• Report: #966612

Complaint Review: Experience International | Ripoff Report Verified™ ..businesses you can trust. Commitment to customer satisfaction. ”Experience International working hard to live up to their customer service commitment. Ethical Investments, Socially Responsible, Environmentally conscious, Low Risk, Hassle Free, High Yielding Investments” ..property for sale abroad for investment or your dream second home.

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  • Submitted: Thu, November 08, 2012
  • Updated: Sun, June 02, 2013

  • Reported By: Eugenie — London United Kingdom
Experience International
1 Northumberland Avenue, Trafalgar Square London, Select State/Province United Kingdom

Experience International REVIEW: Experience International commitment to customer satisfaction. Experience International approach to business focusing on providing the highest quality services to their clients. Unparalleled market knowledge, multitude of marketplace choice and proven level of customer service places Experience International as leading UK overseas investment property specialists. United Kingdom, Worldwide
*UPDATE: Experience International pledges their commitment to Ripoff Report Corporate Advocacy, Business Remediation and Customer Satisfaction Program. A program that benefits the consumer, assures them of complete satisfaction and confidence when doing business with a member business. Experience International Ripoff Report Verified™ as a safe business service.

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EDitor’s UPDATE: Positive rating and recognition has been given to Experience International for its commitment to excellence in customer service.

Experience International have high standards but understand occasionally things can go wrong. Experience International’s principal, Mr. Stephen Warboys, has informed us that his personal commitment is that his clients are completely satisfied. As a successful businessman, Mr. Warboys feels it is critical to listen to his clients and respond properly, "Experience International has high standards but we know occasionally things can go wrong. If this happens please tell us straight away and provide us the chance to put it right for you." By always putting his customers first, Mr. Warboys hopes to maintain Experience International as a successful enterprise both now and for many years to come. [continued below]....
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Ripoff Report Verified™ .. part of Ripoff Report Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program.A program that benefits the consumer, assures them of complete satisfaction and confidence when doing business with a member business..

The information provided in this report is based on comments made Katerina Botseva Steve Worboys held by a third party verification company with no biases toward Experience International.

Experience International and Experience Invest are UK based real estate companies providing investors access to opportunities across various market sectors throughout the world. The company offers non-traditional products innovatively designed to meet the needs for today’s astute investor market sectors which are seldom available to the individual investor. The company completes 60-80 transactions per month. Approximately, 50% of their transactions are repeat customers and referrals.

The company feels they are set apart because they do stringent due diligence on a developer before they work with them. The process involves working with independent lawyers to verify titles which ensure that the market developer owns the land, has planning permission, and is in a legitimate position to market and sell the project. Additionally, Experience International states they are set apart because they have expanded their customer service team. For every 2 sales staff, they now have 1 support staff. When a client has an issue they will be immediately directed to a customer service advisor. If the company does receive a complaint they cannot handle, they bring in an ombudsman to mediate on behalf of the client to resolve issues.

Steve Worboys, Experience International's Managing Director, stated, “I have been with the company for 7 years and I have been dealing with investments from all over the world. We started with Bulgaria, then we went to Brazil, Egypt, France, and now we are focusing on the UK. Obviously, we always try to provide the best service possible; we occasionally have clients coming in to see the setup of the operation. In my opinion, apart from the occasional issues which are mainly caused by developers delaying the project or not delivering, we try to assist clients from the beginning and even after they have purchased with us.”

Experience International receives leads through the internet and then follows up with potential clients. They have signed an ICO (Information Communication Office) that verifies their data is legitimate and have acquired it correctly. When an inquiry comes in, the contact is passed to a sales representative who makes contact with the potential client to send them information. Then the client works directly with customer service to move forward with Due Diligence. The client works with Experience International to protect their funds (using services like Escrow).

