid. Please allow up to 5 working days for the payment to clear back to your account.”

Groupon has been very very good in dealing with my problem, but it doesn’t help the fact that Live Blood Test continues to advertise and take bookings. They didn’t even bother to call me to say my appointment was cancelled, which is a basic thing to do with any client appointments.

The moral for me is clear- if it looks too good to be true, it probably is!”
Caroline Ward, 11/10/11

Hi, I was so angry about my whole experience with this crook that I emailed Groupon an account of what happened following the purchase of my ticket and Groupon gave me a full refund!! Its appalling that this guy is still practising, imagine he led me to believe I had cancer and diabetes!! I have since been to a reputable blood analysis called Stephen Ferguson, visit his site, he knows all about Errol’s practices and has had lots of people visiting him after a poor experience with Errol. So sorry to hear what you have been through!! Wendy
Wendy Roberts, 20/07/11

Live Blood Test Harley Street certainly seems like a scam to me too. After paying my money in advance I wasn’t even able to make an appointment and when I finally got through to someone they quickly hung up on me.

BEWARE!!
Portia, 20/07/11

I went to see Errol Denton for a Live Blood Analysis on Friday 27th May and it was a total scam. I am appalled and am at a loss of about who I need to complain too. I dont know what body governs his practice. I paid £59.99 through Groupon instead of the £195. I was seen for 15 minutes. Despite them advertising that I would have nutritional testing, allergy testing etc.. all that happened was my blood was taken, he looked at it on a slide and told me he had only seen blood like mine in cancer patients. That my blood is dirty. I have markers for diabetes and I have yeast and mold in my blood. He told me he could clean my blood within 3 months if I used his products. I was traumatised when I left his office. Surely, to imply that someone could have cancer is unacceptable??? I certainly want to report him but I do not know where to start. I have a dictaphone recording of my appointment (which he was unaware of) & I photographed my blood slides with his permission. Can you help? Regards, Wendy
Wendy Roberts, 29/05/11

Measured Up’s ‘groupon Complaint, Groupon Scam’ thread

I purchased a voucher with Groupon for a live blood test at the Harley Clinic in April 2011. After several attempts at contacting the clinic they eventually telephoned me two months later to offer me an appointment. They offered me an appointment at 5.30pm on the very last day that the voucher was valid. When I said that was inconvenient they said that if I upgraded my package for an extra £150 they would be able to fit me in sooner. Without upgrading I could take or leave that appointment. They made it very clear that they had sold more vouchers that they could ever offer appointments, and were focused on booking those people who would be paying for additional services from them.

I called Groupon to notify them that this offer is clearly being used by the Harley Clinic as a scam to entice customers in before putting pressure on them to spend significantly more on additional services. I explained to the customer services manager Kabir that I felt Groupon owed me an apology (after all they have had my money for the last two months) and that this wasn’t the kind of customer service I expected from such a large organisation. He was curt, unhelpful and clearly just wanted to palm me off by offering a refund. For a company that relies on word-of-mouth and is expanding so rapidly, treating customers with such discourtesy is naive.
Sassy 333, (at least 3 months ago)

I completely agree – I’ve tried calling them to book my appointment and just go through to a full mailbox and it says if you’re a voucher holder not to leave a message! Unbelievable scam, it’s not a cheap scam either. I would much rather just have my money back the scumbags.

Has anyone had any joy booking?
Anonymous, ‘3 months ago’

I had a similar experience. I have just been hung-up on by their receptionist after simply enquiring why there was no one there (again) after she told me to call back on a tuesday. The email address that they recommend that you use doesn’t work and the whole thing seems like a scam to me. How do I get a refund??
Anonymous, ‘2 months ago’

Cylex UK Business Directory

Appauling service, extremely rude receptionist. Couldn’t get an appointment for ages and a poor choice of time was given. I find this company offensive especially considering that it was featured on the BBC.
J Gill, 06/10/11

