• Report: #1150273

Complaint Review: Investors United School of Real Estate Investing

  • Submitted: Wed, May 28, 2014
  • Updated: Mon, August 04, 2014

  • Reported By: Ripped-Off Consumer — Baltimore Maryland
Investors United School of Real Estate Investing
6721 Harford road Baltimore, Maryland USA

Investors United School of Real Estate Investing Colleen Parrish , Charles Parrish , Ian Parrish STOLE $8988.00 from me and did not render services promised Baltimore Maryland

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Yes, It`s All a Conspiracy

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Investor's United School of Real Estate Investing Made False Guarantees, Breached Contract, Defrauded me out of $8988.00, cut me off from service -


 I signed up for a one year program to learn about real estate investing. It was an internet based program, and the videos were amateur, with a one-camera technique. It was often inaudible, and since there was no cameraperson, sometimes the teacher was not even on the screen.

I complained many times, and they failed to fix the problems. I told them I no longer wish to be part of their program and they continued to charge my bank account $749 a month. They said if I fail to make a payment they will turn me over to collections, because I signed their contract.

They misrepresented their program by showing a sample video which is professionally produced, and none of their actual videos are a professional quality. I am very unsatisfied with what I purchased and would like a full refund. I wanted them to stop charging me $749 a month. I was obliged to pay $8988, under threat of being turned over to collections, before they would even speak to me about the matter, for this awful program.

This school is run by the Parrish's a mother/father/son business. There are many reports of other students who have been unsatisfied and sued by this family. Their internet advertising is deceptive, because they "guarantee that you will succeed", and "earn while you learn".

I was defrauded by the Parrish family with false guarantees, which have since been taken down from their website after the Attorney General Investigated my case.


It seems they have found a way to use the law to take advantage of consumers. When I told them I wanted out of the program, the Parrish's told me I was no longer allowed to contact them, and I was charged, under protest, monthly payments of $749. part of the program promise is that you can call the Parrish's anytime, and they will get back within 24 hours. They have taken this privilege away, making it impossible to resolve the above issue with them.

The Following is the back and forth correspondence between me, and Investor's United with the Better Business Bureau - which is also a total joke, as they only care to protect the business who pays for the rating, not the consumer.

Initial Business Response
Complainant joined our organization as a student in April 2013, in our one-year program at $7490 with interest-free monthly payments of $749/month. Attended classes regularly and logged on to online services frequently. Regularly consulted in-person with IU President Ian Parrish.

Complainant filed this statement with BBB after 9 months of complete access to our program and resources. When complainant initially asked our organization to release her from further financial obligation, she cited 'other priorities.' When she was refused financial release, she threatened action.

It is the position of this organization that complainant has proceeded too far into our program to reasonably expect that we suspend her payments. Since we provided complainant valid services in good faith, we see no basis for a refund.

PLEASE NOTE: Complainant sent a verbatim copy of this complaint to Consumer Complaint Agency. We responded at length directly to her at that agency's request, and the text of that response is below.

Mrs. . . .,

Given the number of times I personally witnessed interactions between you, your husband and the instructors and administrators of Investors United (including myself); given the number of e-mails exchanged between you and the staff here (all of which we have on record); and given the enthusiasm you showed toward our organization, our techniques, and our members during your first nine months with us, you can imagine my surprise at reading your e-mail to the Consumer Complaint Agency.

My confusion was amplified when I realized that you had chosen CCA to represent your interests despite the fact that we are a member of the Better Business Bureau - and maintain an A+ rating with that organization. BBB would undoubtedly have been happy to act as your advocate if the allegations contained in your e-mail had any substance at all. CORRECTION: I now know that she did, indeed, file a complaint with BBB

Still, you bring up some very specific points in your complaint. Before I move on to our response to your refund demand, I'd like to address a few of them. You claim that the camera work in our online broadcasts is shoddy, and that we somehow misrepresented ourselves with our introductory video, which you say was clearly produced by a professional. Well, you're right. It was produced by Richard Gueour Director of Academics, a video professional with years of experience.

However, your implication that we use video 'bait and switch' tactics on our students doesn't really wash, because he also edits our class recordings. Do our instructors sometimes move out of frame during recording? Yes. Do we try to edit those lapses out before archiving? Yes. Do we sometimes have sound issues? Yes. That's why all our full-time students are allowed to interact directly with our instructors - both online and in person - at our weekly consulting sessions. I assumed you knew that, given the number of times you attended our classes in person and viewed our archived recordings.

