• Report: #1040844

Complaint Review: Fortune Builders TRUSTED BUSINESS | Ripoff Report Verified Safe™ …businesses you can trust. FortuneBuilders is a premier real estate education company. Founded by nationally recognized real estate investors, FortuneBuilders developed systems, tools, educational platform, coaching program to accelerate new & existing real estate investor businesses. FortuneBuilders offers most advanced, comprehensive investing education.

  • Submitted: Thu, April 04, 2013
  • Updated: Mon, July 06, 2015

  • Reported By: Anonymous — New York
Fortune Builders
4655 Cass St Ste 214 (between Diamond St & Emerald san diego, California United States of America

FortuneBuilders REVIEW: FortuneBuilders committed to customer satisfaction with improvements to customer service, responsiveness, & educational product quality.
*UPDATE: FortuneBuilders pledges commitment to Ripoff Report Corporate Advocacy, Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program. A program that benefits consumers, ensuring complete satisfaction, confidence when doing business with a member business. FortuneBuilders recognized by Ripoff Report Verified™ as a safe business service.

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EDitor's UPDATE: Positive rating and recognition has been given to FortuneBuilders for its full commitment to quality customer service.

Ripoff Report's discussions with FortuneBuilders have uncovered an ongoing dedication by the company to total client satisfaction. This means that clients can expect that the company will work towards finding a mutually satisfactory resolution to any concerns. FortuneBuilders listens carefully to client concerns and sees them as an opportunity to learn from past mistakes and become more efficient as a company in the services offered and the support for those services.

The founder of the company Mr. Merrill has informed us that his personal philosophy is that his students are the heart of the business. As a successful real estate investor and one of the most trusted and well respected real estate educators and authors, Mr. [continued below]....
..... Merrill feels it is critical to listen to his clients and respond properly. By always putting his students first, Mr. Merrill hopes to maintain his company’s strong reputation as one of the top educational company’s in the country. Another top executive, Mr. Chadwick told us that he has worked at the company for the past seven years and that Mr. Merrill, the founder, is extremely committed to constantly improving the educational development and experience of their students.

He said “Mr. Merrill is always inspiring and challenging everyone within the company to continue improving the educational experience for our students. Whether it’s adding more live training events, or improving our online training curriculum, or continuing to improve the systems, tools, or software that we offer students.”

Mr. Chadwick went on to say that he really has never met someone as dedicated to their company as Mr. Merrill. He went on to say “ Mr. Merrill doesn’t sleep and that he has never met anyone with the work ethic and commitment to the company’s programs and students.” He went on to add that “he is also constantly teaching and coaching students within the program at a lot of their advanced live training events and that their students really appreciate how connected he is to the student body.”

One of the things Ripoff Report learned in the course of its review is that the company has thousands of successful investors students around the country. The common thing their students said is that they “truly feel part of a bigger family.”

Many of their company’s clients reference the fact that the company is always sharing best practices not only of the founders real estate business, but also of the numerous successful students who have also created extremely successful real estate businesses in different markets around the country.

Ripoff Report also learned, in the course of the review, that the company is extremely responsive when and if the company knows about an issue that might arise with a student. It is very clear the company is committed to their students and that even when a student falls behind they stick with the student to help them get back on track.

FortuneBuilders is Ripoff Report Verified
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 by Geoffery Chadwick during an onsite inspection held by a third party verification company with no biases toward Fortune Builders.

Fortune Builders is a real estate education company that has developed education tools and platforms in order to provide their clients with the highest quality information to further develop their real estate careers. Fortune Builder's goals are for their customers to develop real estate education for buyers and investors to buy, hold, redevelop, and or manage real property. Geoffery Chadwick went on to state the following, "there is no specific area of real estate emphasized, but each course and coaching package is aimed at what the client wants to do and their comfort level in dealing with real estate.”

The leads for Fortune Builders are developed through several different avenues including referrals, radio advertisements, television advertisements, direct mail, and online inquires. Once an initial interest has been made Mr. Chadwick explains the typical experience a client would receive with Fortune Builders, "clients are offered at attend a free two hour seminar. It is mostly a informative show of real estate techniques, then they are offered an opportunity to attend a three day training course at a cost of $197.00." The training course offers in depth details and training materials for the client's review.


During the onsite interview Mr. Chadwick was asked to describe a situation where a client was not satisfied with the level of service they received. Mr. Chadwick explained that the complaints Fortune Builder is most aware of involve the sales approach and pitch at the seminars. Some customers are unaware of the dedication necessary to effectively own real estate, and they request their $197.00 back. Mr. Chadwick explained that when this happens, "our policy, at the time, was a delayed return of their money within 7-10 days. We have since streamlined the refund policy to within 48 hours of their request and that has proven to be satisfactory to the clients. We also made the offer for clients to cancel at the end of the 1st day of the seminar instead of at the end." These complaints were at the local workshops in San Diego, and at other workshops throughout the United States and Canada.

