Report: #185722

Complaint Review: Learning Annex - NRI National Real Estate Investors - James Smith

  • Submitted: Sun, April 09, 2006
  • Updated: Fri, May 12, 2006
  • Reported By: Novato California
  • Learning Annex - NRI National Real Estate Investors - James Smith
    48 West 37th St, New York,New York 10018
    San Francisco, California

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

Like thousands of other people, I attended a Learning Annex Wealth Expo in San Francisco on March 25 and 26, 2006.

The big draws were: The Donald (Trump), Robert Kiyosaki (Rich-dad; Poor-dad), Tony Robbins, and hundreds of real estate experts.

I have to say that for a small ($175)donation to the local PBS station (KQED in SF), one can attend as many "seminars" as you wanted, except restrictions for number of people in each room. There were tens of thousands of people at the Mosconi Center and some speakers were more popular than they expected -- so they could not allow everyone in.

These seminars were in two parts: some general information about the expert's wealth-building technique was presented, then the presenter did an informercial-style sales job for the remainder of the period.

My problem is not with that; I expected them to be there to sell their follow-on seminars. And in fact, I was sold on James Smith "Greatest Real Estate Training" "Personal Training" seminar & follow-up for $5,995.00.

This seemed high, but potentially worthwhile if they could deliver on the promised/indicated service.

I was provided with course materials after the sign-up and the following day, after I looked over the materials (I felt this was the same stuff you could get from a $25 book), and my wife and son found some disturbing reports on your RIP-OFF site, I decided to cancel.

The Learning Annex did provide very specific cancellation instructions on the course sign up sheet; WE FOLLOWED THESE EXACTLY! within the time frame. We sent the notice of cancellation to their New York address by First Class mail on March 27 (the first day of the three-day cooling off period).

All seemed correct until we received a confirmation for class enrollment from Event Scheduler of the NRI seminar on Thursday March 30,2006 requesting us to pick one of four seminar dates.

I responded back to them by email that we had cancelled.(btw, that was the FIRST time an email address or phone number was available from NRI)

I decided at that time that we should call Learning Annex and find out what was going on. We obtained the 800 number (800 872-6639) but could only get through on the local 212 371-0280 at first.

The refund department consists of ONE undertrained person. (Take into consideration that at the Expo, they had HUNDREDS of people available to take your money and one would conclude that there would be several, maybe hundreds of peoplem who would decide to cancel the next day.

THAT WAS ALL BACKGROUND (for those of you who may have rip-off reports pending on these prior facts); THIS IS WHERE OUR PROBLEM BEGINS!!

First, they could not find us in their database, even though our credit card company verified that the $5995 had actually been charged.

Second, after several calls and attempted brush-offs by the refund person, she finally found that the registration was in SOMEONE ELSE'S name (no one we have ever heard of!) and that a refund for our cancellation was made to SOMEONE ELSE'S card! She thinks; she has to talk to the accounting department when they get back from yet another EXPO, hopefully NEXT WEEK!

At this point it remains to be discovered if this scrambling was intentional or due to incompetence. Our registration, sign-up forms, cancellation notice, credit card charge forms are all in order. None the less, I have never had such a complete screw-up of this magnitude from any other reputable company, and thought that your readers should know about it.

I hope I am wrong, and this is simply a case of accident. Still my credit card was charged and I will have to pay interest on it. Assuming that the money will be returned to my account.

One additional problem, according to CA state law, and clearly written on the Learning Annex "Notice of Cancellation" form:

I may cancel within three business days (done - sent March 27); They (Learning Annex) have to refund the money within TEN BUSINESS DAYS of receipt of my cancellation notice (April 13); I have to make the materials available to them AT MY HOME for them to pick up or IF I WISH, I may return the materials at their expense; and I can toss the junk if they have not collected it within 20 days of the date of my cancellation (March 27 - April 17).

Even though this is the CA law, I was told that I would get my refund AFTER THEY GET THE MATERIAL BACK -- not only is this contrary to public policy but, at the rate we are going, this could be months!

Novato, California
Is this Ripoff Report About you?
Ripoff Report A business' first line of defense on the Internet.
If your business is willing to make a commitment to customer satisfaction Click here now..

Does your business have a bad reputation? Fix it the right way. Corporate Advocacy Program™

Set the record straight: Arbitration Program

SEO Reputation Management at its best!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/09/2006 12:29 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

Search for additional reports

If you would like to see more Rip-off Reports on this company/individual, search here:

Report & Rebuttal
Respond to this report!
Also a victim?
Repair Your Reputation!

Updates & Rebuttals


#1 Author of original report

Thanks for your comments, but...

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

Dominick et al,
I am relieved that Learning Annex did not intend to delay my refund by such an extended period of time. Really I am!

You must admit that if you personally had $6,000 at risk and you were repeatedly told something was being done and checked back later to find that nothing had been done ... you might be a little skeptical about the intentions of the company.

My suggestion, for what it is worth, is to improve your credibility by moving those accounts that Learning Annex had fouled up to a higher priority than routine transactions.

We ended up going through the same process for a return PLUS all the activities due to your errors and lack of corrections at the time.

Glad that business is good for you!
Respond to this report!

#2 REBUTTAL Individual responds

The Learning Annex processed a refund request as promised the evening of Friday 4/21/06, with a confirmed chargeback processed the morning of 4/24/06.

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

The customer service department for our expos, a staff of 12 before the exposition this customer attended, has been expanded to a full and part-time staff of 25 in the last month to respond to a dramatic and unanticipated increase in sales and susequent account representation.

We fully acknoweldge this error, although by no means was it intentional, as the customer suggests. As it was one of almost 25,000 transactions in a two-week period beginning 3/25/06, our error rate comparatively is low. Clearly, we do not expect this fact to make it any less frustrating for the customer when there is an error.
Respond to this report!

#3 Author of original report

Still no refund!

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

After talking to Dominick, he passed me on to Jonathan Chan who appologized for the mess-up, and arranged to have a return FedEx Ground label sent to me. It seems they sent this label to the wrong email address. (I am sure it hard to get good help in NYC).

Once that was corrected, they sent me a label for the wrong weight. It took a few days to get that straightened out, but they did send me a label that I used.

FedEx is great, but you have to find an office that accepts GROUND shipments. The package arrived in Provo on schedule... but still no refund!

This morning I called Jonathan but he must be too busy to take my call. Called back and got Elieka (the rep I spoke to first - almost a month ago) who said that the refund was processed 4/21. I just haven't seen it yet!

(Are these credit card companies in on the deal?)
Respond to this report!

#4 Author of original report

Going through the motions - but no money

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

Update: I spoke with Dominic, head of the Returns Department (1-800 US ANNEX extension 2924)who said that they sent the return label for the materials April 12. As of April 19 there was still no return label and return shipping instructions.

Please don't let these people get your money!!
Respond to this report!
Ripoff Report Recommends
ZipBooks Accounting Software

Advertisers above have met our
strict standards for business conduct.