Is Monat a Scam?
With so much conflicting information out there, you may be questioning, “is Monat a scam?”
Many of the articles you read about Monat are from 2018 when the company name had gone viral, but not for the same reasons that most companies go viral.
There were thousands of complaints about Monat and its products, including the commonality that the products cause horrible side effects, like hair loss.
Years later, Monat is still on the market and many still wonder about the legitimacy of the claims on both sides, positive and negative.
Today, as we reveal the claims from 2018, we will uncover what Monat is and if Monat is a scam in 2020. Are those claims still being made today? Is Monat even FDA approved?
Let’s find out.
What is Monat?
First, let’s discuss what Monat is and the Monat products that are offered.
Monat is a hair care MLM company founded by Luis Urdaneta, launched in October 2014. The Monat headquarters are located in Florida.
The Monat products are supposed “naturally-based” and “absolutely safe” with over 13 natural plant and essential oils. The products are categorized in hair, skin, wellness, and now pet care.
Monat received many awards for being a fast-growing company, thanks to all the “market partners” promoting the brand and its products. In fact, the company grossed $200 million in 2017.
In 2018, however, Monat received hundreds of complaints about their products. These complaints included irritation, redness, hair loss, lack of integrity, deceitful practices, and more.
Now, before we can determine whether Monat is a scam, we must understand what an MLM company is and how it works.
What is an MLM?
Multi-Level-Marketing (MLM) companies typically acquire income from their products and services by having people sell person-to-person. In other words, if you worked for an MLM, you would be selling products directly to other people.
As a seller, you can make even more money and commissions by recruiting other people to work for the company under you. You would be building a sales network, which is referred to as “downline”.
You can also make money by meeting various selling bonuses and other rewards that the business may offer you, but most times these goals are far-fetched and unreachable.
Some examples of MLM businesses include FreeLife, Herbalife, iNetGlobal, Nu Skin, and even Tubberware!
Now, this may sound like a simple process to make easy money. That’s how you get sucked in. In reality, you likely will not make a profit. In fact, the FTC claims that less than 1% of MLM participants make a profit.
Despite the near impossibility of you making a profit with an MLM company, MLM companies are legitimate and legal. There are, however, many companies that pose as an MLM, but they really aren’t. These ventures are called Pyramid Schemes, and they are scams.
What is a Pyramid Scheme?
Pyramid schemes sell the idea of a great business opportunity. As a seller in a pyramid scheme, you are required to recruit more people for a supposed “money-making opportunity”, but you never have a product to give them. Those people will also pay upfront.
You and your recruits are continually required to pay, whether you are making money or not. The only person actually making money is the person at the top of the pyramid, and everyone else is dishing out money.
Here’s a visual of a Pyramid scheme.
Eventually, no matter how hard you work, you’ll never be able to recruit enough people to make an income. You’ll be working so hard to meet impossible goals, meanwhile, you’ll continue to lose money.
That is how the scheme stays afloat. People believe so deeply in the idea of making money that they are blinded by the fact that they are still paying for the possibility of wealth, but never actually moving closer to that goal.
Complaints About Monat
Now that you fully understand what Monat is and how the company is structured, let’s uncover what people have to say about it all.
At the time of this writing, there are 1,030 BBB complaints about Monat in the past 3 years.
About 72% of those complaints are in regards to the Monat products, and almost 14% are billing issues.
Here shortly, we will divulge several of the most recent reviews about Monat to see exactly what people are saying. Before we do that though, I found something you need to see!
One of the most compelling reviews I read was listed just less than a couple of weeks ago. I outlined the incredible claims this reviewer made.
I cannot validate the claims this person made. I did do some further research, however, and what I found was mind-blowing.
Back in January 2018, the BBB had to suspend new reviews for Monat for an issue similar to this one. Hundreds of reviews had been received within 3 days, all of which had seemed to come from Monat sales affiliates.
Could this have been an unethical, deceitful attempt by Monat to increase their rating?
Luckily, the BBB isn’t using customer reviews to generate a rating, but still, the Monat BBB score was a D in 2018 and now it’s a B- in 2020.
After reading hundreds of reviews, I found 10+ bad reviews, followed by 1 review of someone overstating how phenomenal the product is in a long, drawn-out comment. I question the legitimacy of those reviews.
Personally, it sounds like Monat could be trying to increase their reputation once again, but I’ll leave that judgment to you.
Monat is so desperate to clear their name that they file a lawsuit against a disgruntled customer for speaking out about her experience.
What Was The Monat Lawsuit About?
Well, my friend…I’m glad you asked.
Once upon a time, a woman by the name of Vickie Harrington created a Facebook group to share her story about Monat and how it caused hair loss, scalp irritation, and sores, amongst other things.
Soon, the group grew to over 12,000 people, most of whom also shared similar experiences from using the Monat products.
Instead of Monat doing like most normal companies do and reaching out to the woman to help rectify her issue, on January 26, 2018, Monat sued her for $225,000. Monat claimed that the woman was defaming the company’s name, by “spreading harmful information regarding Monat’s products that she knew to be false.”
