On May 31, 2011, the United States Federal Trade Commission issued a press release announcing that it has filed a lawsuit against Russ Dalbey and others. The lawsuit alleges, among other things, that the Dalbey Education Institute made false and misleading statements to customers of its Winning in the Cash Flow Business. As always, the FTCs press release includes a disclaimer which notes: The complaint is not a finding or ruling that the defendant has actually violated the law. In other words, like any other court matter, the mere fact that an allegation has been made does not mean that the allegation has been proven.
This news has unusual significance to the Ripoff Report for one reason Dalbey Education Institute is a member of our Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation and Customer Satisfaction Program or Corporate Advocacy Program or CAP, and they have been an active participant of that program for many years. As you may know, CAP is a program that is intended to help resolve disputes between companies and their unhappy customers. One of the key components of this program is our requirement that in order to participate, the member company must make a serious commitment to 100% customer satisfaction, including giving refunds when requested. In addition, the company must promise to take steps to investigate and correct any existing corporate cultural or operational issues that resulted in the company receiving complaints in the first place. In this way, our program is intended to help protect consumers and also to help companies find new ways to reduce complaints before they even occur. Of course, the CAP program is not a guarantee that every customer will always be completely thrilled. Rather, because we know that even the best companies can and will receive complaints from time to time, our CAP program is intended to help facilitate the resolution of complaints in a timely and fair manner.
Our agreement with each Corporate Advocacy Program participant includes written requirements for the company to make these promises and also to keep them, both to Ripoff Report and, more importantly, to the consumers who ultimately decide where to spend their hard-earned dollars. Over the past several years, the vast majority of our CAP members have lived up to their promises which is why we have been so confident in telling you, our readers, about the benefits of the program and all of the reasons why you should do business with any company that participates in the program. (Rip-off Report started in business about 13 years ago. The CAP program did not start until about 3 years later.)
Because the integrity of the program is so important to us, if it becomes clear that a CAP member is not fulfilling their obligations to consumers, we will not hesitate to terminate our relationship with them. At this time, the claims against Dalbey have NOT been proven and like anyone else, they are entitled to respond to the claims against them and although the case against them is civil, not criminal, we believe the company should be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Nevertheless, as part of our primary mission of keeping consumers informed, we wanted to bring this matter to your attention. Put simply, we do not know if the claims and allegations that have been made against Dalbey are true or not, but this situation has nevertheless placed us in a position where we feel it is appropriate to err on the side of caution. For that reason, we feel it was necessary to inform the public of these events.
Again, we do not know if the charges against Dalbey are true, and we certainly hope that they are not. In our experience, Dalbey has done a good job of responding to and addressing customer complaints which is why we have been pleased to allow them to participate in our Corporate Advocacy Program. Of course, we will keep you updated with any further news or information as it becomes available to us.
ED Magedson Founder www.ripoffreport.com
What Is The Corporate Advocacy Program?
If you have a business with lots of Ripoff Reports or other types of complaints, youre probably asking yourself three basic questions:
1. What can you do to resolve existing complaints from unhappy customers?
2. How can you identify, isolate and fix the customer service or other issues that cause most complaints?
3. What can you do to increase customer satisfaction and prevent future complaints?
Because every business is different, finding a common solution to these questions is not easy. In addition, because they are so close to the situation, many business owners have a difficult time seeing the problems that exist or even admitting that they have a problem in the first place.
Thats where Ripoff Reports Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program (or CAP) comes in. Despite the long name, our CAP program is really very simple. Using our years of experience in the consumer complaint industry, we have developed the CAP program which we believe is the #1 most effective way to help business owners regain control over the operational, organizational, and other issues which generate the majority of complaints.
Now, some people claim that the CAP program works like this join the program, pay a fee to Ripoff Report, and well remove the complaints. Nothing could be further from the truth. Removing complaints (which is NEVER part of the program) is like putting a band-aid on skin cancer. It temporarily conceals the problem, but it does nothing to fix it. Thats why the Corporate Advocacy Program does NOT involve removal of complaints.
Rip-off Report knows from many years of experience that consumers love to do business with a company or individual that can demonstrate how they fixed problems and made things right with those from the past. Consumers have more respect for a business that can show how good they took care of their customers and when they can admit, maybe there were mistakes made and demonstrate how they erred on the side of their customer. Who wouldnt want to do business with that company?
Okay, if we dont remove complaints for CAP members, what DO we do? A lot, actually. Although the program is tailored to the specific needs of each member, we generally include at least three basic steps in every plan we create for our members.