In dealing with client complaints and questions, the company standardly responds to requests regarding the purchase process within the same day. If the requests have to do with delivering the project on time, they register the complainant and establish when the issue occurred. Then the company discusses what they can do to give the client the assurance that they are going to resolve the complaint within 48 hours. Katerina Botseva, Office Manager stated, “We always try to resolve it in house. If, let’s say the tenant has not paid their rent, then we contact the management company. If the house has damage, we have the building team try to resolve the issue. If the client is very unhappy, we work with the Property Ombudsman as it is recognized by the UK Office of Fair-trading.” The company continued on to mention if the client has a particular issue and they cannot resolve it or the resolution is not up to their satisfaction, the mediator can award up to 25,000 Euro in compensation. Although, the company states they have never had an instance where they were not able to solve the complaint in house and had to award compensation to a client.

An example of a complaint was when a client purchased a house and there was an issue that came up with the tenant. Experience International arranged with the management company to pay her the rent while the tenant was there, but then the tenant moved out. By the time they found a new tenant, there were amounts the client was not getting, was very unhappy, and wanted their money back. The company ended up reselling the house and paid her the tenancy money for the time that she owned on the house, then paid her exactly the amount she paid for the house. The client responded by swapping the management company for future projects.

Experience International is committed to do whatever it takes to make the client happy by moving away from international properties in their business practices. Additionally, with UK projects, they have all the client’s funds stay with a solicitor in escrow to eliminate risk for the client. In dealing with specific complaints on Ripoff Report, Steve Worboys stated, “I think what has happened there is they have not received their rent. In some cases, the property has not yet been refurbished properly in order to let a client in. That is where they have transferred the money to the developer and he has not completed the work. We have stepped in and financially contributed to completing the work.”

The company believes that being a part of the Ripoff Report Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation and Customer Satisfaction Program is good for their creditability as it provides the vehicle to show potential clients their commitment to customer service. Katerina Botseva stated, “ Clients make one call, but do not see the preponderance of work we do to resolve an issues. They do not see the amount of costs and time. We have always taken our customer service seriously, but there are some things that are out of our control.”

In regards to previous complaints on Ripoff Report, Experience International explained their relationship with New Orbit Funding. Worboys stated, “Experience International previously sold properties all over the world. One of those places was Detroit and in selling properties in Detroit, we were the marketing agent for a company called New Orbit Funding. Now Experience International is completely separate and there has been a new company formed called Detroit Advantage. They are based in both London and Bournemouth and they are the developer and marketing arm for Detroit properties. Experience International is transitioning into a company called Experience Invest and only sells properties in the UK because of previous issues.

STATED IMPROVEMENTS FROM Experience International.

Customer satisfaction has increased from 85% to 95% and complaints have reduced by 90%. Client referrals and repeat business as a percentage of overall business have increased from 40% to 60% as a result of total customer satisfaction.

EXPERIENCE INTERNATIONAL / Statements from the owner.

In the past 6 months we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of repeat clients which is testament to our commitment to customer service and transparency. The recent notable increase in customer referrals is a measure of how we are delivering on our promises to clients."

Our unparalleled market knowledge, multitude of marketplace choice and proven level of customer service has placed us as the leading UK overseas investment property specialists. We pride ourselves on our excellent customer service which ensures our clients return to us each time they wish to purchase an overseas property in an emerging market. Our network of specialized staff offer confidential, personalized and professional service ensuring clients make an informed decision to suit their individual requirements.

Experience International’s customer service team have reconfirmed the company’s commitment to customer service . The client liaison manager at Experience International stated "I have seen first hand Mr. Warboys' personal commitment to customer service and the design of the customer charter. It always gives me great pleasure to go back to any customer following the chance to put things right and our customer charter has exceeded expectations.

Experience International recognizes that complaints posted on Ripoff Report (whether true or not) are issues that need to be addressed, not ignored. If handled correctly, complaints can be valuable learning opportunities. With the feedback generated by Ripoff Report’s Investigation, Experience International has made organizational changes allowing its clients and employees a more streamlined approach to problem resolution and a commitment to a great client experience.

In summary, after our investigation, which included discussions with Mr. Warboys and many of his past and current associates, Ripoff Report is convinced that Experience International is committed to quality delivery of services resulting in total client satisfaction.

Read more about why consumers should feel confident when doing business with a member of Ripoff Report's Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program. Yes, it’s a long name for a program that does a lot for both consumers and businesses alike.

