Dozens of mothers who have complained that their Baby Gender Mentor results are incorrect according to ultrasound, CVS or amnio have been told by Acu-Gen's C.N. Wang to "reserve judgment" until the baby is born. Sherry Bonelli, online retailer of the Baby Gender Mentor prenatal gender test, maintains that Acu-Gen "stands behind" their 200% money back guarantee and claims that no refunds have yet been issued for a wrong Baby Gender Mentor result after the birth of a baby.
However, now that many women who paid $275 for the gender test that went on sale in June are due to deliver, or have just given birth, the conditions for the 200% refund have suddenly been changed.
9 lb., 5 oz.
After an 18-week ultrasound clearly showed that Jeanne's baby was a girl -- not a boy, as her Baby Gender Mentor result claimed -- Jeanne waited patiently until her baby girl was born, and sent one of the three original birth certificates provided by the state to Acu-Gen. To her surprise, she received a letter from Acu-Gen stating that meeting the original requirements of the refund offer wasn't good enough.
We have received your request for the refund and are currently processing the case. We have also received your access code, registration number, and birth certificate. However, in order to complete the refund process, BabyGenderMentor requires the additional following items as outlined in our 200% guarantee.
1. An original birth certificate with your current address that must match your original mailing address at the time of the test.
2. A blood samle of your baby for kinship confirmation. You can obtain an archived sample of your baby's blood from the hospital of birth, or if necessary, Acu-Gen Biolab will provide a heelstick kit for you.
If you have any further questions, feel free to contact our customer service or refer to our 200% money-back warrantee at www.babygendermentor.com. Thank you.
Letter from Acu-Gen, 12/27/05
However, these requirements didn't exist when Jeanne bought her Baby Gender Mentor kit. Here's a scan of Jeanne's Baby Gender Mentor box:
Nothing about maintaining the same place of residence throughout your pregnancy in order to be eligible for a refund, and certainly no requirement to jab your newborn's foot to obtain an additional blood sample.
Previously, the conditions for the Baby Gender Mentor refund were stated on the BabyGenderMentor.com Web site as follows:
We guarantee that all test results will be 99.9% accurate. If your test results are legitimately incorrect, Baby Gender Mentor warranties a 200% refund of both the laboratory and purchasing expenses. A valid registration number and an original birth certificate are required for the refund.
Baby Gender Mentor Web site, September 2005
The Baby Gender Mentor Web site has now been changed to this:
Baby Gender Mentor warranties a 200% money-back refund for both the laboratory fee and purchasing expense of the kit. An original birth certificate and a valid registration number are both required to claim the refund. In order to be eligible for the 200% money-back guarantee you MUST read and adhere to all the recommended procedures. In addition, the parent’s name on the original birth certificate MUST match exactly the name on the blood specimen collection card, and your current address MUST match your original mailing address at the time of the test. To substantiate your claim, you MUST agree to submit the blood sample of the baby for kinship confirmation if requested by the lab. Baby Gender Mentor is not responsible for any consequences resulting from failure to follow kit instructions and will deny the 200% refund to cases deemed fraudulent. Furthermore, Baby Gender Mentor is not liable for the successful outcome of your pregnancy. In the advent of a miscarriage, no refunds will be granted. Baby Gender Mentor will not accept any gender discrepancy claims citing ultrasound image, karyotyping/FISH analysis, or any other indirect, low-resolution gender-determining techniques.
Baby Gender Mentor Web site, December 2005
What a ridiculous and pathetic attempt by this company to avoid honoring their refund promise for an incorrect result.
To get a refund, you can't move during your pregnancy
...and your current address MUST match your original mailing address at the time of the test...
This means, even though your Baby Gender Mentor test was in fact wrong, just because you move during your remaining 8 months of pregnancy, you are no longer entitled to a refund. Preposterous. At least two women have mentioned that they had their Baby Gender Mentor kit delivered to a female friend or relative with no males in the household, to reduce the chances of contamination by their husband or sons.
To get a refund, you can't maintain your privacy
Although Baby Gender Mentor's online retailer, PregnancyStore.com, assures customers that "you remain anonymous and private throughout the entire process", confidentiality goes out the window when matching names and addresses are needed for a refund.
Anonymous and Private: Baby Gender Mentor Home DNA Gender Testing Kit gender test results are guarded by secure transmission protocols. To protect your identity, your baby gender test results will only be identified by the Acu-Gen Access Code Number included with your kit. Privacy and confidentiality is VERY important to us. (For instance, when you're filling out your kit registration, you don't even need to provide your name or address -- you can remain anonymous!) You remain anonymous and private throughout the entire process. Your personal information is kept separate from the Acu-Gender test -- the lab knows only your access code and the administrator knows only the registration number. Only YOU know both the Access code and registration number to retrieve the data. Also, credit card information is also kept private and is not given to the lab – your credit card information is between your credit card company and the automatic credit card verification process. Your blood sample will be archived 12 months to prevent any refund dispute related to discrepant result, after that time your blood sample will be destroyed.
To get a refund, you must submit a blood sample from your baby
...you MUST agree to submit the blood sample of the baby for kinship confirmation...
