ED Magedson – Founder
Wealth Information Network - Professional Marketing International - National Marketing Resources211 NE 54th Street Ste 200 Kansas City, Missouri U.S.A.
Wealth Information Network - Professional Marketing International - National Marketing Resources - Professional Marketing - Internet Developement - Summit Consulting
Ripoff fraud, telemarketing scam, poor coaching, faulty computer program, intimidation, poor customer service, unfriendly, refused refund of program, told I was lazy, told I really had the money for the program Kansas City Missouri I was contacted in late January, by Ryan, regarding an Auctions for Income (Dave Espino) system I purchased from an infomercial a few weeks earlier. They asked how I liked the system and would like to find out if I might be a good candidate to be a part of the Auctions for Income Success Team at the Auction Management Center. I was told they were working with Dave Espino and Auctions for Income to help those with this system become successful. NON-DISCLOSURE of all the fees related to this venture, as well as the cost of WIN's program at the initial contact is a federal statute WIN has broken. According to the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL) these laws may have been broken advertisements that may cause confusion as to affiliations with other products (such as falsely implying that one item is made by the makers of another product) advertisements relating to bait and switch practices (for example, advertising one product at a low price to attract customers and then trying to convince them to buy a similar, but more expensive product) advertisements that may cause confusion as to the source or sponsorship of an advertisement I was asked a few questions about my financial goals and was told that I sounded like a good candidate. They asked me if they could call back during a time when they could speak with both me and my wife. Through research, I later found out that this is taking excuses away from you. Most people say let us talk it over and call you back after a pitch, if you are both on the line you can't say that right? They just pressure you both into it (Mike, Summit Consulting, http:/badbusinessbureau.com). Being that she wasn't available, he called back at a time when my wife could be there. She got on the phone and was asked if she was supportive of me. I was then transferred to Aaron Hoeft. Aaron asked my wife and me a few more questions and then asked us about our financial situation, if we had any outstanding debt, credit cards and things of that nature. He then asked us if we knew about good credit and bad credit and that investing is good credit. Because I've been recently reading some of the Rich Dad Poor Dad books, I'm familiar with investing in something when you don't really have the money for it. We were then told the cost of the program. Up until this point I thought that they just wanted to work with me, using just Dave Espino's system. Aaron then told me that the initial investment was around $7,000. My wife and I have no where near that kind of money. Aaron then asked us how much we had on our credit line. I told him how much we had and he quoted a price for the program that was about $330 below our available credit limit. He promised an experienced coach as well as advertising to help attain our financial goals. I told him the reason that I was interested in the drop-shipping aspect of the program was because we live right outside NYC, we don't have a car, we live in studio apartment and I don't have a way to cart or store product anywhere. I was told this was no problem. I was told by Aaron that I would pay $3,670 and was led to believe that there would be no further cots, as both my wife and I both told him that things are very tight for us, as we are both living in the NYC area. He assured me that these were the startup costs to get business rolling and that this and if I could carve 5-10 hours a week I could make this work. I then told him that my wife and I needed to discuss this and get back to him, meaning that we wanted to sleep on it. He told us that he would put us on hold while we discussed this and that we could get back to him by pressing whatever button on the phone and that it would ring back to his office. I, not knowing what I was going to be doing for a job this year, as my job as an assistant teacher expired in June, was skeptical, but wanted to find a way to work at home. My wife and I reluctantly agreed to the sale. At this point Aaron told me that he was recording my conversation to perform the credit card authorization with another female representative from the company. I was told that I had a 3 day right of rescission; I still agreed. They taped my conversation. I was never sent a copy of this verbal contract for my records. The money was billed to PMI in UT, but the 800 number that went with the transaction was to: Usight LLC PO Box 970274 (Undeliverable 6/05) Orem, UT 84907 Telephone: (801) 356-3131 Fax: (801) 356-3003 This company has an unsatisfactory record with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Reliability Report serving the Utah area. According to the file, the company is no longer in business. The only PMI in Utah was: Professional Marketing International 360 South Technology Ct Lindon, UT 84042 Telephone: (801) 437-6700 Fax: (801 437-6859 This company, too, has an unsatisfactory record with the Utah BBB, and has other business listings as: PMI PMI Coaching Wasatch Summit LLC Think a Little Different Next, I was told that the company would contact us in the next few days to set up a session with a coach. My session with the coach was about a week after we signed up with this company. (I later found out that the company's formal policy states