5 On Your Side

Man fights for refund for hormone replacement

Posted February 16, 2011

— Fred Sawyer of Cary wears a special ring to remind him of his late wife Sherry, who died suddenly in September.

"I'll wear (it) until the Lord takes me home," he said.

He had his wife's wedding band permanently bonded to his, a daily reminder of the strength of their union.

"She was my soul mate," Sawyer said. "We did everything together. Everything."

Last July, after years of hormone related issues, Sherry went to HRC Medical Center in Cary for treatment. The Sawyers paid nearly $3,000 for a year of treatment, which included office visits, blood work, vitamin injections and four hormone treatments. Sherry was able to get only two treatments and two blood works before she died.

A couple of weeks later, Sawyer called HRC to explain what happened. He asked manager David Hale about a partial refund. Sawyer says after some back and forth, HRC agreed to refund $1,500, about half of what he paid.

"That was it. She said that was all they were gonna do," he said.

But Sawyer never got that refund. In November, after he contacted the finance company, HRC credited him $750.

He called HRC again about the remaining $750. No response. He even had an attorney write a letter. Nothing.

"I wanted to call back. I actually wanted to go down there in person. But in my state of mind here, I didn't really want to," he said. 

So he called 5 On Your Side, and 5 On Your Side called HRC.

hormone replacement Man fights for refund for hormone replacement

President Don Hale said that Sawyer was never promised a $1,500 refund. He pointed to a contract clause that says all money is "non-refundable" and that if the patient wishes to stop treatment for "any reason," the per treatment charge is $1,125, which is more than the package price.  

Hale said under the contract, Sawyer was owed only $750.

Sawyer contends that Sherry didn't wish to stop treatment – she didn't have a choice. Hale called that a "technicality," but after 5 On Your Side called, the company sent a check made out to Sherry Sawyer for another $750 because Hale wanted to "get him happy."

Sawyer thinks the whole ordeal is just sad.

"I wouldn't want to have anybody else to have to go through it. It's not right. It's just not right," he said.

Hale said the bottom line is that he "stands behind that contract." 

Sawyer believes sometimes there's a difference between what's legal and what's right.

HRC is based in Nashville, Tenn., but has a treatment center in Cary.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • Monkeywrench Feb 18, 2011

    BEWARE OF HRC MEDICAL !!! They are a money-making racket more than a medical center. They gave a high-pressure sales pitch and said I had to let them charge $3500 on my credit card up front for a year of treatment. I did not see the fine print that said the money was non-refundable. I chose to stop treatment after 4 months, only to find that I have to continue to pay $290 a month for 8 more months of no treatment. What kind of business would operate like that? A criminal organization, that's what.

  • dannreed Feb 18, 2011

    I agree, I'm surprised that WRAL aired this story. It seems to me that everyone should be treated equally, we all have sad stories. Agreements / contracts are in place to keep things equal for all. If you have a sad story, call WRAL and ask them to air it... maybe you can profit from it to.

  • mrcrosbys Feb 18, 2011

    Seems strange that all this guy can think about is getting money after his wife's death. And yes, the check would have to be made out to the wife. that is who the contract was with and that is who the check needs to be written out to. Don't like that, write your snator and get the law changed. i for one, would not have given the additional $750. the contract said that the money is non-refundable for any reason. Not their fault, or problem she died.

  • snowl Feb 17, 2011

    I'm sorry for his loss, but money does not heal wounds of the heart. I say let it go. I'm surprised that WRAL took on this story.

  • St Ives Feb 17, 2011

    This is the stuff Suzanne Summers is promoting as keeping her young and vital..if you see her in person you would run away from any advice she is giving.

  • ThatGuyAgain Feb 17, 2011

    Sounds like one of those gyms where it's all about hooking you up with a contract. Has kind of an unsavory feel to it.

  • psycho Feb 17, 2011

    "Sawyer believes sometimes there's a difference between what's legal and what's right."

    And he's right. 'nuff said.

    The fact that they wrote the refund check to the wife after all this goes to show that they didn't give a (darn) about their customers and didn't care that she was DEAD, but that she chose to discontinue treatment. Well, if they're willing to provide treatment to her where she is - I'm thinking high rather than low, of course - then they'd have a right to keep the money.

  • cocker_mom Feb 17, 2011

    Really? a stand up company? they only did the right thing after being exposed on local TV. I fail to see the legitimacy of their policy on refunds (what expenses are they out?) for folks that change their mind - but I find the lack of decency appalling when someone has DIED.

    It's not like she changed her mind and decided to go elsewhere for HRT...

  • dannreed Feb 16, 2011

    I feel bad for him, losing a loved one is terribly hard. My prayers are with him. Seems like his emotions clouded things.
    HRC appears to be a stand up company.

  • jsalt2 Feb 16, 2011