Cienega Med Spa – Toying with Lives
Cienega Med Spa is a medspa chain with two locations in California. The owner of the chain is an orthopedist whose staff harasses and threatens clients if they post their complaint online.
It has received numerous complaints from its clients for its horrible customer service and for botching procedures. Moreover, the medspa uses multiple unethical marketing tactics to hide these complaints.
That’s why, I have posted the following review. It will help you understand how this medspa is putting the lives of people at risk through its negligence and what the people are actually saying:
About Cienega Med Spa & Its Owner Dr. Edward Glenning Stokes
Cienega Med Spa is a medical spa with locations in West Hollywood and Santa Monica. Its owner is Dr. Edward Glenning Stokes.
The contact number of its Los Angeles office is 310-928-1300 and the number of its Santa Monica location is 310-341-2741. Apart from Dr. Stokes, other notable people at this place are Dr. Nina Farokhian and Mary.
They offer various services including:
- Cortisone shot
- Lip injections
- Hand rejuvenation
- IPL photofacial
- Laser hair removal
- Hydrafacial treatment
- Skin resurfacing
And several more.
Even though he is the owner of multiple medical spas, Dr. Stokes doesn’t have a good reputation in the industry.
He has received a ton of complaints from his clients for botching procedures and offering poor service:
For example, the above reviewer says that they had approximately 4 appointments with him and they couldn’t see him in any one of them. The reviewer waited for an hour and a half thinking Stokes would come in but he didn’t.
Then, the staff told the reviewer that Stokes wasn’t even in the clinic. After the reviewer had waited for such a long period, the staff asked them if they wanted to set up a new appointment with a different doctor.
The reviewer says that it’s extremely rude of them to do so. Hence, they gave one out 5 stars to Dr. Stokes.
Certainly, Dr. Edward Stokes isn’t as popular as he wants to be. Cienega Med Spa suffers from similar issues but instead of addressing them, Stokes resorts to unethical marketing tactics.
He tries to distract consumers from the numerous negative Cienega Med Spa reviews:
Dr. Edward Stokes & His Love For Unethical Marketing Tactics:
To promote Cienega Med Spa, Dr. Stokes uses multiple unethical marketing tactics:
Using Paid PR to Build a Fake Reputation
When you look up Cienega Med Spa, you might see several articles praising the establishment or its owner. Seeing these articles, you may easily think that Cienega Med Spa is a reputed service provider.
However, most of these articles are paid. This means, Dr. Stokes has paid the websites to write an article on his business which praises it heavily.
If you look closely, these are not normal blogs but PR sites. Such websites allow businesses to promote themselves and create an illusion of being reputed by posting positive articles about them.
Shady businesses like Cienega Med Spa take advantage of these websites to make it seem as if third-party websites are talking about them. This isn’t the only shady medical practitioner which uses such an unethical marketing tactic.
Another shady medical service provider who uses paid PR to hide negative reviews is Dr. Lara Devgan MD. What’s worse is that Dr. Stokes doesn’t just stop here.
Fake 5-Star Cienega Med Spa Reviews You Don’t Know About
When you look up ‘Cienega Med Spa Reviews’ you shouldn’t expect to see honest reviews. Why? Because the medspa pays people and its clients to post 5-star reviews on its business profiles.
According to the FTC, this is an illegal business practice.
The medspa offers its customers $15 gift cards to Amazon and Starbucks if they post a 5-star review on the business. FTC has clearly stated that soliciting reviews through paid endorsements is illegal.
This explains why Dr. Stokes’ business enjoys a near-perfect rating on different review platforms even though it has received a ton of complaints from its clients.
That’s not all. Here is a snippet of how the place solicits fake reviews from its clients:
Cienega Med Spa has a BBB accredited profile. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to follow ethical business practices to get an BBB accreditation. Instead, you only need to pay a hefty annual fee of around $10,000 to BBB to get their accreditation.
In other words, a BBB accreditation is a paid membership of the popular review platform.
CNN Money had done an extensive investigation on this matter. They found that many scammers and fraudsters enjoyed A or A+ ratings on BBB because they had accredited profiles.
Paying BBB to get an accreditation gives you a lot of control over your BBB page as well. Furthermore, you enjoy an A or A+ rating regardless of how poorly you treat your customers.
This is a terrible business practice and scammers take advantage of it to the fullest. Dr. Cat Plastic Surgery is another shady enterprise which tries to manipulate consumers into trusting them by using this tactic.
