• Report: #314282

Complaint Review: NSBA National Small Business Alliance

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  • Submitted: Mon, March 03, 2008
  • Updated: Fri, December 05, 2008

  • Reported By:Hilton Head Island South Carolina
NSBA National Small Business Alliance
1201 Pennsylvania Avenue, Ste 300 Washington, District of Columbia U.S.A.

NSBA National Small Business Alliance Six months later, still no refund! Washington District of Columbia

*Consumer Comment: Just got a "Platinum Card" in the mail

*Consumer Comment: Very rude people. Obvious Scam.

*UPDATE Employee: sales representative point of view

*Author of original report: Only Got Partial Refund, Other Amount Deducted Was Disputed

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: REFUND SENT 3/19/2008

*Author of original report: They Took More Money from the Account

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For those of you who are looking for alternate phone numbers, see the end of this report. I am including the information I have been able to find.

I am writing on behalf of my boss, who got a phone call last July for an $8000 credit card. They asked for his bank information for verification purposes. He was told he would get an information kit in the mail and he could cancel the membership within 30 days upon receipt. About 10 days later, he got a letter in the mail showing some of the benefits he would receive (but no credit card - it was for a $5000 travel line of credit and $3000 computer line of credit) and that the "Membership Portfolio" will be sent in 2-3 weeks. Around the time the letter arrived, a charge of $149.95 was deducted from the company account - I later found out that was the enrollment fee. About 2 weeks later, a charge of $359.40 was deducted, which I later found out was the annual fee. But in the meantime, no "Membership Portfolio" was received.

I called Member Services at 800-506-6722 and was put on hold for over an hour. After my boss and I spoke to a representative, we were told that we would receive a cancellation letter and to send the portfolio back. We received a cancellation letter the beginning of September. We still hadn't received the portfolio, so I called to ask what to do. I was told to send a letter in lieu of the portfolio and once it was received, a refund would be issued within 30 days. After 45 days, I called Member Services several times and was told the refund was still processing, the refund was in the mail, was given a phone number for a supervisor whose mailbox was always full, or was just disconnected, all after being on hold for more than an hour.

After reading some of these reports, I found the phone number for the owner, Dennis Mario and called him directly on his cell and he told me to call Diane in the Escallation Department. Her phone number is 202-536-5902. She does return calls after leaving one or two voicemails. I have spoken to her once a month since December and her response is always the same - we are due a full refund but due to problems they have had with two of their bank accounts, they are behind on processing refunds and it will probably take another 30 days before it processes.

It has been six months since this has started. Dennis Mario has responded personally to several of these reports and I am hoping that by writing this report, that I can finally get this resolved. Please post a response here, call me or e-mail me and let me know when I can expect the refund. I would be more than happy to post an update as soon as we receive our refund.

Membership ID: 5915280
William Hoisington - RH Realty & Rentals

Thanks,

Kim Miller - Manager
RH Realty & Rentals
843-842-6212
info@oceanresortsc.com or rhrealty@hargray.com

For those of you who are interested in the information I have found, here it is:

The contact info for the owner:
Dennis Mario: 760-322-5572 ext 100 (office) & 760-902-8415 (cell) but I think it has recently changed to: 202-536-4032 (main) & 202-536-5924 (cell)
I called him on the first cell number a few months ago and spoke to him - he gave me Diane's number in the Escalation Department
His e-mail is: dmario@natslba.com but I haven't had any luck with getting a response

I have a fax # for Dennis: 202-403-3983
Another fax # I have found is: 760-406-6035
I was also given this fax #: 800-482-0577 but it was always busy

I was given these phone numbers for managers but their mailboxes were always full: 800-350-0577 & 760-322-5572 ext 30

I think the Escalation Department is who is in charge of refunds. I was given the phone number for Diane: 202-536-5902. She has always returned my call after leaving one or two voicemails.

Good Luck!

Kim
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
U.S.A.

CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/03/2008 01:50 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/NSBA-National-Small-Business-Alliance/Washington-District-of-Columbia-20004/NSBA-National-Small-Business-Alliance-Six-months-later-still-no-refund-Washington-Distri-314282. 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 5Consumer 1Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Just got a "Platinum Card" in the mail

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

I just received a NSBA member card in the mail. Of course, I was suspicious immediately because most new businesses get stuff like crazy in the mail. I headed for the fine print because I knew this program would cost me something. Sure enough, it says send $1 BUT DO NOT SEND CASH OR MONEY ORDER. The cash I understand because you don't send cash in the mail but the money order just got on my bad side. I knew they only wanted a check so they can debit your bank account.

I was absolutely appalled at how much these people charge you just to have access to information. My advice to people is, if it's too good to be true, it is. I wonder why this company hasn't been investigated. The best way to bring companies like this down, is to send in undercover federal agents posing as consumers. I can promise you, that would take companies like this down.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Very rude people. Obvious Scam.

