• Report: #445249
Complaint Review:

Stanford Who's Who

  • Submitted: Mon, April 20, 2009
  • Updated: Sat, November 24, 2012

  • Reported By:Atlanta Georgia
Stanford Who's Who
410 Park Avenue, 15th Floor New Y,ork New York 10022 Atlanta, Georgia U.S.A.

Stanford Who's Who I was contacted by the "Supervisor" a few days after I was coaxed into signing up for 1 year membership and I asked to cancel the membership the same day. I am not being allowed to cancel my membership and was threatened by the supervisor Atlanta Georgia

*Consumer Comment: Contact details

*Consumer Suggestion: Hopefully in time

*Consumer Comment: Even here in Malaysia

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: The Stanford Whos Who Scam-Inside the Nest

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Do not work for this company

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: STANFORD WHO'S WHO IS A SCAM!!!

*Consumer Comment: Also tried it on with me - cntd

*Consumer Comment: Also tried it on with me

*Consumer Comment: Same bad experience here

*Consumer Comment: Sent my details, luckily I didn't send my CC details

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Standford's Who's Who are acting dishonestly

*UPDATE Employee: Stanford Who's Who is Completely Legitimate

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: NEW NAME AND ADDRESS

*Consumer Comment: Stanford Whos Who

*Consumer Comment: NY State Law regarding refunds from Who's Who

*Author of original report: Stanford Who's Who

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: i worked there as well

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: worked there

*Consumer Comment: Wow!

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This is an example of an email I sent to Stephen at Stanford after he tried to get me to sign a document saying I would pursue my membership that I repeatedly told him I did not want.

I understand what you are saying and I appreciate your offer, however, I cannot sign that document. I do not wish to become a member of Stanford Who's Who in any form.

I do not know what to do at this point. It seems as if you are not understanding where I am coming from.

Please let me know if we need to pursue this matter on another venue. I do not wish to dispute this anymore than you do, but I find it pretty amazing that Stanford, as a company, is refusing someone to cancel a membership. Especially considering the matter in which I was sought out and signed up.

I realize it was my decision to sign up, however, I still have not received any documentation regarding your policies. You mentioned non-binding contracts and recorded voice conversations and I have been given no evidence of either of these. We both understand exactly what is happening here I believe.

It is Stanford's sales strategy to aggressively pursue young business proffessionals through mass marketing. Once contact has been made, the consumer is asked a series of questions in something called a "candidate interview." Once the person has done this, they are "accepted" by the sales person and pushed forward into payment for membership. This is a very simple sales tactic and although I was aware of what was happening, I gave your company the benefit of the doubt thinking that if I did not want membership, I would be able to cancel it like any other membership I have ever signed up for.

However, I am now being backed into a corner and asked to sign a piece of paper that guarantees membership for five years. I don't know how to be anymore clear. I do not want anything to do with Stanford as part of any membership, any monthly fees, or any further charges on my account. Please allow me to cancel my membership. Your cooperation will be very much appreciated. I feel as if I am being completely fair, cooperative, and incredibly patient in light of the current situation that has persisted.

Honestly, I am extremely busy and do not wish to discuss this any further. I honestly cannot believe you do not understand how crucial it is that this charge be taken off my account considering it was not approved by the corporation that I work for.

Please give me some good news man.

Thank you,

my name

here was his response: wouldn't either, I'm glad I wasn't yelling. Forgive me if I am frustrated. I apologize if that comes off on the phone. I am working to have a resolution that works for both of us not just yourself, as I mentioned to you, we already processed everything for your package and shipped it out to you. The one year trial program basically just covers the cost associated with that program. So to give a full refund back you can obviously understand how that affects us. We mention all sales are final for this reason alone. We simply cannot resell your items. We incur costs immediately in many ways. So I am doing what I feel is right and waiving your future billings and even offering a complimentary upgrade. I think that is more than generous considering the circumstances. If you want us to waive your future dues I do need that letter signed and faxed back.

There's not much more I can say regarding this matter. I am leaving my office and will look for your letter to update our system in the morning. I'm hoping you'll realize that I believe in a win-win resolution for both of us. If you were a platinum member I could refund an amount to keep it at a one year level however at the one year it is a trial and it basically allows you to utilize our services for one year at a level that basically covers costs. I am waiving future dues and even complimentary upgrading your program. There's not much room to work with at the one year level. So I think that we are being more than generous.