Live Blood Test Harley Street certainly seems like a scam to me too. After paying my money in advance I wasn’t even able to make an appointment and when I finally got through to someone they rudely & quickly hung up on me.
Portia, 20/07/11

I had the same issue with them – bought a voucher on Groupon. It took me ages to get through to them, and when I finally did the lady who picked up the phone was absolutely not helpful and rude. She refused to schdule and appointment for me since she was “not responsible” for this. I would never recommend this place to anyone. It’s a scam!
MariaK, 06/07/11

I bought a groupon voucher and followed all the instructions to make a booking and emailed at least 5 times. First 2 replies were mixed 1 liner messages to book online, tried to book online and still have not heard from them in 3 weeks. Other emails were ignored and only get voicemail on the phone. Terrible customer service, got a groupon refund. Dont waste your time with them.
Skeeps, 11/05/11

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48 responses to “Another bloody disgrace from Groupon!

  1. michael patterson

    my daughter had been ill for many years and I was distressed because I had been to so many specialists and nothing helped and they couldn’t tell me what was wrong with her so I took her to see Mr Stephen Ferguson and he cured her and I am so thankful.

  2. Michael, I am glad to hear your daughter got better.

    However, Stephen Ferguson is not a doctor, despite the fact that he uses this title in his advertising. He should not be claiming or implying he can cure people of serious health conditions (many of which he lists on his website – eg multiple sclerosis, cancer, diabetes, epilepsy…)

  3. I have now summarised the above post on the online form for Watchdog and have filled in a second online form for the One Show.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/watchdog/gotastory/

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/tv/features/theoneshow/stories/

  4. I was pleased to see ‘Dr’ Ferguson, Errol Denton and Groupon receive Quack of the Week awards over at ASA Rocks. Laughing at this has provided a welcome break from banging my head against the wall.

    http://asa-rocks.org/weekly/141011.htm

  5. Worse still – this is a con – I turned up to try to find ‘Live blood test’ at 1 Harley street – and there was no-one of that name at the Harley Street address. I bought this on Groupon thinking it was genuine – and at the address there was a Errol Denton of ‘fitalife’ but no sign within the building.

  6. Diana – Thanks for getting in touch and I am sorry to hear of your experience. ‘Fitalifestyle Ltd’ is the name of Errol Denton’s company – who I have complained about several times for misleading advertising.

    I gather from other commenters on my blog that many others have had a similar experience to yours and that Groupon are giving out mass refunds. I suggest you get in touch with Groupon and hopefully you will at least get back what you paid.

    (For more details see comments pasted above, or on this thread http://josephinejones.wordpress.com/2011/03/22/alkdietliveblood1/#comments.)

    As I have said before, I am appalled at Denton’s behaviour and frustrated that despite having been reported to various authorities, he is continuing to mislead the public. I am also disappointed to see Groupon running another, very similar promotion.

    As I explained above, several other angry Groupon customers have already been in touch with me as a result of Errol Denton’s promotion. Between us, we have complained to Groupon and reported him to the Advertising Standards Authority, Trading Standards, The One Show and Watchdog. Although Groupon have been giving out refunds and the ASA upheld my complaint against the Groupon ad, I am still unhappy at the current situation.

    Here are some useful links if you would like to make your own complaints:

    https://www.groupon.com/support

    http://www.asa.org.uk/Complaints/How-to-complain.aspx

    http://www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/advice/consumer-advice.cfm

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/watchdog/gotastory/

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/tv/features/theoneshow/stories/

    I hope this is helpful to you.

  7. Live blood analysis in dark field has some value in early detection of cardio-vascular disease but definitely not in detection of cancer (study by Uni Giessen/Germany). For years I try expose conmen like this but they always find new ways to recruit victims.

  8. I wouldn’t take notice of any ‘diagnosis’ or warning of future problems by a live blood analyst, whether it’s for cancer, cardio-vascular disease or indeed any of the vast number of conditions practitioners list on their sites. These are the people who tend to believe that your own blood cells transform into bacteria, yeasts and mould and that acidity is the cause of all ills.

