• Report: #1084128
Complaint Review:

Philip Ochman

  • Submitted: Thu, September 12, 2013
  • Updated: Sat, September 14, 2013

  • Reported By: David — Other
Philip Ochman
Internet Israel

Philip Ochman Chess coach Philip Ochman refuses give the refund he promised for undelivered services Haifa Internet

*Author of original report: A response

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: This is libel, I have all the proof

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Philip Ochman is a chess coach and my wife purchased a package of chess lessons from him as a birthday present for me. The first few lessons were fine but over time they became more and more boring and I was learning nothing. It was obvious to Mr Ochman that I was disappointed with the standard of his teaching so he suggested that we discontinue and he refund my wife for the remaining lessons. I was relieved not to have to sit through any more of his lessons and to have worked things out with him amicably.

This is where the problems start. He initially sent a refund via Paypal which was less than the amount he owed us but later that day he withdrew the refund. The result is that he isn't going to deliver the lessons he was paid for, nor is he going to refund the money.We are just going to accept that we lost the money but I am concerned that he may try to do the same thing to someone else.

If you are considering using his services I just wish to make you aware that Mr Ochman isn't a man of integrity and you may lose your money.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/12/2013 11:42 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/philip-ochman/internet/philip-ochman-chess-coach-philip-ochman-refuses-give-the-refund-he-promised-for-undeliver-1084128. 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.

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#1 Author of original report

A response

AUTHOR: David - ()

I would like to respond to some of Mr Ochman's comments.


On his website he advertises a free 1/2 hr introductory lesson to anyone as a means of gaining new customers and he included this amongst my free lessons. After the introductory lesson I enquired about his paid lessons so he recommended two packages. I chose one because my wife said she would purchase one for me as a birthday present. I explained to him that I could not begin until my birthday but he replied urging me not to wait and that he would discount the price if I would began immediately. The discount was actually as an incentive to start taking lessons immediately instead of waiting until my birthday, presumably because I might have changed my mind.


Mr Ochman claims he spent an hour preparing and selecting the positions to teach in our last lesson. However, all he did was take the previous week's game and skipped a few moves so it should not even have taken 2 minutes. Also, we were only online for a few minutes so this claim of a free 1 hr lesson is again inaccurate. The remaining free lesson is true. We had what I considered nothing more than a disagreement and we both said at the end that there were no hard feelings.


I have been through my e-mail correspondence with Mr Ochman to find these "constant new demands" and I was only able to find 2 occasions where I made any requests whatsoever. The first was when I didn't understand part of a lesson and I emailed him asking if we could spend some more time on it in a later lesson. The second was near the end of our lessons when I asked if we could look at endgames because I was concerned about how little I was learning and I thought a change of direction may help.


From his reply it seems these two quite simple and reasonable requests made him feel like a “slave” but it does indicate where things went wrong. A good teacher is responsive to his students and comments such as "treating me as some sort of slave just because he paid me some money" and "the student doesn't dictate the teacher" quite clearly demonstrates both his lack of responsiveness to students as well as his poor attitude towards paying customers. The truth is I had very little say in what happened and Mr Ochman pretty much dictated everything. When a paying customer feels he is getting no benefit from paid lessons I think it is perfectly reasonable to ask that we cover something else. The teacher is paid regardless of how much the student learns but the student is the best person to decide if he is benefitting. It appears that I was not expected to have any say in our lessons no matter how poor they were. It is ironic that I am accused of being controlling by someone who believes he has the right to dictate everything during lessons that I paid for.


We don't know how many of Mr Ochman's previous students were satisfied. If I had been taking one lesson at a time I would have just stopped them and made no issue about it which may be what others have done. In fact if not for this report I would have been considered one of Mr Ochman's 350 satified customers! If he currently only has 21 students that means he has 331 who have parted company with him but not a single one of them was dissatisfied?


The reason I filed this report was not because I considered Mr Ochman's lessons and attitude towards a paying customer to be poor. The matters he raises are unrelated to the main issue which is that he used some creative accountancy to ensure I didn't get a full refund. To be quite specific, I paid for a package for $350 that contained things I wanted and others that I would not have considered other than the fact that they were part of the package. I completed a little less than half the package so I expected around half the price back. Mr Ochman decided to charge for everything as a separate item, even though this is not what I purchased. By doing it this way he was able to ensure that I didn't receive the full amount back. This is in stark contrast to his claim that the refund was biased in my favor. How likely is it that my only report on this website was to complain about receiving too much money from someone? If he says he did not withdraw the refund then I take his word and apologize but even if this was my mistake the refund was not for the amount it should have been.


