Like thousands of other people, I attended a Learning Annex Wealth Expo in San Francisco on March 25 and 26, 2006.
The big draws were: The Donald (Trump), Robert Kiyosaki (Rich-dad; Poor-dad), Tony Robbins, and hundreds of real estate experts.
I have to say that for a small ($175)donation to the local PBS station (KQED in SF), one can attend as many "seminars" as you wanted, except restrictions for number of people in each room. There were tens of thousands of people at the Mosconi Center and some speakers were more popular than they expected -- so they could not allow everyone in.
These seminars were in two parts: some general information about the expert's wealth-building technique was presented, then the presenter did an informercial-style sales job for the remainder of the period.
My problem is not with that; I expected them to be there to sell their follow-on seminars. And in fact, I was sold on James Smith "Greatest Real Estate Training" "Personal Training" seminar & follow-up for $5,995.00.
This seemed high, but potentially worthwhile if they could deliver on the promised/indicated service.
I was provided with course materials after the sign-up and the following day, after I looked over the materials (I felt this was the same stuff you could get from a $25 book), and my wife and son found some disturbing reports on your RIP-OFF site, I decided to cancel.
The Learning Annex did provide very specific cancellation instructions on the course sign up sheet; WE FOLLOWED THESE EXACTLY! within the time frame. We sent the notice of cancellation to their New York address by First Class mail on March 27 (the first day of the three-day cooling off period).
All seemed correct until we received a confirmation for class enrollment from Event Scheduler of the NRI seminar on Thursday March 30,2006 requesting us to pick one of four seminar dates.
I responded back to them by email that we had cancelled.(btw, that was the FIRST time an email address or phone number was available from NRI)
I decided at that time that we should call Learning Annex and find out what was going on. We obtained the 800 number (800 872-6639) but could only get through on the local 212 371-0280 at first.
The refund department consists of ONE undertrained person. (Take into consideration that at the Expo, they had HUNDREDS of people available to take your money and one would conclude that there would be several, maybe hundreds of peoplem who would decide to cancel the next day.
THAT WAS ALL BACKGROUND (for those of you who may have rip-off reports pending on these prior facts); THIS IS WHERE OUR PROBLEM BEGINS!!
First, they could not find us in their database, even though our credit card company verified that the $5995 had actually been charged.
Second, after several calls and attempted brush-offs by the refund person, she finally found that the registration was in SOMEONE ELSE'S name (no one we have ever heard of!) and that a refund for our cancellation was made to SOMEONE ELSE'S card! She thinks; she has to talk to the accounting department when they get back from yet another EXPO, hopefully NEXT WEEK!
At this point it remains to be discovered if this scrambling was intentional or due to incompetence. Our registration, sign-up forms, cancellation notice, credit card charge forms are all in order. None the less, I have never had such a complete screw-up of this magnitude from any other reputable company, and thought that your readers should know about it.
I hope I am wrong, and this is simply a case of accident. Still my credit card was charged and I will have to pay interest on it. Assuming that the money will be returned to my account.
One additional problem, according to CA state law, and clearly written on the Learning Annex "Notice of Cancellation" form:
I may cancel within three business days (done - sent March 27); They (Learning Annex) have to refund the money within TEN BUSINESS DAYS of receipt of my cancellation notice (April 13); I have to make the materials available to them AT MY HOME for them to pick up or IF I WISH, I may return the materials at their expense; and I can toss the junk if they have not collected it within 20 days of the date of my cancellation (March 27 - April 17).
Even though this is the CA law, I was told that I would get my refund AFTER THEY GET THE MATERIAL BACK -- not only is this contrary to public policy but, at the rate we are going, this could be months!