July 10, 2011

Dr. Melba Ketchum’s DNA Diagnostics Gets an F?

There has been much discussion as of late concerning Dr. Melba Ketchum’s DNA analysis of purported Bigfoot flesh here on Cryptomundo.

Cryptomundians have commented both in favor and against Dr. Ketchum.

This Dr. Ketchum is the same person who analyzed Gates’ supposed clump of yeti fur. Got exactly the same results. She’s not a DNA specialist, she’s a veterinarian and a fan.Dave Wall

Ah yes, Dr. Ketchum is a veterinarian and a “fan”, of course Dave Wall.

That’s the curriculum vitae of a simple fan and a naive bigfoot believer, with no deeper knowledge about genetics:

Dr. Ketchum has also established a research program ranging from gene mapping to developing the VeriSNP™ (patent pending) platform for universal genetic evaluation in multiple species of animals. Other research includes genetics of disease, population genetics and other genetically important traits such as coat color in animals. Dr. Ketchum is a past three-term Chairperson of the International Society for Animal Genetics Equine Genetics Standing Committee. She has also been Dog Map Chairperson and a Committee member on the Dog and Cat Parentage Committee. She is currently the Treasurer for AFDAA, The Association of DNA Analysts and Administrators. Dr. Ketchum has a daughter and a son and lives on her Attoyac Valley Ranch in East Texas.

Really sounds like a simple fan….Demian66

The fact that Dr. Ketchum is on board lends this enormous credibility. If this is a hoax, it is very elaborate, and frankly would be a huge risk on the part of hoaxers.

Dr Ketchum is the only legitimate source in this story, the rest I would immediately throw out as BS.Particle Noun

This story is easy to verify by just asking Dr Ketchum’s office. I called TX a little while ago, and no comment was given. Check for yourselves, DNA Diagnostics Incorporated, Timpson Texas.CDC

And, according to her (Ketchum), the reason the announcements are taking so long is because the peer review process, especially for something so controversial and potentially ground breaking, is lengthy and rigorous. She and her team are, apparently, dotting all their I’s and crossing all their T’s, basically, to produce an outstanding scientific paper, which takes time, and further evidence won’t be discussed, presented or any claims made until that lengthy process is completed and the paper is published in a reputable scientific journal.Massachusetts

So, either Ketchum is a liar, or made a big mistake with the science, or she has discovered something very interesting and relevant to this field. I certainly hope for the latter. But as always, extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof, so for now we must all wait and see.Massachusetts

So we have a DNA study that folks have been awaiting the results for some time.

Looks like we aren’t the only ones.

I found the following information on the Better Business Bureau of East Texas’ website regarding one DNA Diagnostics, Inc.

BBB file opened: 01/19/2006

This company is in an industry that may require licensing, bonding or registration in order to lawfully do business. BBB encourages you to check with the appropriate agency to be certain any requirements are currently being met.

BBB records show a license number of for this company.

Contact Information
Primary Contact: Dr. M. S. Ketchum (Director)
Business Category

Laboratories – Medical

Rating F

BBB rating is based on 16 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that lowered DNA Diagnostics, Inc.’s rating include:

19 complaints filed against business
Failure to respond to 3 complaints filed against business.
8 complaints filed against business that were not resolved.
10 serious complaints filed against business.
BBB does not have sufficient information to determine how long this business has been operating. BBB made two or more requests for background information from the business. BBB has not received a response from this business and/or has not been able to verify information received from this business.
BBB does not have sufficient background information on this business. BBB made two or more requests for background information from the business. BBB has not received a response from this business and/or has not been able to verify information received from this business.

Complaint Category: Non-delivery of services

Complaint: They have not provided me the diagnostic service as promised from June of 2009. No contact has ever been attempted from them, even after many from me.

