Rip-off Report Investigation:
Editor's UDATE: Positive Rating and Recognition has been given to The Tax Club
for its Commitment to Excellence in customer service. The Tax Club has worked tirelessly with Rip-off Report to resolve issues and concerns expressed by past clients and have shown a pattern of commitment to total customer satisfaction. Rip-off Report recognized the depth of this commitment after learning that, despite the low number of total complaints, The Tax Club's executive team took active measures to resolve any and all concerns in a prompt and professional manner. Also in the investigation, Rip-off Report discovered that many of the claims made against the Tax Club were already resolved by The Tax Club, many stated their compliant was premature, Rip-off Report also feels a hand full of complaints were suspicious and were falsely created by competitors and some might have been posted by disgruntled ex-employees in an effort to harm the company's good name. For a firm who deals with such a large and diverse clientele, The Tax Club's attention to detail has been impressive and a testament to their dedication to customer service.
It is our opinion that small business owners can feel confident in the fact that The Tax Club has worked with nearly half a million businesses nationwide. They are innovators in their field and have helped thousands of clients by providing customized tax solutions via a communication platform unrivaled in their industry.
The Tax Club recognizes that legitimate complaints posted on Rip-off Report are issues that need to be addressed and if handled correctly can be valuable learning opportunities. With the feedback generated by Rip-off Report's Investigation The Tax Club has made organizational changes allowing clients a more streamlined approach to problem resolution and a total overall commitment to customer experience. Read more about The Tax Club's Commitment to Excellence and Total Consumer Satisfaction and why consumers should feel safe, confident and secure when doing business with a member of Rip-off Report's Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program. ..yes, a long name for a program that does a lot for both consumers and businesses alike. Read about Rip-off Report Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program,..A program that benefits the consumer, assures them of complete satisfaction and confidence when doing business with a member business. this program works.
===================== NOW TO THE ORIGINAL REPORT THAT WAS FILED
I was looking for ways to increase my income about $300 a month and willing to invest a couple of hours a day. I thought that the right opportunity came when I was invited by Stores Online to a seminar.
I didn't accept their offer because I was unable to agree with my wife at the moment that we could accpet the deb for the offer on. But I started to look for ways to do online businesses and I was willing to invest monthly to start learning.
With my research I invested in a Snappy Shop $20, but then I received a call to entice me to be serious about internet marketing, and I attended a teleconference by Tim Gross who then invited us to join the success team, which was for selected people, so I was contacted by IDI global and received the following:
What was the IDI proposal and my expectations.
When I was invited by Eric Ullrich (Senior Director IDI) to join the Success team, he explained what kind of people he was looking for as follows:
1.- Time. People that would be willing to invest 5-10hrs a week
2.- Open minded and willing to learn
3.- Willing to learn to use resources, tools, and learn about the OPM (others people money principle) cash flow and leverage. ( I said that I didn't understand any of those principles, but I was willing to learn them and trust him. He indicated that I would start cash flowing in 30 to 60 days).
4.- Decision maker since there were only 6 experts available. (I would have to take a decision right away.) (Even with the 20 plus thousand customers there have been only about 200 students in the Success team that have been accepted for this special offer and all with 100% satisfaction)
He also suggested different ranges of investment (Low, Med or Hi) I was scared with the prices but after discussing the OPM principle (get in good debt) and cash flow he suggested for me to start low and then I would need to set goals for 3 months, 6 months and 12 months. I discussed that I was thinking on earning some extra money $300 a month and he opened my mind for something really big and successful, (6 figures$$).
I would have 1 coaching session a week. He also sent and email so I could check the BBB of Utah for reviewing IDI and find out that there were no complaints. He said that there is a 100% satisfaction with all customers and only one customer had withdraw after 3 months because of an accident his daughter had, and he was refunded, and IDI was willing to take him back if he wanted since IDI had invested so much on him (apparently the investment was from IDI and our $4205 was only a way to show committment because I would be making thousands and even the investment was going to be tax deductible, and they will show me how).
Eric explained that IDI invests in people that has the willingness and potential to be successful and to come into the success team not for its money, but for creating success stories that he can convert into infomercials and testimonials. The money is used for the training and resources required, but everything is included and I'd not need to put even another penny for the next 6 months into it since all was covered with the payment of $4205 dollars. I trusted him since that was about the amount that stores online has as special offer for 6 websites, DVD training with merchant account included, but with IDI it was going to be a coaching by one of 6 experts that were willing to share their success with others.