that you have a three day right of rescission, yet they set our date with our coach for one week later, which prevented us from making an informed decision about the company. Like another disgruntled consumer said, How was I supposed to know about all the hidden costs associated with this system/company in the first three days? I didn't receive any of this information until my first session with our coach!!!! The first session, Carmen Lawson (originally with e-mail at pmidirect.com) asked me if I had received the AuctionPI: Your eBay Private Investigator software. I had just received it, but had not installed it. We talked about the kind of internet business that I wanted to run. I told Carmen that I was only interested in the drop-shipping aspect of internet sales, as I don't have room to store or money to pay for a vehicle to pickup products. This get to know each other conversation lasted about the whole half hour. She gave me a few websites to visit for product and told me to look at getting a business license in order to order in bulk from some of these companies. I tried loading the software AuctionPI: Your eBay Private Investigator by Bright Builders. Bright Builders 1510 North Technology Way Orem, UT 84097 Telephone: (801) 356-3321 www.brightbuilders.com The software had trouble loading onto my computer. I e-mailed their support dept. waited for a number of days to receive an answer. Meanwhile, I figured that when I talked with Carmen again that she would be able to help me with this. When I asked her about it on our next coaching session, she said that she wasn't familiar with the software and that I should contact their support, which I already did. The best she would say was, "I have fooled around with it." She did everything she could to focus me on the task at hand and avoid this question. I was originally told that I would be dealing with an experienced coach. Hmmm an internet coach not familiar with the equipment her company is selling people. She also asked me if I had gone to these sites to get product. I told her that did go to these suggested sites and realized that I had to pay more money. Money that I didn't have. I was told that if I wanted to do drop shipping (which is one of the main forms of business they promote), I would need to pay a $60 to $70 fee to acquire a list of companies that drop ship. At this point Carmen sounded frustrated that I didn't subscribe to these sites and sounded exasperated that I wouldn't spend more money. I tried to tell her that, in the meantime, I had been a diligent student and that I had listed a few things on eBay. I thought that as a coach she would be interested to give me some pointers on my internet listings. She wasn't interested in this. She also set up an appointment with The Tax Club. I was going to be contacted in a week with someone that could help me do the paperwork and all that is required for a business license. The Tax Club contacted me in the interim. I was told that I could join for over $1,000 to get the best deal with them. The more money up front the less I'd have to pay per month; the less money up front, the more I'd have to pay each month for the service. Again, I didn't have the money to subscribe to the catalogues, get a business license, how would I come up with the money for the Tax Club ? In the next session, I explained all of this to Carmen. I also explained the further problems that I had with the AuctionPI software. It was now loaded onto my computer, but it wouldn't recognize my eBay passwords and many functions were blocked. I contacted the AuctionPI software support, and they told me, after waiting a number of days and a few more reminder e-mails, that it was a bug in their programming and after that, I still haven't heard one this from them, to this day. Again, Carmen said that she wasn't familiar with the software and that I'd have to contact their support dept. I told her I already had and I even forwarded her copies of my e-mails with them so that she could look into it. Again, she reiterated that she was unfamiliar with the software, and sounded frustrated that in the meantime I hadn't done all the necessary steps to be successful in this business. Carmen then informed me that her e-mail address had changed due to a business ownership change. Her e-mail address was now at nmrcoaching.com. Hmmm an internet coach not familiar with the equipment her company is selling people and her company is changing names. Carmen told me that I could use products available to me on the Auctions for Income website. I had looked these products up and ran them through eBay with eBay's online programs for free, and the market was saturated with many auctions using afipremierproducts.com products that weren't selling. I explained this to her and she told me that I needed to obtain access to other products from the subscription companies in order to find products that weren't the same as on the Auctions for Income website. She was frustrated that I couldn't spend more money on these extra options. At no time did she tell me that I could contact anyone higher-up than she to ask for help or money. At not time did she offer to pay for these extra costs. At no time did she look at the work that I'd already done to give me coaching tips. At no time did she give me any knowledge other than websites to subscribe to for a fee. She did direct me to the website that I had paid for with my initial investment where I could start setting up my website. At this time, I didn't have any products, the products that were available to me for free were already saturated, and so I had nothing to put on my personal website, for which I'm still being charged. I have not, looked at the website since she told me to because I didn't have any product to