    To be fair to Dr Seeger though, he does point out (here: http://www.livebloodtraining.com/main/page_lectures__articles_credibility_of_live_blood_testing.html) that the “biggest disadvantage of Live Blood Analysis in Dark Field is the fact it is based on observations and interpretations with no general scientific acceptance”. You can say that again!

    I am not aware of any legitimate, conventional use for live blood analysis in early detection of anything.

  9. I am currently seeinf dr ferguson I had a one hour appointment and am currently away on holiday, my appointment was a little dissappointing as i thought he may do the food allergy but did not, he did go through my blood pressure, chloesterol and lung capacity don’t know why but he did. He did pick up that according to my blood I have a high acidic diet and parasites, I am williung to give his diet a go and will have one more appt. I am keen to loose weight and do agree with his nutrition theory. I had a live blood analysis the Rosemary Spellman 20 years ago and it identified my back problem and i then got sorted with approperiate treatemnt. I will keep you updated.

    Raj

  10. Pingback: Live Blood Analysis performed on BBC’s The One Show | Josephine Jones

  11. Raj,

    Thanks for your comment and I’ll be interested to hear how you get on with ‘Dr’ Ferguson – who incidentally should not really be using the term ‘Dr’ in his advertising, since he does not hold a General Medical qualification.

    As you may guess if you’ve read my blog, I don’t believe that live blood testing is a useful technique and I am highly sceptical of advertising claims made by practitioners like Ferguson. Despite their claims to the contrary, it is not possible to detect food allergies or intolerances using live blood testing. The only reason such claims continue to appear online is that the Advertising Standards Authority have only been able to investigate company websites since March – and they have been inundated with complaints since then.

    Similarly, claims made regarding having parasites as a result of an ‘acidic diet’ don’t make sense in terms of modern understanding of microbiology – this notion comes from a disproven theory called ‘pleomorphism’. According to this, your body’s own cells transform into bacteria, fungi and larger parasites (which practitioners will tell you is as a result of an ‘acidic’ diet).

    Despite all this, you may well be able to lose weight by going on a so-called ‘alkaline’ diet – which as I understand it would mean cutting out alcohol, cutting down on fat, and eating more fruit and veg.

    Another thing – although I think it *very* unlikely that you have a parasitic infection, if you believe you do then you need to see your GP.

    All the best and thanks for getting in touch.

  12. josephine jones you are a racist and a fascist trying to promote white supremecy and pharmaceutical companies. you are a coward. if you are a true critic, why do you hide your identity picture and contact details. you do what all other losers and failures like yourself do try to bring others down to your low mediocre level. if you spent as much time pursuing a career as you do blogging on the internet like a little child, you wouldn’t be the big usless failure that you are. please grow up.

  13. I have decided to keep my identity and picture private because of abuse and threats I receive from anonymous members of the public. Sadly, the above post is not unusual.

    I don’t believe that speaking out against misleading health advertising makes me a racist, fascist or any of the other highly offensive things I’ve been called recently.

    • Josephine,

      I have just been reading the updates on your site and was shocked to see the post by a woman called Mo, who was blatantly outrageously abusive!! I will give you one guess who Mo is… yes its Errol Denton’s wife, aka receptionist [edited to remove potentially libellous material]!! Errold and his wife are both black hence the racist statements, I am mixed race and you are far from racist!! Incidentally the one show contacted me as they were interested in running a story. The producer however, changed his mind on the 11th hour!! Keep up the good fight.Wendy

      • Wendy,

        Thanks for your support and don’t worry, I didn’t take Mo’s abusive remarks to heart, shocking though they were. I can see why you think it could be Errol’s wife but from what WordPress tells me, I think it’s unlikely. Mo is either male or is pretending to be. (I’m sorry I have edited out what you called Errol’s wife in case it’s libellous. You can’t be too careful.)

