ED Magedson – Founder
Prosper Learning / PMG Mentors5072 North 300 West Provo, Utah United States of America
Prosper Learning, PMG Mentors Hard Sell and Poor Response.. BE WARNED - these guys are VERY good at preying on the information they have got on you to appeal to your desire to improve your life... slick sales job Provo Utah
I recently visited the Robert G. Allen website which had a feature advertising the chance to work with some of Robert G Allen's 'proteges' in mentoring you to become an 'enlightened millionaire'.
It was all very motivational and sounded like a situation where only a few people out of thousands would be "chosen", mentored to success, and then showcased as a success story for Robert Allen. The only catch seemed to be that they would use your story for promoting themselves. So I filled out the application for the Internet Coaching program, which went into a lot of detail about my goals and my financial situation (which included a lot of specifics on the amount of credit left on my cards and how much I had in savings- I dont know why the alarm bells didn't start ringing then!).
I never gave it much thought until I got a phone call from them where I was told I'd be 'interviewed' in their special 'selection process'. This amounted to an hour of chatting to one of their guys who thought I could make it and who would "put in a good word with the executive making the decision".
At no point did he mention the cost of the program. When I asked about cost he said the guy making the decision would be able to give me more detail on that and would work with me to find an amount based on my circumstances and how aggressive I wanted to be (which would happen to be the amount of available credit on my card). Another phone call with the guy making the decision immediately followed, where I was told I had been "accepted" and I got a real sales pitch on the program. Only here was the cost finally mentioned, almost $9000!!
For this I would get 19 coaching sessions with a mentor, and 'unlimited access to their pool of resources'. Now I'm normally pretty streetwise and cynical about this sort of thing, so I feel very stupid that I was taken in, but BE WARNED - these guys are VERY good at preying on the information they have got on you to appeal to your desire to improve your life. Let's face it - who looks at this type of opportunity who DOESN'T want to improve their life?? They do a very persuasive and slick sales job. Only when I got passed to their admin people who showed me their lengthy contract did I begin to think it might be a mistake, but as I had already given them my credit card details and I really wanted to succeed at this I thought it was too late to back out...
The next day I thought about it a lot as I had the nagging feeling that something about it wasnt quite right - Not least the fact that a program that was marketed as an altruistic way to mentor people to success through Robert Allen had suddenly become a coaching course through a different company called Prosper Learning Inc, and at huge expense! If each call with my mentor was going to last only 30 - 45 mins, then I was paying them $600 per hour for this!!
I checked on the web (I should have done that first!!) and researched Prosper and Robert G Allen... Well that was a wake-up call! Complaint after complaint, people all over the place who have paid Prosper a fortune and seen little or no return on it...
I decided to try and cancel my contract, which said there was a 3 day cancellation period after receiving the course materials.
I didnt want to wait for the materials to arrive so acted straight away.
Prosper had already scheduled the first session with my coach for the next business day, so I sent a cancellation fax to the number in the contract but also sent an email to all the addresses I had for them, their billing dept, their scheduling dept etc so that they couldn't claim not to have seen it, and asked for a reply to confirm receipt.
I heard nothing back from them in a week although my coach hadnt phoned so I assume he at least had got the email. Then the guy who had originally called me to sell the program kept phoning and leaving messages to persuade me to stay with the program. He even called in the middle of the night! Like that was going to convince me to stay...
Since I'd heard nothing I phoned their Student Care line to see what was happening. The girl I spoke to first hung up on me. I called right back and spoke to a guy who said my refund was in an approval process and would be processed within 5 days.
5 days passed, still no refund. I phoned back again, and emailed again. This time I got a reply with a contract I had to sign before they would process the refund. This contract basically said that I wasn't allowed to speak about Prosper negatively in any way or I'd be immediately taken to court, and that I was signing away my right to raise a dispute with my credit card company over the money I had paid to Prosper.
I signed it to get the refund, but told them I would still have the right to raise a dispute with my credit card company if I didnt get the money back within 5 days from sending them the signed contract. That suddenly seemed to spur them into action and I did manage to get the money refunded to my credit card.
From reading some other people's experiences I feel quite lucky to have got my money back, so if this helps anyone then I'll be glad.
My advice to anyone else dealing with this or any other company who don't provide the services you've paid for or won't give you a refund would be to:-
1) Document *everything* and keep copies of all the emails you send. It's harder to prove what's been said in a phone call so back up everything in an email. You can use this as proof you have tried to resolve things with the company if you need to go to step 2.
2) Once you have tried to get the company themselves to fix your issue and they haven't come good (tell them you're prepared to go to the relevant authorities and to file a dispute/request for a chargeback with your card company), speak to your credit card company. They are supposed to provide some level of consumer protection and often will refund you and 'chargeback' the amount to companies who don't supply goods or services their customers have paid for.
I think it's shocking that unscrupulous companies get away with scamming money from people just trying to improve their lot so more power to the ripoff report! Good luck to you all with this! Go get your money!
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/18/2005 04:45 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/prosper-learning-pmg-mentors/provo-utah-84604/prosper-learning-pmg-mentors-hard-sell-and-poor-response-be-warned-these-guys-are-ver-168414. 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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