I contacted DNA Diagnostics, dba Shelterwood Laboratories, analyst in early June 2009. The diagnostic was to be done on a blood sample that was on a leaf brought back from a hunting safari I did in South Africa. I sent the leaf witht eh sample to DNA Diagnostics on June 16th 2009 via UPS tracking number 1ZA0024F0291036081. Along with the sample was my contact information and the payment via Check of $200. The check was cashed in June 2009 as well. The e-mail from them advised to allow 4 weeks for processing. I called DNA Diagnostics in August 2009 because I had not heard from them, and was advised that they had not yet been able to get to the sample yet but would get to it by the end of that week. In September when I called them, still with no attempt from them to reach me, I was told they were having problems doing the test but would let me know something by the end of that week. I never received a call back. In December I called again, this time I requested a refund because of the time that had passed as I was begining to get upset that nothing had happened. Up to this point I had only been speaking to the personnel dedicated to answering the phones as the analysts was always too busy, but this time I spoke to the analyst who explained the processing was completed and she would get the write up to me in the next 2 weeks, she was just really slammed and busy. I called again to tehm in late January and did not get to speak to her but the person I did speak too advised that they were still really busy and could not get the information to me. I advised I had set up a time sensitive meeting for which I needed that information for in early Febuary and needed the information, he assured me that I would get it. It is now March 15th, 2010 8 months after they received the sample to process that was too only take 4 weeks to do and I still do not have any writeen documentation for the analsis done. I called today and again soke to the front office gentleman who told me it would be in the mail today. I do not have great confidence of that.

Business response: Contact Name and Title: Ruben Soto office Manger

We did receive his samples and it did take longer than we had planned. However he was informed that the sample he sent in had low dna. We had to run the sample many times through the process to get results. We have in fact mailed them to him. I have talked to him myself and let him know so. There is no way to return a sample once it is extracted. The tests were run He does have his results. I can not do anything else.

Consumer rebuttal: (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)

I have not yet received the documented results, nor did I speak directly with the analyst to inform me the results had been sent. I called and spoke to the front desk person who informed they would be sent approximately a week ago. Either way the length of time being nine months as opposed to 4 weeks should constitute a minnimum partial refund.

Final business response: We can not get the results to bbb unless told to by the owner. Because these was a forensics type case we do not give a turn around time sometimes it takes a long time depending on the sample. We in fact lost money on the case trying to get what we have from the sample. We do not garantee any results on this type of case. We do everything we can but somtimes its not what the owner wants to hear. My apologies for this matter. Many thanks for your time.

Complaint Resolution: BBB determined the company provided proper verification that indicated there was no obligation to resolve the issues of the complaint.

Complaint Category: Non-delivery of services

Complaint: Sent samples with full payment in April 2010. I have recieved no results to date and have tried repeatedly to contact them for a refund.
I sent in goat samples with full payment of $80. in early April 2010. They said it would take about a week to process. May 9th I contacted them and they said they had it and it was “sitting on their desk” and they needed 2 more weeks to get it finished. The check was already cashed. I have repeatedly day after day without reply. I have left multiple messages to request a refund and no one has ever returned my calls. I have only got an answering machine message.

Complaint Resolution: Company failed to respond to BBB to resolve or address the complaint issues.

Complaint Category: Non-delivery of services

Complaint: Sent dog DNA in for testing 1/23/10 no results or approximate completion date as of 5/6/10
I sent 3 dogs dna in for testing 1/23/10 and still have not received the results as of 5/6/10. I have made numerous phone calls, emailed once, and still cannot get anyone to give me a time frame as to when the genetic testing will be complete. I have two friends that have had the same testing done on their animals and the testing was done within three months this has been almost five months. If they do not have enough resources to complete the job, at the very least they need to notify their customers so they can take their dna elsewhere.

Complaint Resolution: Company failed to respond to BBB to resolve or address the complaint issues.

Complaint Category: Non-delivery of services

Complaint: I submitted hair for a DNA test with Shelterwood Lab. almost a month ago and they have cashed my check but they have not returned calls or emails.
I sent hair samples to Shelterwood Labs at the end of September for DNA processing. I have called and left messages several times as well as leaving an email. I called again today and so far have not received a return call from the company. Their phone messages says that they will get back to me but they never have. They cashed the check I sent them. I would just like to know how much longer this will take but no one there seems to care.

Business response: We have customer’s results. She can call to get them. We will also attempt to contact her at the numbers she has provided for her home and work.

Consumer rebuttal: (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
I had to send samples to another lab and got results in less than 7 days, unforturnately due to the extended wait I lost the sale of my horse. I would prefer to have my money refunded. It’s been almost 2 months since I sent the samples off. I work in a univeristy research lab and know there is no reason for this delay. Plus they never contacted me after several requests to them for information which is very poor business.

