Report: #582966

Complaint Review: Auction Teacher, LLC

  • Submitted: Fri, March 19, 2010
  • Updated: Fri, April 30, 2010
  • Reported By: Mamie — Portland Oregon United States of America
  • Auction Teacher, LLC
    5702 Lake Worth Rd, Suite 8
    Greenacres, Florida
    United States of America

Auction Teacher, LLC Auction Teacher mentoring program? NO, THANKS!!!!!! Greenacres, Florida

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

I am submitting this complaint in regards to a request for funds that has been denied by Auction Teacher.  I have copies of emails, my cell phone log, and a letter from a former Auction Teacher employee that will be provided upon request (I did not notice a way to attach said items to the report submittal form).  Thank you in advance for your time and consideration in this matter.

In September of 2008, I paid $6090.00 to join the web pro tutor accelerated master mentor program offered by Auction Teacher.  I believed I was entering a partnership with a company that would provide excellent customer service, make every attempt to help me succeed, valued me as a customer, and took the large amount of money I invested very seriously.  I trusted that I was working with a company that took precautions to ensure their customers were treated fairly and honestly.  I was led to believe that my success was their success.

I was assigned Franco Jaramillo as my mentor and began working with him on September 25, 2008.  He was a joy to work with, always friendly, and we developed a good rapport.  On July 16, 2009, I emailed Mr. Jaramillo to set up a phone meeting; however, days later I had not received a response.  There had been a few times in the past that Mr. Jaramillo missed an email of mine, and I had to contact him again.  So I waited a bit, but when I did not hear back from him, I emailed him again July 29, 2009.  No response.  I sent another email on August 13, 2009.  No response.  I began to worry that something was wrong, but I was trying to give my mentor the space, time and respect he deserved in case there had been an emergency, he had fallen ill, he was on vacation, or our lines of communication were crossing.  At this point, it seemed useless to call Auction Teachers customer service line.  If Mr. Jaramillo was ill or there had been an emergency, I would need to wait for him to return to work before we could continue our mentoring sessions anyway.  I felt certain he would get back to me as soon as he could.  I had no reason to believe otherwise.  In addition, I was dealing with a very stressful situation that was demanding almost all my attention and was also scheduled to be out of the country.  Finally, after I sent an email on August 19, 2009, I received an automatic delivery status notification that the delivery of my email had failed permanently.  When I received this status notification, my gut told me exactly what happened.  Mr. Jaramillo wasnt ill.  There had been no emergency or vacations.  There was no way all my emails had been missed.  He had been fired and was no longer with the company, and I had NOT been notified by Auction Teacher.  I was furious!  However, I was raised to be patient, to give people the opportunity to right their wrongs before reacting.  So I waited for Auction Teacher to officially inform me and coat the news with a profuse apology.  They never did.

Merriam-Webster defines mentor as: a trusted counselor or guide.  A mentor is an important figure in a persons life.  Not just anyone can be your mentor.  It must be someone you feel comfortable with, someone you can trust, someone you enjoy spending time with, someone you feel genuinely cares not only about your goals but your well-being, also.  I was in the midst of developing that delicate relationship with Mr. Jaramillo.  It is a BIG deal to have that relationship severed and be expected to start anew with a total stranger.  It is an even bigger deal to NOT be notified!  Now, while I hope it is not a common occurrence that a mentor leaves Auction Teacher (for whatever reason), I am certain Mr. Jaramillos dismissal was not the first nor will it be the only time.  A company who values its customers and the hard earned dollars they have invested to work with said company will have the forethought to have systems in place that will ease the transition from one mentor to the next and will help the customer to feel appreciated, important and considered.  It would be extremely easy for a company to call, email and send a letter to each customer affected by a mentors departure from the company.  A simple letter template would do.  It could read something like this:

Dear [customers name],

We are writing this letter to inform you that your mentor no longer works for [company name].  We realize you have spent time developing a relationship with [mentors name], and we apologize for any inconvenience or discomfort this news may bring you.  If it is alright with you, we would like to have [customer representatives name] call you very soon to set you up with a new mentor, who we can assure you will make every effort to ease this transition and build a trusting relationship with you.  In addition, we would like to offer you [list incentives here].  Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions or concerns at [customer service number].  Again, we wholeheartedly apologize for any inconveniences this has caused you.


