Note: I got my money back. However, the way these companies do business is designed to suck you in and get you to pay high fees or unnecessary fees for services that may be provided but aren't likely to make you financially successful.
My story: I went to free internet marketing seminar by Stores on Line (SOL). It was just a pitch to get you to the next full day seminar. I signed up for $20. Cheap I thought. Maybe I'll learn something. However, the whole seminar was a sales pitch to sell you 3 or 6 or more web sites for up to $6000+ and convince you how easy it is to make money selling stuff on the web (it's not easy). I declined the pitch. You can buy / set up web sites a lot cheaper elsewhere.
But near the end of the day their speaker Kory Thurston said he would sell a tax preparation service that normally was $795 for only $199. I bought that as I was about to start my taxes. This is also sold on ebay and elsewhere.
However, upon opening the CD at home it was merely a pitch to call the Tax Club. So I did. They immediately launched into a pitch to upgrade to their service for $1500 and $20/mo. for tax return prep., incorporating my business, and year round tax advice. Again, I declined. I said "just do my 2005 return which I paid for". The guy said someone would call.
The next call is another guy from a different Tax Club location who wants to give me the same pitch again. I cut him off politely and said "just get me in touch with the person who can do my return". He said call the first office. I did call numerous times, I did email numerous times, and got no response. I then cancelled the credit card payment, I emailed, faxed, and left messages on every number I had asking for a refund of my $199. Tax Club said "sorry, you're not a client", which was true since I didn't sign up with them and their outrageous fee. Stores on Line said although they collected the money it went to Tax Vantage and they would have them call me back. When I asked for a direct # for Tax Vantage, they declined to give it to me.
I finally did get a call from Tax Vantage and they did refund my $199. But WHAT a hassle. What an annoyance. This whole process took about 30 days. That is no way to do business.
Now it is up to me to find a tax preparer on my own very near the due date. Bottom Line: If you get solicitations from any of the above companies, don't bother to go. And certainly don't sign up for their programs. If you get service at all, it is only after an expensive upgrade.
San Francisco, California