Complaint Resolution: Company failed to resolve the complaint issues through BBB voluntary and self-regulatory process.

Complaint Category: Non-delivery of services

Complaint: I ordered $320 worth of DNA tests in Dec., 2009. Results were promised in 3 weeks. In March, 2010: received incorrect results. July: refused a refund
I ordered $320 worth of DNA tests on my Persian cats on 11/29/09 via the CFA alliance for DNA tests on purebred cats. They received the samples on 12/9/09. The turn around time for tests was supposed to be three weeks. I called in early January, 2010 for test results and they hadn’t been done. I called again in February and again they weren’t ready. My initial phone calls were received by someone who in turn asked me to email another tech. In March, I spoke with a new person who assured me it would be taken care of ASAP. He admitted to me that the previous person had been told to lie to clients, telling them that their tests would be done right away. He also said that a tech had messed up the results during the time frame my samples had been received and wasn’t putting the assigned number with the corresponding tests when they were put into the computer. He said they were trying to catch up on retesting these, but were taking care of new orders first. Then on 3/19/10 he sent DNA results that were genetic impossibilities based upon the colors and patterns of the cats in question. I had apparently been sent someone’s else’s results. I emailed him with all the incompatibilities for each of the tests. He said they would redo them immediately. He soonafter left their employment. In the meantime, I had bought a new breeding cat based on the incorrect color point gene status on the results I had been sent of my two males. That was a $1500 expense that was subsequently found to be unnecessary, as I had the two males in question retested for that gene at another lab for the cost of $120 to find out that they do possess the gene I needed, contrary to the results I received from DNA Diagnostics. That cost only included color and color point testing, not disease testing as in the original tests provided by DNA Diagnostics. In June, I spoke with the representative from the CFA who originally forged the diagnostic relationship for breeders with this company, and spoke with him again today and even he is not getting his calls returned by the owner of the company. His understanding is that the ownership has now changed and the CFA is trying to get the DNA database back from DNA Diagnostics and is not getting their cooperation. Because DNA Diagnostics took so long in getting me results (incorrect ones at that) I had to forfeit a sale of $1500 because I had no reliable DNA results for the prospective breeder buyer. That kitten ended up selling as a pet for $500. So I lost a $1000 profit. At this point, I am out $320 for testing with DNA Diagnostics, $120 to retest only two of the original eight cats for partial results with another lab, and $1500 for purchase of a cat that I learned was unnecessary once I received results from the other lab. I cannot resell or return that cat by contract. The purchase was made while waiting from March until June because I could only get a kitten as opposed to an adult. It was already breeding season, and I would lose too much time continuing to wait on results from DNA Diagnostics. So I was essentially breeding blindly, based upon faulty results. I finally relented to retesting because I wasn’t getting any satisfaction. There is a new office manager now who said I could resubmit the original samples. I asked for compensation by asking to resubmit six of the original eight and three new ones for the trouble I have endured. And I was told that I would have to get a refund from the CFA. I called the man with CFA who dissolved the alliance with DNA Diagnostics and he said that they had paid DNA Diagnostics for those tests. So that was another lie from this company. Since I have lost all confidence in DNA Diagnostics’ ability to provide accurate DNA testing, I will only accept a refund and may even pursue further legal compensation.

Business response: Customer did not pay DNA Diagnostics. She paid CFA. we do not have any cat samples anymore as the ex-contractor (CFA) demanded that all results and DNA samples be sent to their new contract lab. So, per CFA’s request, we cannot help anyone at this point. They will need to contact Cat Fancier’s Assn. about their samples. The other lab will deal with the people and they will be sending out any results.

Consumer rebuttal: (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
I was told the same thing on one of my more recent phone calls to DNA Diagnostics: that CFA had been paid for the tests, not them. I then called and spoke directly with a doctor of the CFA who said that DNA Diagnostics had been paid for all the tests that I ordered back in October of 2009. I called DNA Diagnostics back to tell them this and they said they would redo the tests but needed new samples because they no longer had adequate samples. I asked what happened to the ones I sent and received no other explanation. Even their web site said that they would honor any tests sent to them before April 15th, 2010. Why would they do this if they hadn’t been paid for the tests? This was before they admitted to boxing and sending samples back to CFA. My samples were corrupted. They sent me erroneous results, likely because they got the samples switched with someone else’s when giving them their ID numbers. Sending incorrectly identified samples back to CFA will not get me results. They made the mistake and were even paid for it. They did not refund the CFA for my tests. I will only accept a refund from DNA Diagnostics for the $320 it has cost me, even though the cost to me overall has been much greater than that. Neither the CFA nor the new lab should be held responsible for bearing the cost for DNA Diagnostics’ costly mistakes. If DNA Diagnostics still refuses to refund my money within one week of receiving this response, my next step will be to file a complaint with the veterinary board.