In your complaint, you say that there are 'many reports on Google' from unsatisfied students who were sued by our school. That claim is patently false, and CCA can easily confirm its inaccuracy by searching for us on the web. Our case history on Maryland's Judiciary web site will show just how few students we've sent to collections in our 34 year history. As I've said in the past, the number is miniscule for a private institution of our size and longevity.

You claim that we're somehow using the law to our advantage, and on that point you're absolutely right. When upstanding companies are owed money by people who buy their products and refuse to pay for them, those companies should always have the advantage of legal recourse. Why you think that's a bad thing is beyond me, but I doubt that the consumer advocate group to which you're appealing sees it as either evil or unnecessary.

You claim that the Parrish family has cut off contact with you, and this is also true. However, for the sake of our associates at CCA, I'd like to add some context to that decision. After you refused to pay your remaining tuition and made several remarks that members of the Parrish family found both surprising and hurtful, your case was given to Mark Engle, our ********** Director. Director Engle told you that he was in control of your file and that he would continue to be your point of contact until your payment was completed. Mr.Engle's remark was, however, slightly premature. Your file is now on my desk, and both you and your husband know that I enjoy the full confidence of the Parrish Family of Companies to resolve any matter put before me as I see fit.

I won't speculate on why you're refusing to pay Investors United despite the fact that you clearly received our services; your actual reasons - and their validity - are yours alone. However, here's what I do know: I know that you and your husband praised our name for months without complaint. I know that a short time ago you sent our organization an e-mail that talked about your changing personal priorities. I know that you requested that you be released from your remaining balance. And I know that you began complaining about our organization and attacking the character of its principal members only after your request was denied.

Here's what else I know: I know you and your husband learned a lot from us in your months with Investors United. I know that your husband was allowed to attend our classes and consult with our experts free of charge, despite the fact that he wasn't a student. I know that in your meetings with Charles and Ian Parrish, in your interactions with our members, in the classes you attended and viewed, and in the contract templates and other information systems to which you were given access, you gained many thousands of dollars in training, guidance, and resources. Finally, I know you're going to use that knowledge to profit in the real world, if you haven't already.

You want your money back. My question to you is this: how do we get our knowledge back?

Your demand for a refund is refused. Should a representative of CCA choose to contact Investors United, I will be happy to give an even more thorough accounting than is contained here of the reasons for our refusal.

Good Day,

Christopher Willoughby
Director of Institutional Advancement

Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
Pending Breach of Contract Resolution -- No resolution has been offered by Investor's United School Of Real Estate Investing at this time. Colleen Parrish, CFO, continues to take payments, not deliver guaranteed services, and refuses to release me from contract.

Mr. ****,
In response to the rebuttal by Investor's United School of Real Estate Investing, specifically Colleen Parrish, CFO, Charles Parrish, CEO, Ian Parrish, President. They failed to address my complaint which specifically claims that they committed a
breach of contract with regard to me being totally unsatisfied with the progam, as outined in the original complaint.
I spoke the truth about how I was treated as well as how their program failed to meet my needs. There has been no resolution to this matter.

Investor's United School of Real Estate Investing, specifically Colleen Parrish CFO, Charles Parrish, CEO, Ian  Parrish, President, also fail to understand that since they took my money for an education they did not give me and as far as I am concerned, they did not live up to their
guarantees. I would expect to be given back my money $8,988.00 that I gave in good faith to specifically Colleen Parrish, CFO, in return for not meeting my expectations and as per the Guarantee Agreement, the provisions of which Investor's United School of Real Estate Investing, specificaly Colleen parrish CFO, Charles Parrish, CEO, Ian Parrish, President have entirely ignored. As far as I am concerned, Investor's
United School of Real Estate Investing has not lived up to their guarantee:

 "You Will Succeed, promise to Members is unequaled by any
other investing school. Founders Charles Parrish and Ian Parrish have a genuine commitment to the success of their Members, becausesuccessful Members make successful long-term partners. They have said, "You will succeed. Guaranteed." and Investors United School of Real Estate Investing is prepared to honor their word. The full complement of Investors United resources - Our Campus, our Instructors,our Resource Center, our online and personal support, and our network - remains available to Members until they earn at least the amount of their tuition. However, the Investors United program works only if you do. Since 1980, we have proven that success in the real estate investing business is the logical result of our training. In fact, the results of our five-year study demonstrate that 9 out of 10 Student Members who kept their tuition current successfully completed our program. Attend class, make offers, report your progress to Our Instructors, and you will earn at least your tuition - because we will stand by you, until you do.
all aspects of real estate investing, a formal education enhanced by learning materials, support systems, and experience in the real world. Our method encourages Student Members to begin analyzing transactions immediately; and while many Members choose to specialize in certain areas of real estate investment, our full program gives them the breadth of knowledge they need to recognize profit opportunities wherever they may present themselves."