So this is how I invested $4205 dollars which would be 100% tax deductible and the following list is what I understood that I would get in that package:
Be part of the Tax Club which would help me to use 27 tax deductions and recover 90-95% of all that I spend. (Eric indicated that I should even keep tickets for all that I spend, even with my family, etc.).
Web service ( hosting, domain registrations, tools) I explicitly inquired about this since I had started some research when I joined Snappy Shop and when I took an Internet Seminar with Stores online, and I was concerned about the investment on those kind of resources.
I would be coached in 6 different areas in the next 6 months, that could be extended up to a year if needed, or even up to 2 years if requested. He explained that the coaching would be this way:
1.A Business plan: An initial 1 hour session for creating the Goal Schematics: This would include the 3 month, 6 month and 12 month plan.
2.Market Analysis: I would drill on my 4-5 ideas with my coach in order to learn about
a) Dropshippers (the coach would be with me to contact them and teach me what and how to do it, doing it on my behalf with me so I would learn how to do it).
b) Business License (Get the Fed Tax ID which would be requested on my behalf, I would need to only think on 4- 5 different names so if it was taken I would have other names).
3.Niche Website. This would take about 20 hrs for setting it up. (People might take only 8-10 seconds to decide to continue on my website). For this there would be 2 Tech Training Sessions:
oWebsite Building and how to operate website
oMerchant Capability. (Through Paypal that accepts VISA, MC, Discovery, AMEX) because setting with IDI my own Merchant account would increase other $500 dlls to my package and would provide only VISA and MC so he recommended to start only with Paypal)
4.Marketing and Advertisement.
oSearch engine placement.
o20 keyword campaign
oLinks4Trade which would connect my site with 6200 other websites and would drive 2000 search engine driven hits to my new website. If I liked this then after 6 months I could continue its use for $14.95 monthly fee.
5.Corporation Setup and Tax Filing. (Here he explained that it was included since even when I though it was not going to be expensive I felt unknowledgeable of how to proceed, he explained about the Tax club and helping me setup my company).
6.Education and Learning
This would be covered in two phases:
Phase 1: Focus on product up to the 3rd session, and then 5 Marketing strategies, then
Phase 2: Reactive phase (Complete marketing techniques).
Eric indicated that I should put some trust and give him the chance of 30 days to prove that this was real. He indicated that then I would be in one of his infomercials by April, and that he saw great potential since I had some advantage over other successful students. Because we discussed some ideas that I had already been drilling.
I received a receipt number which I would need for Tax purposes and I inquired if I would receive my invoice by email or mail, that he acknowledged. (I never received)
We had also side conversations about his websites, his success and patents, and we had 3 phone conversations where in the middle of them I reviewed emails and websites he indicated, before I accepted the offer.
Therefore I was expecting an invoice that confirmed or included what was indicated in the phone for what I paid, kind of what I described above.
Then we went to do the compliance with Angela, and when she indicated 3 days for withdrawing I indicated about the 30 days that Eric said and she said that she would have to review that with Bruce which was not available. All of that was recorded.
This is what was sold to me, so this is what I was expecting.
Then I noticed some things that hint me that not all of this was correct, but I still trusted that I would get into internet marketing and be successful.
I reviewed some weeks later with Lance (Customer rep) that probably I was expecting more of what IDI was providing because my coach was not knowledgable in the OPM principle and there were no tools included in my package so the coach sent me into a search for getting them.
Since I had reviewed already the Stores Online package which included tools, hosting services and certain level of coaching and I measured IDI with them, Eric and Lance convinced me that IDI was after making me successful through the coaching of a handful of the most successful internet marketers for getting an infomercial and not after providing services and learn yourself as it was with Stores Online, and the most important thing was that Eric explained a little of the OPM (Others people money use good debt) that he said I would learn with this coaching.
I asked Lance to let Eric know that he needed to clarify what he offered and not put extra hype if something was not included, and that they needed to be clear on this matters with other prospects since it's a big investment of money, trust, time and effort for people like me.
I told him that IDI needed to put more professionalism in what it offers and provide the contract in writing, not only in what he meant with what he said or what I heard.
We discussed since the beginning of our conversations about starting with the Low package, and he described the tax club as part of the package, to help me on taxes, and I inquired on the hosting and technical side to be included.
I started to receive calls from the Tax Club, and ACS, and brightbuilder so I started to see that IDI was kind of a middleman contract of other services.
