Report: #1058049

Complaint Review: SoCal BNI

  • Submitted: Mon, June 10, 2013
  • Updated: Mon, June 10, 2013
  • Reported By: Christina — Orange California
  • SoCal BNI
    8251 La Palma Ave., #430
    Buena Park, California

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

 SoCal BNI pretends to be an expert at teaching businesses how to network and make money. The cost to join is very high and there are never refunds.  I was asked to be on the "Leadership Team" and then abruptly removed without explanation.  I was discredited in front of my peers and expected to continue as a member AND expect my peers to give me business.  I was essentially forced out.  I still had 4 months of membership owed to me but they refused to refund my membership fees.  Jenni Neering is immature and cannot accept criticism and only wishes to steal money from business owners yet provide them with useless information.   Stay far away from this business networking organization. 

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/10/2013 04:54 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 Suggestion

So Cal BNI -Team Work

AUTHOR: Jay - First call - (USA)

I have been a member of other networking groups in the past and when I was introduced to BNI I was skeptical. Well after visiting a few times I decided to join. I have been a member of BNI for three or four years now and signed up again for two more years.

That being said, BNI is work. Some people have expectations that they will do nothing, be flaky and still expect a hot referral. When that doesn't happen or doesn't happen right away they get discouraged. They want to quit and get their money back. Life doesn't work that way!

BNI has been great for me and my friends. I have days were I get too many referral. I have stopped all other advertising and would recommend BNI to people that want to grow their business.

Training is great with BNI, its only $25 but worth more. My public speaking skills have improved 10 fold. My networking skills have improved even more than that. My Business is growing. All the people in my group are now my friends. BNI is not perfect but I believe Jenni's heart is in the right place. If trying to make a good living is a crime then Jenni and I along with all BNI members are guilty as charged.

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#2 Consumer Comment

I agree with the person that was ripped off

AUTHOR: Former Director - ()

 I am a former director and know the owner very well.  I wish to remain anonymous because it is very true that she is childish, immature and vengeful.  It is very sad that this organization works the way it does.  There may be members that benefit which is obviously a very good thing but the overall sentiment among the ownership of the organization is to get as much money from the members as possible.  If the owner feels threatened that someone thinks differently than her (just like a cult), that person would suffer swift and immediate retaliation.  It is very true that some members do well but the ones that do not simply move on and say nothing and later are blamed  for not following protocol for their lack of success.  This organization is not good for all businesses but the owner of SoCal BNI encourages everyone to join  and continue to go to (and pay for trainings) even though she knows that it will cost that business owner more money to stay in the group than they will ever earn from the group.  It is unfortunate what has happened to the woman who was outsted because of her now tarnished reputation but I recommend to all other business owners considering this organization to find an organization that is led by true leaders that encourage leadership in the leaders around them.  SoCal BNI has been a tremendous waste of energy even though I did make some money from it simply because when I left, I felt likeI truly compromised my own values by affiliating with such an unscrupulous owner.  There is enough money in the universe for everyone to earn a decent living without having to cheat business owners out of their hard earned livelyhood.  Integrity is not a word I would use to describe the owners of SoCal BNI. 

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#3 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Response to complaint

AUTHOR: Jenni - ()

My first response was complete and accurate.  Expect no further response from me.

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#4 Consumer Comment

Member Since 2005...

AUTHOR: G Clem - ()

 I was searching for something BNI related and this popped up in my search. I have been a SOCAL BNI member since 2005 back when Sue & Bill were the directors. I have served on all the leadership roles over the course of my membership. I have scene excellent leadership teams bring a chapter to the next level and I have seen leadership teams not follow the systems and procedures in BNI and a chapter struggle. I don't know anything about this situation. I can tell you that with my experience with Socal BNI and its directors and associate directors. They have always shown a level of professionalism that I would expect in business networking. BNI is a networking group. "working" I have seen many members come and go that forget to do the working part. I have seen LT comes and go that forget to do the working part. I have seen members makes over $1M per year from BNI because they understand how to network and BNI if you follow the program makes it easy. Don't let this report keep you away from SoCal BNI. It has been great for my business and I could give you names of hundreds of other business professionals that feel the same way.

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#5 Author of original report

Simply Not True

AUTHOR: Christina - ()

 BNI removed me from my position because I disagreed with the Franchise owner's unethical and unprofessional behavior.  We are a group of business owners that meet weekly.  We use these meeting to have a forum to bring business to one another.  BNI publicly embarassed one of our members thus challenging his credibility.  It was wrong for them to do that.  Whether it was intentional or just handled poorly, it was wrong.  I wrote them an email sharing my opinion about their behavior and within days I was removed.  The franchise owner is very unprofessional and had her ego bruised because I challenged her unethical behavior.  This organization costs over $1,000 a year to be a part of.  It is wrong of them to ask for "leaders" and when a person acts as a leader they remove them and refuse to reimburse them for the money that had not been utilized.  I wrote this rip-off report to warn other business owners to stay far away from SoCal BNI.  You are better off donating your money to a charity than giving it to an organization that can remove you from a leadership position and discredit you in front of your peers and refuse to reimburse you for the money you have not used.  My only recourse now is to sue them.

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#6 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Response to complaint

AUTHOR: Jenni - ()

Christina was the Secretary/Treasurer for the High Trust Chapter.  That position, and the President and Vice President, are At-Will positions.  When an officer fails to perform the duties associated with the position, that person is removed from the Leadership Team.  That was the case with Christina.  No one from our office notified her fellow chapter members of that decision.  Instead, Christina sent a mass email to all members, notifying them of the action.

Christina's removal from the position of Secretary Treasurer had nothing to do with her membership in the chapter.  She was still a member in good standing.  

If Christina had read the contract she signed upon joining BNI, she would have read this:  UPON YOURACCEPTANCE TO BNI, FEES ARE NON-REFUNDABLE WITHOUT EXCEPTION.  This statement is printed in the largest type on the contract, and it appears two times.  The signed copy of that contract is in our possession.

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