Complaint Resolution: Company failed to resolve the complaint issues through BBB voluntary and self-regulatory process.

Complaint Category: Non-delivery of services

Complaint: I sent samples to be analyzed & included full payment. Have received no results and almost no response to my inquiries over the past 12 months.
Enclosed is a copy of my cancelled check number 1092, payable to DNA Diagnostics in the amount of $200.00 dated June 15, 2009. It was included in a package that also contained fur and mucus samples from my cat, Buddy, and the rear leg bone of a feline found in the woods near my home, with some fur and desiccated flesh still attached. In sending it to DNA Diagnostics I was hoping to determine if it belonged to my missing cat. The person I contacted at the time estimated that I should have some results in 4-6 weeks upon receipt of the samples. When six weeks had passed without hearing anything, I sent several emails inquiring about the progress of the testing. The first few received no response whatever. While continuing my pursuit for information, I discovered that although receipt of my package had been acknowledged the day after I used an overnight service to send my samples, my check had not yet cleared the bank. Further contact with business indicated that whoever was responsible for processing my request had overlooked the fact that payment had been included with the samples. After my check was finally cashed, my repeated emails about test results got no response. Finally, last January, I called DNA Diagnostics and was told that my contact person was no longer employed by the lab. I was connected to a technician and she told me that the tests needed to process my samples were run only infrequently, were ongoing and had so far produced no results.

To say that I am frustrated and disappointed by the services of DNA Diagnostics doesn’t begin to express how I feel. The investment of $200.00, plus the $40.00 charge for overnight delivery of the samples was not something I undertook lightly. For me, it was a major outlay of funds. Several questions come to mind as I try to sort out this unhappy situation. Because my payment was overlooked for almost two months were the samples simply discarded? Were they improperly stored and therefore compromised? Is the lack of response from DNA Diagnostics an indication that you hope I will just forget the whole thing and go away? It’s been over a year since I, in good faith, contacted your laboratory. The least I deserve is the courtesy of a truthful response to my inquiries, and whatever test results there may be. If the samples were lost, compromised due to improper storage, or discarded, much as I would prefer answers, I feel a refund would be in order.

Thank you for your assistance in resolving this issue.

Business response: Have no record of this person.

Consumer rebuttal: (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)

Here are 2 emails I received from DNA Lab.

“I am sorry it has taken me so long to get back you, however I had to speak to one of our analysts about the matter. Yes, we can compare
the dna from the bone and the hair samples to determine if they are from the same cat. The cost of this would be $200 since we would
need to test the mitochondrial dna. If you have any further questions feel free to contact me.

Please send both hair and mucus known samples. As for the leg bone, you did the right thing, storing it in the freezer actually will
preserve anything within or on the bone(if anything was there when you found it). You can find our address at the bottom of this e-mail
for shipping. With sample such as this we recommend using overnight service for shipping the samples please put icepacks with it.”

I also have a copy of my cancelled check, but can’t seem to attach it.

Complaint Resolution: Company failed to resolve the complaint issues through BBB voluntary and self-regulatory process.

Complaint: I submitted a request for an equine paternal test at the end of March 2010. It is now July 1, 2010. I still have not recieved test restults.
I still have not recieved results from an equine paternity test submitted at the end of March 2010. I was continually promised dates when the test would be done along with excuses why it had not been done yet. Finally in May I felt like I may be getting somewhere, I spoke with the new office mgr. 1st she said results had been sent but could not tell me where, then said it was the wrong test because our # was 9420 and this one began w/a 7. She then assured me she would find out what happened and call me back with the results and she was working all weekend to get this done. Furthermore, since I had been waiting so long she was going to make this her priority. I have continued to be put off. Also I have left several messages with my house phone and my cell phone numbers and still have not recieved a call back nor have I recieved any emails or anything in the regular mail. I explained to the people I have spoken with that this was very important as I had a pregnant mare stolen and I believed the filly in this test to be the offspring of the mare and my stallion and the gal that has (or possibly had) by now agreed to not sell the filly until we recieved test results. I’m not even sure if she still has the filly as I cannot reach her anymore either. I explained to all parties concerned how important this was to me and was assured by the new office manager I would have the test results in a timely manner . This has all been very upsetting to me.