This is after he accused me of reading blogs and copying and pasting to sound "clever." This guy is completely out of line, unprofessional, and needs to be confronted by the authorities. I really need some help on this one.

Atlanta, Georgia

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/20/2009 03:36 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/stanford-whos-who/atlanta-georgia-30339/stanford-whos-who-i-was-contacted-by-the-supervisor-a-few-days-after-i-was-coaxed-into-445249. 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 Consumer Comment

Contact details

AUTHOR: CupNoodle - ()

I know we are not allowed to share contact details here, but is there anyone who has an email address we can reach out to?
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

Hopefully in time

AUTHOR: CupNoodle - ()

Just cancel your CC immediately. Also, see if your bank can retract the payment as well, before it is too late.
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#3 Consumer Comment

Even here in Malaysia

AUTHOR: Philip - ()

I am pleasantly surprised when I got the call from one of the employees from SWW. I got a call around 11am on my office phone after they attempted to call me on my cell which I didn't answer due to an unknown 5 digit number (which is peculiar in Malaysia and very likely linked to any sort of scams). The office phone rang, and picked it up and surely it wasn't a call domestically made. The same shenanigans entails with him explaining the "service" to me and fitting in one or two flowery sentences complimenting me, telling me what a "leader" I am and how sure he was that I am a key decision maker in the company (I'm 26 years old, and I told him that I worked in this company not more than 2 years, how the heck can i be a key decision maker in the company?). Right after all these compliments, I smell something fishy. I was lucky enough to be in front of a laptop (at work) so I google'd the company right away and was brought to ripoffreport.com. And read all your comments and experiences with this company. My guess was confirmed, it definitely isn't as profound as how LinkedIn thought the company was. He continued to ramble on and on about Platinum and Gold and etc, and I didn't listen to half of what he has to say. I just told him I am in no financial position to acquire such a membership. He was rather persistent, lowering the membership fee as I rejected each and every of his attempt. I told him with the exchange rate, it's pretty hard for me to commit to something like this. He said he understands, and then he hung up. No credit card information was given, I guess I just wanted to waste his time making him spend an hour on the phone with me (I wasn't listening since I put the phone down on the table and allowed him to ramble. He was talking quite loudly so I would know if he needed me to respond). He was pretty pissed off when I said no thanks and hung up. I guess what I want to say is, firstly, LinkedIn should do something about this. I mean, if they are allowing all these sorts of nonsense on their website, that's just really unethical. Secondly, never ever give out your CC details to anyone over a 10-minute conversation on the phone. Even to people you placidly know. I live in Malaysia and we are probably one of the countries with the highest frequency of scam and fraud. There is one random 5 digit number that calls you, but no one will be on the other line. Apparently they can copy your contacts (meaning your bank account number, CC number or whatever that you store on your phone right when you answer the call). With all these happenings, I've learned to be a little cautious. I am just surprised that they went as far as Malaysia to target people, considering that we are not a very developed or advance country. Best to be careful. And to people that has been trapped, I am sorry and I wish you luck in hammering the last few nails to SWW's coffin. Good luck!
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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds

The Stanford Whos Who Scam-Inside the Nest

AUTHOR: ExStanfordEmployee - (United States of America)

Let me start by saying that I am a former employee with intimate knowledge of how this operation works. For one thing it is run by a cut throat heartless business guy who hires really good people who are just looking for work and don't realize what this is before they sign on. Then you get stuck in the paycheck cycle and look the other way when you see what is truly going on. It is NOT technically a scam as all their terms and conditions such as they are can be found prior to purchase, which does not minimize how dirty the sales trickery is. They prey on peoples trust and good will assuming that this is for real and will help them. 

In some respects it is REAL in that it follows the basic who's who business model that has been around for at least a century. The bottom line is, if you don't give them your credit card info, you are safe. If you do, you are basically caught in a legal mess that you aren't likely to get out of without paying an arm and a leg. They do give you exactly what they say they will, which is basically put you on a list of gullible people that gets published annually and on the Internet. 

So do yourself a favor, if you want real business marketing, read a book about it or hire an independent contractor/web designer or marketing company who's office you can visit and will be help accountable for what they have sold you. 