I have been treated in the most unpleasant and distasteful manner, refused the services I am still continuing to pay for, and called bizarre because I am disatisfied with the lack of service I continue to not receive. How can it be legal to charge someone for services unrendered? I have been told repeatedly that I am not to contact the Parrish's. I have asked many times to be released from payment obligation since I am no longer receiving services, and have been refused repeatedly.

I am also concerned that this case may be tainted by the statement made by Investor's United Employee Christopher Willoughby in response to a complaint by the Delaware Department Of Justice enforcement division of Consumer Protection, in which he stated in writing to **** ****,
Intake Investigator for the Delaware Attorney General's office, "Our BBB accreditation is A+ ; in fact, the BBB investigator sent to inquire about our organization several years ago joined us as a member."

Bottom line, I want my money back, and Investor's United has not offered to correct this offense in any way.


Final Business Response
Mr. ****:

**** ****** has been unafraid to use my name and the names of my colleagues in her complaint and her rebuttal, yet your organization has asked me for restraint regarding her identity in my responses. Forgive me, but since she has now resorted to ad hominem attacks on me, I no longer feel the need for restraint.

The allegations made in Mrs. ******'s rebuttal are, quite frankly, ludicrous, and I trust you have the sense to see that clearly. Since you have the e-mail from which Mrs. ****** took her quotations of me, you are already aware of how wildly distorted and out-of-context her excerpts are. I feel a bit like the ***** ******* character in 'My Cousin Vinny' who, when falsely accused of murder, incredulously says: 'I killed someone?' After his remark, the local sheriff exclaims: 'See? He confessed!'

Mrs. ****** attacks me personally in her rebuttal, questioning my credibility. Let's set aside the fact that she was well aware of my credentials when I was teaching her our Negotiation class, and let's just list a few of them for your edification.

I have held a world rank in public speaking in the top 25, and I have debated with and against some of the leading minds of this generation. My training and expertise in debate and public speaking can be verified by (among others) the General Counsel for the Associated Jewish Charities, the Junior Senator from the State of Texas, the Senior Fellow for Constitutional Studies at New York University, the CEO of the SEED Foundation, the former Mayor of ****** *******, ** (my partner at the World Championships of Debate at Oxford University), and the Associate Director for Negotiation and Conflict Resolution for the State of Maryland. I am not listing their names here because your document says that this statement may be posted online, and I don't want my friends associated with this sad event.

I have negotiated with politicians and business leaders, I co-wrote legislative standards that are used by both private and public institutions, and I have been integrally involved in Parrish family property development projects for over three years. In fact, I left preliminary negotiations for one of the most prominent properties in Baltimore to come back to my office and answer your query.

For two years, I was the host of 'RealSmart,' the radio show on ****. My main panelists were Charles and Ian Parrish, and the focus of our show was on helping real estate buyers, sellers, and renovators overcome challenges by answering listener questions. We also interviewed prominent business and political figures, including the Comptroller of Maryland and several City and County Council Members.

Awhile back, I helped a long-time friend of mine manage his transition into ownership of a major (50+ staff) restaurant, and I'm proud to say that the staff there apparently remembers me fondly. That's the only time on my life I came close to being a bartender, though I must say that profession is looking pretty attractive right now.

If it seems like this long recitation of my coolness is like shooting a dead horse I just tossed off a cliff, it's because I find the irony of this situation almost laughable. If Mrs. ****** advances her claim, she will have successfully executed a perverted version of a negotiation strategy I and Ian Parrish taught her. However, since I think you'll agree that my credentials meet the minimum requirements for an instructor in property negotiation, we're done talking about me.

Now, let's talk about Ms. ******. Briefly.

As you may already be aware, Mrs. ******'s 'smart television' issue is a demand for an accommodation that doesn't exist. Investors United uses the Mediasite online system to broadcast classes to its students. This system is used by ***************, *********************, the Maryland House of Delegates, and many other businesses and organizations. Like most other online systems, it is not currently compatible with smart televisions. The University of Maryland University College's Webtycho system is similarly incompatible. I'd bet their 60,000 students are hopping mad about it, except they aren't, because every reasonable person who lives in the modern world knows that technologies change, and adaptation often lags behind. We provided Mrs. ****** with a means to view her classes online; we're not responsible for the fact that her couch doesn't fit in her home office.

