Sunday, July 21, 2013

Last week ABC News aired a story about Simon and Allerca on the show The Lookout. If you're interested in learning more about these "hypoallergic" cats, please check out the video:

Part 1:

Part 2:

The show is pretty interesting, but if you prefer the written word, here's a summary:

1) They tested several of Simon's cats against common house cats you can find in a shelter. Simon's cats were no more hypoallergenic than cats you can get for free.

2) They bought a cat from Simon and proved that he just got it from a local dealer.  After denying this fact multiple times, he finally confessed to it.  However, he continued to maintain the fiction that it was a hypoallergenic cat (despite the fact that the dealer claimed nothing of the sort), insisting that he had a "way" to tell when cats where hypoallergenic. I guess it's his superpower.

3) Unsurprisingly ABC News found dozens of customers like me who never got any any cat, let alone the fictional hypoallergenic kind. In contrast, customers who got cats and were somehow happy (placebo effect?) were few and far between.

4) The scientific studies that Simon touts as proof that he can provide hypoallergenic cats have all been refuted.  Not even the scientists quoted in the studies agree with his conclusions.

5) Simon is being actively investigated by U.S. law agencies, but has gone into hiding in London.

Good stuff!

If you're interested in reading another story about an unsatisfied Allerca customer, check out this excellent blog post.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wow! As it turns out, if you apply enough legal pressure to Simon Brodie, he does actually respond! Rumor has it that a number of unsatisfied Allerca customers received a legal contract from Simon, offering them a refund if they sign a non-disclosure order and agree not to pursue any further action against Lifestyle Pets.

Why did these customers receive a refund offer and not others? I believe this is the magic formula:

1) Contact your local District Attorney. Although a state-level Attorney General will be a more powerful force, it's hard to get their attention. Local DAs sometimes have more latitude to handle cases of these size. In fact, if you have not yet done so, please forward the details of your case to the District Attorney from Santa Cruz, California, who is investigating Lifestyle Pets. They can be reached here:

Kelly Walker, Deputy DA
Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office

2) Contact the FBI. Although it's pretty easy to log an online complaint with their Internet Crime Complaint Center, it would be best to also contact an actual FBI investigator. You may wish to start with the FBI office in San Diego, California because they have already gathered information from dozens of victims. They can be reached here:

FBI San Diego
9797 Aero Drive
San Diego, CA 92123
Phone: (858) 565-1255
Fax (858) 499-7991

3) Contact any consumer activist or advocacy organizations in your area. Often local papers or news stations will have a reporter dedicated to tracking down fraudulent corporations. They might be interested in hearing about your case. Although Simon is probably long past thinking he can squash all negative publicity, at the very least if you spread the word about your interactions with Lifestyle pets, you'll be giving information to other potential customers.

Now, are these refunds actually going to be sent out? Well, that's still unknown. Hell, Simon has insured that it will remain unknown by binding all of the recipients to a gag order. However, given the regular number of Allerca victims that I hear from through this blog, I'm guessing that there are still MANY customers who paid their money and never got anything back, let alone a legal contract dangling the promise of a refund.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I keep hearing from more people like myself who have sent thousands of dollars to Lifestyle Pets, only to receive a never-ending series of excuses and delays rather than any live animals.

Actually, I've heard from a few other people in the last few weeks. One person actually did receive a cat from Simon Brodie. Was it hypoallergenic? That's hard to say because it died about a week later. Sadly, this is not the first time I've heard about Allerca kittens dying within weeks of their delivery. And, of course, no refund was ever received.

People are also starting to contact me BEFORE they send money to Lifestyle Pets and I'm delighted to inform them about the "customer" experience that I and many other people have been subjected to. (I put the word "customer" in quotation marks because it's hard to figure out if I'm a customer of Allerca if they take my money and then never send me anything.)

All of Simon Carradan's ("Carradan" being another of Simon's pseudonyms) shenanigans may be coming to an end soon though. The FBI has caught wind of Simon's business practices and they have assigned an investigator to the case. It's not clear at this time whether the investigation will also include Carradan Skis.

On a lighter note, I have been informed that one of Simon's latest (and more secretive) ventures is a company called Vimentis. They sell (and, as absurd as this sounds, I am not making this up), openers that one would use to open a screw cap wine bottle. It's the screw cap version of the corkscrew.

Why would one need a device to open a screw cap bottle of wine? According to their web site, for romance.

Simon, you old softy!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Over the past several months I've heard from several sources that Simon was finally going to exit the cat peddling business and move on to other "ventures" ($19,000 skis anyone?). It was satisfying to hear that his reputation was finally affecting his ability to take money from more victims like me.

People, let me warn you. If you are considering buying an Allerca GD "Hypoallergenic" Cat, I urge you to contact me. Since I started this blog, I've been contacted by more than 20 people who all paid anywhere from $2,000 to $8,000 for one of these cats and never received one.

Another person did receive a cat, but they were highly allergic to the cat and Simon never refunded their money. A different person did receive a cat, and had no reaction to it, but the cat wasn't spayed, as promised, and Simon never paid for any of the vet bills as had been agreed to. The list of unsatisfied customers goes on and on.

Will you receive a magical hypoallergenic cat if you pay Simon Carradan/Brodie thousands of dollars? Well, I guess it's possible, but instead, how about contacting any of hundreds of reputable cat breeders who will actually let you interact with a cat BEFORE buying it. Check out the Siberian breed or the Bengals. Maybe you're allergic to them or maybe you're not, but isn't it worthwhile dealing with a breeder that will actually let you hold the cat before buying it? Those cats won't cost $5,950 either.

It's been 16 months since my cat was supposed to be delivered. Once Simon realized that I wasn't going to be a quiet victim, he stopped answering my calls and emails.

Please contact me if you have any questions:

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Originally this blog was started as a warning to other people about the potential problems they might encounter doing business with Lifestyle Pets (aka Allerca). Since that time I've received a surprising amount of correspondence from people who've had legal and financial issues with Simon Carradan (aka Simon Brodie) from many of his previous business schemes, not just Lifestyle Pets.

(Simon, you sure have made a lot of enemies.)

Some of his customers only got fleeced for $4,000 like me, but I've corresponded with people who lost a lot more than that. Sadly, recovering those losses is difficult since Simon Carradan seems to hide the addresses of his companies.

Regardless, I sure hope that the people paying $12,000 to $19,000 for a pair of Carradan Skis have more luck than all the people I've been hearing from.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Llewtrah, a fellow blogger, left a link on my last post that deserves some attention.

In addition to ever-growing number of complaints about Allerca's business practices that we've been highlighting, apparently some of Simon Brodie's cats are just repackaged cats from other breeders under a different (and trademarked!) name. What would you end up paying for one of these "trademarked" Ashera cats that's really just a Savannah available from dozens of breeders? $27,000.

Makes you wonder where Simon Carradan got those Carradan Skis that he's selling for $19,000 these days.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Today the Consumerist, a non-profit blog which highlights issues affecting consumers, published a very unflattering report on Simon Brodie (aka Simon Carradan) and the inability of Lifestyle Pets to successfully deliver Allerca hypoallergenic cats. The comment thread on the article was quite active, featuring several comments by users that the editors of the Consumerist believe were just Simon undercover. Nice to finally hear from the guy though.