I am sorry for anyone who was tricked into this as a result of the work I did and I sincerely hope some people read this and think twice about signing up for this waste of money. Not a scam, but not something you should pay for. If you already have and you are reading this, keep calling back until you get your money back, squeaky wheels do get greased eventually
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#5 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Do not work for this company

AUTHOR: Daedalus - (United States of America)

I worked here for about 5 months (will not state when). Worst job ever held. They treat their employees like sweat shop workers, no windows, very, very dirty office space. Floors never cleaned.

The floor managers, Rocco and Dan, weren't the best for the job. Always complained about us not making sales (product we are selling is a downright scam, very hard to sell). They did not encourage or train the associates that worked there.

They fired people left and right. Some people did not even last a week. This is not thee fault of the HR department (He isa really down to earth guy). The problem lies with the new CEO, Vince. He does not understand how to train and grow quality employees. He is very unreasonable and cut-throat.

Oh and don't take off from work if you get sick or anything. They will deduct 20% from your ENTIRE paycheck, not just that day. Also, if someone cancels their membership, YOU get penalized, they call it charge-backs. Is anyone aware if the 20% thing is illegal or not?

All in all I was laid-off due to ''lack of sales''. I am struggling to make ends meet and now collecting unemployment. They screwed me and dozens of other people. This company does not care about its employees at all. If you applied there or interviewed with them, Please, I'm begging you, do not take the job. It will cause you more of a headache and stress.
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#6 UPDATE EX-employee responds


AUTHOR: J boy ya boy - (United States of America)

This is the biggest rip off I've ever seen in my life.  When I went on the "interview" for this "company" they told me they had qualified leads.  Qualified leads are supposed to mean that people showed interest in PAYING for this "service".  But the ad the click on online tells them that they're getting it for free.It's a scam.  It's nothing more than selling stupid people on their own vanity.   This is how their "pitch" goes...1.  you call them up and ask them for some very basic information.2.  then, you "congratulate" them as if they just received some type of "honor" into some special "club"3.  then, you try to sell them on some "premium package" which is over a thousand dollars (even though the ad said it was a free service)  ((and even though anyone can start a linked in, facebook or twitter absolutely free.4.  then, when they don't go for the "premium" you try to sell them on the "gold" $800...then DROP DOWN to "silver" $600 and on and on until you have to give it away for free....

The real scam here is telling them that they're being accepted into some special network meanwhile the only real qualification is having a credit card number.Oh, and if you take a look at the book that these geniuses who get swindled into paying for this "service" looks like...at least 50 percent of the book is people who signed up for free.  Congratulations, you just paid $1,000 PLUS!!!! a ten dollar fee a month to have a 1 minute generic video of yourself.And, they put no effort into making your biography different from anyone elses...everyones bio simply says that they are dedicated and driven in their field to become "leaders".  Absolute scam...this is coming from someone who thought about working there for a day or two before I realized I'd be ripping people off.  Oh, oh, and i almost forgot...what kind of top notch networking site has 100,000 measly members and only 8,000 likes on facebook?  
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#7 Consumer Comment

Also tried it on with me - cntd

AUTHOR: Peter Coghlan - (Australia)

After my last post, I searched my email and found one from Stanford Who's Who dated 26 Nov 2011 with subject: "Your free listing login info - as promised". It had a login and password. I tried it.

It immediately displays T&A. Two clauses of pertinent interest here:

All membership fees and any payments related thereto including, without limitation, any membership upgrade fees are due and payable by you at the point of sale. You hereby acknowledge and agree that any other fees not collected at the point of sale that are due as a result of your membership including, without limitation, any deferred fees will be automatically charged by Stanford to the credit card number provided by you to Stanford thirty days from the original point of sale date.

All memberships are personalized and customized for each individual member by Stanford and accordingly, there are no cancellations or refunds of Stanford memberships unless you are otherwise entitled to cancellation pursuant to applicable law.

Seemed OK to me, so I agreed and it brought me to "My Area" where it prompts for Bio, Resume & Contact details. I didn't complete it (no time or interest), so there could be a sting at the end of completion.

I have not provided any CC details (though pushed to do so over the phone for 15-20 minutes) and did receive a "certificate" via email, along with these login details. Once logged in, I can update my bio, add photos, publish events, have access to blogging, a marketplace, an activity wall and a messaging system.

