On March 30, 2003 I attended a free informational e-commerce pre-training session held by UNIM, LLC. At that training I was given a lot of hype about the possibilities of making money on the internet. UNIM indicated that if I attended the full UNIM Seminar to be held the next week I would be provided all the tools I would need to run a successful online store. The cost for the seminar was $129.95 which I paid.
In addition I would be billed $29.95 for hosting of a website that they would build for me. This amount would begin when the site was built and operational. After IRVINE Webworks contacted me and left instructions via email I contacted them to begin to build the website. The instructions they provided never allowed me to get a functioning website. They started billing me the very next month after the Seminar even though I had no functioning website.
I attended the full Seminar on April 7, 2003 and the salesman/trainer indicated that in order to get the full package that would support a successfull online business I would need to sign a contract with Axin Financial Services that would be 39 months at $39.95.
For this UNIM would build the website, provide access to a merchant account and other internet services. I was not told that in addition my information would be given to Innovative Merchant Gateway to bill me an additional $10 to allow me access to bill customers online through the shopping cart UNIM/IRVINE Webworks was to provide. This was a separate hidden charge which I did not discover until I saw it on my bank statement.
In addition, the merchant account processing company not only charged me the $20 that I had agreed to I later found out that hidden in their agreement was a $75 annual fee that Innovative Merchant Solutions can bill at any time during the year. They also claim that if they send out special offers to you and you do not write them back to decline the offers that they can automatically bill your account for this charge also.
This happened to me. From August 2003 to December 2003 my account was billed $14.99 by innovative merchant bank for services I did not authorize or even know about let alone receive. I asked them to refund the amounts and they refused saying that they would only refund one month because it was my responsibility to have found the billing error earlier and tell them NOT to bill me.
Moreover, UNIM had several sales people call me. The first person who called "Adam" was extremely rude and condecending to my wife and I. He was encouraging us "participate" in mentoring and marketing services that were supposed to help us be successful in the business. After several conversations with him believing all the time that he had called to help us get our website running we discovered after pressing him that he was trying to sell us these services. He would not tell us the cost of the services and could not guarantee that these services costing $4,000 or more would help us make any money on the internet. We declined.
After that another salesperson "Jody" called. She said that she had noticed that out website was not yet operational and wondered if we would not want to buy a packaged deal for $89.95. This package deal could be making us money while we put our website together. They would build us 3 websites which we would use to make money and cover our current outlays. In order to get the package deal we would agree to extend out contract with Axin Financial Services to 48 months. I would also include the web hosting fees in this agreement along with the other services.
The catch is that my wife and I had to sign the agreement and return it within that very week. She sent out the agreement for my review and after reviewing it I called "Jody" to decline. Jody was very abrasive and finally when she could not get me to sign passed me on to "John" who told me a bunch of baloney. I still declined.
After spending more than $1500 trying to get the website working, paying the merchant processing company, paying the hosting fees, paying the merchant gateway etc. I have had to close the account from which all these funds came. I have no working website and no internet business. I simply want out and if anyone is planning a classaction lawsuit against these folks please, please let me know because I want to be a part of it.
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