Read about Ripoff Report Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program.. A program that benefits the consumer, assures them of complete satisfaction and confidence when doing business with a member business. This program works.

As a matter of policy, when a business becomes a member of the Corporate Advocacy Program they agree to allow Ripoff Report to contact every client who filed a complaint so they can make things right with them. In order to confirm that the complaints were resolved, Ripoff Report is copied on all responses so we can insure that the member business did right by their customer…

NOW TO THE ORIGINAL REPORT THAT WAS FILED --------------------------------------

Experience International Experience BG trading as Experience International Experience International Detroit investment property scam. Misrepresentation of goods and services. London, United Kingdom

Cowboys International would be a much more suitable name for investment brokers, called Experience International (Companies House No 5301679).  Their main experience seems to lie in ripping off clients and acting like they have nothing to do with investment nightmare they drag them into.

Experience International, with a capital value of 1, are sitting pretty in the heart of London, just off Trafalgar Square.  You can find them on the 6th floor of 1 Northumberland Avenue office building. 

The company is run by Steven Worboys.  His background is in IT project management.  Extensive online marketing campaigns are flashing Experience International Google Ads all over the internet.  There is no escape from their Ads on YouTube, FaceBook, Google+ and LinkedIn. 

Experience International Detroit property investment ad is promising a lot. http://www.detroit-property.co.uk/report.html    Mind you, they are legally protected by disclaimers.   Dont believe your eyes, whatever they publish.

As a prospective investor, I was offered a turn key hands free investment of a newly refurbished, pre-tenanted and fully-managed property in Detroit with a 20%+ annual rental yield.  They e-mailed me Experience International Detroit brochure 2012 and stated that Experience International Detroit properties came under US government HUD section 8 programme.  Direct e-mail from one of Experience International property consultants to me said:

Ed Scott to me.   16 February 2012. 

 Hi Eugenie, 

I am very pleased to provide you with information on our highly-popular Detroit investment properties.  Please find attached the brochure and details on our best available properties. 

Detroit provides a unique hands free investment opportunity to generate gross annual yields of 25%, and net yields over 20%.  We have a range of properties priced around $30,000  (20,000) with 50% guaranteed finance available to investors. 

The rental income is backed by the US government and the property is fully and professionally managed creating a completely hands off investment. 

Key reasons to invest: improving job market as manufacturing increases in Detroit; property 65% below 2007 prices; shortage of high quality rental property; high yields, exceptional potential for capital appreciation; properties are fully refurbished; 50% non-status guaranteed finance available to international investors.                                                                                                                                                                                        
The rents can be paid by the US Government direct to the owner  not the tenant, using the government backed Section 8 scheme. The properties are located in carefully selected communities where there is high rental demand and the existing properties are of a very high standard.

After a number of visits to Experience International office I bought a house in Detroit.  And guess what?  A newly refurbished property with a one year rental guarantee, backed by the US  government, turned out to be a one big lie.  

There are five tenants living in my property, indeed.  But they dont pay any rent and they reported
the house as a fire hazard and health and safety hazard.  And you will find it hard to evict the tenants if you property in Detroit is unlivable.

Every step of the way, from sales to closing, Experience International conned and conned me.  They charged initiation fee of 1,500 without giving me Detroit property address or any contact details for the Seller or the US managing company.

In 5 working days I had to pay them another $5,000 (paid in pounds) to reserve the actual property (otherwise I would be losing the first bit of payment).  Head of USA property division Casey Harwood persuaded me that all the houses on offer had been checked out by the managing company in Detroit.

One week into the deal I found out about Lead Based Paint Hazard in Detroit and I wrote to Experience International about my research results with a request for money back.  Their US managing company used by Experience International -  Waterstreet Group, is not compliant with the Lead Based Paint Act.  They did not even know what Lead Abatement was.  But the only replies that I received from Experience International were that I did not know what I was talking about, they were experts and I was not and they had sold 30 properties over the past two weeks.  They were far too busy mis-selling houses in Detroit and earning commissions to deal with the Lead Based paint issue.