I went to the Billing Info section and there is a blank invoice with the following:

Membership Type -

Full expanded biography to appear in The Stanford Whos Who Black Book
Unlimited online access (www.stanfordwhoswho.com)
Unlimited access to the Stanford Discount Network

There is never a charge to update profile information

Terms: As explained to you, your program is split-billed for your convenience, $ will be automatically billed on . After that, your monthly dues are only $ and you will be billed on the 1st of every month beginning . Because you are an honored member, we may contact you periodically to alert you of additional products, services and privileges that may be available to you in the future for a nominal fee. These benefits include, but are not limited to, The Hard Cover Registry, The Wall Plaque of Recognition, Press Releases, News Releases, additional airline vouchers and much more! All program sales are final. No refunds will be issued as this service, and accompanying products, are all personalized.

So, to me, it seems to operate a little like Professional LinkedIn (it costs), but uses dubious methods to recruit membership.

Make of it what you will, but I, for one, will not be paying for it.
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#8 Consumer Comment

Also tried it on with me

AUTHOR: Peter Coghlan - (United States of America)

Recently I also received a call out of the blue. A lady talked about how successful I was and how bright I must be to hold such high profile roles - ironically, I had been unemployed for some months at the time! At the end of a flattering converstion, she said "I passed the assessment", to which I thought "What assessment?".

It was then that the real sale began - provide CC details to join. I suggested she send me something in writing, or point me to an online registration form. I said I will NEVER provide my CC details over the phone to someone who's phoned me unsolicited (think of spam). She would do neither, so I said "Goodbye".

Yet, for 15 minutes she tried to get my CC details. I proceeded to tell her that her "assessment" of me as an intelligent and successful professional surely empowers me to decide what is sensible and what is not. Providing CC details over the phone based on an unsolicited 10 minute conversation is just plain stupid. However, she just kept pushing...

It was my "I'm not going to give you my CC details over the phone, and that's that!" that eventually made her see that I was not going to be a sale for her. She bowed out gracefully and said they'd be in touch again to see if I'd changed my mind. The nerve!

That is not to say that I'm the cleverest b'stard and didn't get caught. It was very tempting and the lady was very flattering and pushed the "right buttons". But based on the white lies I told her, this was surely nothing but a scam. I could have made up any rubbish and I would have "passed the assessment".

So, I feel lucky compared to some of the respondants here. G'luck to you all and I hope you get your deserved refunds.

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#9 Consumer Comment

Same bad experience here

AUTHOR: Iwan Kemp - (South Africa)

I have had the unfortunate privilege of dealing with Stanford and Carla Gwatney in particular the last week.

Let me start at the beginning:

When I first received the call from Stanford (early October 2011) I was a bit skeptical, but am making an effort to further my career and decided to give them a go. I regret not doing a proper internet search before doing so. Rookie mistake. But everything happened as explained to me so all looked well.

Fast forward to November 22nd. I received a call from one of the gentleman at Stanford. The purpose of the call was to let me know that I now have two people I can deal with at Stanford and was assured that the gentleman will email me all his contact info should I ever need any help. Based on this I didnt bother writing his name down. Rookie mistake no2!

He also explained to me that they are finalizing my resume and that it would be send to me for approval. He stressed the importance of double checking everything as that is what would go out to the masses. At the end of the conversation he said: I notice the card detail we have on the system says your card expired 10/12? to which I answered 10/12 is next year. He chuckled a bit and apologized for his mistake.

Note that at NO TIME during this call was I told that there would be a cost for this, what the future cost of this would be or that it would be deducted straight away. Also at no time during the call did he say anything directly or indirectly that would alert me to ask.

The next day I received a PAID STATEMENT from Stanford for $695! No other details and certainly not the gentlemans contact info. I immediately replied that I do not authorize the payment and they need to contact me ASAP. The next morning I checked my bank statement and low and behold the money was already deducted. I sent another email.

To their credit I was phoned twice, but always in the evening (South Africa) and both instances I was unavailable.

On Monday 28 November Carl Gwatney phoned me. I explained my situation in detail. For this she OFFERED me - $395 dollars back - to cancel my monthly fee of $9.95 - free upgrade to lifetime membership.