When asked to comment on complaints posted on Ripoff Report's website Mr. Chadwick stated the following, "if the client was not satisfied with the product or service promised, perceived or not, a simple phone call to the office would have rectified the problem in the clients favor." Fortune Builders is a company dedicated to education and customer service. This can be shown through their many clients who are successfully selling, owning, and redeveloping properties.

Fortune Builders is proud to be a part of Ripoff Reports Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation and Customer Satisfaction Program. Mr. Chadwick further explains by stating, "as you may be aware, many complaints are made and posted by anonymous posters with no form of rebuttal available to our company. Being a member of the program has given us the ability to interface with the complainant and deal with the problem in a timely and professional manner."


"We are one of the top educational company’s in the country that helps real estate investors start, grow, and scale their real estate investment businesses.

FortuneBuilders's The company has an extremely positive work environment. Everyone within the company is encouraged to grow both personally, professionally, and financially. The managers within the company are also always pushing everyone to always think of ways to improve the educational experience of our students while at the same time making sure that every employee is also growing.

If you have any questions please email the company’s chief officer of customer care Roy Lindenmayer at roy@fortunebuilders.com.”

FortuneBuilders takes employee satisfaction seriously as well. Employee feedback and surveys reveal comments such as this, "Opportunities for suggestions and improvements are encouraged within the company. The founders are definitely committed to providing growth opportunities and have created a family like atmosphere within the organization.”

Ripoff Report was pleased to learn that FortuneBuilders's past and current approach to business is focused on its pledge to total commitment towards client and employee satisfaction.

Mastery Coaching

Top professionals in any industry know coaching is an invaluable resource, with some surveys indicating 70% of Fortune 500 CEOs utilize business coaching. We believe to be the best, you have to constantly surround yourself with people who have a different perspective and have already achieved what you desire. Mastery is our program that allows investors to reach their financial and personal goals by learning how to strategically invest in real estate. Mastery students receive unparalleled support through one-on-one coaching, foundational systems and course materials and exclusive access to our live training events.”


"We are passionate about real estate and business and we believe education, systems and coaching are the key components to running a successful real estate investing business. We have built our business on this foundation and our sole purpose is to share our knowledge, systems and coaches with investors at all levels from aspiring to experienced. Our education and systems are designed to accelerate the learning curve associated with investing in real estate and running a business, and reduce the risk and costs associated with the challenges all new investors and business owners encounter.

Truly wealthy people do not trade their time for money. Truly wealthy people invest in their financial education, start businesses and accumulate assets that do the work to produce income for them. This is why we have made it our mission to teach our students how to build a business that is not dependent on you trading time for money. Browse our educational programs and resources to learn more about how we can help.


FortuneBuilders 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 review, FortuneBuilders 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 review, which included discussions with Mr. Merrill the founder, Mr. Chadwick, and Mr. Roy Lindenmayer the chief officer of customer care, Ripoff Report is convinced that FortuneBuilders 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.



