ED Magedson – Founder
Robert Allen Institute255 South Orange Ave, Suite 600 Orlando, Florida U.S.A.
Robert Allen Institute ,Robert Allen Field Mentoring Program is a scam.....Don't waste your money. Orlando Florida
Below are two different letters I wrote and were sent to the Robert Allen Institute expressing my disatisfaction with the Field Mentoring Program I purchased. To date they have refused to refund my tutition. They clearly did not deliver what they promised when I signed up and I will not be satsfied with anything but a full refund. February 12, 2007 Robert Allen Institute Customer Service Department To Whom It May Concern: I writing to request my release from the Field Mentoring program and the return of the fee paid. I signed up for this program and purchased the DealMakerPro program after taking the 3 day Robert Allen seminar and listening to the pitch by the instructors in my seminar. I have several complaints about this program and how it has been handled since I registered. Combine my complaints, which I outline below, with the fact that the field mentoring program has not yet taken place and I feel there no reason that I should not be allowed to cancel this contract and receive a full credit. For the record my complaints are as follows: 1)No one ever called me to schedule me for your upcoming session in Chicago. I had to make several calls to follow up. While I finally did manage to sign up for a session that is taking place in May your Customer Service Representative was not well informed on this program and even after I was scheduled I was not sure based on her responses that she was in fact scheduling me for the correct program. In fact I made a note to myself to follow up the next week and see if in fact what she registering me for was the field mentoring. 2)When I signed up I was not promised a specific date however I was led to believe the program would take place within a couple months of the class. Had I known that it would not take place until May 07 I would never have invested my money in the program because my intention was to actively work on investing in real estate on fulltime basis immediately after I finished your initial seminar. I want to stress the timing of the program was a key to my interest in it because of my plans to work full time at investing right away. While your field mentoring program may still provide value it is not as valuable to me 6 months into working on investing and thus I would never have committed to the program. If I had taken advantage of the program in some way shape or form I could understand a reluctance to cancel this part of the contract I signed. However, since I was mislead on when the program would take place and because it has not yet occurred there is no reason RAI should not be willing to refund my money for this program. In short I have not yet taken the program and thus received no benefits from it and at the same time and for the same reason RAI has not incurred any costs in providing it to me. I would like to add that while I have some issues with the DealMakerPro program I am actively using it and am not attempting to return this program or receive credit for it. Ultimately if you are unwilling to cancel the field mentoring program and refund my tuition I would like to request that you transfer that tuition to your protage program. I was contacted about this program recently and told I was eligible. Upon researching the protage program I noticed that fee for the 1st level of it and the field mentoring sessions are the same. While I would still prefer a refund at least a transfer of these funds would allow me to get the benefits of a mentoring program immediately and thus satisfy my major complaint about the field mentoring program. Once again the immediacy of a mentoring program (it happening within a couple months) was the main selling point to me and the reason I committed to the $7000 tuition. I would appreciate a response to this request as soon as possible. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me at 773-281-6950. I look forward to a quick and satisfactory resolution to my complaint. Sincerely, May 23, 2007 Mr. Alex Grist Alanda Investments & Robert Allen Institute Dear Alex, I am writing to you to express my extreme disappointment in the recent field mentoring course that I attended in Burr Ridge Illinois. I am writing to you not only because you taught this class but because you also seem to be genuinely interested in making sure this class and all the classes offered by RAI fulfilled the students expectations. In addition, you expressed the willingness to bring any complaints and concerns to the attention of the proper staff at Robert Allen and make sure that any corrective action that is needed is taken. First I want to apologize for this letter coming over a week after the class. Unfortunately my schedule has been so full lately that I have not had the time until today to sit down and draft this letter. I did quickly express a few my complaints in the survey we filled out at the end of the 3 day seminar however that form did not allow for me to fully express all my thoughts on the program. I want to state that I have no complaint with you or your wife Wanda who taught our class. Nor do I have any complaint with the initial instructors I had (Mike and Ted) from my initial 3 day Robert Allen seminar. Each of you clearly are very successful and knowledgeable real estate investors. More importunately you each were able to communicate that knowledge and be an effective teacher. In addition, you all showed genuine concern for each students particular situation and a willingness to help out each student individually. Unfortunately good teaching alone is not what I, and I suspect many of the other students, paid for when they decided to take the field mentoring class. What I was told the class would be and what it turned out to be were very different. Had I known I would not have invested the additional money in the class. In fact given my limited capitol and the