Report: #142513

Complaint Review: Berman Investment Group, Bruce A. Berman - Newport Beach California

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: Tucson Arizona
  • Berman Investment Group, Bruce A. Berman
    1301 Dove Street, Suite 870
    Newport Beach, California
    U.S.A.

Berman Investment Group, Bruce A. Berman, Ripoff Fraudulent Advertising Berman sends unsolicited product and bills credit card $99.90 Newport Beach California

*Consumer Comment: Bruce A Berman

*Consumer Comment: 100 per cent Customer Satisfaction? Return the money to the Bank after Stealing it.

*Consumer Comment: A scam for sure

*Consumer Comment: A scam for sure

*Consumer Comment: A scam for sure

*Consumer Comment: A scam for sure

*Consumer Comment: Excellent advice Williesha

*Consumer Suggestion: If you don't know what the business is...

*Consumer Suggestion: If you don't know what the business is...

*Consumer Suggestion: If you don't know what the business is...

*Consumer Suggestion: If you don't know what the business is...

*Consumer Comment: They CAN Know When Your Package Arrives

*Consumer Comment: Shipping date ordered the product but missed the 30 day window

*Consumer Suggestion: Bruce A. Berman Scam - Scam I tell you Scam.

*Consumer Suggestion: I orderd it to My suggestion is to put in the demo CD before you decide.

*Consumer Suggestion: I orderd it to My suggestion is to put in the demo CD before you decide.

*Consumer Suggestion: I orderd it to My suggestion is to put in the demo CD before you decide.

*Consumer Suggestion: I orderd it to My suggestion is to put in the demo CD before you decide.

*Consumer Comment: Defending the indefensible

*Consumer Comment: Defending the indefensible

*Consumer Comment: Defending the indefensible

*Consumer Comment: Defending the indefensible

*Consumer Comment: IT IS A SCAM.

*UPDATE Employee: The Berman Investment Group has a 100% return policy and we will accept any book or CD's in saleable condition for a full credit.

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Pretty much ditto as in the other reports.

I saw the TV commercial which offered a free book and CD. The commercial directs one to a web address for ordering.

After gathering ones personal information, an order form appears listing the Product as "Free Book and CD Offer. Includes the book "I Got Here. You Can Too!" and our "Money Making CD". The order form lists the Item Description as "Free Book and CD Package" at $0.00 Cost. A shipping charge of $3.95 also appears on the order form. There was no previous mention of the shipping charge on the website.

But not to worry, because immediately below the order form is their worry free guarantee. They will refund your shipping and handling fee if not completely satisfied. Next comes the credit card information request.

After completing the credit card info fields, the final step is to click the enter button which "appears" to be at the end of the page. End of transaction.

My free book and CD promptly arrived within a few days of ordering; however, a set of four CD roms entitled "Berman Differential" were also included in the package.

A fancy advertising-hype brochure was also included informing me that I received the "Book" and "Making Money CD" free for considering the 4-CD Berman Differential Program for which I would be billed $99.90 at the end of my 30 day consideration period if I did not call and schedule a return. This was the first I had ever seen or heard of this "Berman Differential Program".

I went back to the website and entered some gobblety g**k info into the personal info section to get to the order form. No mention of or reference to the 4-CD Berman Differential Program anywhere!!!or was there?

Remember that enter button I previously mentioned that "appears" to be at the end of the page? Well, it turns out that if you don't click the enter button and scroll down a bit further, a rather lengthy paragraph containing ambiguous information written in ultra fine print appears. It mentions the infamous Berman Differential Program and the necessity to call and "cancel the order" and receive a return authorization number within 30 days or $99.90 will be billed to your credit card. Nowhere on the website or in the ultra fine print does it say that the 4-CD Berman Differential Program will be included with the free order, and that it must be returned at your expense to avoid the $99.90 credit card charge.

This is the most bold and blatant scam that I have ever seen being waved in front of our noses. The old days of non-referenced, ambiguous, fine print on the back of the contract have ended. The court now considers intent. The intent of Berman is rather obvious. But wait! Here's the rest of the story!

Needless to say, I was not about to do business with an intentionally misrepresenting company. I called the return phone number. They had a specific option for return authorizations. I was the number one caller in que...and still on hold for approximately twenty minutes. A nice young lady answered, took my name, telephone number, and order number. She then proceeded to inform me that due to the backlog of calls, she would have to have someone return my call to give me a return authorization. After voicing my complaints, she informed me that she was only an answering service and assured me that someone would return my call.

Twenty-four hours later after no return call (I not only have an answering machine but was also accessible to my phone during the entire time.) I called again. This time I was number two in que and still on hold for about twenty minutes. The scenario repeated itself.

One week later, still after no return call, I decided to take it up with my credit card company. After describing the situation, they isuued an immediate credit for the $3.95 S&H. The amount was not large enough for an investigation, and they could do nothing to prevent the pending $99.90 charge until it was actually posted.