Why does Cienega Med Spa need to lie so much? Because, the place has received too many complaints from its clients. In the next section of this review, I have shared some of the many Cienega Med Spa reviews I found online:
Cienega Med Spa is Negligent and Reckless, Putting Its Clients’ Lives at Risk Through Its Lack of Expertise (Expert Review)
Tashi is a JD, RN and had a terrible experience with Cienega Med Spa. In her original review, she said that people shouldn’t visit this place for most procedures. This medspa isn’t properly equipped for most of the cosmetic procedures it performs.
Tashi had visited this place because it was affordable. However, she highlights that the medspa has a “doctor around” instead of having one in-charge. Usually, you expect to have a dermatologist to oversee complex procedures. However, the doctor here is Dr. Edward Stokes, an orthopedist.
He has no expertise in the field. The only other doctor present here is Dr. Nina F, a naturopathic doctor.
According to Tashi, the leadership of this medspa is not qualified to offer complex cosmetic procedures to consumers. It puts the clients at extreme risk.
Furthermore, the medspa doesn’t prescribe pre-procedure pain medication. This is something you won’t experience with a legitimate doctor’s office. Here, they apply a numbing cream but that isn’t usually sufficient for many procedures. When Tashi asked the staff why they only use numbing cream, they told her that they just do.
She had a consultation for Ultherapy. Hence, she asked for before and after pictures of the clients who had undergone this procedure here. However, the palace didn’t have any photos to offer.
Another huge red flag for Tashi was the hard-sell of this place. They offered to do the treatment the same day during the initial communications. She says that the medspa sees its patients as an annuity to pay off the expensive machines.
Tashi posted multiple updates to her post because the clinic accused her of defamation and targeting them out of spite. She pointed out that she wasn’t defaming the place and was only concerned with sharing how she felt after her experience with this place.
Also, she noticed that Cienega Med Spa calls every negative review a defamation attempt.
The CEO of this medspa had said in her response that Tashi was saying negative things about her without even knowing her. However, Tashi highlights that she hadn’t said anything negative about her and had only asked for her credentials. Moreover, the clinic posted a confidential conversation Tashi had with one of hte nurses here. Tashi pointed out that the medspa violated HIPPA.
In her last update, Tashi highlighted that two drugs listed as vitamines in their brochures aren’t vitamins at all. They are: Toradol and Zofran (Ketorolac). She was reviewing their brochure and noticed they offer a bogus and unprovent “vitamin therapy”.
Tashi says that Cienega Med Spa is nothing but a hustle. The place is scamming consumers and is hoping that it will never get caught.
She says that the palace lists RX Grade drugs as vitamins and she has never seen a business so blatantly misleading, reckless, irresponsible and wrong. Tashi highlights that Toradol is used IM and IV for moderate to severe pain while Zofran is used intra or post-operatively for chemo and nausea.
Both of these drugs require detailed monitoring and can’t be a part of some bogus “Vitamin Therapy”. She says this “medspa” is putting the lives of its clients at risk as it uses things it doesn’t understand.
Tashi questions if the medspa staff can understand liver function tests which one must perform for Toradol. She also wonders if they can recognize a cardigan arrhythmia on auscultation. Tashi points out that the medspa doesn’t even take a client’s BP and administers such dangerous drugs.
She says that this place is negligent, reckless and dangerous. Tashi points out that the medspa insinuates that their vitamin drips are beneficial to people with Chronic Fatigue, Anemia and Lyme disease. However, all of these are serious diseases. A random drip can’t help with such serious conditions.
Cienega Med Spa puts the lives of its clients at risk through the negligence and greed of its leadership.
In the pictures below Tashi has highlighted how Cienega makes ridiculous claims about its “Vitamin drips”, putting the lives of its patients in danger:
Cienega Med Spa Has Careless Staff and Poor Customer Service
Dawn shares that this medspa is quite noisy and you’ll hear the noises in both the treatment room as well as the waiting room. She says that she could hear full conversations and laughter.
It was a tense experience for her instead of being a relaxing one. During the procedure, a different staff member had interrupted her provider because they needed help with a piece of equipment in another room.
Dawn thought it was unprofessional of them to do so. Also, when she was waiting for her treatment to begin, a staff member from the reception came into the treatment room to ask for payment. She says that the timing of this seemed quite bizarre. The front desk staff could’ve asked for the payment when she was waiting in the reception but instead, chose to barge into the treatment room.
Also, when Dawn arrived for her appointment, she didn’t receive any kind of welcome. It seemed as if she had disturbed the people there and interrupted a conversation. After she completed her paperwork, they put her in an uncomfortable room where she waited for her consultation with a nurse.
Dawn shares that she had noticed the noisy chatter. Hence, when the nurse came in, she mentioned the same to her. She responded by saying that they have been there for a long time and are a lot busier. Dawn says that this response was preposterous.