Fortune Builders Fortune Builders SCAM! san diego, California

Fortune Builders is a SCAM! My friend dragged me into attending one of their three day events for $197 in NYC for free, I was a little skeptical.... I am not going to reveal my identity but I know they will find me and probably shut me down, but if I can save one person by reading this post, my job is done! The presenter was a young charismatic gentlemen by the name of Jon, conducted the seminar. For someone that doesn't know jack about real state, he seem very knowledgeable with his slides and utilizing mass hypnosis techniques that he probably learn in one of those landmark based new found knowledge public speaking seminar from the midwest, however you cannot fool a New Yorker like myself! Im not rude to those I consider foolish, especially this young kid that might be old enough to be my son, I opted not to strenuously and lamentably evade him in public. Within the first three hours, not being allowed to speak or ask questions (Mass control technique) I immediately knew what I was in for. I was very disingenuous and felt insulted by the gimmicks and tricks, all I can ask myself is who is behind this big Circus? I decided to stay to learn more about their SCAM! and curious to know how the person who they claimed was FLAT broke and about to be evicted from their home was able to become successful, when they lead you to believe that they make money by helping people through lending money to students who do the deals. After drilling into our heads how everything they do is all about using OPM (other people's money) my friends get a kick on this! they had us do an "exercise" on how we would "find" funds if we had a "once in a lifetime deal" fall into our laps and we needed to get the money. They also repeatedly said how if you have a great deal the first thing you do is get it under contract then you find the money and if its a great deal the money will find you. So why are they doing an exercise on listing the ways we would get funds??? " Who owns their own home outright? Who has credit cards with high balances? raise your hand" LOL easy marks... Once you raised your hand you made it to their A list which qualifies you to Than Merrill's Money making mastery program, so we were instructed to write down the different ways we would get our hands on funds and investors, all while their hawks (FB advisers) were roaming the room looking over people's shoulders to see what they were writing. Nothing like making the audience think it's an exercise that is going to help them, when all you were doing was trying to identify who had money that you would then focus on. They also use the so called Mastery Application which is actually used for targeting the few people who might have the funds to do this! It was very insulting and I suspect most people didn't even catch on.(mass manipulation cult techniques) Their up-sell is the "Mastery," which they wanted $25K for. Good luck with the new york crowd! The reality is, Fortune Builders makes all of their money from getting people to pay them for their classes /mastery program. I applaud those new yorkers that had the guts to tell these idiots what the really thought during their Mastery interviews. I was amused to have heard one of the advisers whisper to one of his fellow co-workers," how tough the New York crowd was! they were not going to make any money during this seminar." since the mastery program is how this company makes their fortune and their employees commission paychecks. Finally, Jon broke down the different levels and kept going over the wonderful things that a person would get if they just Invested. Here is the breakdown, keep in mind that prices vary between states.(NYC prices are much cheaper!) You ready for the break down? Here you go, their Platinum level if you but it FULL is $34,997.00 dollars, but if you buy it today its only $24,997.00 dollars, the computer program, mentors, coachs, online training can be yours and guess what, you save $10,000.00 dollars. Next is the GOLD full price is $29,997.00 but buy it today for only $19,997.00 dollars, next is the Bronze full price$19,997.00 dollars, but it today for $14,997.00 dollars and then lastly is the Life Experience for full price of $14,996.00 but today only $9997.00 dollars. you get the Idea. Don't be fooled by this company, if you don't believe me do your research and utilize search engines well! You will not find anything but good press and rebuttals for bad reviews written by their very own employees. If you have knowledge of Landmark/cults etc. you will notice their cult-like lingo in some of their rebuttals and great reviews. FB even has their own sites with the Fortunebuildersscam.com visit real state forums and ask questions. A week after the event I received a call from them asking if I was still interested, they offered a reduced quote for their Mastery program, half price! NO THANKS!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/04/2013 11:40 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Fortune-Builders/san-diego-California-92109/Fortune-Builders-Fortune-Builders-SCAM-san-diego-California-1040844. 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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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 REBUTTAL Individual responds

Company response

AUTHOR: Than - CEO - ()

This is Than and I am the CEO of the company mentioned in the post above and I felt the need to personally respond to the inaccuracies and generalizations stated in this anonymous post. 

As you know anyone can write anything online whether it is accurate or not. To call me and my company a scam or a cult is disheartening and could not be further from the truth or reality.  We are a reputable and legitimate business with a team of excellent, caring, and hard working team members and employees who have been in business for a number of years. We also have an extremely successful group of remarkable and committed students who have built very successful real estate investment businesses all over the country.

If anyone reading this has a question or an issue related to my company in anyway I encourage you to contact me directly. I personally never make quick judgments, without reaching out to the source directly, as Ive learned over the years that these snap judgements more often than not end up being wrong. I, nor anyone in my company, will ever hide, or post anonymously.  

Here is my personal email and my phone number if you have any concerns or need help in anyway:

My response is lengthy because I take a lot of pride in our programs and how we help people start and grow their own businesses. I always do my best to get any issue resolved in a very timely manner. Nobody is perfect, however I will never hide from anyone who has a question or an issue with me personally or with my company. 

Unfortunately, this anonymous post has a lot of inaccurate statements about our company and coaching programs that can be cleared up very easily with better information and education on what we actually do.    

First, we NEVER offer and have NEVER offered anyone a discount on any of our coaching programs after one of our seminars is over. We do have various live educational events and coaching programs for beginners that are very different and much less involved than the different levels of Mastery. With many different educational coaching programs and levels, I can see how it can be very easy for someone to confuse what program is being discussed. Especially considering that most programs have a coaching element included.

Our programs and prices have been the same for years and we have never offered ANYONE a special deal after one of our seminars. Likewise, they do not change state by state. So for this post to state we offered Mastery at half price is simply not true, did not happen, and would never happen. Its clear that this anonymous post misunderstood the information.

What most likely happened is a beginning level of coaching or a different level of coaching is what was discussed with my office. In fact, I am happy to clarify for anyone exactly what we offer if you are confused in anyway. All you have to do is reach out to me. 

I also would like to address the part in the post about us teaching people how to raise money for their real estate deals, their business, and their education. This is an essential part of starting any business. In fact, the majority of real estate investors and business owners for that matter dont have enough capital to get started and finance their individual real estate deals. These are the very techniques weve been using in our own real estate business for years. We have financed our business operating costs, our education, and 80%+ of the properties we have bought using other peoples money.