changing lending market the money I invested in this class would have allowed me to complete a couple of real estate deals that I am struggling to close. I will address my complaints in as orderly a fashion as possible and in some form a chronological order. . Ted and Mike sold this program very hard during our initial 3 day seminar. While they made no specific promises regarding a student executing a deal in this class they did make reference past successes that have come from this program. They promoted the program as a intensive hands on class that will allow us to work in a small group with an real estate investing expert who would take us through deals from start to finish. In other words, our time would be spent identifying properties, fully evaluating them in the field and then writing the offers. They stressed that this would jump start any persons investing because it would allow hands on application of the material taught in class with a real estate expert. Everyone I know in my class who signed up for the field mentoring thought that while the price was steep it would pay for itself in the deals that came out of it. I would not have invested what amounted to my remaining working capitol in this program if I did not think I would have seen a deal from it that would more than pay back the investment.. From the day I signed up for the field mentoring program I don't feel it was handled properly. I should mention here that I am a self employed real estate broker. It was my intention to spend the majority of my time on real estate investing starting right after I took the first three day seminar. I mention this because my first complaint on the field mentoring program is its timing. Again while no date for the program was promised it was sold as a program that would take place soon after we signed up. There certainly appeared to be enough applicants from the class I attended in December to warrant scheduling a class in our area sometime in January or February. Since I was planning to concentrate my time on investing full time the time frame for the class was particularly important. If I had known it was going to be in May I would not have invested my dollars in December. After I signed up I was disappointed that nobody contacted me to schedule the date for the program. In fact in the middle of January I contacted RAI. After several phone calls in which the customer service agents were not particularly well versed on this program I was finally able to get some additional information. I was told the program was in May but that exact location has not been determined. I expressed my complaint about the timing and I was offered the opportunity to take the class in another city earlier. The travel cost aside one of the clear draws to the class was the opportunity to work hands on with investment opportunities in my home market and thus I declined to take it in another city. I did in fact sign up for the May date although the exact site had not been determined. This was the last I heard of the seminar until I chose to call a week before the program to find out where it was being held. At that time I was told that I was not enrolled and the class was full. Before I could complain the customer service representative who by her own admission could hear the impending explosion in the tone of my voice was able to put me on hold and get an exception that allowed me to be enrolled in the May class. Once I arrived at the seminar I was disappointed to see the size of the class. I was expecting a much more intimate setting with 10 people to a single instructor. I was also expecting that the people attending would be the more serious investors. By this I mean that they would be a group of individuals who were able to understand the concepts from the initial seminar and just looking help at implementing them. What I found over the 3 days were many attendees who were clearly not at all understanding of even many of the basic concepts that were taught in the initial RAI seminar. There inclusion in the class (along with the class size itself) slowed the ability of the instructors to move forward in executing the material because so much time needed to be spent on reviewing and explaining basic information. From talking to others in the mentoring seminar they were also expecting a smaller and more savvy group of individuals. I was also surprised at the lack of preparation that was requested from those attending this seminar. I like most of the others I know were expecting to either know before hand what area we may be looking at properties and/or to be able to suggest some specific areas and properties to pursue. Clearly this type of communication and preparation would have made the class more valuable. There was one piece of preparation that was requested. This involved getting your credit report and filling out and financial application. We were told that we would have the opportunity to sit down with an expert to review our credit and discuss our individual financial situations. What this actually amounted to was a 10 to 15 minute meeting with mortgage broker who offered no valuable information on my particular situation. In fact, while he said he would follow up on a specific deal I was working on he never contacted me again. Clearly he saw this just an opportunity for him to sell his mortgage services and not a chance to work specifically with each student addressing their situation. My guess is the broker chose to call back only those that he felt he could make a quick deal with and was not interested in working with or perhaps capable of providing useful advice for each individual he met with. Whatever the case it was clearly the meeting was clearly not what was advertised. Of the three days the first day was completely useless. It was review and just wasted time. To waste an entire day reviewing basic concepts goes against the purpose of the training. The point was to go full steam into applying the concepts. If some review became necessary during that process