        It’s disappointing that the One Show didn’t run the story, especially as Errol is using his previous One Show appearance in his advertising. They contacted me too but I didn’t mention it here because I didn’t know if anything would come of it.

  14. It’s telling that insults are being offered in lieu of evidence for live blood testing being anything but quackery.

  15. i came to your blog via Bad Science and am quite horrified at some of the outright quackery you have written about here, and i’d like to congratulate you on your efforts in trying to expose these appalling charlatans. Can’t seem to find any evidence of racism or white supremacy though – do you only do that on Thursdays or something ;-)

  16. Thanks James and Sara for your supportive comments. Be assured that mo’s comment is so utterly ridiculous that it hasn’t upset me or even registered as a genuine personal insult.

  17. I also went to see ‘Dr’ Ferguson for live blood test and allergy testing. He held packet of yeast to my tummy button,and asked me to press on his hand. Apparently the weaker I pressed, the more allergic I was to the substance! I might add that the few substances he tried, were all in their original packaging, so none of the tested substances were in direct contact with my tummy button. Errm, I don’t think it would have mattered even if they were…This is a huge scam. I’m unemployed, have health problems,and am so upset about losing so much money to him. Oh, he also did the live blood test, but then asked me for more money to explain them better and get healthy. i didn’t pay!

    • HI Cheri,

      I too just had the same experience. I was totally appalled he tested for allergies/intolerance by pushing a packet of good against my belly button. I paid £79 on Groupon for this after previously getting my money back from Groupon because I couldn’t get an appointment after 6month for another allergy/intolerance test I had booked with a different company. I have so many problems with my stomach and my GP has been no help so I was really hoping this would help me. I was also offered a diet analysis for £60 (he said the original price was something ridiculous at around £300) I didn’t take the offer. I was then given a piece of A5 paper where he scribbled ‘notes’ on it. I take it this was my free report?! I cannot believe that this is allowed to happen and how he hasn’t been found out yet. I can only hope…

  18. Cheri – I’m sorry to hear of your experience. I think it’s shocking that Ferguson carried out the live blood test but wouldn’t share the results with you.

    If you took part in the Groupon promotion above, it may be worth complaining to them. They may be able to offer some sort of refund.

    The way I see it, the Groupon ad was advertising live blood analysis, which was meant to screen for allergies, parasites and nutritional absorption. They were also advertising a ‘health check’ – which covered BMI, heart rate and blood sugar. It seems to me that if you bought one of these deals then you did not get what you paid for.

    If you are angry about this and want to take things further, you could try complaining to your local Trading Standards office: http://www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/advice/index.cfm

    You could also complain to the Advertising Standards Authority about the advertising being misleading: http://www.asa.org.uk/Complaints/How-to-complain/Online-Form/Step1.aspx.

    However, as I’ve said before, live blood analysis is not a useful technique anyway, and Ferguson is not a doctor. So I think it was wise of you to decide not to hand over any more money.

    I hope that your GP is able to help with your health problems.

    Thanks for getting in touch and I hope this has been useful.

  19. I went to see Dr Ferguson on the groupon deal and it was really the best thing I ever did. Before coming to the appointment I was able to speak to him on the phone and he made it clear to me that he wasn’t a GP and I saw his PhD doctrate certificates and his registation when I went for the appointment. My GP and the private GP’s I have been to are all rubbish, they just give you antibiotics and pain killers, so I have been sick and weak for years. He did the allergy test and found out the very food that I was intolerant to. He also pointed out certain problems happening in my blood and that tied in with the allergy test and how I was feeling. The groupon deal was just a 45 min consultation and tests but he gave me and many of my friends 1hr. I paid £30 extra and got and extra 30 mins consultation. He then gave me a free diet plan on going support any time of the day for free and if I text him I would get an immediate response for free. I went back to visit him again and the second visit was free also. I am now glowing I feel so good and all of my health issues and weight issues are completely gone. I am the happiest person I know now. He also helped me get over my depression for free. He genuinely cares about people I and my friends have even called him on a Sunday night when he is off and he is willing to speak to us. I think he is brilliant.

