• Report: #44029

Complaint Review: New Beginnings - Great Expectations Dating

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  • Submitted: Mon, February 03, 2003
  • Updated: Wed, June 25, 2003

  • Reported By:Mesa Arizona
New Beginnings - Great Expectations Dating
410 N 44 St. STE 140, Phoenix, AZ 85008 Phoenix, Arizona U.S.A.

New Beginnings - Great Expectations Dating Service ripoff wouldn't sign letter to rescind the contract Phoenix Arizona

*Consumer Suggestion: HEADING OUT OF DODGE WITH YOUR CASH!

*Consumer Comment: Employee of New Beginnings

*Consumer Comment: I forgot two things...

*Consumer Comment: Robert E. Shores Jr. is my ex-fiancee. He is a HORRIBLE con-artist. His new lover, Melanie Grabill, happens to OWN New Beginnings Dating Service.

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New Beginnings, a Phoenix Arizona dating service, invited me via a telemarketing call to investigate their program and tell them what I thought of it, which I accepted. I called the morning of the appointment (Friday, January 31, 2003) and told Robert Shore I had decided I wasn't interested. However, he made me feel guilty saying he had come in to the office early so he could meet with me. I agreed to meet him after he had lunch.

I endured a two hour sales pitch, during which I was probed about my financial situation. I told him that I was out of work and looking for a job. I also emphasized that I was not sure I even wanted to start dating in the first place. He asked me if I would try it if he could get my payments to under $40 a month. I said I didn't know, and that I would have to go home and run the numbers. He asked if I had a credit card and if I would let him see how low he could make the payments with the interest rate of the card. I let him take my card for the purpose of determining the interest rate but informed him that I wasn't in any position to make a decision until I looked at my budget.

He took my card, SWIPED IT, AND CHARGED THE FULL $1,295.00. He returned with an application already filled out and the ticket ready for me to sign! When I protested his unauthorized use of my credit card, he gave no justification for his actions. To confuse the issue, he then offered me a job, saying that I could begin work on Monday. Knowing that I was out of work, I see in retrospect that this was a very manipulative move on his part. It also effectively skirted the issue of his swiping my card without permission. I accepted this unexpected job offer with the verbal agreement that I would start Monday, February 3.

I then indicated to him that I really needed to leave because I was late to my appointment to care for grandson. Because of his insistence in not taking no for an answer, he got me to sign both documents just so I could get away. He kept saying that I had nothing to lose since I could rescind my purchase within three days with a written letter of cancellation. He indicated that this could be done via fax. The written contract, however, states:

The client may rescind contract within three (3) business days after the customer signs the contract if within the three day period the customer either sends a signed written notice by hand delivery or certified mail to New Beginnings at . . .

(Note that the pathetic wording is that of New Beginnings. Also, the entire terms of the contract were printed in 8 point font.) Against my better judgment I signed everything, since I needed to leave and supposed that it would be easy enough to cancel. For no reason that was apparent to me at the time, he changed the day that I would start work to Thursday just as I was walking out the door. I now see this as very significant, since I had signed no employment contract and in fact had no legal guarantee of a job at all. By Thursday, it would have been to late to get a refund in the event that something came up and the position were no longer available. As I reviewed the events in Robert Shore's office later that evening, I became convinced that I had been taken in a scam. The following is a list of my communications with New Beginnings following my decision to cancel the agreement. Note that New Beginnings is open 7days/week.

February 1, 1:31 a.m.Faxed a letter of cancellation
Response: None

February 1, 9:10 a.m.Faxed letter of cancellation.
Response: Phone call from Robert Shore. Said he had received my phone call. I indicated that I had not called, rather I had faxed my cancellation letter. He then reluctantly acknowledged having received the faxes. Said, Give me until Monday to find you a job. Did not volunteer that he would return the fax with his signature.

February 2, 6:41 a.m.Faxed letter of cancellation.
Response: None

February 3, 8:30 a.m.Faxed letter of cancellation.
Response: None

February 3, 8:50 a.m.Called by phone.
Response: Answering machine gave business hours of New Beginnings.

February 3, 10:30 a.m.Visited office with cancellation letters, requesting a signature.

So Monday morning at 10:30 I was in their office, two cancellation letters in hand, for someone to sign. Here is where I was really stone-walled: the receptionist told me that nobody with authority to sign the letter was in the office. She said that Robert would be in the office within an hour. I left two copies of the cancellation letter with the receptionist and indicated that I would call in one hour to verify that they had been signed.


When I called back to see if I could come get the signed letter, ROBERT TOLD ME THAT THERE WAS NOBODY IN THE OFFICE WHO HAD AUTHORITY TO SIGN THE CANCELLATION LETTERS. He said to come in at 8:00 PM and they would have it signed for me. Somehow, I don't believe anybody would have been in the office at 8:00p.m. So I went home and called my credit card company. I was advised to not only send in a letter by certified mail with a reply card to be sent to me, but that I also take a witness with me if I decided to hand deliver again. I not only took a witness, but she brought a camcorder and filmed the letter, the New Beginnings door and sign, and when they couldn't find anyone to sign the letter she filmed the letter on the desk, showing it had been delivered on Feb 3, 2003. Upon seeing the camera, the receptionist became hostile and told us we did not have permission to film inside the office and that the premises were private property. I told her we were just filming the letters on the desk as proof that they had been delivered, since we had been advised to have some sort of proof of the same.