I'm running out of synonyms for "ridiculous" here, let's go with "absurd". Although Acu-Gen is at fault, rather than offering an apology and a quick refund, they demand that you jab your newborn in the foot to get a blood sample! Why should your baby have to suffer getting pricked in the foot, and why should you have to endure a squalling newborn, because of Acu-Gen's mistake and ineptitude?
And why on earth would we believe that Acu-Gen would be able to make a valid "kinship confirmation" when they got the baby's gender wrong in the first place?
To get a refund, you must first give birth
...Baby Gender Mentor will not accept any gender discrepancy claims citing ultrasound image, karyotyping/FISH analysis, or any other indirect, low-resolution gender-determining techniques...
In fact, several refunds have been issued on the basis of ultrasound and CVS or amniocentesis. Several women on this site have reported receiving refunds after complaining to Acu-Gen that these tests did not agree with Baby Gender Mentor, and a retest by Acu-Gen suddenly produced the "correct" result.
To get a refund, you must deliver a live baby
...In the advent of a miscarriage, no refunds will be granted...
In the event of an early miscarriage, where the baby's gender cannot be determined, I don't see any reason why Acu-Gen should provide a refund, since the service was provided. However, if the baby's gender is determined by genetic testing or otherwise, and the Baby Gender Mentor result was incorrect, why wouldn't the company stand behind their results and refund the bereaved parent's wasted money for a wrong result? Here is a message from a mother whose daughter was stillborn in December.
What is even worse is that I called Acu-Gen since they would not respond to my e-mail and was told that they only refund for healthy babies, he didn't even know what stillborn meant. I had to explain what it was. I called back and asked to speak to the boss. He was rude!!!!!!!!!!! He said I could send my proof but their test was 99.9% accurate and didn't see how they could possibly make a mistake.
Another woman, Lisa, was told by Baby Gender Mentor that her twins were both boys -- but an amnio confirmed she wasy carrying twin girls. Sadly, Lisa's twin girls were stillborn earlier this month at 22 weeks. Lisa is sending the death certificates, indicating that both babies are female, to Acu-Gen in hopes that the refund she is entitled to will help with burial costs.
"Standing behind" a guarantee, or running away from it?
Many women with incorrect Baby Gender Mentor results have worried that by the time their baby is born, Acu-Gen will no longer be in business, or will have simply disappeared. This new set of preposterous refund requirements seems to confirm their fears that Acu-Gen will not honor their original guarantee.
Baby Gender Mentor...will deny the 200% refund to cases deemed fraudulent.
Baby Gender Mentor Web site
It's really ironic that Acu-Gen is so worried about being the victim of fraud, isn't it?
New research that shows that among women who tried to conceive for over
a year, 58% of the babies born were boys, compared to the normal 51%
birth ratio. Researchers concluded that for each year of trying
to conceive, odds of having a boy increased by an additional 4%
compared to a girl. The study included 5,000 Dutch women, of whom
500 had taken longer than 12 months to become pregnant. All of
the women conceived naturally.
What's the cause for the increased male birth ratio among women who TTC
over a year? The researchers put forth the theory that it has to
do with a woman's cervical mucus (CM), the fluid in the vagina that
sperm must swim through to reach the egg. What's known for sure
is that if the CM is plentiful and slippery, sperm glide through it
towards their goal; but if the CM is sticky and viscous, sperm become
entangled and conception is prevented. The study suggests that
the women who had trouble conceiving had poor quality CM, and that
Y-bearing sperm can more quickly make their way through the viscous CM,
and thus more boys are conceived.
This is going out on a pretty long limb, in my opinion. First of
all, the researchers are assuming that the reason most women didn't
conceive easily was due to poor CM quality. Certainly, this is a
common reason many women don't conceive right away (and easily
corrected), but is it the most common reason? And more to the
point, was it the most common reason among this specific group of
women? Perhaps many of the women just didn't know the right time
to have sex, which is another frequent reason many couples don't get
pregnant right away, because many women just don't recognize the signs
Secondly, the researchers state the assumption that Y sperm (which
produce boys) swim faster in more viscous cervical mucus. The
research on this topic isn't convincing to me, in that the study cited
is by Dr. Ronald Ericsson, the originator of the Ericsson sex selection
method. The study is from 1973, and uses
a technique later shown to be inaccurate to
that Y sperm can be isolated using the Ericsson method.
Subsequent studies, using accurate testing methods, showed that in
fact, the method did not increase the numbers of Y sperm. However, it
is apparently based on this apparently very flimsy bit of evidence that
the BMJ chose to list this study under the heading "Y sperm may swim
faster than X sperm".
So I'm not really buying this theory that a long time conceiving is equal to poor CM which thus gives Y sperm an advantage.
However, this study does provide some interesting evidence which seems
to be contrary to the Shettles theory -- which, in a nutshell, states
that conditions most favorable to conception will cause a boy to be
more likely, while conditions least favorable for conception will more
likely result in a girl. Yet here we see that when conditions
were unfavorable for conception, for whatever the reason, boys were
significantly more likely.