• Report: #66585

Complaint Review: International Private Investiator's Union

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  • Submitted: Fri, September 05, 2003
  • Updated: Fri, December 14, 2012

  • Reported By:san diego California
International Private Investiator's Union
www.ipiu.org Internet U.S.A.

International Private Investiator's Union fraudulent advertising non payment of money earned deceptive practices I Think Based Out Of Ontario Canada But Have USA Contacts Internet

*Consumer Suggestion: Question for John....

*Consumer Comment: Idaho Attorney General Report

*Consumer Suggestion: Randy I am Not Jeremy Lancaster

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Maybe this will clear things up.

*Consumer Comment: Randy Question for you

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: This company lies in it's rebuttal, they are NOT in canada! They are in Bigfork, MT!

*UPDATE Employee: The comment our office posted above is based on a factual investigation

*Consumer Suggestion: AT&T, Boy Scouts of America with bbb

*UPDATE Employee: IPIU has never advertised in 14 years. With over 30,000+ members worldwide

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IPIU advertises its organization as a PI union which is not true because it is not recognized by Professional PI's. IPIU charges membership dues, NCIC fees and promises training to get into the investigation field.

After you join, you get access to only a forum where other trainees are. They offer links to mystery shopping companies and an occasional anti piracy assignment. I completed one of these assignments and 5 months later still have not been paid.

I have written to IPIU via email since they do not have a physical address listed anywhere and only have a voicemail set up to refund my membership and pay me for the job I completed. They have never responded.

They are onfile with the BBB in Ontario and have been investigated. I have reported them to the Ca attorney general and the bbb.

IPIU sells badges to pi trainees which in the state of california you are not allowed to carry as a licensed pi. People pay hundreds of dollars to get links to mystery shopping sites and no real training.

Nicole
san diego, California
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/05/2003 12:00 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/International-Private-Investiators-Union/internet/International-Private-Investiators-Union-fraudulent-advertising-non-payment-of-money-earn-66585. 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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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 9Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Suggestion

Question for John....

AUTHOR: Anonymous-Ask me no further! - (United States of America)

Sir, I am also from the Twin Cities.  I have no idea if you still track this site or not, but I was on the "inside" of this organization for some time, and Mr. Lancaster and his wife (If that is who Jean Lancaster is, as I highly suspect she could be) are now known to be frauds, thieves, perjurers, embezzlers, and engaged in the unauthorized practice of law, among other things.  I highly suspect they have some IRS violations as well, since they have an unlicensed CPA whom I suspect is doing tax accounting and filing for the clientele of IPIU.

An individual by the name of Tim Merklinger, known to be an ex-Marine, is in their employ.  Their unlicensed CPA hails from Fayetteville, NC at one time, so I bet this individual has some connection with Fort Bragg.  If so, these people are dangerous, and with military trained personnel at their beck and call, I would suspect that violence will not escape their contemplation.  In fact, I hope it does not.  I may not be able to civilly litigate against them any more, but if they try any tricks, I will defend myself, as only a Retired Soldier of the United States Army Infantry can...put them down and make sure they stay down eternally.

I highly doubt these idiots will bother coming to the Twin Cities in Minnesota to attempt to silence me.  Should they attempt otherwise, I will respond, defend, defeat, disrupt, and destroy in a military manner.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Idaho Attorney General Report

AUTHOR: Renee - (U.S.A.)

I ordered a report on from the Boise, Idaho Attorney General's Consumer Protection Unit for International Private Investigator's Union and it states that they have not received any complaints against IPIU. It also states the following:
- 0 complaints are pending a response from the business
- 0 complaints were closed
- 0 complaints were resolved
- 0 complaints were not responded to by the business
- 1 consumer forwarded supplemental information regarding the business to their file
- 1 consumer inquiry has been made regarding the business

I intend to request reports under the names IPIU and International Private Investigators Union also.

I also called the Montana Attorney General's office and neither the Idaho or Montana offices have never heard of Jeremy Lancaster.
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

Randy I am Not Jeremy Lancaster

AUTHOR: John - (U.S.A.)