Business response: In process of running test case.

Consumer rebuttal: (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
They have been in the process of running this test since they recieved it. I have been told on several occasions they are running the test and given several different times when it will be completed, ie: we’re running it today, we will have it completed for you tomorrow. I am working this weekend I will make sure it’s done by Monday. I have been given this excuse on several different occasions and every time I call back for the results at the day or time I’m told, I am put off with yet another excuse. I have dealt with this lab in the past and have never encountered such problems. The is especially stressful for me as I am not even sure the girl that had this filly still has her. This has gone on for so long she doesn’t even return my emails anymore. This test was extremely important to me as this may be the offspring of a mare, bred to my stallion, that was stoled from me 2 years ago. I explained this to the staff at DNA Diagnostics and kept being reassured this would be done. I then couldn’t get ahold of anyone for awhile. I then go ahold of the new office manager and she explained she was the new office mgr and had quite a mess to clean up, but she would be working through the weekend and have the results for me at the first part of the week. This was back in May. I have tried on several occasions to call only to get the answering machine. I left several messages. A lady did answer once, I explained it all to her and if I didn’t get a call back I would be contacting the BBB. She said she would pass along the message. This was in June. I have left several messages since then. I have been trying to be patient and understanding, but come on! I don’t like to complain or cause problems, but I am not getting anywhere, even after telling them and leaving messages of dissatisfation and that if this was not resolved I would contact the BBB.

Complaint Resolution: Company failed to resolve the complaint issues through BBB voluntary and self-regulatory process.

Complaint Category: Non-delivery of services

Complaint: Paid for a service in Feb 2010, and have not received test results. Told to office on Five different time and was made promises of test results. Requested DNA test on two cats. Paid in full in Feb 2010. Test results was to be finished in 6 weeks. Called after 12 weeks and test not finished. Was told going through office problems and results will be finished on one week. Called back two weeks later, still no results. Talked to office manager. Sent email with my address. Promised results in one week. It now two weeks later an still no results. Left messages on answering machine with all details. No response.

Business response: Have no record of this person.

Consumer rebuttal: (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
The company does have our records. They have our name. The number to the test are 9419 BlueBerry, and 9418 Bountry. Cat referance number 2112-8048-5995.

Complaint Resolution: Company failed to resolve the complaint issues through BBB voluntary and self-regulatory process.

Complaint Category: Non-delivery of services

Complaint: Sent DNA in on two horses last week of March. Still no report on these. Have called numorus times . No responce.
I have delt with this lab since 2006 and hadn’t really a complaint until this year when I sent in DNA on two of my horses.Starting latter of April I tried to contact them for results over the phone. There seemed to be one excuse after another for the results not being ready.First it was they were overly busy, then they were having to run the tests two,three or four times more to get the results. Then they told me the chips they needed to use were no good and they had to order more. By then my husband was angry and asked if we could get a refund and they were suppose to call us back. Noone ever called. Then I called to find out what was going on and they said that there would be no refund because they had run the tests, so I asked for the results and once again I was told they were still working on them but they would be done in a day or so. So they took my number once again and said they would call with the results. No phone call,so I called and there was no answer.I called and called a number of times, then finally someone answered and I asked for the results and she told me that the doctor wasn’t in but as soon as she came in the girl would call me back with the results. No phone call, so once again I called and called for two weeks with noone answering the phone.I got my horses tested through another lab in Florida and received my results within a week and two of the horses I had tested with Shelterwood I had retested at this other lab and found out that the results were totally wrong. It was upsetting and scary, because one of the horses was a stud that we were going to use on outside mares and if we had advertised him a certain way and that was not the way it was, we could have had a very bad business mess on our hands. A lot of what horse owners do with there horses has a lot to do with the results on these tests,such as the way a horse is advertised for breeding and if a colt is gelded or not.Plus if you are taking the time,money and energy into raising a stud foal that you think poscesses certain genes and he doesn’t, then you wasted time and money and you can’r run a business that way. I’m very sure I wasn’t the only person affected by this lab in this way. I know that I probably will not get my money back for inaccurate testing or the money that we put in to these two horses for the past two years on one and four years on the other one, including feed,hay, worm medicine,vaccinations, and advertising.Please do something to stop these people so that someone doesn’t really get hurt by it again.