Since addressing Mrs. ******'s quilt of innuendo patch by patch is an exercise in futility, I have included pdf copies of her contract and her signed Guarantee Agreement, the provisions of which she has entirely ignored. Below this response is an e-mail sent by Mrs. ****** to ******* ******* in December. Please read it; I think you'll understand why we consider this whole matter so bizarre and distasteful.

We here at Investors United are through adding fuel to this fire. If you re-read my original response, look at the documents I've provided, and then ask yourself what the complainant really wants, I'm sure you'll reach a reasonable conclusion. We consider this inquiry closed, and we are ready to take legal action against Mrs. ****** if she continues her reckless and unfounded attack on our institution's reputation.


*********** ** **********

Consumer Response
I did request for a release from the program in November 2013 after being totally unsatisfied and they refused to let me out of the program, then they banned me from speaking to any of the ******* family members who teach and run the program ( also in their guarantee and contract ) so it was impossible to attend or participate in any further education that I am still paying for since Nov.2013 .
So the answerer to you question is yes they have banned me from the program and do not allow me to participate in the classes.

Business Response

After replying to your phone call last week, and after receiving a letter that indicated the BBB's closing of its inquiry, I believed the matter of Ms. ****** was behind us. Now, I see we've gotten another letter from your group asking for one more response to her allegations. Though I already answered these accusations verbally, I will do so here for your record, and my company will consider our participation in your case at an end.

Ms. ****** has never had her student access revoked. It has been continuously active from the time of her enrollment through today, and it will remain active until the end of her one year participation period. She may then, according to the terms of her guarantee, apply to retain her student status for as long as she continues to fulfill the requirements outlined in that document. In addition to her class access, she can log in to our online Group Consulting Sessions and participate from home every Wednesday and Thursday. According to our records, she last logged on to our system about 50 days ago, well after the time she claims her access was denied.

Mrs. ****** has not been cut off from our instructors or administrators. Our Director of **********, our Director of Academics, our other instructors, and I are all available for her to speak with. She just doesn't want to talk to us; she wants to talk to a member of the Parrish family. The BBB doesn't need me to point out that it's not unreasonable for Colleen, Charles, and Ian Parrish to refrain from speaking directly with someone who has expressed open hostility toward them personally. I will not allow Ms. ****** to seek resolution through confrontation.

I hope this answers the last of your questions. This entire matter might not have gotten this far had Mrs. ****** simply chosen to speak directly with me. Now, we have a disgruntled student when we could have had a promising new real estate investor in Delaware. It's a shame.


*********** ** **********

Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)

This is my position on the matter of which I feel was a breach of contract with Investor's United School of Real Estate Investing, specifically
 Colleen Parrish, CFO, Charles parrish, CEO, and Ian Parrish, President.
These are not accusations or allegations, they are truth. My student access has been revoked ( I checked it again last night (3-5 -14) ,
and yes I was denied access. So, in response to Investor's United School of Real Estate Investing, my access has been revoked. I cannot
attend classes because of the hostile tone that has been set by the ******* family, and it is not unreasonable to assume
that since Colleen Parrish CFO, Charles Parrish, CEO, Ian Parrish President refrain from speaking directly to me, showing
open hostility toward me personally, how could I attend any classes or any live classroom activities?

I paid my $749.00 per month tuition payment since April 2013, and I asked for a release from the program in November 2013
after being totally unsatisfied with the progam. From that day on the ******* family has banned me from speaking to them personally.

I work very hard for my money, and I paid Colleen Parrish, CFO, my money, $8988.00 with the promise of a guarantee from
Investor's United School of Real Estate Investing, Charles Parrish, CEO, Ian Parrish, President.

"You will succeed. Guaranteed. and Investors United School of Real Estate
 Investing is prepared to honor their word. The full complement of Investors United resources - Our Campus, our Instructors,
 our Resource Center, our online and personal support, and our network - remains available to Members until they earn at least
 the amount of their tuition. "

This is thier guarantee, which they have obviously denied me, making it impossible to earn back
my tuition, as they promised me.