STEP 1 - ADMIT THERE'S A PROBLEM
The first and most important thing we do is to get our CAP members to understand our philosophy you cant tell an unhappy customer that they are wrong (even if they are wrong). Trying to resolve the complaint of an angry customer by telling them they are wrong is like trying to extinguish a fire by smothering it with gasoline. Try that sometime and let us know if it works.
So, we start by asking companies to admit that if customers are unhappy enough to post complaints, then regardless of whether the business sees them or not, problems must exist that need to be investigated and fixed. If thats something you dont agree with, then CAP isnt for you.STEP 2 - FIX THE PROBLEM
The second thing we do for CAP members is to reach out to all the unhappy customers who filed a complaint on Ripoff Report and see what can be done to make things right. How do we do this? We send an email to every person who has posted a complaint on Ripoff Report asking how we can resolve their complaint. Some people want refunds. Some want an apology. Some people were already taken care of and were not in need of any further assistance. Whatever it is, we let these unhappy customers know that the company involved has joined our Corporate Advocacy Program and has made a commitment to 100% customer satisfaction. Of course, you cant please all of the people all of the time so we dont expect companies to give a $1 million refund to a customer who was unhappy with a $10 transaction, but during this step we expect our CAP members to talk to their customers and find an acceptable solution to their complaint.
The goal of the second step is two-fold. First and most obviously, we want to see existing complaints resolved so that customer is satisfied. Second, we want to be able to show consumers proof that the CAP member has made steps to fix the problems which are causing complaints. Honestly, educated consumers know that EVERY business receives complaints. Thats not what is important. Instead, smart consumers only care about one thing what did the company do to fix the complaint? If the company acted quickly, fairly, and reasonably, then the complaint can actually be viewed as positive proof that the company will stand behind its product/service if a problem occurs in the future (as they usually do).STEP 3 - PREVENT FUTURE COMPLAINTS
The third thing we do relates to prevention of future complaints. After the CAP member has communicated with anyone who posted a complaint in the past, the business owner should have a pretty good understanding of what caused those complaints in the first place. Armed with that knowledge, the business owner can then focus on making operational changes as needed to remedy that root cause.
But what happens if a future complaint is received about a CAP member? While we hope this wont happen, the reality is that sometimes it will. When it does, Ripoff Report will act as a liaison between the CAP member and the customer. We will immediately forward the complaint to the company and ask them to investigate and respond with the expectation that whatever the problem is, it will be promptly fixed to the customers satisfaction. If the company refuses to make things right, we will take whatever steps are necessary including terminating our relationship with the company if necessary. At the end of the day, we expect CAP members who make good faith efforts to change their practices and follow our advice will see a huge decrease in complaints and a huge increase in customer satisfaction and new business.
ARE THERE OTHER OPTIONS? YES!
Although we feel strongly that Ripoff Reports CAP program is extremely useful for many businesses, we know it is not right for everyone. If you are an individual, or if you only have a handful of complaints then the program is probably not a good solution for you. Also, if you believe that all of the reports against your company are untrue or were written by angry ex-employees, then the program may or may not be right for you. We only want to work with companies who agree that change is needed, so if thats not you, then you should look into other solutions. But what other options are there? Quite a few!
First, you always have the option of posting a rebuttal that explains your side of the story. Rebuttals are 100% free, and when done correctly, they can turn a negative complaint into a positive example of why your customers should trust you. Want a good example? Take a look at this rebuttal from a company called Overnight Mattress: http://www.ripoffreport.com/Bed-Bath/Overnightmattress-co/overnightmattress-com-over-n*g-355ee.htm This is exactly how a company can turn a negative into a positive by stepping up and showing that it is willing to customers. After reading this, who wouldnt want to do business with Overnight Mattress? (Full Disclosure Overnight Mattress is NOT a member of our CAP program nor have they paid us a dime. Weve never even talked with them. We just think this company is a good example of how to use a rebuttal properly).NEW ARBITRATION PROGRAM Second,
we have recently launched a new arbitration program that allows parties to dispute the accuracy of a report in an informal expedited process. Although the program does not include the removal of reports, it does include a written ruling from a neutral arbitrator (our first arbitration panel member is a retired Court of Appeals judge) who will decide whether anything in a report is untrue. When and if, such a finding has been determined, the report will then be modified to reflect the arbitrators decision in a clear and unequivocal way. If you are interested in this program and want more information, please send an email to Abtitration@RipoffReport.com and we will send you a packet, in an email which will contain more information, including a sample complaint form, as well as the rules for the program.