The Team Members at [company name] (or, better yet, a managers name and signature)

Had Auction Teacher done even one of those things (called, emailed, or sent me a letter), I wouldnt be writing this letter to you.

After I returned from some summer trips I had scheduled and when I felt adjusted to my new class schedule and demands, I contacted Auction Teacher by email to inquire about Franco Jaramillo on September 29, 2009.  I had given them a little over a month since I received the delivery notification email to see if they would take the initiative to contact me, a supposedly valued customerthey didnt.  No email, no phone call, no letter.  In my email, I expressed my disappointment with Auction Teacher for not notifying me of Mr. Jaramillos departure.  Mike, an employee at Auction Teacher, emailed me back on September 30, 2009 and confirmed that Mr. Jaramillo no longer worked with the company.  He told me I should have been notified by Mr. Jaramillo regarding his departure and that I should call Auction Teacher to be placed with a new mentor.  After Mikes response, I was even more determined to sever ties with Auction Teacher; I did not want to be placed with a new mentor, so I did not call that number just yet.

I must take this time to emphasize that this was another opportunity for Auction Teacher to have the forethought to create a system that would deal with disgruntled customers.  When I sent my email, in addition to receiving a reply from Mike, I should have been red-flagged.  There should be a system in place whereby customers who are (understandably) unhappy with services, or lack thereof, especially when the company has failed to do something as simple as notify them that they will no longer be able to work with their mentor, are contacted by members of the company until the situation has been resolved.  A company that values their customers and the money they have invested would care enough to make that simple effort.  They would not leave it up to the customer to make things right.  Instead of it being my responsibility to call Auction Teacher and get a new mentor, Auction Teacher should have called me to set me up with a new mentor.  It was the very least they could do.

What bothered me most about Auction Teachers response (written by Mike) was that he implied Mr. Jaramillo was in the wrong for not contacting me about his departure from the company, as opposed to Auction Teacher stepping up and taking the blame for their own negligence.  This infuriated me!  Not only did Auction Teacher fail to notify me, they were now placing blame on my mentor, a person I had developed a partnership with that had been abruptly removed from my life, by no fault of mine or Mr. Jaramillos, and by no notice.

A time elapse occurred due to some very heavy personal matters, which delayed my ability to call Auction Teacher sooner; it wasnt until January 2, 2010 that I felt I contained the emotional strength I needed to respond to Mikes email and pursue a refund from Auction Teacher.  I suppose I was also still trying to give Auction Teacher the benefit of the doubt and a chance to show they valued me enough as a customer to contact me and, at the very least, apologize and attempt to make things right (now that Auction Teacher was undeniably aware of my situation).  I am someone who invariably believes in the good in people.  I wanted to believe Auction Teacher cared about me.  I wanted to believe they would make efforts to correct their mistake.  I wanted to believe they would do the right thing. 

Whether they were aware of my intense frustration, disappointment and anger or not (it doesnt take a rocket scientist to guess treatment like that would infuriate someone), Auction Teacher was aware that I had fallen through the cracks, yet did nothing to correct it.  In my response to Mikes email, I expressed my frustration and discontent with Auction Teacher for how I had been treated.  I do not believe it is professional for a company to leave it up to an employee that is leaving to notify valued customers that they must find a new mentor.  If I am truly a valued customer, I should have been notified by Auction Teacher IMMEDIATELY (by phone, email and a letter, as previously discussed).  I also believe that an honest, legitimate company would do everything in their power to prevent disgruntled customers and make every effort to right wrongs instead of leaving it up to the customer to call customer service and get a new mentor.  In over six months (from July 2009 to January 2010), no one from Auction Teacher even attempted to make contact with me (aside from Mikes response to my email about my mentors whereabouts).  The fact they never contacted me in six months only suggests they had no intention of contacting me at all. 