Investor's United School of Real Estate Investing, is not registered with the Department of
Higher Education, and according to the Department's Director of Private Career Schools, because they do not offer job or
career training, but rather offer courses on how to invest and instruction in speculating in the real estate market.
The Director advised that he was aware of the school and had received my complaint from the Consumer
Protection Division of the AG's Office. He stated he had to return the complaint to Consumer Protection to assist me
because the school is not registered.

It is unimaginable that a family owned and operated business would not personally take the time to resolove my
issues after taking $8988.00 of my money, knowing how unsatisfied I was with the program. Instead I was told that my
disatisfaction with the school did not matter and that the only other option was to turn me over to collections. That is how
the Parrish family and Investor's United School of Real Estate Investing handled my consumer issues.

It is very clear to me that whoever is responding to my complaint has no power to resolve this matter only to cloud the
issues with excuses and avoiding the only solution which is to refund my money $8988.00, plain and simple. So in the future only 
Colleen Parrish CFO, Charles Parrish, CEO, Ian Parrish, President need respond since they are the ones being investigated
by the Attorney Generals office, not their underlings.

Business Response
Per our earlier conversation. Please note the date; this e-mail was sent to every member, including Mrs. ******.

**** *****, our ********** Director, also called Mrs. ****** to inform her that she needs to reset her password, and that he would walk her through the process if she had a problem.

*********** ** **********

Business Response
From: mailer@infusionmail.com (mailto:mailer@infusionmail.com) On Behalf Of IU Member Services
Sent: Tuesday, March 04, 2014 2:21 PM
To: ***@investorsunited.com
Subject: Trouble Logging In?

We Apologize for Our Growing Pains

March 4, 2014

To: All Our Members and Staff
From: *********** ** **********, Director of Institutional Advancement

As a part of our effort to upgrade our systems, our member server will be down until tomorrow. This will allow ***** ****, our Director of Information Technologies, and ******* ***, our Director of Operations, time for much-needed repairs and upgrades to our system.

In order to make our transition to a more efficient system as seamless as possible, we will bring a basic version of our member portal back online by 2PM tomorrow. Because our system alterations are being done internally, at no time will the security of our member information be compromised

Thank you all for your patience. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to call **** *****, our ********** Director, at ************, or e-mail him at **********@InvestorsUnited.com.


***** Signature 2010.jpg

Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
By informing me that I need to reset my password is a admission of guilt, again proving that I have been cut off from all services related to the program that I paid for and never received. It is about time the BBB and Maryland's Attorney Generals office put a stop to the unfair business practices and the questionable status as a school be shut down to prevent any future hard working students from losing their money. So in the future only Colleen Parrish CFO, Charles Parrish, CEO, Ian Parrish, President need respond since they are the ones being investigated by the Attorney Generals office.
The only resolution is to refund my money $8988.00 in full, that the ******* family and Investors United School of Real Estate Investing took from me after breaching their contract and not providing the services that I paid for.
I also would expect that the BBB remove the A+ rating that Investors United School of Real Estate Investing as they do not deserve it. The rating is very misleading and leaves the door open to future students to endure what I am going threw.


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/28/2014 11:43 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Investors-United-School-of-Real-Estate-Investing/Baltimore-Maryland-21234/Investors-United-School-of-Real-Estate-Investing-Colleen-Parrish-Charles-Parrish-Ian-P-1150273. 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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#1 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Yes, It`s All a Conspiracy

AUTHOR: Christopher - ()

Wow, RipOff Report.  Wow.  You just gave legitimacy to someone who genuinely believes that Investors United has involved the Better Business Bureau, the Consumer Complaints Agency, and the State`s Attorneys of both Delaware and Maryland in a massive conspiracy to keep her from getting her nine thousand dollars back.  A few weeks ago, this woman issued what could reasonably be interpreted as a threat to harm our organization's directors.  And here you are, giving her a platform from which to hurl her invective, without any aknowledgement of the consequences of your own complicity in doing so. 

The Better Business Bureau closed this matter.  No one in the Attorney General's Office in Maryland or Delaware is investigating the Parrish family.  To the best of my knowledge, they and the school they represent are not defendants in any legal action involving the complainant or anyone else.  That`s as categorical a denial as anyone could want.  But you, RipOff, Report, don`t care about that.  All you care about is how bloody you can make the fight in the boxing ring you built.

The First Amendment, which you claim to protect, was written to uphold the free exchange of ideas in a search for the truth.  You`re all about the first part of that notion, especially when a juicy argument breaks out.  The second part, not so much.

Please remove this woman`s complaint.  Reading it in it`s entirety will make it seem too much like a manifesto, and people have had more than enough of those lately.

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