I received a letter from something called Empire's Who's Who Among Executive and Professional Women informing me that my biographical sketch was a candidate for publishing in the 2006-2007 edition due to my professional achievements. The letter also assured me in several different places that the service was absolutely free. So, I filled out the pre-paid postage card with all of my information (completely visible to the world as no envelope came with it) and sent it in.
Within a few weeks, I received an unexpected phone call while at work from these people. At the very beginning of the conversation I explained to the woman that I was a mental health counselor and that I had a therapy group scheduled to begin in approximately 20 minutes. She assured me it wouldn't take long. So, she goes through a very lengthy interview asking me about my achievements, schools I went to, degrees I earned, etc.; the whole time giving me tons of compliments of course. Then she says that I will also be getting two plane ticket vouchers that could be used virtually whenever and wherever I wanted.
Then she says, "so Julie, can I go ahead and sign you up for the platinum membership for just $675?". I almost fell out of my chair. I immediately said, I'm going to have to think about this and talk it over with my fianc. She said I had to give her an answer now and that she wouldn't take "no" for an answer. So, then she offers a two year and then a one year membership--still more than $200. Finally she drops it to $99.
Well, by this time I just felt bullied and I had been on the phone with her for more than 45 minutes--missing the beginning of my group. She had also talked over me the entire conversation especially if I was saying something about not wanting to spend any money. I finally just said that I wasn't interested if I couldn't have a chance to talk it over with my fianc. She just went on and on insisting that it was such a trivial amount of money and that I was being silly for passing up this opportunity.
I finally became so frustrated, that I exploded over the phone at her (something I've never done before no matter how pushy the telemarketer gets). I told her that I didn't need her services to network because you meet business connections in real life, not out of some book that no one's heard of and then I hung up on her. I felt so bad for the way I behaved for awhile after that phone call. But then I found these stories from other people who also had horrible experiences with them and it makes me so relieved that for once, I stood up for myself and wasn't pressured into something just so I wouldn't feel that I had been rude. I may have been a bit ill mannered over the phone, but it was worth not having to deal with such a shady company. Do not reply to any flattering letter you get from these people---it's a scam!