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

Ok, so "John" from the NSBA has been calling my office for months now. I hang up every time thinking "John" will get the hint and go away, (yes I know he is a recorded message thanks). Well he hasn't so I went ahead and pressed 0 to get my office number removed from the database.

A very nice lady with a sweet voice comes on and asks me for my phone number so she can verify. I told her, in a polite tone, that I will give her the number but then she needed to remove it from her database. She tells me in a very rude tone, almost hollering over the phone that she already has the number and hangs up on me.

Although I am not a victim of this company financially I didn't understand why she would be that way. I have had collections companies act like that but never someone that was trying to sell me something. It peaked my interest so I did a web search. Lordy this guy is bad. D. Mario or Dennis Mario seems to be the owner. I have sent him a email explaining that it is really hard to sell people things when they are so rude but I am sure he will cower and not reply like it seems he has done so many times before.

Well, thanks to a rude operator and RipOffReports.com I have dodged a bullet. Thanks to everyone that has the b@((s to step forward and expose these people.

BTW. Dmario... If your company calls my comapny again I will report you to the BBB and my local ATTY General. Get it?
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#3 UPDATE Employee

sales representative point of view

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

I am a "customer service agent" aka telemarketer for the San Diego call center of the National Small Business Alliance. DO NOT GIVE ANY INFORMATION TO THIS COMPANY. All day long I deal with people who are pissed off about getting multiple calls a day on their personal cell phones, residential lines, and large corporations.

This company is a scam, plain and simple. Us sales reps are encouraged to lie and grossly misrepresent this absolutely miserable product. This is not a credit card. It is an interest free "credit line" that can be used at only two websites that are actually operated by the NSBA. This is not a credit card. Though we are forbidden to state that this is a credit card, representatives will still make it sound as if it is a credit card if not flat out stating that it is a visa or mastercard. I have dealt with many cases were people flat out never even received their membership portfolio, were charged twice, or who are threatening to pursue legal action against the company because of the massive amount of automated recordings they are getting on their phone lines.

The offer of a "risk free trial for just one dollar" actually costs $150. That fee is non-refundable. Within 20 days, often much sooner, another $359.95 is charged to the customer's account. The product is worthless, and the company depends on customers to just give up on trying to get a refund or just write it off as a loss and forget about it. The catch is this - we as sales representatives can say pretty much anything we want to get you to buy this product. This part of the phone conversation is not recorded. The automated verification is where we get the customer to agree to the terms that 99% of the time they don't understand. This is how the company protects itself legally.

I am one of the top salesmen at my call center, but I am actively looking for another job because I know that I have personally bankrupted several struggling small businesses. I took the job because I needed the money badly. The managers even lie to and mislead the employees, initially promising a $20 commission per sale. Actually, there is no commission. If you manage to make 20 sales a week, which nobody I know has ever done (this product is nearly impossible to sell because most people can tell right away that it is completely worthless), then you will make maybe an extra $50 a week.

I am very surprised that this company has been operating for 8 years. I guess the recorded verification where we trick the customer into agreeing to these terms is how the company has stayed open for so long. Everything I have written here is the absolute truth and I hope people will listen to me - stay away from this company entirely.
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#4 Author of original report

Only Got Partial Refund, Other Amount Deducted Was Disputed

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

Our company has two owners. They have each received phone calls from NSBA and signed up for the so-called credit card. With one of them, NSBA finally issued a partial refund, even though more than 3 people at NSBA promised a full refund, and it was received more than 6 months after it was supposed to be issued. With the other account, somehow we missed it, nothing had ever been sent, and when it renewed, we cancelled it, disputed the charge through the bank and the bank took over from there.

My suggestion is to hound these people until they give up. I made phone call after phone call to several number I found through research. That's the only way to get any money back. Good Luck!
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#5 REBUTTAL Owner of company

REFUND SENT 3/19/2008

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

Refund was sent on 3/19/2008


Dennis Mario
NATIONAL SMALL BUSINESS ALLIANCE, INC.
202-536-4032 Main
202-536-5924Cell
202-403-3983 eFax
dmario@natlsba.com
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#6 Author of original report

They Took More Money from the Account

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

After dealing with these people on a monthly basis, sometimes more since last August and getting a cancellation date of September 4, 2007, these people took more money out of the account just last week. Needless to say, I will be calling any and every phone number every hour on the hour until I get answers. I am in the process of filing a dispute through the bank, since I wasn't able to the first time because I didn't do it within 30 days. They won't be able to get any more money from this account because it has been closed.

Both cell phone numbers I have listed for the owner, Dennis Mario, are valid numbers and I will be leaving multiple messages on them until he calls me back. Both numbers I have for office numbers say the office is closed but to call back during normal business hours (8-5 PST), which I did, but still got the message.

I will leave another update when I get more info.
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