Business response: Have requested additional samples as they were placed in plastic (not paper as instructed).

Consumer rebuttal: (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
I do not except their response because there has been no communication so there could not have been any request on their part. They would never answer the phone and when they did they would put you on hold forever while they went to find out the answer and then when they did come back on they would have one excuse after another about why the results were not ready yet.They would say call back tomorrow afternoon and they would have an answer but then when you did try to call the same old game, either noone would answer the phone or if they did answer then another excuse as to why the results were not ready. This is no way to run a business and no way to treat the public and these people need to be stopped. Plus the other matter they did not address and that was the wrong results on the tests. Not only one but two horses were wrong. I could see maybe one wrong result, but not three out of four on two horses. Please help me and the other people that wer wronged by this lab! I have to stop now because I’m getting madder by their response. It looks like they are trying to cover their but with a very stupid excuse for bad business!!

Complaint Resolution: Company failed to resolve the complaint issues through BBB voluntary and self-regulatory process.

Complaint Category: Non-delivery of services

Complaint: Paid for genitic services in Dec check cash in Dec 2009, Feb 2010 received email stating services are done and will be mailed out 2nd wk of Feb 2010,
I paid for services they did not give me

Business response: Contact Name and Title: Ruben Soto office manger

I have looked at this case. It has been here too long; however on horses we have to have so many in order to run a chip. This time it took. We have run them and I am putting the results in the computer now. However it will be 1-2 more days before they get out. We are sending out results all this week so they will be there within the week.

Consumer rebuttal: (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
As stated before on 2 different email and or phone calls they have stated that the test were DONE and in this responce they state that they are done again a 3rd time. This company is not consumer reliable, they have NOT told the truth on several conversations. I wish for this complaint to be visiable on the BBB web-site so no other consumer can be misled.
Thank You

Final business response: I am going to resend the results today. Some times the email will go into a spam folder or junk folder. If they do not receive it today I will need to get a fax number to send it to them.

Complaint Resolution: Company failed to resolve the complaint issues through BBB voluntary and self-regulatory process.

Complaint Category: Non-delivery of services

Complaint: For 2 1/2 months have been told at least 10 times I would recieve results of DNA test in 1 -3 days.I ask for a refund today and they say no refunds.
They recieved 5 (dog) DNA tests from me on the 15th of Jan. Before I sent the tests I talked to them on the phone and was told it would take a maximum of 6 weeks to get results back.
At 2 weeks I called to see if it would cost extra to have the results sent to my email address…at this time they told me your tests are ready and there is no extra charge to send them to your email. You should get them within a week.
After 10 days I called to see if perhaps they sent them by mail and I was told that Dr. Ketchum(not sure if I spelled her name correctly) was behind and it shouldn’t take more than another week. I waited 2 weeks to call back at which time they told me the tests were not done and should be done in the next week then it would not take any time to get results. I then waited about 10 days and called and they said the tests were done…waiting again on Dr. K. since this time I have called 1 time per week and am told she is behind on work….I ask that they return my money or send the results each time they say 3 days….of course it has now been 2 1/2 months since the first time they told me the tests were finished…..I have not been rude or ugly with the company but I do not belive anything they tell me. I am not sure I can trust the results. Today I told them I just want my money back and they said they do not do refunds and of course I would get the results of the tests within 3 days.

Business response: Contact Name and Title: Ruben Soto

This is a case of us just being behind I will see to it that her test results get sent out today. My apologies for this. There are just so many to send out that we have falling behind. As I said though I will be sure her’s gets sent today. Many thanks for your time.

Consumer rebuttal: (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
I have not recieved the results as of yet.
Their response was great if they had followed through it would have been fine.
I was also told by the receptionist that they are phasing out the dog dna tests because the test is unreliable…is this true?…..can I trust the results?if and when I get them.

Complaint Resolution: Company failed to resolve the complaint issues through BBB voluntary and self-regulatory process.