Please note before this report I did contact Mr Ochman to attempt to resolve the issue amicably but he didn't respond.

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#2 REBUTTAL Individual responds

This is libel, I have all the proof

AUTHOR: Philip Ochman - ()

The reporter, my former student Mr. David I****, is intentionally inaccurate and this is simply libel. 

First, I am a teacher to more than 350 online students and members of my study group (http://www.chess.com/groups/home/ochmans-study-group), with 21 students who currently take private coaching, most of them for more than a year continuously with renewals. Anyone is welcome to ask about my integrity every single one of my students or members of the study group.

Mr. I**** also writes an explicit lie, quoting: "He initially sent a refund via Paypal which was less than the amount he owed us but later that day he withdrew the refund". This is simply not true, and I have full proof in the transaction records (transaction id: 45X036640C359951C) and our email correspondence (provided as a screenshot in an attached file), where I first offered him a detailed calculation of the refund sum with the buttom line refund, asked for confirmation, received a confirmation email and only then I sent the refund (the provided transaction id, on September the 2nd). There is no "withdrew the refund".

A day later, Mr. I**** has sent me the refund back, as a refund of his own- a refund to my refund (transaction id: 3GC76103S11094727), for whatever reasons he had, and sincerely, I didn't even care why. I was just happy my connection with Mr. I**** ended, since there was no end to his demands and he was just unsatisfiable, treating me as some sort of "slave" just because he paid me some money- not all of it by the way. Mr. I**** first received a free half hour lesson, then a 50 USD special signup discount (from the total 400 USD sum his desired lessons package cost). One lesson at the beginning of our journey he started raising his voice, being unsatisfied with my advice. I swallowed my pride, ignored the humiliating tone, and decided not to charge for that lesson (a full hour).

Being also unsatisfied with his study program, there were constant new demands for custom made lessons and videos, which were met to my best capability- though usually the student doesn't dictate the teacher all the time what to teach, I agreed to all he has ever asked. In our final lesson, a customly designed lesson (instead a regular lesson in his study program) that took me an hour just to prepare and select the positions to teach, again Mr. I**** became over controlling, dictating me what to teach and how. I then offered him the refund (again, not charging him for this hour time slot as well) and the termination of our study program. 

Overall Mr. I**** has received a 50USD discount, 2.5 hours of free lessons, and a refund that was intentionally biased to his satisfaction, knowing that it's going to be hard to achieve. Upon his confirmation and approval of the refund, I sent it (the transaction given above). The refund sum was suggested, confirmed, agreed upon, sent, and from that point our relationship was legally terminated. If Mr. I**** suddenly woke up unsatisfied again, I'm no longer obligated to suffer his abusive tone and constant demands anymore once the professional relationship was terminated by mutually agreed terms. You can't suddenly decide you want more and more having already agreed to the terms as offered.  

So here we are, instead of a thank you note for all Mr. I**** has received from me, the discount, devision into 3 monthly payments (which, by the way, Mr. I**** only paid 2, and the 3rd never happened- was due in July, but I decided to yield there too, believing he is an honest man in financial trouble) the free 2.5 hours, and the intentionally biased refund to his favor, I got this complaint. Yet another demand, yet another dissatisfaction from Mr. I****. I guess there are people who can never be satisfied- I just had trouble understanding where it all comes from since I have never experienced anything that even resembled that in my entire career. 

I want to make it clear: the Mr. I**** case is single. Throughout my teaching career (over 8 years), and hundreds of students that went through my guidence, I have never, not even once, had an unsatisfied student. Never have I been asked to terminate lessons or any kind of refund. Please feel free to confirm this claim with any one of the 350+ members of my study group, all of them current/graduated students and followers of my teaching method. 

Again, this "report" is libel, and by spreading these wrong accusations Mr. I**** borders illegality, all the proof is attached and referred to in this rebuttal. 

To any service provider- it just doesn't worth the money, just stay away from these over-damanding, never-satisfied clients. Your headache is worth more than that. I had to find this out after 8 years in the business, courtesy of Mr. I****. 

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