Report: #293936

Complaint Review: Business Networking International - BNI

  • Submitted: Sat, December 22, 2007
  • Updated: Wed, February 20, 2013
  • Reported By: 80234 Colorado
  • Business Networking International - BNI
    Denver, Colorado

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I had recently joined this group and had to change my classification, Due to problems with my last job that had just stole $!,000 in commissions from me. I had to change my classification to Houscleaning that I had done for 20+ years to try to keep myself from losing my home.( I had not even been in the group 2 months). They told me that this should not be a problem, a week later just a select few( the good ole boys club)Were asking me all these questions about bonding and insurance, workers compensation and on and on........I had told them that I didn't have employees and that I only cleaned one or two clients a day and that most of my clients I had had anywhere from 5-15 yrs. I told them that if I grew I would probably need this coverage but right now I couldn't afford it. My present clients didn't require it of me. They didn't give me a choice and told me that my application was denied! That I would not get a refund of $400.00! These people are self-serving and only care about themselves. They are not liable for the business in the group and this should be the decision of the clients who hire me not them! Believe me Bonding and Insurance is no quarentee for anything! Word of Mouth and someone u know is much better!........They have to prey on single mothers who are ready to lose everything! They are very clickish and strick with no flexibility! Please be careful before giving these crooks your money! And look carefully to see the brown on their noses! What comes around goes around! They told me that I could try to get my money back or try to go to another group somewhere. But there was no refunds! Just take your time before joining these groups and beware! Alot of the old timers promote more categories than should be allowed for one person and it is very unfair politically!Keep your eyes open!Anything to benefit themselves!

80234, Colorado
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/22/2007 06:31 PM and is a permanent record located here: 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Comment

I will not join

AUTHOR: GC - (United States of America)

After reading dozens of complaints about BNI on this and numerous other web sites , I have concluded that this is a well thought out scam on business owners that are looking to grow. I will pass after being pusued to join for months. My time is worth money and I find that it will not not be worth the time and effort.
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

Business Networking International Insight

AUTHOR: Josue vizcay - (U.S.A.)

This is a franchising organization that works for the top 20% of individuals in the group. It is great for people who get larger commissions like real estate, insurance or a Stock Broker. It also works for someone who really knows how to communicate the value of their business, and give people a good experience.

The downside is that if the Real Estate Agent, Insurance Agent and Stock Broker are racist and have been in the group for a while, then you are in trouble. The long time BNI members who have money, are now in BNI for the power. Therefore, they fight hard to take away the business building aspect for those who are there growing their business. A huge fight against upward mobility within the social classes within BNI.

The structure is great, corporate has done a good job. But, corporates job is to get royalties from the franchisee. Therefore, the rules are in favor of getting more people in the chapter so the franchisee has a higher return on investment. That is the main goal, not helping you build your business. Therefore, the franchisees goals distract the membership from business building goals of members who are attempting to be upwardly mobile.
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

This is Inappropriate for Several Reasons

AUTHOR: Kevin H - (U.S.A.)

I am simply a member in one California chapter of BNI, and happily so for 3 years, as are 100,000 others throughout BNI. This is not a complaint about BNI. This is a misdirected complaint about a misunderstanding by some INDIVIDUALS in ONE chapter, not BNI. As such it is an unfair venue of complaint. There are several ways this appears prima facie to be mishandled--or rather not even handled--by the complainant:

1. The complainant made no indication that she attempted to resolve this with BNI itself--who she wrote the check to, rather than simply to fellow members in a chapter leadership position. Beyond this there is no indication she tried to resolve the matter by taking reasonable steps. BNI's policy, I am sure, is that if you aren't approved you get your money back, and I have seen this happen.

2. The complainant herself indicates a history of misunderstandings with various parties. She is presenting herself as a victim, when she didn't take the most basic steps to resolve the matter--contacting the party she has the complaint with. Perhaps, but not necessarily, this was a factor in their decision to deny her membership. As evidenced here, the venue of complaint is instead a broad public rant instead of reasonable steps to resolution.