Now, I’m no corporation expert, but since when do companies sue customers for telling people about their bad experience?
To pour salt on injury, the President of Monat claimed that Harrington was being paid by their enemy competitor to drag Monat. This is an accusation, of course, that was laughed off and seen as absurd at the very least.
Although the Monat spokesperson does not agree, many of the Monat sellers claim that the hair loss side-effects are part of a hair “detox”. In case you didn’t know, hair loss is NOT part of hair detoxing.
Can you imagine being sued by a company because you had a bad experience and connected with others that had a similar issue?
Does Monat Cause Hair Loss?
So, the big question is whether Monat truly causes hair loss or not. Anyone who tries to sell Monat products to you will say no. Monat senior management will also say no. Many disgruntled customers in 2018 said yes, and they are still saying it now in 2020.
Monat claims their hair products “do not cause hair damage”:
Of the 1,030 complaints with the BBB in the last 3 years, many of the women had hair loss and many other disturbing symptoms. I’ll provide you a few recent examples that I found.
This woman’s hair was falling out in large clumps after only three washes.
Another person claimed that after only two washes, her scalp was extremely red and sensitive. She mentions that even the weight of her hair was too painful to bear, causing her to cut it all off.
This woman claims that her hair was coming out in chunks after only using Monat for a couple of months and now she barely has any hair left. She also states that many of the Monat sellers experience hair loss too, but they still sell it.
So, although Monat has attempted to make claims that their products do not cause hair loss, I certainly won’t be taking any chances. You can make your own decisions about that, though.
Is Monat a Scam?
In all the years Monat has been in business, it still has yet to be accredited by the BBB.
Is Monat really a scam, though? By definition, not necessarily.
You do get products for what you pay for, and you could potentially get people under you and make money from them.
Many people talk about a Monat scam or a pyramid scheme. Although it may technically be an MLM, I think it looks a lot like a Pyramid Scheme that found a loophole.
Let me just say this…I have never heard of a company that found it necessary to create a secondary website with the sole purpose of defending all the bad claims about it.
Literally, there is a website called “Truth About Monat”. It has mostly question-answer formatted pages to address the main concerns and complaints that so many customers have complained about (hair loss, etc.).
None of my favorite companies have had to do such a thing. As a matter of fact, if my haircare product providers felt the need to do that, I would probably stop using those products.
I’ve got some good news though. After all this gut-wrenching information we have consumed about Monat, there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel.
Monat has been investigated, and some immediate changes are being demanded.
Monat Investigation 2020
As of August 14, 2020, the Attorney General of the State of Florida Department of Legal Affairs mandated an investigation to be conducted into Monat Global Corp.
Within the action, all of the customer complaints about Monat (like ones we just covered) were addressed and clear expectations for changes were made. Those complaints include hair loss and refund issues, amongst several others.
Despite all the scam-like, pyramid scheme-ish activities Monat has built a reputation on thus far, the “Monat scam” could very well be ending soon.
That also begs an even better question about the Monat products themselves.
Is Monat FDA Approved?
I think something to note about any product we ingest or use topically is whether or not it is FDA approved.
As we know, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for guarding public health by regulating the safety, effectiveness, and security of food, drugs, biological products, medical devices, and cosmetics (like Monat).
Having the stamp of approval from the FDA means that a product is cleared and deemed safe for people to use. But is Monat FDA Approved?
In short, no. Monat is not FDA-approved. The FDA doesn’t regulate most cosmetics, but if the product is seen to be a public consumer issue, then the FDA has the power to pull the product from the market. Monat hasn’t been removed from the market, so in theory, it can’t be THAT bad right?
Monat claims that the products are formulated using all FDA-approved ingredients, so how is the product causing so many issues?
Well, as we know from chemistry class, many ingredients could be safe to use on their own. When you start making various concoctions without proper knowledge of product outcomes, then you could be in for a dangerous mix.
For example, we all have a bottle of bleach somewhere in our house, right? You probably also have some rubbing alcohol, which is also great for various purposes. When you mix the two, however, you get toxic chloroform which can kill you if you breathe too much.
Now, I am not suggesting that Monat products are toxic, deadly mixtures. I am simply saying that although they are using FDA-approved ingredients, the FDA still deemed it necessary to investigate the company.
The FDA claimed that the Monat “cosmetic was prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions whereby it may have become contaminated with filth.”
Yikes! Here’s the full Monat FDA report 2018.
Final Thoughts – Is Monat A Scam
We’ve taken a deep dive into Monat as a company and the Monat complaints people have been making since before 2018.
Monat is obviously not a full scam considering the number of people that have been sucked in by it, and the fact that you do receive products for your purchases.
Some (most) people experience drastic issues with the Monat products and the company doesn’t seem to care. The products aren’t even FDA approved, which says a lot.
So, what do you think? Is Monat a Scam in 2021? Have you used the product or are you thinking about it? I’d love to hear your take on it!