I thought that IDI might get his commission for contracting those other services and pocket whatever is not spent, but that's not really and investment on someone for having a success story for infomercial, because how would they assure my success?.
The IDI bill started to increase with: Tax Club $$ + PMI Coaching $$ + Web hosting and services $$ + Links4Trade or Banners$$ + $$Advantage corporation services + $$Products warehouse + $$Pay per clicks and the advise to increase my traffic + $$ Search Engine Optimization SEO + $$ Ebay fees, etc.
It seemed that for $4205 it only included the PMI Coaching and IDI Customer Service and Banners or Links for 6 months but not website, not Tax club, not corporation setup or advise, no corporation setup, etc. as I was expecting from the "you won't spend another cent on it for 6 months, later some monthly fees might come, but you'll be already cashflowing"...
I didn't know why IDI retracted on what was offered, so I inquired by phone and was convinced to invest a little more because it was for another more expensive package, but I was send a set of CDs called prosper with netmarketing, and promised me to send a TaxAdvantage CD that I never received, even after inquiring for it several times. They convinced me to keep business with them, they promise me that I would get a brightbuilder store, I would had only to pay a small monthly fee $29.95, which have been $39.95 for getting warehouse access.
Then I requested and expected and invoice to confirm what I bought detailed and I asked for clarification for what I finally got once I started to notice that things were not as expected, but I never received it.
Was it true the part of the infomercial stories?, I believe NO. I still believed that I could be successful, but I regreted that the coaching and tools were becoming more expensive that what I expected or what I could have received with Stores Online. Nevertheless I started to pay my monthly bills and increase my credit card debt.
IDI didn't keep what was promised to start with to help me become a successful entrepreneur.
The coaching sessions were barely helpful, and after about 8 sessions they were over (I was expecting 6 months of coaching and following the program indicated to me, but it was not that way). I started researching on those other principles of OPM, cash flow, leverage on my own since I noticed that my coach might have been somehow good at internet marketing but not on the money principles, not either on helping me to set the business plan, and I felt left alone mostly on deciding my business and researching dropshippers, and all extra.
I felt that I was learning and was motivated since I expected my coach to guide me well on what I believed that he knew better, creating a successful web site.
Shortly after you purchase the package, somebody calls you to talk about your business licensing and whether or not you should be a corporation, what the advantages of an LLC corporation are and so on. I understood that I had to pay $12.95 and monthly $49.95 and i figured out that for $600 it was similar to what I would pay up front in TX. I was surprised to find out the bill was $1,295.00 not $12.95.
So I tried to get my money back but someone from the Tax club convinced me that there was no other way to do it for me, so they convinced me that it was the only way to go so I decided to keep it in my credit card since it was the end of the year and would not be other way to recover the investment of this big package and protect yourself and get the most off your taxes.
So for an extra $49.95 a month, you get an office out of Nevada I still continue to pay this $49.95 per month for the corporation and I can't get it stop right now, unless I pay $275.
I was contacted by Search Engine Optimization companies that told me that my site was wrong and that I should start using their services. I used captures, but they reimbursed me afer some time because I was unable to see their improvements and they agreed to reimburse me because the brightbuilder site was removing their improvements. Then another followed so I speent another $400 plus monthly fees of $39.95.
I contacted an advisor from SCORE to help me improve my site, but he told me that I was scammed, that I could get some help but I better look for a lawyer. I found this rippoffreport shown by some one at captures.com who is trying to sell me a real site for half of what I have already spent (I'don't have that money nor I want to incurr in more debt). I've not done anything of contacting lawyers yet, but yesterday I saw here other people living the same experience, and being able to get at least partially reimbursed, which would help me a lot!.
My store is still on line. I keep trying to make it go, but have not sell anything yet. It still costs me money and I really had high hopes. But I agree on why can't these people be honest.
I put all the charges on my credit cards and money out of my pocket, but I'm just increasing my debt by barely paying minimums. I still have good credit, but don't know how to proceed to stop the money leaks and get what I was promised.
I contacted Advantage Corporation several days ago to stop the virtual office without dissolving the corporation, but there were no solution but I was told it would cost another $275 to dissolve. I don't have another $275.
These people need to be honest with others about how bleak this whole thing is and then let them decide if they want to take the risk. Instead they make it sound easy, misrepresent why they do it and charge everything to you so we could not even file bankruptcy against the corporation and get rid of these bills.
If someone can help me, I'll appreciate.
El Paso, Texas