- Report: #203539
Report - Rebuttal - Arbitrate
Complaint Review: Manchester Whos Who, Cambridge Whos Who, Manchester Publishing
Manchester Whos Who, Cambridge Whos Who, Manchester Publishingmanchesterwhoswho.com Internet U.S.A.
Manchester Whos Who, Cambridge Whos Who, Manchester Publishing deceptive and predatory business practice, mis-representation, no customer service Internet
*Consumer Suggestion: Who's Who uses ego to rip you off.
*Consumer Comment: Thank you
*Consumer Comment: Thank you
*Consumer Comment: Thank you
*Consumer Comment: Thank you
*Consumer Suggestion: Manchester/Cambridge Who's Who
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They are eager to take your money, but do not offer any customer service in any sense. They change their company name on what appears to be a regular basis.
I was lured into to signing up for their service, but changed my mind in the next day or two and called to cancel, because I felt I was being frauded.
I eventually was able to get a refund, but only after being ignored for 4 days with no response to phone calls or email until the last day.
I was also bullied on the phone, where a rep threatened to use against me the recorded conversation I had with the application screener and appointed personal representative at my time of sign up.
When I mentioned California Consumer protection law, they ignored me. In fact they completely ignored me during the phone conversation until I mentioned I would take legal action.
There was no customer service. Instead all I was hearing was all sales are final, no refunds, with claims that custom items have been created as so called justification for no refund.
Timeline: They called and approved me on a Thursday on the phone, no written contracts. They charged me the next day on my credit card. The next two days were a Sat and Sunday. I called them on those days to cancel.
There was no time to create anything, let alone they said nothing at signup time other than a packet would be in my hands in 10-15 days, and that airline vouchers required I tell them *first* where I wanted to go, then it would be 30-45 days to get those from that point.
They were agressive in signing me up and even more agressive trying not to give me a refund. There was no service or consideration extended as a provider to me as a customer.
The original paper application said membership was free yet on the phone it was not the case. Another form of the olde bait and switch.
They changed their name 2-3 weeks after my experience with them, and are now known as Cambridge Whos Who, previously known as Manchester Whos Who. The content on the website has changed only to update the name throughout, but the web address is still ManchesterWhosWho.com
The web domain registration has a contact address different from Manchester Publishing, the parent company per information on the website previously, and appears to just be a home address. You can see it for yourself, look it up via Whois lookup.
There is no mailing address or specific e-mail to a person on the website. Their phone system is circular in nature in terms of trying to contact people. Again they took 4 days to return my repeated phone calls and e-mails to cancel my application process. My so-called personal assigned representative never returned my calls.
To the best of my knowledge, as mentioned above, from information previusly posted on their website, they are part of Manchester Publishing out of Garden City New York which per Internet search engine lookup has revealed two postal addresses, albeit I have not confirmed them.
In summary the rotten core of the apple here is the deceptive and predatory business practice as the company skirts the line on legality, pulls you in with a slick sales presentation and website, but in reality is selling you on a Book and CD of listings of anyone they can add to their database, regardless of their true significance as a networking contact or professional level. The product/service they present is mis-represented in substance to the consumer/customer.
If you notice when looking at their public website, it is a mix of information unrelated to members with disclaimers to such, then a significant profile of an exec (at the time I was lured in it was a female Playboy Exec), then profiles of a handful of members with minimal information, with links to two charitable organizations, etc.
They appeal to your ego in a multi-stage process of solicitation, first with a mailed application on which they claim membership is free, then a phone call screening 'interview' process where they make you decide on the spot after phone "approval" to join or not, and that it costs money, that it is not free. They also lure you with airline vouchers on the phone as an offset to the cost of membership, of which there are tiers.
The net effect is all this makes you think of it as a valuable organization at first, then hopefully your internal sense of self preservation kicks in and screams in your mind, you are being ripped off!
Value is relative, and legally I am guessing this is how this company has remained in business and not in a District Attorney's office, but this may soon change.
More people like myself need to step forward regardless of embarassment or other concern for being initially taken, to put these folks in their place, so others will not be taken advantage of moving forward.
The term con artist was coined in that it is an art to deceive others. I think it applies here.
Santa Clara, California
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/29/2006 03:03 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Manchester-Whos-Who-Cambridge-Whos-Who-Manchester-Publishing/internet/Manchester-Whos-Who-Cambridge-Whos-Who-Manchester-Publishing-deceptive-and-predatory-bus-203539. 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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