put on there. I couldn't do the product research with the AuctionsPI software, and at no time did she offer a refund. After doing hours of research on products through Google searches, I found places where I could buy crates or other large quantities of items where I needed space to store, but I also needed a business license. I didn't have money for this. Carmen offered me no insight. At no time did she tell me I was wasting my time doing fruitless searches for product. All I ever got was, what I perceived as, an apathetic attitude for not going through the pay-as-you-go steps that she had given me. I thought that I'd already paid more than $3,600 for starting a business and coaching, and I didn't get either. I was up front with both Carmen Lawson and Aaron Hoeft with the fact that neither my wife nor I have extra money; we spent what credit we had on their program. At no time was I given extra numbers to call for supplemental coaching. Up to this point I had not talked to anyone else but Ryan, Aaron Hoeft, a credit card Representative, and Carmen Lawson. I was baffled, as a lot of other people have been, at all of the additional costs after only the first session when our promise from Aaron had been that $3,670 was the cost to start the business. I eventually left a message with Carmen that I needed to postpone the internet coaching because I just didn't have time until my teaching job was over to be doing all this internet research on my time off, when I normally grade and plan. I was spending more than 2 hours a night doing research trying to get around paying extra money, I didn't have, to more people. As I was getting the impression that I was wasting Carmen's time, I figured I could put the sessions on hold until I had the time and had saved up the money. About a week later I received a letter from the Internet Coaching Department. There was no company name, but the address on the bottom of the letter matched that of: National Marketing Resources, LLC 351 W. Washington PO Box 1208 Kearny, MO 64060 Telephone: (816) 903-6100 Fax: (816 )903-6106 This company is one with many complaints on http:/badbusinessbureau.com. The Kansas City BBB's website says that they would like to speak with me regarding my inquiry, to call their office and ask to speak with an operator. Upon talking to Julie Martin with the KC BBB, she told me that the whole group of companies is owned by PMI. One of this company's additional telephone numbers, as listed with the Kansas City area BBB, is the same as: Internet Development 251 W. Washington Kearny, MO 64060 Telephone: (801) 224-4444 Internet Development is no longer in business, and the Kansas City BBB states on their website that If you have an unresolved dispute with this company, you may wish to seek legal advice. I didn't know any of the above information until I did searches after trying to get my money back. Here is the rest of what happened. As the academic school year was coming to an end and I had to move on and decide what I was going to do with this internet coaching. My wife said that she wanted out and that I should contact them for a refund of the rest of the coaching sessions. I figured that all the sessions were around $3,600 for the six months of sessions. I had about, at most, a month's worth of sessions which would leave $3,000 to be refunded, being that the software didn't work. I figured that I had a month of sessions, where all I was told was to go to these places to subscribe to get access to catalogues. I wasn't given any criticism on the eBay auctions that I conducted, I wasn't helped with any of my software issues. I contacted the company to seek a partial refund. I called Aaron Hoeft back, as he was the one that initiated the money part of the transaction. First I got his voice mail. I left a message to call back. I didn't get a call back. I called again a few days later and again got his voice mail. My wife said to try again. I called 5 minutes later and Aaron answered. I told him of all the problems that I'd had, up to date. He told me that he understood my problem and that he was going to put me in touch with Beth Poindexter. He added that if I didn't get to talk to her that I could call him back. After calling Beth Poindexter and leaving a couple of messages, I did speak with Beth and she listened to my problems and then transferred me to Marc Varone, who is, according to Kansas City's BBB Principal, Director of Client Relations for Wealth Information Network 211 NE 54th Street Suite 200 Kansas City, MO 64118-4337 Telephone: (816) 453-8836 Fax: (816)453-8838 According to my notes, I explained, my ordeal to Marc Varone and, initially he listened to my problems. He told me that other people had had problems with Carmen Lawson's coaching; he could understand my frustration there. He was fine until I explained to him that I just wanted a refund of the rest of the internet coaching sessions (not even a full refund of the whole program), at which point his demeanor, in my opinion turned sour. He told me: 1. I should've known to call him to get money to continue forward (Mr. Varone assumed I would know that, but at no point did Aaron Hoeft tell me of Marc Varone, nor did Carmen Lawson) 2. That Aaron assumed that I had the money for the business licenses and other costs associated with the program, when I told him things were tight, because when people say things are tight they usually just don't want to spend money. He then asked me if I have cable for my TV, to make a monetary point. I informed him that my wife and I have lived in the NYC area for three years and we've never had cable or a car (we can't afford them.) 3. Told me that I was doing my research wrong and that's why it was taking so long (shouldn't Carmen Lawson, the coach be saying that? She just sounded exasperated that I wouldn't spend more money) 4. That I was doing a lot of pointless research, but Carmen didn't tell me that. Yet, if she's not an effective coach, and people have a problem with her not willing to refund her pointless sessions. 