On November 8, 2007, Phillip from SMC called me at 4:58 p.m. to discuss the membership. He said SMC offered help and support, my own website and three months of business development. I was offered the option of paying for the membership, which was $39.95 for the first thirty days and for the next twelve months, and $44 every year. I would be getting a DVD featuring Tom Bosley. The other option was $399.95 up front and I'd get a kit within 4 to 8 business days. At that time, I would have to contact the Coach Dept. for an appointment. I was given an authorization number as well as Phillip's telephone number; the membership was effective as of the next day.
On November 20, Mr. Pat Marino called me at 2:20 p.m., he told me the coaching process would take 8 weeks and in that time, he would show me marketing techniques. Afterward, an advanced coaching course would take an additional 6 weeks. During that time, Mr. Marino asked me if I socialized or was a loner. He told me my goal would be to make $2,000 a month working 20-25 hours a week. Mr. Marino remarked in addition, in order to accomplish this goal, he suggested I use gift cards to get people to come to my website, as well as MySpace.com and other other chat rooms. Also, I'd be receiving a package of 44 catalogs, merchandise (18 items), a VIP coach, 1,335 gift cards, a "kickback" in any order under $100. For example, if someone wants an item costing $100, the shipping adds $10 for a total of $110, SMC charges me $40 and I make $70, at that point, I would only pay $7.50 for shipping and the "kickback" for me is $2.50. Mr. Marino stated the website would cost $5,095 with a $4,450 special credit, charging me $645 for the package. The project would take ten days to begin. When he asked me for my credit card, I gave it to him and Mr. Marino, then claimed it would not be accepted and when I asked why, he didn't give a reason. He thereby asked for my bank routing which I gave him.
On November 29, I checked my bank statement and noticed $2,695 taken from my checking account, this caused my account to be overdrawn by $1,000. I called SMC and talked to Bobby and was told of the website. I told him I wasn't told how much would be taken for the website. Bobby said it would take 24 hours to obtain the audiotape. Then, I cancelled my appointments with the website coach (Marino), the website and membership.
On November 30, I called SMC and spoke to Sarah, she said she didn't handle those matters. I called the number again and spoke to another Sarah regarding my cancellation of the website and membership. She said I had to go to cancel. emerchantclub.com and a refund would be in 2-3 weeks. I found her attitude of poor quality and asked to speak to a supervisor. I talked to Alfredo and he said there's no guarantee that I'd get a refund and the reason being is it's a 30 day process of being reviewed and a determined is made whether I was entitled to a refund and the decisions were FINAL. I sent an email cancelling my membership.
On December 4, I called SMC to inquire why the website was completed, despite my cancellation. I talked with David who told me the email was probably lost and it happens with him and told me to fill out a form and put another through. I filled out the cancel emerchant club form and sent it to them. I also wrote a cover letter in order to return the gift cards, which were returned the next day. I obtained proof the cards were delivered through delivery confirmation.
On December 10, I called SMC as to why I didn't get an email confirmation. The man couldn't tell me, but suggested I fax the form or send it by certified mail. I resent the email of November 30.
On December 11, I made a copy of the form I sent out on the fourth (of December) to cancel the website and faxed it to them. I called the membership and talked to Myrna and asked about the membership kit as to whether to send it back, she said not to send it back, but wanted me to show these catalogs around. I paid what was left of the contract of $135.08
On December 21, I called SMC and spoke to Devlin, he said he needed a copy of the tape sent to his supervisor to see if I agreed to the gift cards ($2,404.66). I told him I cancelled the membership, then I was told that I agreed to a different plan. I quoted a confirmation number given to me by Myrna. I threatened action from the attorney general's office if it wasn't remedied, Devil remarked it was my choice. He sent the tape request by email.
On December 26, I called my credit card company to put a hold on SMC's and emerchant's charges and wouldn't be responsible for them.
On December 27, I called SMC and talked to Earl regrading the audiotape, he said it would take 5 to 9 business days to obtain it. I said the company was trying to pull a fast one, because of the erroneous information and Earl apologized for the omissions.
On January 2, 2008, I called emerchant club and the operator called with a supervisor saying according to the audio tape, I wasn't entitled to a refund. He suggested I find out about the tape through my attorney. Afterward, I contacted the California Attorney General's Office.
On January 3, I called SMC regarding the $2,404.66 charge on my bill and talked to Reuben. He said I had agreed to the gift cards (on audio tape) which were not refundable and it would take a few business days to get the tape. I told him Mr. Pat Marino didn't explain it correctly, which didn't make a difference with him.
Since then, they claim I still owe the $2,404.66 and now they claim I owe an additional $162.46 on the bill and have brought it before collections and are threatening to sue if I refused to pay them.
Fulton, New York
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