  20. Don’t take my word for it look at what all of these people think http://www.stephen-ferguson.co.uk/testimonials/
    over 80 amazing testimonials live videos

  21. Niki I will second your thoughts Dr Ferguson is totally gifted he sorted out my back problem and stomach problem even though it wasn’t part of the groupon deal for just £30. The next visit was free plus he gave me a copy of his £9.99 book free. Like you I knew he wasn’t a GP because all of the GP’s I have seen are crap and a waste of time.

  22. I went to see doctor ferguson on the groupon deal and he made it clear to me on the phone that he wasn’t a GP. I saw his PhD certificate when I went for my appointment. The groupon consultation was 45 mins on the deal but I and my friends all got 1hr. for £30 extra I got 30 mins extra consultation, a free book worth £9.99, diet plan and I could call or text him any time for free even on Sundays second visit was also free. I have seen many Gp’s and they have all been rubbish (only give antibiotics and pain killers. All of my health and weight problems are now gone and I am glowing my blood cells have transformed. I am the happiest person I know my depression is also gone.

  23. niki & becci,

    I’m glad you are both feeling so well and that you realise ‘Dr’ Ferguson is not a doctor (though I must say I find it bewildering that he has felt the need to show his certificates to his customers).

    I assume you are good friends (I note that your comments were posted from the same IP address!) It’s nice to get such positive messages.

    However, I feel it is only right that I point out that it is not possible to detect allergies using live blood analysis. (I assume this was his chosen method but please correct me if I am wrong.)

    You seem to understand that if you really do have a legitimate health concern, whether it be related to stomach problems, depression, or allergies then your GP should be your first port of call.

    If what you say is correct then you have been very unlucky in that you seem to have encountered a series of underperforming doctors. Perhaps you could give me more information on this? I would be very interested.

    GPs do a very important job, which stretches far beyond simply prescribing antibiotics (which they should not be doing without good reason) and painkillers (many of which can be bought cheaply from supermarkets, others ‘over the counter’ from pharmacies without prescription).

    May I suggest that you try another clinic which employs properly qualifed doctors? By this I mean people who possess a General Medical qualification, rather than a collection of unusual PhDs.

  24. Hmm…. same IP address from two different commenters who extol the virtues of Doc Ste Ferg? Perhaps Fergie gives them a free book (*worth £9.99*) if they post a comment from his PC after their consultation?

    Or are they simply the words of the great man himself? Nikki and Becci’s comments are very similar to the many badly scripted testimonial videos (seemingly performed by friends and family), which you can enjoy on his site.

  25. Groupon are just desperate for any business to stop them going under. Shameful.

  26. Hi there.
    Just thought I would share my experience with Stephen Ferguson’s “Live Blood Test” in a few bullets:

    * Office was unprofessional; open bins on the floor, rubbish all over desk
    * In my view, the test itself is similar to fortune telling. He asks a series of questions then the blood test responds according to the answers you’ve given.
    * He told me my blood sugar was the level of a diabetic!!! I’d just eaten so it’s perfectly normal for blood sugar to be elevated. Blood sugar tests should be done after a fast.
    *I expressed some sceptism over the test & the diet and he “lost it” and said it would never work if I was sceptical becuase the brain is so powerful. I said I had tried a similar diet before and it hadn’t done anything. He said it wasn’t the same as his and his always works.
    * He tried to sell me his multivitamin (£30, usually £150!!) which is a box of green powder. He basically ignored me and started looking at his watch once I’d indicated I wouldn’t buy anything.
    * The diet plan he gave me is just hilarious – badly typed sheet of A4 with undecipherable notes.

    I complained to Groupon and they gave me my money back so not all bad!

    • Thanks for sharing your story. Very interesting.