I told Mike that I wanted a refund because an apology was not sufficient.  Mike responded on January 4, 2010 with a script similar to his first email.  On January 7, 2010, I contacted Auction Teacher by phone (the very number Mike told me to call).  After speaking with a customer service representative about my situation, I was told there was nothing they could do for me save set me up with a new mentor and to contact Sean in Business Development.  I was given his number and extension.  I called on January 15, 2010 and left a message for Sean to call me.  He returned my call on January 16, 2010.  He was apologetic but would not consider giving me the refund I requested.  Instead, he offered to set me up with a new mentor and to give me 6 months without web hosting fees (which I had upped to a year but was still unsatisfied with this feeble attempt to make things rightthe damage had already been done).  I had decided months ago that I no longer wanted to work with a company that conducts business in such a careless manner.  Auction Teacher was completely unconcerned with my customer satisfaction until I began making phone calls.  I do not trust Auction Teacher as a company, and I am completely discouraged.  I do not want to work with Auction Teacher any longer, and I feel I have a right to a refund after spending my hard earned money investing in Auction Teacher and being completely disregarded and forgotten.  Futhermore, the company who sold me mentor services (all $6090.00 worth) is formerly known as Global Marketing Alliance, a company Auction Teacher says they stopped doing business with (ROR report #167925)

So after a few conversations with Sean, I asked to speak with someone above Sean and was scheduled to speak with Jonah in Business Development on January 25, 2010 at 3pm PST.  He called at 4p, after I had spent 45 minutes waiting by the phone, had given up that he would call, and was now in the midst of addressing personal obligations and could not answer.  I finally talked to Jonah several days later.  He is qualified to give refunds but, again, said a refund was not an option.  He seemed to believe setting me up with a new mentor was sufficient, regardless of the fact that I no longer desired to work with Auction Teacher.

Meanwhile, on January 21, 2010, I called the main Auction Teacher number (888-674-6405, the number listed on their website) to speak with Yonnas.  He was not available, so I left a message.  He did not return my call.

On February 5, 2010, I called Auction Teachers main number again to speak with Yonnas.  He was scheduled to call me back on February 9, 2010 at 9am PST.  He called at 9:30am PST (this was now the second phone appointment that was not carried out as scheduled) and refused to cooperate with me regarding a refund, even though I was adamant that I no longer wanted to work with Auction Teacher after being completely forgotten as a customer.  He did, however, honor my request that Auction Teacher discontinue my web services, only after he proceeded to grill me as to why I had not called Auction Teacher sooner.  This was an extremely upsetting phone conversation for me, as I do not appreciate being interrupted while trying to explain my situation only to be badgered by an Auction Teacher employee because I had failed to contact Auction Teacher until months later.  As if this situation was my fault!!!!  I felt absolutely insulted.  This was not the issue at hand.  I could barely find words to respond and was literally shaking in disbelief, hurt and anger.  Why should it be my responsibility to contact Auction Teacher about a change in services?

Auction Teacher has provided me with two options: a) continue working with a company that I have lost all faith in, no longer trust, have no desire to work with, and has shown me they lack the forethought to adequately take care of their customers or b) walk away from $6090.00 of my hard earned money.  This is why I have been forced to contact you.  I need your help.  I am requesting from Auction Teacher that I be refunded the $6090.00 I paid to join the web pro tutor accelerated master mentor program.  Auction Teacher adheres to a no questions asked 100% customer satisfaction policy.  I will not be 100% satisfied until I have been refunded the full amount and can wash my hands clean of Auction Teacher.

Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.


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