Like many other's I went to the free seminar then paid the $500 for the 3 day class. The 3 day training is another seminar to sell you more training. Then you sign up for the training and pay over $9K for it thinking you can cancel.
Guess what people even if you cancel with in the 3 days, unless you track it and see that they received it with in those 3 days they won't send you refund. It's been a year of going back and forth providing proof of fax confirmation and copy of the envelop stamped with a postage meter with a date to show the mailing date and no refund. They don't care about customers being satisfied but their own pockets.
We attended Russ Whitney's free seminar and were initially impressed with the information.
Feeling safe with their 100% satisfaction money-back guarantee, we decided to purchase a 3-day seminar for $1,790. They "wooed" us with the claim that after the 3-day seminar was over, we "would be up and running and on our way to our 1st real estate purchase within 30 days." This was lie #1 and the biggest misrepresentation ever. The 3-day seminar was a hook; Once we were there, they spent the better half of the 2nd day trying to sell us more classes.
They claimed that the 3-day training was only "an introduction," and that in order to get a "PhD" in the subject, you needed to buy their "Platinum Package and Advanced Training Classes." In essence, they contradicted themselves by first telling us that we would be up and running in 30 days, after just the 3 day training, and then told us that we didn't really have all the information we needed because this was an introduction to real estate investing only. Thus, there was no way we could actually attain the 30-day claim unless we bought more classes. They scare you about how if you don't do it right, you can lose thousands, and so you need their "expert coaches to show you exactly how to do it."
Well, we were convinced this was an introduction and that we needed more training if we were going to do the business. Some family members of ours own rental properties and we knew this concept could work. This fact coupled with the high-pressure, highly-emotional and deceptive sales tactics of the Whitney representatives led us to purchase more. We had their coaching department contact us several times claiming that we need them in order to succeed and to take in for another pocket beating. This amount was broken up into many smaller charges on several of our credit cards.
They "taught" us on the 1st day of the seminar a "tactic" on how to use "OPM" (Other People's Money) to purchase property by increasing the credit limits on all our credit cards. They gave us an "assignment" on the 1st day to go home and call all our credit card companies and increase our credit limits. "Only the winners and truly serious people who will succeed in this business will complete this assignment," they touted. In retrospect, this was a scandalous practice that opened the door to raping us financially and charging their "Platinum Package" on our credit cards.
We were initially aware that we'd be taking just 2 classes in Florida with our modest Classic Package purchase of $7,490 that they explained at the 3-day training. But they went on to sell us a "personal coaching package" over the phone shortly thereafter for $15, 700. We were told all of the training would be over the phone and through emails over the next year. This was lie #2. They failed to mention they were upgrading us to a Platinum package, and that only ten -hour "phone sessions" were included, not one year of training and phone coaching as we were led to believe. The rest of the charges reflected more out-of-state classes. There is no way we would have agreed to more classes since we are busy and can't afford the time off work and cross-country travel!
Lie #3 was about their "unparalleled customer service" and "100% satisfaction money-back guarantee." We were promised our personal coach would call us within 3 days of the actual sale. The call didn't come until 23 days later when we were "supposed to have made our first sale and recouped our investment," as they touted. But instead nearly 1 month's worth of finance charges had racked up on our credit cards. I called the credit card companies and began filing billing disputes. I made over 20 calls to their company over the next 2 months demanding a refund, and was told to leave a message on the original representative's voice mail, or was told that "the matter had to be run by a supervisor and they would call me back."
They never called back. They kept pawning us off to "other supervisors" who never returned our calls. I mailed two certified letters, three faxes, and one email to the central headquarters in Florida and one to Mr. Russ Whitney himself. I detailed the exact dates of my phone calls and interactions with the company, and explained that no services had been rendered and we were appalled at the horrendous lack of customer service. Two and a half months after our cards had been charged, we finally received a letter stating they would only give a partial credit. What they failed to recognize is that we are NOT "100% satisfied" with their service, and they should refund our money on that basis alone if they are going to back up their 100% money-back guarantee. Furthermore, we never took the classes in Florida, no services have been rendered, and we want nothing to do with the company. So while we were offered a partial refund, we are still stuck with $9,000+ on our credit cards for classes we have not taken, not to mention the loss of our valuable time and efforts spent dealing with them. I have spent at least 30 hours in writing letters and making phone calls. That amounts to $3,000 of my time lost to this company.
If you don't want to believe our story or think that we are simply one unhappy customer out of thousands, then go to the internet for yourself. Just type Russ Whitney in your search engine, and you will find innumerable websites with wrenching stories of more rip offs. Furthermore, they have an UNSATISFACTORY rating with the Better Business Bureau for unresolved complaints. At this point in time, we are still trying to negotiate for the $9,000+. If this company has any integrity, we will be more than happy to stop picketing and reflect the company's willingness to listen and work with it's students and back up all its claims. Until that time, I have a message for all of America, Canada, and the United Kingdom to hear.
Don't spend that much money on the crap that they offer, when you can buy cheaper books that will tell you the same info for under $30.00. Robert Kiyosaki has great books, but he needs to remove his name from these educational classes with Whitney Education Group and Wealth Academy.