That is who is the head of the I.P.I.U.My name is John and you are nothing then a pissy whiny cry baby.You got ripped off by this Jeremy Guy.I guess you were stupid enough to beleive there ads.Dumbass did you really think that there was a job that was going to pay that kind of money with no College boy your smart.So tell me why you want your money back.So you can buy the John Beck free and clear program and make you millions your a retard who got ripped off get over it
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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Maybe this will clear things up.

AUTHOR: Randy - (U.S.A.)

Well, I don't know how you have had any difficulty finding information on Mr. Lancaster or IPIU, as I found it in about 30 seconds of looking. Here is the link to the following information, John, IF that is who you really are. Please click on; http://www.bbbvan.org/company_reports/reports.cfm
Then type in IPIU in the first search box.

To save you the "endless" searching, this is a direct cut and paste from that site:

Better Business Bureau of Mainland B.C

BBB Reliability Report

Private Investigators Union
PO Box 1250 IPIU Unit
Creston, BC V0B 1G0

General Information
Principal: Richard Basile, President
Phone Number: (604) 473-8735
Membership Status: No
Type-of-Business Classification: TELEPHONE SERVICE-900 SERVICE

Nature of Business

As of JAN 20/99: On AUG 25/95 the State of Idaho Attorney General Alan G. Lance announced the settlement of deceptive trade practices claims against Sandpoint businessman, Jeremy Lancaster, doing business as CWN World News and the International Private Investigators Union (IPIU). The agreement comes after an investigation of lancaster's businesses by the Consumer Protection Unit (CPU).

"With regard to CWN World News, Lancaster is alleged to have placed employment advertisements in various newspapers nationwide seeking limousine driver trainees. Relative to ICIU, Lancaster is alleged to have placed newspaper ads nationwide promoting both employment and training opportunities to become private investigators, as members of the International Private Investigators Union.

"When consumers called the local numbers listed in the CWN World News ads, they were instructed to dial a 900 telephone number in order to apply for a position. Upon calling that number, consumers merely received a solicitation to subscribe
to 'Limousine and Chauffer Magazine'. "CPU investigators believe that Lancaster's telemarketers told people interested
in becoming private investigators that the IPIU was headquartered in Washington, D.C. and that the processing center, which purportedly conducted criminal background checks on each candidate, was located in British Columbia, Canada. In reality, the Washington, D.C. telephone number provided to consumers was a 'call forwarding' number answered by telemarketers in Sandpoint. The British Columbia address used by Lancaster led consumers to believe that the organization had an international presence. Rather, the B.C. address was merely a mail drop across the Idaho-Canadian border north of Sandpoint. State investigators were told by ex-employees that Lancaster made the short drive to the mail drop periodically to collect memberships and 'union' dues sent from all over the country.

"Attorney General Lance also alleged, in connection with the private investigators operation, that Lancaster prepared promotional literature advertising a rags-to-riches story of a man who became wealthy and successful after joining the IPIU. The story was printed on the back of a legitimate newspaper article about a successful private investigator in Sandpoint. The flyer deceptively suggested that the rags-to-riches tale was a testimonial provided by the subject of the newspaper article, when, in fact, the individual highlighted in the article had no connection with IPIU.

"Finally, Lance alleged that IPIU promotional materials and practices were designed to lead consumers to believe that IPIU has some official connection with law enforcement agencies and that it has some manner of licensing authority when, in fact, it does not.

"While not admitting to any violations of law, Lancaster agreed, according to terms of the Assurance of Voluntary Compliance filed in Bonner County, to cease the allegedly deceptive and misleading activities listed above, make refunds to consumers requesting them, and pay the State $5,000 for its investigative costs, attorney fees and civil penalties. Of that amount $4,000.00 has been waived so long as Lancaster complies with the terms of the Assurance. After the settlement of the State's claims the Attorney General was informed that Lancaster intends to cease conducting any further business in Idaho.

"Consumers are entitled to, and the market place works best when, the truth is communicated. That did not occur here, and I am pleased we were able to put a stop to the practices at issue," Lance said.

Lance also stated that consumers who believe they have been defrauded by CWN World News of the International Private Investigators Union may contact the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Unit at 1-800-432-3545, in-state
toll-free, to request a refund.

