My wife & I were contacted in November by Summit Consulting because of an Auctions for Income (Dave Espino) system I purchased from an infomercial a few weeks earlier. They were selling their services which would guarantee income using Auctions For Income. They told me that they were working with Dave Espino and Auctions for Income to help those with this system become successful (Never disclosing their real identity - Summit Consulting).
They promised an experienced coach as well as advertising to help attain our financial goals. I was told by a representative, Francois, that I would pay $6495.00 and there would be no further costs. I specifically asked a couple of times if he was certain that there would be no further costs involved. He repeatedly assured me there were no additional costs. Francois promised us that he would be our advocate & help us along the way. As a matter of fact, he gave us his number as well as his extension & asked us to call him anytime we needed anything or had any questions.
They put us on the phone with Discover Card & did a phone balance transfer for the amount stated above. Next, we were told that the company would contact us in the next few days to set up a session with a coach. Our session with the coach was about a week after we signed up with this company. (We later found out that the company's formal policy states that you have a three day right of rescission, yet they set our date with our coach for one week later, which prevented us from making an informed decision about the company.
How were we supposed to know about all the hidden costs associated with this system/company in the first three days? We didn't receive any of this information until our first session with our coach!!!!)
After the initial session with the coach, I found their claims to be inaccurate. First, I asked the coach about his experience in this field of internet sales and he would not give a straight answer. The best he would say was, "I have fooled around with it." He did everything he could to focus me on the task at hand and avoid this question. I was originally told that I would be dealing with an experienced coach.
Later in the coaching session, I was told that if I wanted to do drop shipping (which is one of the main forms of business they promote), I would need to pay a $60 to $70 fee to acquire a list of companies that drop ship. We were also told that we would need to pay an additional monthly fee for a website, pay charges to a company called The Tax Club and pay additional charges for a website (monthly hosting fee) based on the number of products we sold on our site. Also, we were told by our coach that we would need to attend tele-classes to supplement our coaching all to a long distance number!
We were baffled at all of the additional costs after only the first session when our promise from Francois had been that there would be no further costs. Because of the lies we had been told, we contacted the company to stop the sessions, with a plan of discontinuing this service and receiving a refund.
A couple of weeks later I contacted the company to seek a full refund. I called Francois to see what I needed to do about this. I called on numerous occasions for a couple of weeks. I was told he was: busy, out of the office, on a call, not available, etc. Despite leaving numerous voice messages, my phone call was never returned. I eventually called at the right time. After explaining my dissatisfaction, he told me that he could not do anything about this and I needed to talk with Eric Largent. He gave me a number to contact Eric Largent.
I called and left a message. He returned my call a few days later (approximately December 28, 2004) and I was not there to take the call so he left a message to call him back. I called the next couple of weeks and got no response. Finally, I stopped everything I was doing and forced the issue with him (January 13, 2005). I refused to get off of the phone with the operator until I spoke with him directly. They found a way to get me on the phone with Eric at that time. After describing my dissatisfaction with the service, he told me that he is not the one I need to talk to. He told me I need to speak with another individual named Jim Cochran (who I later found is not even a superior to Eric at all, but is in the exact same position as Eric).
He then tells me that he will have Jim call me in the next couple of days. I wait for Jim, but again no call. So I start calling Eric day after day and leaving messages. I got him once or twice and each time he told me that Jim would call later that day. After never hearing from Jim, I decided to force the issue and refuse to get off of the phone with the operator until I spoke with Eric and then refuse to get off with Eric until he got me in touch with Jim Cochran(January 27, 2005).
During the course of our conversation, he said something that made me realize that I could reach Jim Cochran on the same number I was using for Eric. At this point I called the operator and asked to speak with Jim Cochran to eliminate the middle man and go directly to Jim, the man who "can actually do something." After weeks of trying to get in touch with this guy who is "in charge" I started leaving messages for him. I called Jim the evening I found out I could reach him on the same number as Eric.
The next business day when I had not heard from him, I called again. This time the operator promised he would call. He did call soon after my second call (January 28, 2005). He spent the entire conversation (about 30 minutes) berating me and seeking to intimidate me into submitting to him and not seeking restitution. He told me that I was lazy and did not want to work. I explained that I am not lazy and I am not opposed to hard work. I told him that because of his company's deceit I had to turn my energies in on a new position I had just taken and give it my full attention. He told me it was ridiculous that I had waited three months to bring this to their attention.
Of course it had not been three months, it had only been about two and a half since I first got involved with this company and had finally gotten to speak with him. I explained that I had been trying to get in touch with someone who could "do something" for a month and a half. He told me that I had a three day right of rescission on the service (which I later found from research on this particular company they would not have honored anyway).
During the entire conversation I maintained my original complaints and my desire to get a refund. Jim was irritated that I was not intimidated by his style and that I refused to be hustled back into the program. I am certain that he has bullied many people into submitting to him. During the conversation, he continued to show his lack of maturity by name calling and using profanity. He responded to my final attempts at being assertive & unwilling to give in by mimicking the Capital One commercial with David Spade. He began saying, "No, Ee-I-Ee-I-No; Marco, Po-No in reference to my request for a full refund. At this point it had been about 30 minutes of conversation and all I could say at this point was, "We'll see about that," and hung up.
After hanging up with Jim I was angry enough that I decided to do the research I should have done before buying anything from them to start with. I found out that others have been scammed and lied to by this organization. Through an internet search engine, I found a ripoff report.com with several individuals with almost identical stories to mine (including the intimidating phone conversation with Jim.) Because of this search and the kindness of other individuals who had been in my same position, I was able to find the real name of this company which is "Summit Consulting."
I found out that this company attempts to hide their identification under the name The Summit Group (Why would any legitimate company need to do this?). The receptionist answers the phone Corporate Offices. When asked who Jim Cochran and Eric Largent work for she told me The Summit Group. If you go on the Utah BBB, you will find that no such company exists. When you look under their real name - Summit Consulting you find a listing under the BBB and they have horrible ratings (which is difficult to get with the BBB).
Evidently, I am not the first person who was dissatisfied with their services and I am not the only person they have treated with disrespect when attempting to receive a refund. The problem is that they hide behind fictitious names and use intimidation tactics to keep you from pursuing the refund you deserve.
U.S.A. STOP! ..before you think about using the Better Business Bureau (BBB)... CLICK HERE to see how other consumers were victimized by the BBB's false or misleading information. Don't be fooled! It has been reported, when there are thousands of complaints and other investigations underway by authorities, the BBB has no choice but to finally give an UNsatisfactory rating to a BBB member business that is paying the BBB big membership fees every year. When a business is reported that is NOT a BBB member, BBB files WILL more likely show an UNsatisfactory rating, then reportedly shake down that company to become a member of the BBB. One positive thing about the BBB is, either way, if a business has an unsatisfactory rating with the BBB, you can be sure, the business is bad. But what about all those BBB member businesses that had complaints filed against them? Consumers never get to hear about them. What about the BBB advertising to the public? Is this a false and misleading perception they are giving about consumer confidence when dealing with a business? Click here to understand more of what consumers and business alike are saying about the BBB. You decide. ..Remember. The BBB membership is not earned, it's paid for! Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Summit Group Publications Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Work at Home Scams click here to read other Rip-off Reports on Home Based Businesses