They charged me $31, 800 for the house plus $875 to close the deal with the title company.  At the time of closing I came to Experience International office to sign my Buyer Statement.  They gave me a Borrower Statement instead.  They nearly pushed me to sign the statement, saying that I was borrowing money from the Seller in order to buy my house.  I noticed that the paperwork was wrong and refused to sign the Borrower Statement.

I insisted on a signed Rental Guarantee with the US managing company. Half a year into the deal I did not receive any rental payments from them - since 1 June.  According to my Rental Guarantee, Waterstreet Group were to pay me the agreed amount of $875 per month no matter whether the property was rented out or not.  I have a clause in my Purchase Agreement, confirming the same.

The house has been rented since day one of my ownership.  There have been five tenants in it since March.  But I have never received any rental income.  Moreover, Waterstreet Group spreadsheet had my house as a vacant property.

The rental figure of $875per month is non-existent for a property likemine in Detroit, it is too high.  Tenants are responsible for $750 a month.  Having bought it as a HUD property, I expected HUD section 8 to pay the remainder.

HUD was mentioned in every other e-mail exchanged between myself and Experience International.  All the way through summer I kept asking them about my missing rental payments.  But not even once did they tell me that my property had nothing to do with HUD section 8. They carried on promising that I would get paid.  They never mentioned to me any problems with my property either.   They made it out that the rent would be collected soon.

In October I found out the real extent of maintenance issues with my house, including flooded basement, old and damaged bathroom and toilet areas, mold,  missing tiles and bricks in the walls, damaged doors and windows - to mention just a few.

There is a serious problem with piping in the basement. The seller, Okan Akin, tried to mend the problem shortly after the Purchase Agreement was signed, but according to the tenants, it only made the leaks worse.    The house is not equipped with fire alarms.  Some electricity sockets are damaged or missing....

The seller obviously misled the tenants, promising them to do the full house maintenance once they moved in.  They moved in March, a month before I became the owner.  But the seller never replaced the bathroom or mended the toilet, never took care of the fire alarms or electricity sockets.  Flooding obviously created a major issue with this house, leading to dampness and mold.

I kept approaching Experience International directly about the issues above, but they were keeping silent.  I e-mailed them images of the damaged areas in the house that they sold to me as newly refurbished with no need for further investment.  There was no reply.

Once the house was sold to me it proved impossible to make an appointment by telephone to visit their office.  The owner of Experience International Steven Worboys kept sending me back to Casey Harwood, who sold me the house.   

I reported the case to the Office of Fair Trading.  From the point of view of Trading Standards, selling this property as newly refurbished with a guaranteed rental income involved misrepresentation of goods and services and a breach of Consumer Act.

I complained to AIPP (Association of International Property Professionals), that Experience International are a member of and to the Advertising Standards Authority, that deals with misleading advertising across all media.

I asked Casey Harwood about selling this house back.  A definitive exit strategy was advertised as part of Experience International sales offer.  Reply from Casey Harwood was:  you need to evict the tenants, repair the house, sue the seller, sue the managing company, put new tenants in it.  And then he will sell the house back as pre-tenanted and refurbished to their client database. 

 Didnt I pay for it already?

 Experience International seem to have a rather peculiar idea of a hands free investment.  And what happened to their promise of no need for further funding? They ripped me off already and they are still looking to take me for a further ride with all the above.

The case will be reported to all the numerous media outlets whos logos Experience International is using in their Google Ads and in brochures to add credibility to their storytelling international.

 Figures:
 House price:   $31,800
Deal closing:   $875
Summer Tax:  $2, 250
Total paid out by now:  $34,850
Rental yields:  $0.00. 

I am being used as a charity to accommodate 5 tenants for free.
Forthcoming maintenance fees:  if done properly can be anything up to $10,000.

Non-US residents also need to obtain their ITIN for tax-withholding purposes, which proved to be another nightmare.  Be prepared to pay for your passport Apostille, correspondence with the IRS (US Internal Revenue Service) and count your losses.   
 
Quite a costly experience, I must admit.   Experience, that you dont want to have.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/08/2012 06:03 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Experience-International/London-Select-StateProvince-WC2N-5BW/Experience-International-Experience-BG-trading-as-Experience-International-Experience-Inte-966612. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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