For further information, please contact Deputy Attorney General Brett T. DeLange in the Consumer Protection Unit, Statehouse, Room 119, P.O. Box 83720, Boise, Idaho 83720-0010, (208)334-2424 or, in-state toll-free, 1-800-432-3545.

Customer Experience

The Bureau has processed no customer complaints on this company in the last three years.

Additional Information

Additional Doing-Business-As Names:

International Private Investigators Union


North American Agent Registration Bureau


I P I U


C W N World News Inc


North American Agent Registration


Bureau Of Business Ethics


I S I Internal Affairs


B B E Bureau Of Business Ethics


International Private Investigators Union


North American Agent Registration Bureau


I P I U


C W N World News Inc


North American Agent Registration


Bureau Of Business Ethics


I S I Internal Affairs


B B E Bureau Of Business Ethics

Additional Phone Numbers:

900-344-7373


604-299-8767


604-290-0632


208-265-5818


208-265-0738

Additional File Information

The address given for this company is a mail drop.

BBB Membership

This company is not a member of the Better Business Bureau.

Report as of 12/04/2004
Copyright 2004 Better Business Bureau of Mainland B.C.

As a matter of policy, the Better Business Bureau does not endorse any product, service or company. BBB reports generally cover a three-year reporting period, and are provided solely to assist you in exercising your own best judgment. Information contained herein is believed reliable but not guaranteed as to accuracy. Reports are subject to change at any time.

The Better Business Bureau reports on members and non-members. Membership in the BBB is voluntary, and members must meet and maintain BBB standards.




Now, notice that the date of this report is current.

John, I believe that you are Jeremy, and you know I have the goods and the truth. No, I haven't been ripped off by this company. I do know however, that others have, and it is my responsibility to inform anyone else looking into this company.

There is NO real tangible product from this company, and almost all of the "assignments" you will be given, you can get from the paper.

John, perhaps you should read all of the posts here, before you sound off, as I have the right and responsibilty to ensure the truth is told.

By the way, the direct phone number to this business is (406) 837-1274

This is another aspect of their business, which is pretty ironic of a name, considering the background of this individual:

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Bureau of Business Ethics
470 Electric Ave Stop 2E,
Bigfork, MT 59911
Map Driving Directions (406) 837-2831
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#5 Consumer Comment

Randy Question for you

AUTHOR: John - (U.S.A.)

I am not a member of I.P.I.U nor do I plan on being one.But I checked out the website you sugessted canadiancouncilbbb.And there were nothing about them on it so if you were ripped off by them why dont you just take your losses like a man and get on with your life.Most people get ripped off and nothing gets done.So by complaing is that going to make the difference?I am not saying what happened to you is right and I have been ripped off by places to so I know what it is like.But when i checked the places you said and didn't find anything it makes it look like you just have a grudge against this company.And were'nt ripped off.So I hope you can judge places better in the future and better luck.
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#6 UPDATE EX-employee responds

This company lies in it's rebuttal, they are NOT in canada! They are in Bigfork, MT!

AUTHOR: Randy - (U.S.A.)

First, they do advertise, they post jobs listings on monster.com and other online job search sites, as well as in newspapers.

Second, they are NOT in canada! They are in Bigfork, MT! TO wit:

Law Offices of Attorney Services
Bureau of Business Ethics
CWN
470 Electric Ave
Bigfork, MT 59901
406-837-1276
To be exact.

Third, there is NO Sarah Livingston, as she is really a he, the owner of the company, Jeremy Lancaster.

Please go to this link for really good info!!
Sorry to say, this is ALL true, I worked there!!!

http://www.detectivetraining.com/investigator_training.html#ans12

Scroll down to the third paragraph!

Additionally, Jeremy Lancaster was investigated by the state of Idaho and was fined for Deceptive business practices. This can be obtained by going to

http://www.canadiancouncilbbb.ca/reports.html

then going to the second link,

http://www.bbbvan.org/company_reports/reports.cfm

and searching "International Private Investigators Union" minus the quotes.

I have included the info form their page:

THIS REPORT IS NOT TO BE USED FOR SALES OR PROMOTIONAL PURPOSES.


A BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU OF MAINLAND BRITISH COLUMBIA REPORT
Private Investigators Union
PO Box 1250 IPIU Unit
Creston, BC V0B 1G0


General Information
Principal: Richard Basile, President
Telephone #: (604) 473-8735
Business Classification(s): TELEPHONE SERVICE-900 SERVICE



Nature of Business
As of JAN 20/99: On AUG 25/95 the State of Idaho Attorney General Alan G. Lance announced the settlement of deceptive trade practices claims against Sandpoint businessman, Jeremy Lancaster, doing business as CWN World News and the International Private Investigators Union (IPIU). The agreement comes after an investigation of lancaster's businesses by the Consumer Protection Unit (CPU). "With regard to CWN World News, Lancaster is alleged to have placed employment advertisements in various newspapers nationwide seeking limousine driver trainees. Relative to ICIU, Lancaster is alleged to have placed newspaper ads nationwide promoting both employment and training opportunities to become private investigators, as members of the International Private Investigators Union. "When consumers called the local numbers listed in the CWN World News ads, they were instructed to dial a 900 telephone number in order to apply for a position. Upon calling that number, consumers merely received a
Customer Experience
The address given for this company is a mail drop.
The company's size, volume of business and number of transactions may have a bearing on the number of complaints received by the BBB.



Additional Business Names
International Private Investigators Union

North American Agent Registration Bureau
I P I U
C W N World News Inc
North American Agent Registration
Bureau Of Business Ethics
I S I Internal Affairs
B B E Bureau Of BusinessEthics
Additional Telephone Numbers
(900) 344-7373
(604) 299-8767
(604) 290-0632
(208) 265-5818
(208) 265-0738

Additional File Information


BBB Membership
This company is not a member of this Better Business Bureau.

Report as of: 11/06/2003
Copyright 2004 Better Business Bureau of Mainland B.C.

As a matter of policy, the Better Business Bureau does not endorse any product, service or company. BBB reports generally cover a three-year reporting period, and are provided solely to assist you in exercising your own best judgment. Information contained herein is believed reliable but not guaranteed as to accuracy. Reports are subject to change at any time.

The Better Business Bureau reports on members and non-members. Membership in the BBB is voluntary, and members must meet and maintainBBB standards. If a company is a member of this BBB, it is stated in this report.


I think that this will establish who and what you are dealing with!!!!
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#7 UPDATE Employee

The comment our office posted above is based on a factual investigation

AUTHOR: Sara Livingston - (Canada)

The rebuttal "guest" wrote:
"I checked with the BBB and can't find any unsatifactory listings with either company."

Answer:
The comment our office posted above is based on a factual investigation of more than one BBB office. There are currently seven (7) major BBB offices that are reporting an unsatisfatory rating for AT&T and three (3) BBB offices reporting the same for Boys of America.

The direct BBB links are available in our public site:

Copy and past the following link and Go here:
http://www.ipiu.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=13764

Sincerely,
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#8 Consumer Suggestion

AT&T, Boy Scouts of America with bbb

AUTHOR: Charity - (U.S.A.)

IPIU rep wrote
"The BBB has also given the same "unsatisfactory record" to AT&T, Boy Scouts of America, and thousands of other organizations that have only a few complaints, but serve tens of thousands in good standing."

I checked with the BBB and can't find any unsatifactory listings with either company. HMMMM......makes me wonder how many complaints IPIU has. Sorry but I am still very very skeptical of this IPIU company.
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#9 UPDATE Employee

IPIU has never advertised in 14 years. With over 30,000+ members worldwide

AUTHOR: Ann Marie - (Canada)

The author wrote:
International Private Investiator's Union fraudulent advertising.

Answer:
The International Private Investigators Union (IPIU) has never advertised in 14 years. With over 30,000+ members worldwide, it has relied on member firms and agencies to nominate their employees, private investigators, attorneys, and other professionals to apply for membership, which includes the signing of a Code of Ethics and sustaining the Mission Statement.

The author wrote:
non payment of money earned

Answer:
The author is confused. IPIU is an association, comprised of both members and member agencies who work together. If the author failed to receive payment for an assignment from an agency or law firm, then IPIU can assist in collecting the payment for the author, provided the author is or has been a member, and provided that the firm actually owes the author for services rendered.