So in effect she admits their wrong doing, but still refuses to give me a full refund and I would still be out of pocket. She then kept on saying that they will not process payment without authorization first to which I kept saying that I was not asked for authorization. We went around in circles for close to a hour with her trying all angles to get out of giving me a refund. Her main argument being how they normally or should do things with regards to payment, but I kept saying thats what or how it happened.

She refused to give me her superiors details saying that I confirmed my credit card details and said she is the only one who can help me.

She also kept saying the operator will have gone over my credit card details to which I kept saying over and over again that HE DID NOT.

(This phone call was a lesson in staying calm and professional!)

Towards the end of the conversation I said that I do not accept her offer and would pursue other avenues if they refuse to get my money back. To this she tried to tell me how long it will take if I should go that route and that even then I am not guaranteed to get my money back whereas she was offering to refund $395 dollars and upgrade me as detailed above!

This isnt a offer! And she didnt want to understand that its not an offer when you take something from someone unlawfully then offer to give half back with some other junk they dont want!

I said Im not interested and will take my chances at which point the line went quiet on her side.

The next morning I sent them another email ( to three email ads) to give them another opportunity to resolve this. I also tried phoning their offices without any luck.

It has now been almost 8 days since my first email to them and I am no closer to my own money. I have had to stop my card and have proceeded with a dispute case with my bank and Mastercard.

I have no doubt that this is one big scam that people get suckered into. I made the mistake. I wont this mistake ever again lesson learned!
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#10 Consumer Comment

Sent my details, luckily I didn't send my CC details

AUTHOR: Australia - (Australia)

I came across their website via a banner advertisement on LinkedIn and decided to add my contact details - just to see what happens. Less than a week later, I received a call from their Account Director who walked me through brief 'candidate interview questions' before she said that I was successful in those questions and proceeded to sell me their packages.

She then brought on the hard sell to me - requesting my credit card details. I started feeling like I was getting pressured into making a purchase. I requested a print form be mailed out to me, or an online form, so that I am able to view the terms and conditions of the purchase. Her response was that numerous business transactions happen over the phone anyway and then proceeded to try and obtain my cc details but I continued to push on to view those terms and conditions. There needs to be a Terms and Conditions containing refund details, etc and in print as well.

I had to cut the phone conversation off - unfortunately, I should have told them not to contact me because I was getting several calls from NY which I have been deliberately ignoring. However, I filled in a contact form in their website "Remove from future mailings" under "Legal Info":

"Welcome to the OPT-OUT page

We apologize for any inconvenience our correspondence has caused you.

Please fill in and submit the form below and your contact information will be put on the "do not contact" list."

I added my contact details, however I am STILL getting phone calls from them. It's ironic because at the end of the form, after submitting the form you are taken to the page containing this line:

"One of our representatives will be in contact with you shortly."

So anyway, will be continuing to ignore any numbers from New York.

I am really disappointed in LinkedIn for allowing these guys to advertise on their platform and that also negatively harms their website. I've also recently pulled my Business membership from their website and still yet to receive confirmation of this.
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#11 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Standford's Who's Who are acting dishonestly

AUTHOR: Niall G - (Singapore)

I am very interested to see this 'rebuttal' from Carla Gwatney of Standford's Who's Who (SWW) as she has just been party to a dishonest sales and 'resolution' of this service to me.  The facts are as follows:
- I live in Singapore, recently lost my job and have been job searching on LinkedIn
- SWW advertise on LinkedIn as 'Who's Who in Singapore..Free to List'
- I was telephoned by Katrina Bryant of SWW who 'accepted' me for listing, and then told me of the various charges involved.  I was not offered a free to list option and I said I did not want to pay.  Then via a combination of flattery, persuasion and telesales trickery I was pressured into buying, something I now regret.  
- To be specific on the trickery point I was asked why I had wanted to join Who's Who in Singapore/SWW and I said "for job networking in Singapore" - this was the only reason.  I was told this was available.
- I still insisted that I wanted to think about the purchase as my funds were short, but was told "it is impossible to go back and forth to sales and that I had to pay then if I ever wanted to join".  Although I found this hard to believe I did not want to loose the networking opportunity and succumbed.
- I searched online extensively immediately after the call and could find no Singapore reference to SWW
- I tried repeatedly to call the US number back (631 650 2140) but received no reply and no message option
- The following Monday I spoke with Carla Gwatney (Customer Services) and insisted that the service offered no Singapore networking benefits to me.  She said that it did, and after a heated discussion about how thoroughly unhappy I was with the misselling she agreed a $100 discount and a training tutorial if I signed a 'Full and Final Resolution' first.  I signed and returned the Resolution and neither refund or tutorial has been provided - as clearly dishonest an act and confidence trick as the original sale
- Carla did provide the login and password for SWW - unfortunately, as I originally suspected, there is no option or ability to filter on Singapore based members or to achieve any networking value from SWW here
- I have telephoned and emailed Carla on numerous occasions but she refuses to respond - I presume because when I take the case to the New York Better Business Bureau she will attempt to rely on the 'Full and Final Resolution' that she dishonestly obtained
- I am disgusted in this day and age that a US company can operate so dishonestly
- I have reported the matter to Visa and will suggest that they remove SWW's use of their service
- The only proper and fair resolution for this issue is a full refund - CARLA I HOPE YOU ARE READING THIS
- For anyone else considering joining Standford's Who's Who - don't!  Even if it provides useful networking for you - presumably in the US - and you may be attracted by their gimmicks (plaques and certificates), their sales tactics are simply appalling.  Standford's Who's Who are acting dishonestly - please be warned!
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#12 UPDATE Employee