To say we are using raising capital as a technique to find out who can afford our coaching programs isnt necessary. If anyone voluntarily decides to apply for one of our coaching programs they know they will filling out a full financial and personal profile as part of their application. This is not different than what you would do when you apply for any continued education, college, or online university that has a considerable investment. 

In fact, we tell everyone before they voluntarily pick up an application for coaching that if they choose to apply we will need to know where they stand financially in order to properly qualify them and make sure:

1.  They can financially qualify for the program

  1. They have enough reserves to run their business when they are getting started before their first few deals
  2. They have enough time to truly commit to the business
  3. Their financial goals are realistic and quantifiable
  4. And they are coachable and willing to put in the work, time, and effort necessary

We are very open about this from the beginning and everyone who chooses to apply gets to take the application home with them to review and decide if they are OK with moving forward in the application process. So the statement in this post that we are hiding something is simply not true. The commitment to apply for coaching and to start growing a business is a big decision and we want the people who do voluntarily choose to apply to make sure they are making the right decision. 

This is a high level business and financial coaching program where we are teaching people who are or will be making major investments in real estate and other asset classes over the next couple years of their life. Getting a snapshot of where someone is financially and where they want to go is essential to coaching and actually being able to help them achieve those goals.   

This is also why we go through the exact investment in detail in front of everyone, so its clearly disclosed and every participant knows exactly what financial commitments are required. 

We do not force anyone to sit down to discuss any of our various coaching programs and or consulting services. The people who want to apply will take the time to go through the interviews and those who dont see the value simply dont apply. 

In the post there are also some statements about Jon our instructor that sadden me. Frankly, Jon is on of the most remarkable people I have ever met. I am honored to call him a friend. I also know anyone reading this would be honored as well if you got to know him personally. To get where he is today Jon had to overcome an unthinkable tragedy and numerous obstacles that I hope nobody would ever have to encounter. 

I have known Jon for years and he is one of our first coaching students who started investing in real estate at a very young age. We have loaned money on some of his real estate deals over the years and I know first hand how successful he is. 

More important than his successes is his character. Jon has a huge heart and everyone who really knows him and spends time with him will attest to this. In fact, he has championed charitable initiatives within the company you can see at - www.FBgives.org

The fact that Jon has been so successful in business at such a young age makes him an inspiration to many people. We get letters and emails every week from students about the profoundly positive impact he has had in their life. 

Unfortunately, when you attack someone like Jon, it only hurts others. We get testimonials from our coaching students every week not only about their successful deals, but also how we have helped them in numerous other areas of their lives. Jon and our company have literally changed many of our students lives with what we have taught them about the business and personal development over the years. 

In fact, for anyone who would like to see just few examples of our students case studies which are shared in our programs every week you can just visit our main website. 

Can we guarantee someone is going to be successful in real estate just by making an investment in our coaching program? Absolutely not. Although we have numerous success stories we cant force someone to do the work or put in the effort necessary to be successful. 

All coaching and educational programs can do is increase your probability of success. It cant guarantee it, but learning from others who have done the business successfully we believe is the best option to model those results. 

I do also know, that anytime a student feels like they are falling behind and reaches out to us for help, we always do our absolute best to continue working with them to reach their goals. No program is going to perfect for every individual, however we are constantly working at figuring out how we can constantly improve the experience for our students. 

At our seminars we also let everyone know how hard and how much work this business takes and the many obstacles they will have to overcome as they build their business. If you are willing to work hard, stay persistent, and apply our business model and resources this business can be extremely rewarding.  

When you consider how profitable real estate investing can be when you have the right systems, the majority of people realize the value of what we offer. To give you a good comparison, an average business franchise costs between $75,000 to $150,000 and in my opinion offers much less than what we offer to our coaching students. Most franchisors offer a business model and a name however very little guidance, systems implementation, or coaching along the way. 

I do agree with post above that there are many people who cant afford what we offer. However, whenever we discuss coaching at one of our seminars, the feedback from the vast majority of people is that they appreciate learning about our programs and their options. There will also always be a small number of people who dont like any promotion regardless of how beneficial it may be to them personally or to the others who welcome an opportunity to learn more.

I personally believe in what we offer and have seen the results over and over again with our students. I also understand that we are not for everyone and that is okay.

To attack our credibility or to say we dont do invest in todays real estate market is simply false. I know that if anyone were to come spend a day with me at our real estate investment offices here in San Diego, meet our investment team, and tour our numerous real estate projects that we have on ongoing every single month they would have a different perspective. 

Once again, if anyone reading this has an issue or a question about our programs or company, I encourage you to reach out to me personally as I am not one for going back on forth on the internet. I will also do my best to resolve any situation you have. Once again I am not perfect, but I always try and learn from others and do the right thing. I realize we can learn from everyone as well and constantly strive to improve. 


Thank you for taking time to read this post.

Kind regards
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