Third, you can always take your chances with a search engine optimization or SEO company. These fly-by-night Reputation Management companies promise to help you hide a complaint for the low, low price of $5,000 or more, but what they wont tell you is that in many cases, these fixes are only temporary and, worse yet, some SEO practices are prohibited by most search engines including Google. In fact, if you hire the wrong SEO company, the result may be a death sentence for your business you may be completely banned from many search engines so that no one can find your company! Some companies market themselves using dozens of different names because they end up blackmailing customers forcing them to continue to pay them, threatening they will make things worse.. Consumers will always find negative comments if they are out there, even if they have to search past page 3 or 20 on search engines, they will find it. Honestly, if you really dont care about your customers and simply want to hide complaints about you, then SEO may be right for you, but why not step up to the plate and confront the problem head-on? Thats what customers want to see, and thats what Ripoff Report is here to help businesses do! Remember, filing a rebuttal is completely FREE..
ALL COMPANIES WILL GET COMPLAINTS HOW THOSE COMPANIES TAKE CARE OF THOSE COMPLAINTS IS WHAT SEPARATES GOOD BUSINESSES FROM BAD BUSINESSES
ED Magedson Founder www.ripoffreport.com Read more about our investigative Report and the Dalbey Education Institute's commitment to consumer satisfaction.
Read my story-and help me "Pay it forward"...that is all I ask. I will save you the thousands I spent. If you haven't spent too much-GREAT!!! DON'T spend any more! Just keep it going- because MANY have-and don't know what they can do about it. Help me spread the word!!
Here is my situation in a nutshell: Before I knew what was happening, I spent $30,000 with Dalbey, with their assurance that it would be no problem getting it back after I closed 10 deals, which could be done per
month-if you wanted to-by just devoting 7-10 hours a week...yea right!
haha Well, after the first few thousand, I realized I didn't get it, so kept getting more hoping to advance more quickly. They just rename the programs...so one I even bought 2x-they didn't give my money back-but
supposedly took me straight to the money...again-yea, right. I have done $000.000 with them....
They rename and resell programs-for different amounts to different people-for whatever you have available on your credit card(s). They promise "education" and to meet top professionals at their seminars-BUT it is ALL Dalbey..for Dalbey..to sell more Dalbey.
They charged me $6,000 to start my corporation-telling me they would "build it" and I could put the money I spent on credit cards in the name of the business. They told me I could write off my "education". It took my accountant, and their accountant (who was quite disgusted with them-I might add)-to fix it-after I paid him $1,000. NOTHING is what they say it is!!
They sold me an apprentice program which was supposed to be a small chosen group-with their private stash of notes-including seller info. In reality, it was the protege program again. Straight to the money-and a one shot deal. I went thinking I was going to meet Russ & Andrew Steiner-who was assisting with the program. Nope-it was just another seminar for suckers who hadn't caught on to the whole scam. Once they knew-that I knew EXACTLY what they were doing-they even called me the night before, and tried to talk me out of going-which it was too late. Never heard from Andrew-even though they gave me his personal email, and never made a dime. they switched coaches-every time I got close, or asked to many ???.
We need to stop the unethical practices! Here is how we can....see if
the first link sounds familiar-then USE the 2cd!
The CO BBB says you should contact Customer relations contact Hardy Bora to request a refund before contacting them. They have had 345 complaints.
BBB info: http://data.denver.bbb.org/commonreport.html?bid=34917
The Colorado AG's Office is in fact investigating Russ Dalbey and his
business practices. I would suggest you contact Jay Simonson (303-866-
5162). He is in charge of the investigation.
Here is where OUR money is going:
Here is the contact information to report to:
Russ and his staff are BROKERS-who buy then filter through others-to take to the institution.....there are only 4-5 END buyers....and they are not! That is why they don't share that info....When you post
through their website-or get a website through them-they keep all of that information from the seller's for themselves...when you paid for the website! They "buy" then broker, only SFR with good LTV's right when they are submitted. Then they post the junk-for brokers that they have SOLD programs to (like ME)-to work....they make offers with HUGE discounts-because they have 1st dibbs. That is why they will make offers without proof of credit, etc...because it will come out in due diligence- where they may even get it cheaper-so they lead people to believe it is not necessary. They know that others won't buy without it-thus making your
dependence on them even stronger...sad-very sad! If it gets accepted- great!
They buy, then broker....they do over $1.5 million a week! Veryunscrupulous!!!! They make over $3 million a week selling programs to US- and they reap all of the rewards!! This is information given from former employees...
They (ANN) work with a few companies to factor the 1.5 million dollars worth of notes they purchase a week-with your and my money-that we pay them to bring them to broker!!!! So..they make out on both ends.
I was quite angry-to put it mildly(haha)-then in one of the many correspodences with Dalbey-they mentioned "pay it forward"...and I decided to do just that!!!
Together-we CAN do something about it..."Pay it forward"!!!!