Complaint Category: Failure to respond to phone calls or written requests for assistance or support

Complaint: extremely poor custstomer service and communication.
I sent an equine hair sample to DNA Diagnstics/Shelterwood Labs in Timpson, TX.
for HYPP testing. The following is about my experience.

I sent them a hair sample for testing and payment of $35.00 by personal check which they received on Jan 31, 2011. I had USPS confirmation of them receiving the sample and was led to believe it would take 3-4 days to complete the testing and 3-4 days to receive the results. I called them on Thursday of the same week to verify that they had the sample and was told it was received and was being prepared for testing. I called on the following Friday, Feb 11, to see if the test was completed and got no answer. So I left a voice mail with my phone number and asked for a return phone call. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of the next week I tried to make contact again, several times a day and still got no answer. But each time I left a message and return phone number. On Feb 16, 2011, I sent an e-mail to the address on the website but never received a response by phone or e-mail.

After 3 weeks (Feb 18) my wife sent them a fax and finally got them on the phone. Their response was “We didn’t get the sample when he thinks we did and it will be processed tomorrow and results will be mailed as soon as they print.” I called them to verify this information and asked why I never received a return call or e-mail. I was told they were having problems with their phone lines and that e-mails sent to the address on the website usually get filtered as spam and they don’t get them. WHAT?!

On Feb 24th my wife called and was told “there was a problem with the sample and it would have to be re-tested”. On the 4th of March my wife called again and was also told that “sometimes it depends on how the hair reacts to the chemicals, or, IT DEPENDS ON HOW YOU HOLD YOUR MOUTH WHEN RUNNING THE TEST”. Then it was “the technician wasn’t working out so we hired a new one that seems to be working out pretty good, so we are going to run it again tomorrow. But we may have to have another sample.” We were told that this testing is done on fridays. So they had 5 fridays to complete the tests or inform me that a new sample needed to be submitted.

I understand that they are busy on a daily basis, but a customer with a question or concern should be taken care of regardless of the their work load. Below is a copy of the last email I sent to them:

This is your notice that I am requesting a refund.

I sent you a hair sample for HYPP testing that you received and SIGNED for on the 31st of January 2011. I have made repeated attempts to contact you about the progress and have been told “we didn’t receive it when you think we did, the test will be done this week and results mailed to you, the email address you sent the email to doesn’t come to me (then why have the email address?), there was a problem with the test and it has to be rerun on Friday (March 4th, 2011) and I take the results and put them in the mail that day or the next. It took you 2 days to deposit my check but has taken over 30 days to get my test results.

I am not satisfied with your service, or lack there of. I had made repeated attempts to contact you. I left messages on your answering machine and never got a reply. When I did finally get a live person, I was assured that action would be taken. I have been patient, I have tried to take weather, a busy lab, and other unforeseen circumstances into consideration. But I have lost two sales because I don’t have test results, regardless of the status.

I will not openly go about talking bad about your company. But if someone does specifically ask about your services, I will be very matter-of-fact about my experience.

Please return my money to my home address.

Business response: On our information sheet it plainly states, “pluck 20-30 horse hairs and place them in a paper envelope”. Mrs. Customer DID inform us that the samples were in fact cut.She didn’t inform us of such until after the sample had been ran the first time.About that time the Mrs. Customer called demanding answers. The phrase “it depends on how you hold your mouth” was used completely out of context. When that statement was made it was explaining to them that when the hair is cut and not plucked you have to hold your mouth just right to get a result.Being as the hair was cut it yielded no results, but the sample was ran twice more and the third time the samples yielded a negative test result.Mr. Customer was not happy with the results that were given. This particular sample has been ran five times with only one result.We also informed Mrs. Customer that we did need another sample submitted. We are not at fault if they fail to communicate. With the fact that we had results and they didn’t like them, and by running them twice more free of charge, we have already lost more money and decline sending the customers money back.

Complaint Resolution: Company addressed the complaint issues. The consumer failed to acknowledge acceptance to BBB.

There are more complaints, all generally saying the same thing.

Are we detecting a pattern here?

Will we ever see the Sasquatch DNA test results?

About Craig Woolheater
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad, Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.

Filed under Bigfoot, Bigfoot Report, Breaking News, Cryptozoologists, Cryptozoology, Evidence, Forensic Science, Sasquatch, Women in Cryptozoology