You may have read the other posts but you need to have this info too...Interestingly enough I fell onto this while looking up SBA 7(a) and Express loans and found this company that "Guarantees" that you will get funded. I filled out a report form to get my $3.95 CD (shipping only of course) and the other "member websites" registration. I also filled out a form telling them how much funding I needed.
The next day I received a call from someone (I kept the voicemail on my cell phone to be sure). What I got was a message from an individual that only had a first name and an 800 number... I called it and got the message " You have reached our corporate offices, if you know the extension, enter it now". I didn't get it obviously as any reputable company would have an ACTUAL STINKING BUSINESS NAME IN THE MESSAGE... but I punched in the nebululous extension of "100" and reached this first named individual. He told me about SBA funding, disclosed that he was not connected in any way with the actual SBA program and proceeded to pitch me on a "college like training and mentoring course" to get my business plan funded.
I accepted the information as it was plausible and he asked about the business I was starting and what not for "prequalification purposes". He then said that he would his boss" Mr Albright" would call me back to talk further. Appears to be a few Mr Albrights involved in St. George fraud watch stuff but I digress... I wonder why mr first name only has a boss that is a Mr. last name only? Interesting but I still proceeded further.
I did a credit card charge for a SIZEABLE amount as "my part" in making sure I was commited. I even signed a contract for over 5 grand that the credit card purchase was part of. Still not a huge red flag until the card would not process when their was space there and my card. The provider caught it because the charges go to a Shanklin International, which is conveniently located in THE NETHERLANDS OF COURSE... so as to give these guys "the best price for merchant services". Still plausible because I didn't look up the f*ing company online and I know about offshore merchant services. Factoring comes to mind but I won't got there.
Seems that Shanklin is a "mentoring and online presence company" conveniently located over seas to help US businesses with their "mentoring and web needs".
I am currently in the middle of a 12 session mentoring program with yet another St George, UT company. I have no complaints as of yet but all of a sudden there is no "guarantee" that I will be able to get my funding... that was removed in a disclosure agreement in my contract. I can understand that and I'd have paid 5 grand for a good traning course on biz plan and grant writing through a college anyway so that is not the problem. I also was told by Mr. first name only that I would have some prescreening of lendors done on my behalf and I was told that was not the case by my "coach". Weird..ya think?
Here's the things to look at:
1. There is a dozen interlinking sites with multiple names and structures all leading to the same CD offer. I got the CD in question not through the purchase of it for shipping only but as part of my $5000 "package". The CD has NOTHING of value on it. It has a lot of "this is what we will do for you" statements and a few "this is what you need" without any kind of idea as to what it is actually refering to. You get links to use the "member sites" again but you still have to pay the membership fees of which there is nothing on the sites either...just a live chat box that I am sure refers you to their paid "mentoring" program. One of their pages even claims to have been featured on CNBC... they were not actually featured... the company they use as a role model for funding was featured. A tad bit desceptive ya think?
2. Like the websites, there is literally dozens of company names attached to these yahoo's, all under different corporate setups, all located in St George, UT. Seems fishy that 2 dozen "mentoring, business funding, grant research/writing, internet website touting companies all chose St George to lay down bricks.
I have called and gotten through to the "customer service support" people to request cancellation of my membership to their services "as it was stated in an email and on the post data page after ordering the CD. I also received a cancellation number. We'll see if I get charged again for this service. If I do I'll for sure add an update to this page.
I have to reitterate how stupid I truly was to fall into this. I am not completely dissatisfied as of yet. We will see how the services go. No one wants to admit who they are connected with, I am just told that there are a "bunch" of companies that they do business with. The merchant services is done through a foreign country making it nearly impossible to reverse charges if I needed to. I am locked into a large financial contract even if I can't get funded when their website "guarantees" that it will happen. No contacts for real solutions, no traces of whom I initially spoke with. Seems real suspicious and they are not a company that wants to be held accountable either. Look up all the names in the title and you will come up with all sorts of interesting news and paper trails. If you are afraid to admit who you truly are YOU ARE A SCAMMER. Information is free. Research is not. They provide "canned" articles. Could have paid $3000 for biz plan software and bypassed this whole stupid mess.
Concerned and under contract