I once again called The Berman Investment Group. This time to my surprise after once again being the number one caller in que and on hold for twenty minutes, someone that actually worked for Berman in Newport, CA answered and issued my return authorization. I voiced my complaints about the obvious scam, and he proceeded to tell me that the program was clearly defined in several places on the website and then began reading that ultra fine print, nonspecific, hidden paragraph.

What next? The return authorization number he gave me on the phone did not match the return authorization number on the email he sent which was to be included with the returned unopened, insured, 4-CD Berman Differential Program shipped in a crush proof package within four or five days of receiving the return authorizaton. I suppose that if you inadvertently opened the CD packet not knowing what they were since you didn't order them that they will charge you. Mine remained unopened as did and will the free book and CD. I included both return authorization numbers with my name address and original order number.

It will be interesting to see if my credit card still gets charged. Berman is obviously doing his best to scam people out of $99.90. I hope the proper authorities will be made aware of this blatant fraud and take action against The Berman Investment Group.

I will post again if my credit card is still charged.

Ken
Tucson, Arizona
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/12/2005 03:03 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/berman-investment-group-bruce-a-berman/newport-beach-california-92660/berman-investment-group-bruce-a-berman-ripoff-fraudulent-advertising-berman-sends-unsol-142513. 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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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
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24Consumer
0Employee/Owner

#1 Consumer Comment

Bruce A Berman

AUTHOR: Lit - ()

Sorry that people felt that they were ripped off, but as far as I can tell if you got your money returned their was nothing fradulent. Often companies files do not reflect the fact that you are not an ongoing customer. Unless you call in to let them know within a certain time frame, they will continue to charge you. When you make the company aware that it is not your intention to continue, the company should immediately refund you. That sounds like what happened here. My relationship with Bruce A Berman has been all good. He is a financial advisor who seems to have the best interest of people at heart. While some people may not like his products, I found them amazing.  It's a shame when people blow simple simple everyday financial transactions out of proportion. 

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#2 Consumer Comment

100 per cent Customer Satisfaction? Return the money to the Bank after Stealing it.

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

Bruce Berman is a modern day Cyber Theif, always happy to return the money if you catch him after he steals the money from Your bank account. How nice! Once contacted the money is returned, but it should never have been taken. This whole program is very slick, no wonder Bruce has a lot of money. One step ahead of prosecution, the ultimate Pyramid scheme, keep zipping $100 from bank accounts and returning it a month later keeps a lot of float in ol' Bruce's accounts, masterful piece of Conmanship. With the added bonus of the small percentage of victims that never ask for the refund. Hats off to Bruce for formulating one of the best "legal" scams we have seen in many years. We can see no way he can be prosecuted no matter how many people he fleeces. Only one word of advice to Bruce, Enron.
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#3 Consumer Comment

A scam for sure

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

I just recently ordered that crap. The only way you'll keep from getting hit for $99 is sending it all back unopened, as I did. Nothing on the site tells you that you will be charged $99. It's only after you read a fold out that you find out about the $99 charge after 30 days. I'm lucky I saw that before opening anything. When I called the customer service number, I got some Pakistani dude who could barely speak english telling me that I had to return the materials in sellable condition (Translation - UNOPENED). Thank God I did not open anything. I got the RMA number and pasted it all over the same package it was mailed in and sent it back in time. Don't be fooled by this. This and ANYTHING you see on TV or the internet about money making opportunities as a SCAM! They're out to bilk you. The money making opportunity is theirs ONLY. This goes for everything, Amway, Quixtar, Carlton Sheets, Berman, Metabolife, Xango Juice, EVERYTHING. This whole country is infested with trickery and thievery on TV and internet.
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#4 Consumer Comment

A scam for sure

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

I just recently ordered that crap. The only way you'll keep from getting hit for $99 is sending it all back unopened, as I did. Nothing on the site tells you that you will be charged $99. It's only after you read a fold out that you find out about the $99 charge after 30 days. I'm lucky I saw that before opening anything. When I called the customer service number, I got some Pakistani dude who could barely speak english telling me that I had to return the materials in sellable condition (Translation - UNOPENED). Thank God I did not open anything. I got the RMA number and pasted it all over the same package it was mailed in and sent it back in time. Don't be fooled by this. This and ANYTHING you see on TV or the internet about money making opportunities as a SCAM! They're out to bilk you. The money making opportunity is theirs ONLY. This goes for everything, Amway, Quixtar, Carlton Sheets, Berman, Metabolife, Xango Juice, EVERYTHING. This whole country is infested with trickery and thievery on TV and internet.
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#5 Consumer Comment

A scam for sure

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

I just recently ordered that crap. The only way you'll keep from getting hit for $99 is sending it all back unopened, as I did. Nothing on the site tells you that you will be charged $99. It's only after you read a fold out that you find out about the $99 charge after 30 days. I'm lucky I saw that before opening anything. When I called the customer service number, I got some Pakistani dude who could barely speak english telling me that I had to return the materials in sellable condition (Translation - UNOPENED). Thank God I did not open anything. I got the RMA number and pasted it all over the same package it was mailed in and sent it back in time. Don't be fooled by this. This and ANYTHING you see on TV or the internet about money making opportunities as a SCAM! They're out to bilk you. The money making opportunity is theirs ONLY. This goes for everything, Amway, Quixtar, Carlton Sheets, Berman, Metabolife, Xango Juice, EVERYTHING. This whole country is infested with trickery and thievery on TV and internet.
Respond to this report!