Incredibly, the receptionist was suddenly able to find someone in the office with authority to sign the letter. I suspect they will remove the charge as I will have the signed letter and believe I will get the certified letter receipt from the post office to send to the credit card company. (That is, if they will have anyone who can sign the certified letter available when the mail carrier delivers it.) No one seems to have authority to sign that they received the letter, only authority to swipe a credit card and authorize contracts.

My advice, skip this expensive scam business. If you have already bought into a scam, take in a witness, a camcorder, and send the certified letter, too. Put the postage on the same credit card.

Jane
Phoenix, Arizona
U.S.A.

Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Great Expectations DATING SERVICE

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/03/2003 11:08 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/New-Beginnings-Great-Expectations-Dating/Phoenix-Arizona-85008/New-Beginnings-Great-Expectations-Dating-Service-ripoff-wouldnt-sign-letter-to-rescind-44029. 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 Consumer Suggestion

HEADING OUT OF DODGE WITH YOUR CASH!

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

This company is attempting to flee without its clients knowing! All 30+ phonelines were disconnected June 12th 2003, and the mainline goes to a voice mailbox with a simple message from Melanie Grabill (Vice P.) saying "we are in the process of locating to our new office loaction". The message gives no further information as to WHERE or WHEN this transition will be completed. Their website also has gone untouched...any and ALL contact information is to the "old place".

Melanie's personal cell phone number is 602-330-6301. I suggest ANYONE who has purchased any membership with her contact the Attorney General's office to ensure that before she flees the state, you GET YOUR REFUND!!!! Her father, Gordon 'Fox' Grabill, is the actual OWNER of the company. He resides in San Antonio TX, where he also runs another business. If Melanie continues to evade any contact with customers, Gordon can be, and SHOULD BE contacted by simply looking him up in the white pages. Melanie's ex-boyfriend, and top salesman for New Beginnings, Robert Shores Jr., whom most customers know very well, has already left town and has been discovered working at Together/The Right One Dating Service in Dallas, TX!

I have already contacted every newspaper/TV news affilate in Phoenix, as well as the BBB in Phoenix to report this scam that's about to head out of town with YOUR CASH. I could not, however, report my knowledge to the Attorney General because I was never an actual customer of the company. I have not received a response from anyone, so I hope the news can be carried to New Beginning's customers via this report website!
Good Luck to all of you who unfortunately trusted these sick people with your time, personal information, and MONEY!
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#2 Consumer Comment

Employee of New Beginnings

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

I have been able to get my $1295 removed from my credit card with New Beginnings, possibly because I took a video camera to the offices. I found the credit card company is seemingly bound by the rules of the contracts you sign and you must have proof you complied with your part of the contract to get a refund.

As to the question of Robert Shore working at New Beginnings, I will testify to that fact. Indeed he called me before January 31st. He also told me he knew a lot of people in the building as he had been working there a long time and indicated if he couldn't give me a job, he would find someone in the building who would give me one. He exhibited his longevity by saying hello to several people in the halls of the building and calling them by name as he walked me out.

According to Robert Shore, the owner of New Beginnings is Melanie Grabill's father. That came up in conversation, as her father was to be in town the day after my visit and that is why I couldn't go to work for the company right away. (See previous message)

Melanie is the person who signed the contract and the one who finally signed my letter of rescind. She is the only one who could sign it. No one else had authority. At the time, I was afraid the only person who could sign the letter was Melanie's father. That was what I was originally led to believe when I asked Robert why he couldn't sign it.

And as to Mr. Robert Shore, he had the front office. He was there in the office when I took in the letter, but with another customer.

I had to scramble when I realized I was about to be taken. I had been told by the credit card company to cover all bases. We even called the Arizona Attorney General's office to see who might be able to sign the letter. We explained to the receptionist at the desk we had called the AG and we were told by the AG that anyone who worked at New Beginnings could sign they received the letter of rescind. Until we mentioned that call, there was "no one with authority to sign the letter in the offices at that time." After mentioning the AG call, Melanie came forward with a signature. My advice to anyone thinking of working with this company: Don't. I spent a good part of three days working to get out of the contract and get the charge off my card.
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#3 Consumer Comment

I forgot two things...

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

I forgot to mention two important things in my previous remarks:

1) Thank you for filing this report! I've been trying to prove for 4 months that Robert has been working at this company...as the company has been reporting he was terminated December 4 2002. Thanks to you having a complaint detailing, in chronological order, his name, the Child Support Division, which has been trying to find him for refusal to uphold his court order to pay, has proof that New Beginnings' claims that he no longer works there are FRAUDULENT!

2) Please file a report against them with the Better Business Bureau. It used to have a "bad" rating, until the former owner turned it over to Melanie Grabill last year. Suddenly, the BBB let them basically start over, since the unsatisfactory reports were filed against the previous owner. The more complaints, such as yours, filed against them now, the better chance our society will have at extinguishing such scam businesses!

Thank you SOOOOO much again!
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#4 Consumer Comment

Robert E. Shores Jr. is my ex-fiancee. He is a HORRIBLE con-artist. His new lover, Melanie Grabill, happens to OWN New Beginnings Dating Service.

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

She too is a hideous person who LOVES to play games with people who want refunds for her business' non-existant services!

Robert has spent the last 11 years floating from dating service to dating service. He is an ex-con and a drug addict...so dating services seem to be the ONLY employers who will put up with his problems, because he makes them money. He's a slick salesman, slow to address any questions that are real, quick to make people feel guilty for not buying. He also goes to work often while intoxicated.

All dating services are run this way! But these two put together (he the smooth sales rep, she the coy owner), are a DEADLY combination when it comes to innocent people...and their CREDIT CARDS!!!!
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