The author wrote:
IPIU advertises its organization as a PI union which is not true because it is not recognized by Professional PI's.

Answer:
What makes an association "professional" includes a number of criteria, all of which IPIU meets. IPIU's president served on President Reagan's team, and is currently serving President Bush. State Private Investigator Association presidents are members of IPIU, as well as several law enforcement officers, and retired FBI and CIA agents who are now private investigators. This information can be confirmed by viewing the details at http://www.ipiu.org/forums/

The author wrote:
IPIU charges membership dues.

Answer:
Yes and no. We do charge union dues for Preferred or Management Members, but we do not charge any dues for Level 1 members or Level 1 Professional members (who are licensed PIs and attorneys). We do not charge NCIC fees for any licensed PI, attorney, or prospective member who already has an ID card that is monitored through the wants and warrants database of the NCIC.

The author wrote:
I completed one of these assignments and 5 months later still have not been paid.

Answer:
Again, the author is confused. IPIU is not a hiring agency. And with over 30,000+ union members, the lack of a last name precludes us from contacting the firm they allegedly worked for. There are over 12,000 registered members, including over 110 employers in the private Level 4 areas of http://www.ipiu.org/forums/. We only recommend firms who pay on time.

The author wrote:
I have written to IPIU via email since they do not have a physical address listed anywhere. They have never responded.

Answer:
All emails receive a confirmation email of receipt. If the author did not receive our email confirmation, then we never received it. If the author did receive our confirmation email, then we can have it tracked. We use secured lock boxes (instead of street delivery) for federal forms, fingerprints, and other vital records. The location of union member records is not public knowledge. We are required under all local and federal statutes to safeguard identity records. If a physical address is required by an authorized agency then we use our Legal Affairs office address.

The author wrote:
only have a voicemail set up.

Answer:
That is false. Our office line is listed with telephone information in Bellville and is also on our letters.

The author wrote:
to refund my membership . . . They have never responded.

Answer:
Although refund requests are extremely rare, they are always acknowledged with copies of emails and refund authorization letters that are mailed for the return of our materials.

Our written courtesy refund policy is also contained in our Code of Ethics here:

http://www.ipiu.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=2914

The author wrote:
They are onfile with the BBB in Ontario and have been investigated. I have reported them to the Ca attorney general and the bbb.

Answer:
IPIU maintains good relations with the California Attorney Generals Office. No complaint report, no consumer inquiry letter, or any negative communication has ever been received by their office since IPIU was founded in 1989.

There are 168 BBB offices in North America. One of our local BBB offices was shut down for embezzlement and fraud. The news article is available on the internet.

For a more detailed public BBB topic, go here:
http://ipiu.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=24

The number of BBB complaints have totaled 8 in over 14 years. Of the 8 complaints in the last 14 years, there remains 3 unresolved because the members have refused to return their IPIU union materials for their dues refund. The BBB has also given the same "unsatisfactory record" to AT&T, Boy Scouts of America, and thousands of other organizations that have only a few complaints, but serve tens of thousands in good standing. Our Testimonial Forum contains unsolicited comments from members for the public to judge for themselves.

http://www.ipiu.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=48

The author wrote:
you are not allowed to carry (a badge) as a licensed pi.

Answer:
Yes and no. It appears the author only wishes to cite the no. Our Licensing Forums cover the exemptions and the statutes for carrying a badge and are open to union members. The information is also available on the State of California website.

The author wrote:
no real training.

Answer:
IPIU offers their endorsed training manual (which was authored by two licensed private investigators), and an examination. IPIU also offers additional training in the private forums. Agencies have their forums also for training, as well as their websites.

Resolution:
If the author is a member, then they can call our office at 613-962-5358 Monday through Thursday from 10:45 AM to 6:00 PM Eastern Time. The receptionist can direct their call to anyone at Agent Relations for a Refund Authorization letter to be mailed out. The RA Letter will contain a special mailing label (depending on where their materials will be mailed from). Upon receipt of the requested materials in the RA Letter, the refund will be processed within 48 hours during business days. Or, the author may choose to email refund@ipiu.org .

Sincerely,

Sara Livingston
Legal Affairs - IPIU Unit
legal@ipiu.org
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