Valley woman budget dilemma

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- A Valley woman trying to streamline her budget says she's unable to cancel a club membership.
She's trying to save around $60 a month. That's how much her club membership is costing her but with no job, saving that $60 could really help out.
For 20 years, Sharon Gasch has been a faithful monthly subscriber of Melaleuca, a direct marketing company that sells wellness homecare and nutritional products.

"It's a wonderful health product," she said.

Every month, Gasch picks out products that she wants shipped to her.

She said her $60 monthly membership requires her to purchase a minimum amount of products.

The amount is automatically deducted from her bank account and the items are shipped to her.

But recently Gasch lost her job, which caused a big financial strain on her family.

"When I first lost my job, I was, I was hurt, angry and in disbelief," she said.

Looking for ways to cut costs, Gasch called Melaleuca to ask if she could freeze her $60 monthly membership and was surprised when the representative told her no.

"I can't even buy food," she said. "I've not bought food for a week and a half now. We're living out of our freezer and our pantry."

Gasch said without being able to cancel her membership or put it on hold, Metaleuca will continue to automatically withdraw $60 from her account -- $60 she can't afford to spend.

"I see $60 as maybe feeding our family for a week, week and a half," Gasch said.

3 On Your Side contacted Melaleuca, saying it apologized that Gasch was told she couldn't immediately freeze her membership.

As a result, they suspended her account and said they'd be happy to see her come back when she's financially able.

Gasch said that's awesome because being able to put food on the table is more important than anything right now.
"My main concern is I need to put food in the mouths of my two young adults and my husband and myself," Gasch said.

Melaleuca was a great company to work with. They have an A+ with the Better Business Bureau and they even sent Gasch and her family a whole bunch of free products to help her out.