3. BNI is disparaged in one broad stroke, whereas these people were members (with approval power in their chapter) themselves. Her complaint is neither against the chapter nor BNI.

4. Broad accusation: "These people are self-serving and only care about themselves." This is contrary to BNI's policy of "Givers Gain", in which members are encouraged to give business before expecting it. This is the regularly expressed philosophy amongst members in our local chapters. As a referral organization, BNI thrives only on mutually beneficial relationships. If the people all valued self-interest only, the system--getting and giving referrals--would not function.

5. Good Ol Boy Network? Clickish, Crooks? Brown on their noses? Why would they then be in a group whose purpose is to get and give referrals based on positive relationships? Further, this is personal libel, not a complaint against a company's practices.

In summary, this is a personal rant against individuals who may or may not be at fault, when no actual action to seek resolution of a simple refund was taken.

BNI has proven itself a positive venue for my average chapter member to get 10 times their total investment in BNI and chapter dues. If you have a complaint it should be directed toward, and at, the parties responsible, seeking resolution rather than simply an opportunity at disparagement of individuals and a business as a whole based on the actions of a few.

There was no true attempt to resolve this very simple matter of a refund, and calling anyone a "crook" without taking any real action to resolve the matter is irresponsible and libelous and really just shows it is easier to rant than resolve.
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#4 Consumer Comment

BNI is a ripoff, I agree in full and was treated the same way!

AUTHOR: Antar - (U.S.A.)

BNI is indeed a scam in my opinion, CAROL CHAMBERLAIN of the Mesa Success chapter took our hefty application fee then a few weeks later managed to initiate the onboarding of another business of the same type as us (Business Printing and Design) and when I responded with an inquiry as to how she could even do such a thing she ousted us and BNI refuses to refund any money to us saying we broke the rules! Beware of BNI and Carol Chamberlain and also Nathan Dominguez who is supposedly above Carol in BNI yet refused to even rectify the situation or even return our calls! We will be sure and advise all of our friends and business colleagues of our unfair treatment during this entire ordeal. Nathan states he is assuming we did not get the message he left us! What an excuse! (see Nathan's message below.) My colleague did in fact attempt to discuss matters with the "leadership team" but was told "a letter is in the mail". That letter ousted us from BNI! Now BNI gets to dip three times for that same membership fee. What kind of a legitimate business refuses to refund a large amount of money after a few short weeks due to their "policy" of no refunds! Not even an attempt was made to clear up the matter. What a waste of time and money. In this economy that is indeed uncalled for and unreasonable behavior. We need companies that stand behind solid standards and rules that make sense and that actually cares about people! God Bless America.

Antar Wagoner
480.775.0315 Office
480.302.1064 Blackberry

Hi Antar,

I did return a call to the number you left on the day you left me a message??? I am assuming you did not get it and apologize for the breakdown.

Regardless of you getting my message, as I said in the message, as far as I am concerned you are not a BNI Member as I have not found record of you ever being accepted to a BNI Chapter in the Souhtwest US.

If Elizabeth, who I believe works with you and was in fact an actual BNI Member would like to contact me regarding any issues she has with our Organization or one of our Chapters I invite the call at 602-788-1606 where my Assistant, JK Dooley, will be sure to connect her straight to me. If for any reason we miss each other I would be happy to follow up with her until we connect verbally.

As far as the BNI Mesa Success Chapter has let me know, several of the Leaders from the Chapter have tried to call Elizabeth regarding her involvement in the Chapter and the ridiculously unprofessional email you sent out and she has not returned a single call??? Maybe another breakdown with voicemail?

As the BNI Application clearly states in BOLD letters, we do not offer refunds once an application is accepted by a BNI Chapter and submitted to our Office. Instead, we gladly offer Membership Credit for any used BNI dues that a Member has paid for and Elizabeth can easily use such letter of Credit towards BNI Membership in any Chapter, around the World, pending acceptance by the Chapter's Membership Committee, for up to two years from the time of issue.


PS I do not even have the email address in my database and therefore I did not actually send you anything. You must be receiving messages being forwarded from another email address?
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