Stanford Who's Who is Completely Legitimate

AUTHOR: STANFORD WHO''S WHO - (United States of America)

To Whom this may Concern -

In regards to your concern with Stanford Whos Who I will detail a complete overview of Stanford Who's Who, its integrity, and dedication to quality.  I have included in depth explanation of the company, its products, and customer acquisitions process.

We would also like to thank Ripoff report  for hosting a forum which brings certain customer service issues to our attention, and giving Stanford Whos Who the opportunity to address them and ensure all of our members, potential members, and past members are 100% satisfied with the services of Stanford Whos Who.

We believe Stanford Who's Who is one of the leading registry publishing companies in the world.  The company provides its clientele with printed recognition of their career achievements and a forum to share those accomplishments with their peers.  Stanford Who's Who assists its subscribers in creating personalized biographical profiles that demonstrate their career highlights for publishing in the Stanford print registry, Online Registry, and CD-ROM.

Individuals whom apply but do not pay to subscribe are also published without the assistance from the Stanford staff in creating their biography.  They are provided a user name and password to log on and edit their biography on their own.  These profiles are housed in a searchable database to facilitate communication amongst one another, branding, and lead to potential business, and/or professional relationships by enhancing the clients' or applicants' professional exposure. 

The individuals listed consist of executives, professionals, entrepreneurs, employees, etc.
The core of the company's success has been its consistent ability to identify prospective clients based on placement of ads, and certain demographic requirements on list selections. Stanford then follows up responders with a telephone call to attempt to successfully convert these applicants to paying clients.  If the applicant declines, they are automatically granted a free listing.

As mentioned earlier, Stanford Whos Who will be monitoring the comments on this blog, and address every single issue.  We are not here to debate or go back and forth pleading our legitimacy, but simply to make sure all of our customers are happy.  Our actions to our members, potential members and past members will speak for Stanford Whos Who.

Thank you everyone for taking the time to read this.  If you have any questions or concerns whatsoever please do not hesitate to contact us help@stanfordwhoswho.com or call me directly 1-631-650-2140 Extension 2008, Carla Gwatney.
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#13 UPDATE EX-employee responds


AUTHOR: WOWWHOSWHO - (United States of America)


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#14 Consumer Comment

Stanford Whos Who

AUTHOR: Michele Smorgon - (Australia)

I would like to know how to receive a refund in full.
Please assist
Many thanks
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#15 Consumer Comment

NY State Law regarding refunds from Who's Who

AUTHOR: Tagurit - (USA)

The reason you got pressured to sign the document is that any telephone sale for over $500 is non enforceable without a signed contract.   I got a call from Cambridge Who's Who the other day trying to sucker me into the same type of scam.  My friend got a call from Stanford Who's Who a week ago and gave them her CC info.  She called back not even 10 minutes later to cancel and they said she couldn't - wrong - under NY state law she was not in possession yet of any materials and she was allowed to cancel.   Both Cambridge and Stanford Who's Who are based in the state of New York as are many of the other Who's Who scams.  Below is some content on New York state law regarding contracts that might be of help to anyone else that has been scammed by these organizations.