      I should be shocked but the sad thing is, I’m not surprised at all. After having visited his website and watched some of his videos and seen the ‘Dr Ferguson’ products on sale (eg Dr Ferguson’s Multivitamin PH Balancer and Blood Cleanser, was £100, now £30), that is unfortunately just the sort of approach I would expect from him.

      I’m glad to see you got your money back from Groupon. I like your comparison with fortune telling, that makes a lot of sense to me.

  27. There was another Live Blood Analysis Groupon deal yesterday, for the Sanctuary of Light alternative therapy centre. This was advertising “for immune system, food intolerance and allergy testing”.

    http://www.groupon.co.uk/deals/london-special/sanctuary-of-light/1930502

  28. … And there’s been yet another Live Blood Analysis Groupon deal, for “Food Intolerance Test With Live and Dried Blood Analysis”:

    http://www.groupon.co.uk/deals/south-london?CID=UK_DIS_1086_10_1086_1&utm_source=dis_1086&utm_medium=dis_10&utm_campaign=dis_1086&utm_content=dis_1

  29. … And two more disgruntled Stephen Ferguson customers have commented on other posts( http://josephinejones.wordpress.com/2011/05/19/i-wish-i-could-be-like-dr-steve/#comment-809 and http://josephinejones.wordpress.com/2011/03/22/alkdietliveblood1/#comment-875):

    “Hi There,

    I have recently seen Stephen Ferguson and quite can’t believe the audacity of the chap. I’m looking to find people who have had a somewhat bad experience with the self proclaimed guru of fitness and life.

    Very dangerous man in my view. Would love to hear your views or experiences with him,

    Kind Regards,

    Scott”

    and:

    “I had a rotten experience with Stephen Ferguson. Do not trust anything he says. He is not qualified, though he boasts the most qualifications of any alternative practitioner in the whole world. Unfortuanately, I have a real illness, and when I asked a few simple medical questions, his answers made clear he was bluffing and didn’t really know what he was talking about!
    His main focus seemed to be to sell me supplements. In fact I think that’s what this is all about. These live blood analysers are really glorified supplement salesman. Beware! It’s sickening really, cos they get people when they’re ailing and so at their most vulnerable.
    Luckily I when I complained to Groupon I was given my money back.”

  30. There have now been at least four Groupon promotions for Live Blood Analysis, misleadingingly advertised as a test for food intolerances since the September adjudication.

    Here’s a link to the fourth: http://www.groupon.co.uk/deals/london-special/live-blood-london/2548083?nlp=&CID=UK_CRM_1_0_0_6&a=1652

    I have reported some of these to the ASA and hope they will investigate them.

    I also complained to Groupon shortly after writing the above post but they did not reply. I may write to them again.

  31. I don’t know if you would be able to give any advice on it or not, but I’m reminded of my friend’s situation when I read this. My friend bought something via Groupon (here in Ireland) and the product never arrived. He’s tried mailing them and calling them, and asked for a refund, but they have not been to any help. Is there anything he can do to get his money back?

  32. Pingback: Groupon caught promoting snake oil | Josephine Jones

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  34. Agh, I wish I’d seen this before I went. I too, got the Groupon for Dr. Ferguson’s live blood analysis and went this morning. Slightly miffed that I had to travel over an hour to get there after being told the Harley St one was closed, he seemed impressive and it was quite fascinating seeing blood on the screen. The Kinesiology testing where you’re tested for food allergies were a little interesting, especially when a random selection of foods (almonds, cashew nuts, oats and a potato) were wrapped in clingfilm, put against my belly button and the strength of me pushing against his hand determined how ‘allergic’ I was to them.

    It was only after I left and told my dad about it (who is a qualified doctor) that I discovered it was a huge con. I feel pretty stupid about it now and wish I’d done more research as there’s a lot of debunking on it and him. The only good thing that could potentially have come from it would have been changing my diet to a more healthier one but I’m feeling quite defiant now having learnt all this about him.

  35. Yesterday’s Radio 4 You & Yours featured an investigation into live blood analysis…

    “‘Live’ blood tests claim to be able to prevent and even diagnose disease or illness. The industry is unregulated and often carried out by people with no medical training. We investigate what these tests have to offer.”