then I could understand taking some time answering the questions that came up. However, the review should not take an entire classroom day and should not hold back the progress of the rest of the students in experiencing/executing practical applications of the material. Any review should be incorporated as needed into the hands on application of the strategies being executed. The second day was the only day truly worthwhile because it was spent in the field. However while we did spend the day walking properties and getting input on what to look at it still was not as focused as I felt it could be. Part of the reason for this is the class size. It was impossible for all of us to walk the properties with the instructors. This opportunity to spend the time with the instructors door to door was clearly what I and others I have spoken with were looking for. While we did get some time with them while on site and did get some chance to discuss the properties as whole group afterwards it was not as in depth as I expected. In short because of the size of the group it was not the intimate and intense learning environment that I was promised and expecting, The third day the only valuable time was the couple hours spent on how to use DealMakerPro. Still while I found the information provided helpful this could have been handled outside of this class in a web seminar. It was a review on what was available in the program and how to use it or access it. I understand that some people may have needed this type of basic review but I would rather have spent this time working on specific properties within DealMakerPro i.e. using it to identify, evaluate and write a deal on a property. The last part of the third day was supposed to be spent writing offers but it turned into a very general session. Because of the size of the class it was not focused and did not even allow us to complete a true evaluation and offer on one property. It amounted to taking one property as an example and the instructor quickly walking through the steps of what needed to be done without even coming to a consensus in the class on what needed to be done to that property and/or its approximate cost. In short we did not put togother a true evaluation (one that we would in fact use) of one property. I want to stress again that I don't feel that the problem was the instructor's ability and , their willingness to teach and help the students. I also don't doubt the sincerity of the original instructors and there genuine belief in the value of the field mentoring program and the entire package including DealMakerPro would provide a student. In short, I don't think that the instructor's intent was to take our money for programs that clearly were not worth the price. I think what was promised was not provided because the seminar for this particular weekend was not well planned out. There were too many people, there was no pre planning or communication, and as a result the instructors could not execute the program as it was sold to us or as I believe it was intended to be executed. Separately I have my problems with DealMakerPro as a program especially the information in Quickcomps and Realdeals but I recoginize that these things are works in progress. Having said that I do believe that at the very least the information on Realdeals should be more up to date and that Quickcomps should be able to pull out comps for vritualy any property in a major market and neither of these things is the case. I mention this because the programs were part of the overall investment made when I signed up for the field mentoring program. I recognize that just paying tuition does guarantee success. However as I have don't believe that the dissatisfaction with the field mentoring course was caused by a lack of ability on my part or my willingness to work, learn and execute. The dissatisfaction stems from the program on this particular weekend not allowing for the hands on learning and execution that it promised. I know from talking to others in this class that many of the students (including all of those that I have spoken with) share my feelings on this particular class. Ideally I would ask for a refund for this class. At the very least I would like to be allowed to go through a program in this area again which meets the expectations that I and so many others felt we were promised but did not receive. I know that this is a long letter and I may have rambled on a bit repeating myself at times and for that I apologize. But I wanted to be sure to fully cover all of my complaints. Admittedly I am better talker than writer and if need be would welcome the opportunity to express my feelings in person or on the phone. In the process of writing this letter to you one of the other students in the class who shares my dissatisfaction sent me the name of a contact RAI who handles these complaints so I have forwarded this letter to her as well. My goal is to become a successful real estate investor. I can see from the quality of the teachers I have come in contact with and the programs outlined by these instructors that RAI is genuinely interested in trying to assist students in attaining that success. I am hoping that RAI will recognize that for whatever reason this particular class did not meet the expectations intended and will find a way to compensate those of us who attended it. If you have any questions or would like to discuss my concerns further please don't hesitate to contact me by e-mail and/or phone. I look forward to working with you to successfully resolve my concerns/complaints about the field mentoring program. Sincerely, cc: Edna Baustista Andreas Chicago, Illinois
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/10/2007 12:57 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Robert-Allen-Institute/Orlando-Florida-32801/Robert-Allen-Institute-Robert-Allen-Field-Mentoring-Program-is-a-scamDont-waste-you-273673. 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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