Afterwards, they brought her into the treatment room. She shares that the loud chatter was still bothersome. Then, a man came in, didn’t introduce himself and put numbing cream on her. She asked him about the noise and he told her that it was because the owner was present.
Dawn points out that between the constant chatter and laughter, the laser and the complete disregard of her as a client, she didn’t know what was more unbearable. She says that her entrance and exit didn’t disturb the front desk staff as they never greeted her.
Later, someone from Cienega Med Spa contacted her and apologized for the experience she had. The company rep told Dawn that she would pass on her review to upper management. That’s it.
Dawn says that she spent $350 here and they didn’t even offer a partial refund of this amount. Certainly, she hated her experience with this medspa.
Botched Procedure Caused the Client to Go to the ER
Chanel had very high hopes when she visited this medspa. She got the coolsculpting procedure the first day she visited the place. Chanel says that the people were nice but very dishonest.
They had told her that she might experience tingling and slight discomfort during the procedure. Yet, the provider kept telling her that she was doing great because some people break down in tears during this procedure.
Chanel says that this contradiction should have been her first red flag. However, at the time, she didn’t notice it.
She asked what she would feel after the treatment and everyone there told her that she would feel tingling, numbness, and maybe a slight discomfort at the treated region. It was all a lie.
Chanel shares that she experienced a month of excruciating nerve pain and hasn’t recovered yet. She went to the ER because based on her symptoms, she needed a CAT scan. Doctors suspected that she might have internal bleeding.
Chanel says that she will never get cool sculpting in her life. She might also file a lawsuit against Cienega Med Spa for the horrendous treatment they gave to her.
Chanel had shared an update on her review because the spa posted a rebuttal to her complaint. They claimed that they didn’t have Chanel in their database.
She responded by highlighting that she had emailed and called them. Also, she had received her services on July 31st. She points out that she has kept all the receipts so they shouldn’t lie so blatantly.
Cienega Med Spa Failed the Coolsculpt Procedure, Harassed the Client to Remove Her Review
Here, the reviewer says that women over 50 years old should not visit Cienega Med Spa. She points out that the coolsculpting procedure is not for everyone. The reviewer waited for 6 months to ensure she was not judging her results prematurely.
Finally, she faced the truth that the procedure did not work for her.
The coolsculpt did not work for her and she thinks that it might be because of her age.
She thinks that there haven’t been enough studies conducted on this procedure. So, it’s hard to determine when it fails to yield results. In her experience, the panels couldn’t grab the tissue properly and they had to change them. As a result, the procedure failed and they had to restart.
The reviewer highlights that she lost a significant amount of money by paying for this procedure. Moreover, she had to talk to a PR executive working for Cienega Med Spa who kept urging her to remove her Yelp review.
Also, there was no change in the fat area she had treated. In her experience, the coolsculpt at this medspa didn’t work. She doesn’t recommend this place nor this service to women over 50.
Made a Clerical Error, Harassed the Client and Discriminated Against Her
Julia shares that she had been coming to Cienega Med Spa for 2 years for laser hair removal. A few weeks before she posted her review, they had sold her a mix of two packages to finish up the two latest areas she was working on.
Due to some error, they didn’t charge her for one of the sessions in the package which they didn’t tell her about until her next visit. At that time, they became very hostile and treated her like a criminal.
Julia says that their sudden change in behavior was because of a $95 session when she had spent over $4000 at the place. She explained that it was an error and she shouldn’t have to pay the full single session price. Julia told them that she was willing to pay the package price for an additional session.
However, they told her that her offer is unacceptable. Also, the staff told her that there’s nothing they can do about it.
She went to her next appointment and scheduled her next session. They didn’t mention the $95 again until her next sessions. The front desk staff ignored her for 30 minutes and made sit in the lobby.
When she finished her sessions, they harassed her again for the $95 session. Julia asked the staff why they didn’t say anything when she was waiting in the lobby for 30 minutes. She also pointed out how they frequently ignored her when she was in the waiting room.
Julia felt as if they were discriminating against her. Now, the medspa is refusing to perform the rest of the sessions left in her package. Also, they are telling her that they can’t refund the remainder of the sessions. Because of this experience, Julia doesn’t recommend this medspa.
Additional Cienega Med Spa Reviews You Should Read:
Cienega Med Spa is a horrible business which takes advantage of both its clients and its staff members. People have suffered from various ailments becuase of the sheer negligence of its owner, Dr. Stokes.
Moreover, instead of fixing these issues the leadership of this medspa tries to hide the problems by using shady marketing tactics. All of this suggests that Cienega Med Spa is a terrible place and you should never trust them with any cosmetic procedure. Avoid them at all costs!