Both Stanford Whos Who and Cambridge Whos Who are located in the state of New York.   This is important because under the New York Uniform Commercial Code (U.C.C.), the statute of frauds requires all contracts for the sale of goods with an underlying value of five hundred dollars ($500) or more to be in writing, or the agreement is not binding on the parties. Further, telephone agreements with a total value of five hundred dollars ($500) or more without a subsequent written contract are not enforceable.    Im sure this is one of the reasons that these pushy sales folks from Standford, Cambridge, and other Whos Who organizations are so willing to drop their price to $199 and then to $99 because it falls under the $500 limit.


Cooling-Off Law

Under the Federal Trade Commission's Cooling Off Rule, a consumer has until midnight of the third business day after a contract was signed to cancel either of the following:

         door-to-door sales contracts for more than twenty-five dollars ($25), or

         a contract for more than twenty-five dollars ($25) made anywhere other than the seller's normal place of business--for instance, at a sales presentation, at a hotel or restaurant, outdoor exhibit, computer show, or trade show (other than public car auctions and craft fairs).

Under the Cooling- Off Rule, after the buyer has cancelled a purchase, the seller has ten (10) days to:

         Cancel and return any promissory note or other negotiable instrument signed by the buyer;

         Refund all of the buyers money and inform the buyer if any products in their possession will be picked up; and,

         Return any trade-in.

Within twenty (20) days, the seller must either pick up the items left with the buyer, or reimburse the buyer for mailing expenses, if there was an agreement to send the items back. If the buyer received any goods from the seller, the buyer must make them available to the seller in as good condition as when the goods were received. If not, or if the buyer agrees to return the items but fails to do so, the buyer remains obligated under contract. Complaints about sales practices involving the Cooling-Off Rule should be directed to the Consumer Response Center, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, D.C. 20580.


There is no general cooling-off law in New York. Therefore, consumers should be very wary of ANY salespeople calling from any company based in the state of New York attempting to sell them services.   Below are 2 rules within the state of New York regarding those types of memberships that can be cancelled.  One could consider that membership in Whos Who is similar and should fall under the same rules and if pursued in court will likely find in favor of the person wanting to cancel.

         Membership Campground Contracts.(May be cancelled within three (3) business days after the date of receipt by the buyer of a copy of the written contract.)


         Social Referral (Dating) Services. (Consumer has three (3) business days to cancel the contract.)


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#16 Author of original report

Stanford Who's Who

AUTHOR: Jon bailey - (U.S.A.)

Please remove this report from the system. This company has agreed to refund me in full.
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#17 UPDATE EX-employee responds

i worked there as well

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

I know what you are talking about I worked there as well. Their office is not in NYC, I think they use something known as a virtual office cause i looked up the address of the company because I was confused on why it said it was in NYC but we worked in Islip. if you type into google 410 Park Avenue, 15th Floor the first result you'll get is Virtual office New York , virtual serviced offices nyc. Click on that and see what that says. While I was there I have to say that they were not as professional as they may sound, way too many ridiculus things to type. Yes they have several programs available but you do have to pay for it unless its a basic listing. I guess that saying is true there is nothing in life thats for free. What I can say is that I was unmistakenly unhappy working there, I actually dreaded it.
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#18 UPDATE EX-employee responds

worked there

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

I am letting u know that their office is NOT in NYC it is in Islip NY on Long Island. Also, there is a membership called a sponsorship which is only the 9.95 per month w/ no other costs. The one yr is $99 plus the 9.95/ mth. I wish I could tell u everything but that would take way to much time. And I don't know if this is true but I was told by another employee who worked there before me that the calls are not recorded at all and that is why we say "may be recorded" that way we r technically not lying because who we talk to might be someone who wasn't recorded. My understanding from this other employee is that most of what we r told to say is just short of lying that way Stanford can't be prosecuted for fraud and I believe they used to be Princeton Who's Who, one Supervisor said that was their old name the other Supervisor said they were never Princeton.
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#19 Consumer Comment


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

Call your bank and stop any further payments to them.

I can't believe this scam is back. In the early to mid 80's I was contacted by a Stanford Who's Who via paper mail.

It said I could be in the Who's Who book if I sent them money. I laughed and spent money on diapers and formula instead.
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