5. Marc Varone says he doesn't know what information I knew before hand or not, but admitted that he had tapes of Carmen's conversations (He could easily go back through the tapes and hear the information that she gave me). 6. Said that he would refund cost of auction PI software and money to start up my business. (About $700) 7. That given my financial circumstances I couldn't do the drop shipping because of costs of either business license or having to join a wholesale club, he told me, " ... of course Carmen was frustrated." (I was up front about my financial situation. If they knew that why would they pick me as a candidate to spend more money?) 8. I explained that I said that from the beginning, to Aaron, money is tight. If Marc says it's not viable based on the circumstances, why would Aaron think it's viable? But that I should've known to contact him or Aaron about this. 9. He didn't take into consideration that I wanted to give AuctionPI software a chance before I gave up on Carmen. Maybe it's just me, but Marc said that other people have said that they've had problems with Carmen. 10. Neither he nor anyone until this conversation explained to me that the 5-10 hours/week was with someone who could afford all the business startup costs, that if you couldn't afford those that you'd probably be spending more time. He then asked me about teaching and if the kids get refunds when they have unrealistic expectations. I told him that even though kids have unrealistic expectations sometimes, we all get along, we all feel like we're part of a family. I explained that I needed to feel that from the people I work with. Aaron is a very nice sounding guy, Ryan is a very nice sounding guy, Beth is a very nice sounding gal, and Carmen sounds annoyed that I don't have the money to move forward. The only way to move forward is to elect these various services, and when I'm not able to afford them, I'm supposed to know that my coach can't handle the problem (like not being familiar with Auction PI software) I supposed to know to come to Marc, he told me I should've come to him, a guy that I haven't even met or heard of! Where was I supposed to hear or know that if I had a problem with Carmen I was to talk to Marc! Where was I supposed to read that if I didn't have the money for something that Mark would take care of it. If Carmen doesn't have the authority to do this, don't you think that she should know that Marc does and offer this?!? As a coach, shouldn't she know the various avenues to help a person move past spinning their wheels as Marc put it? If the coach doesn't know how to get a person past spinning their wheels or know the resources her company team have, what good of a coach is she? Yet, Marc won't refund that money or money for any previous coaching. Marc Varone didn't seem to care about getting along with the people, he seems only concerned with his company making the $3600 for a piece of software that doesn't work and an apathetic coach who's unfamiliar with the very tools she supposed to be coaching me with. I asked for a refund of the rest of the sessions $3,000. He said he was not going to give me a refund. He would only refund me the software and give me costs to get the business started. At this point I don't want to do business with these people or this company in whom I have no faith, and Marc Varone glossed over this point every time I mentioned this point. I told him that I would have to think about his refund and that I'd talk to my wife and get back to him. I haven't as of yet, because I've done what I should've done in the first place research the companies involved and follow my gut instinct when large sums of money are involved. I spoke with him on 6/13/05 He called me back a couple of weeks ago. I have found that there may have been FTC regulations that weren't followed according to the Franchise and Business Opportunity Rules (16 CFR 436.2) as read on www.ftc.gov, as well as NJ state telemarketing rules (CHAPTER 45D TELEMARKETING: DO NOT CALL SUBCHAPTER 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS I haven't been ready to talk to him with all the research that I've been doing on his company and the others involved. I'm planning my talk for this Monday, July 11, 2005. Because of the bad taste and his company and the reputation of the companies he's associated with, I will now be asking for compensation for the time I've spent researching his company and companies he's associated with as well as long distance calls to the BBB in Kansas City, MO. I have already filed this complaint with the Kansas City BBB, and will be contacting the FTC, NJ Attorney General with this complaint, as well as the Missouri Attorney General, and finally the Washington State Attorney General, where I originally bought the Auctions for Income Program. My advice is to stay away from: Marc Varone Wealth Information Network 211 NE 54th St Ste 200 Kansas City, MO 64118-4337 Telephone: (816) 453-8836 Fax: (816) 453-8838 I will keep everyone updated as to what happens. Ryan West New York, New Jersey
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/11/2005 09:31 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/wealth-information-network-professional-marketing-international-national-marketing-resources/kansas-city-missouri-64118-4337/internet-marketing-companieswealth-information-ninvestigation-professional-ma-5f264htm-149258. 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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