    You can listen here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01d2l5j#p00q3mzg

  36. Pingback: Radio 4 You & Yours investigate unregulated ‘live’ blood tests | Josephine Jones

  37. does anyone actually know what is that green powder sold by S.Ferguson?
    I bought a packet of it when I went to see him but now reading those comments I am quite reluctant to consume it!

    • Is this the powder you mean?

      http://www.drstephenferguson.com/#/shop/4559194349

      I’m assuming there is no further information on the packaging? If not, then Ferguson is not complying with laws regarding food supplement labelling. For example, the label should state the Recommended Daily Allowance of the vitamins in question, and what quantities are in each dose.

      http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/labellingfoodsupplements.pdf

      I too would be reluctant to consume it! Some vitamins and minerals can be harmful if consumed excessively and ‘organic herbs’ could mean anything. This product has clearly not been regulated either by the MHRA (as a medicinal product) or the Food Standards Agency or Department of Health (as a food or food supplement).

      As to what’s actually in the powder, I can only speculate. As far as the pH balancing and blood cleansing is concerned, I’m guessing it has similar ingredients to other green ‘chlorophyll’ products sold by other live blood analysts and ‘alkalarians’ (people who push alkaline diets and believe all illness is cause by acidity). Many of them seem to believe that because the structure of chlorophyll is similar to the haem in haemoglobin, that this somehow means that chlorophyll can ‘cleanse’ and oxygenate the blood. This is utter nonsense and in fact, the ASA upheld my complaint against Errol Denton for making similar claims:

      http://josephinejones.wordpress.com/2011/11/16/fitalifestyle-added-to-asa-hall-of-shame/

      I would say that if you have health concerns that have led you to consult someone like Ferguson and to believe you need to take supplements, then maybe you should discuss this with your GP. Perhaps you could also ask Ferguson for more information or for your money back? If you don’t want to go down that route but do want to take things further, then perhaps you could speak to someone from Citizens Advice.

      Here’s how to get in touch with them:

      http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/index/getadvice.htm

      I hope this is helpful.

  38. Pingback: Who can I complain to about Errol Denton? | Josephine Jones

  39. Pingback: Denton’s dirty tricks campaign | Josephine Jones

  40. Well a lot of people have reported steve. He is not a legit businessman and his company may not even be registered or declared with the HRMC. He is a falsely self qualified lier. Thankfully I have been told that he is under investigation BUT trading standards need more of his CUSTOMERS to complain ASAP so they can get their money back. This will mean he will not only lose his job (he works in a full time job with this fraudulent side business. He is a government employee as a cook in a Hackney School). He will be reported soon to the Manager there and he will have to pay back all the customers he has fraud-ed and may even be put in prison if the investigation shows he is illegally doing this and taking advantage of innocent people. These things take time so do your bit as he in on thin ground.

    The testimonials are in fact “some” of his own friends and family. The James Caan photo may as well have been photo-shopped or he might have got the picture taken when visiting James’s seminar. (I have one with James too)! James agrees to take pics with people that ask!

    The guy from the bill is not even a celebrity. He was not even that famous to begin with.

    He might take all the money and run away to his native west indies. Josephine, he has several ID’s and is on the net all day. I think it has been him hurling abuse at you.

  41. I think the comments about Dr Stephen are slightly unfair. Although I can understand it may seem he is making grand claims, having known Stephen for a number of years, visiting him for various different ailments, I can soundly say that he is a professional, knowledgeable man who can change your life – provided you are willing to put in the hard work. The problem is, a lot of us are looking for a ‘quick fix’ rather than a long term programme, as Dr Stephen will offer. At no point have I ever known him to claim to be a medical doctor, he is in fact a natropathic practitioner and this is made clear as far as I am concerned. His products and advice have cured various people including myself, so the thoughts of a few disgruntled persons should not deter you from using his services.

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