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DIET-PILL FIRM HAS ROTTEN CUSTOMER RECORD

Dear Do-It Man: I ordered $64.95 worth of diet pills from a company in New York City called Rottier Health Laboratories. I'm sorry the pills didn't work but nothing else has, either. The company's literature included a money-back guarantee. "Our offer is simple: You lose weight or it is free. And you are the judge. If you do not lose weight to your satisfaction, or if you are unsatisfied with this product, just return the unused portion (if any) within the next 365 days for a full refund."

I ordered four bottles. I used a few pills from one bottle (they made me sick) and then returned them, asking for a refund. I have a receipt from the United States Postal Service saying the package was delivered.I've written the company twice, once in December and once in March. I have not received a response. I hope you can help.

- V.G., Salt Lake City

Dear V.G.: The company has an unsatisfactory record with the Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan New York. According to BBB files, the company was established in 1990. The BBB established a file on the company in 1994.

The BBB received six complaints against the company in 1994 and 23 so far this year. They allege non-delivery of ordered merchandise, failure to provide service, oral or written misrepresentation and failure to provide refunds or adjustments.

We have forwarded your complaint to the BBB as well as to the company. We'll let you know what happens.

The company's literature says people lose 4 to 6 pounds a week by using its diet product, called Pecti Slim Natural Concentrate. "The Pecti Slim Concentrate is guaranteed to work! It is like a physical law. Apple pectin eats fat cells and cholesterol," it says.

It also claims you don't have to exercise or diet in order to achieve results, just take the pills.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, no ingested product has ever proven to cause weight loss without exercising and dieting. The only way to lose weight is to eat fewer calories than your body needs or uses.

When you read a money-back guarantee, keep in mind that it is only as good as the company that stands behind it.

An interesting aside: This company apparently isn't interested in hearing from its customers. There is no telephone listing in Manhattan for a company by that name.