#6 Consumer Comment

A scam for sure

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

I just recently ordered that crap. The only way you'll keep from getting hit for $99 is sending it all back unopened, as I did. Nothing on the site tells you that you will be charged $99. It's only after you read a fold out that you find out about the $99 charge after 30 days. I'm lucky I saw that before opening anything. When I called the customer service number, I got some Pakistani dude who could barely speak english telling me that I had to return the materials in sellable condition (Translation - UNOPENED). Thank God I did not open anything. I got the RMA number and pasted it all over the same package it was mailed in and sent it back in time. Don't be fooled by this. This and ANYTHING you see on TV or the internet about money making opportunities as a SCAM! They're out to bilk you. The money making opportunity is theirs ONLY. This goes for everything, Amway, Quixtar, Carlton Sheets, Berman, Metabolife, Xango Juice, EVERYTHING. This whole country is infested with trickery and thievery on TV and internet.
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#7 Consumer Comment

Excellent advice Williesha

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

Williesha,

Sometimes the best advice is the simplest advice.

If everybody thought the way you do, the quantity of successful scams would plummet.

Vagueness is the hallmark of "opportunity" scams. If you can't tell what the product/program is from the advertisement, steer clear!
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#8 Consumer Suggestion

If you don't know what the business is...

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

...DON'T BUY THE PACKAGE. These things are clearly scams. If they don't tell you what exactly you'll be doing in this business BEFORE you purchase something, this is obviously a scam. I just saw this commercial the other day and went to their web site. He goes on and on about a "step by step program" but doesn't explain what he's actually selling. This is a massive red flag.
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#9 Consumer Suggestion

If you don't know what the business is...

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

...DON'T BUY THE PACKAGE. These things are clearly scams. If they don't tell you what exactly you'll be doing in this business BEFORE you purchase something, this is obviously a scam. I just saw this commercial the other day and went to their web site. He goes on and on about a "step by step program" but doesn't explain what he's actually selling. This is a massive red flag.
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#10 Consumer Suggestion

If you don't know what the business is...

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

...DON'T BUY THE PACKAGE. These things are clearly scams. If they don't tell you what exactly you'll be doing in this business BEFORE you purchase something, this is obviously a scam. I just saw this commercial the other day and went to their web site. He goes on and on about a "step by step program" but doesn't explain what he's actually selling. This is a massive red flag.
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#11 Consumer Suggestion

If you don't know what the business is...

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

...DON'T BUY THE PACKAGE. These things are clearly scams. If they don't tell you what exactly you'll be doing in this business BEFORE you purchase something, this is obviously a scam. I just saw this commercial the other day and went to their web site. He goes on and on about a "step by step program" but doesn't explain what he's actually selling. This is a massive red flag.
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#12 Consumer Comment

They CAN Know When Your Package Arrives

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

"how are we supposed to know the day and time you receive the CDs?"

Well, if they cared to know, they could. They could probably even figure it out 30 days after the fact.

All of the non-USPS shipping companies track packages and can tell you exactly when a product that you ship out reaches its destination.

The post office has standard delivery time-frames depending on distance. There would be no more than a three day window wherein you would receive your product. And, if they cared to, they could get a delivery confirmation that would tell them when it arrived.

To me this is just another element of deception. Give people 30 days to try your product, but don't tell them that it's actually 26 days because you start the clock from the time of order.
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#13 Consumer Comment

Shipping date ordered the product but missed the 30 day window

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

I ordered the product but missed the 30 day window time peroid and was billed the $99.90. I called the number provided on the brochure.

A rep offered to allow me to keep the 4 CDs for approximately 50% off but I still said no. I was upset about the 30 day shipping peroid. I told the rep I thought the 30 days started from the day I received the product.

The reps response was "how are we supposed to know the day and time you receive the CDs?" I was still not happy but she did have a point. Unless I call the Berman Investment Group and tell them I got the stuff today there is no real effective way of them knowing the exact date I got the CDs.

I still returned the CDs and got a full refund back into my account around 2-3 days later.
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#14 Consumer Suggestion

Bruce A. Berman Scam - Scam I tell you Scam.

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

It is a scam. If it wasn't a scam they would tell you on the sign up page that you are paying $3.95 for a advertisement book and CD. Along with your book and CD is the real product The 4 Berman Garbage CD's that will cost you 99.90 if you don't return it within 30 day of the day you credit card was charged the $3.95. So you really don't get 30 days because it does not go by the shipping date or when you receive it.

Scam I tell you Scam.
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#15 Consumer Suggestion

I orderd it to My suggestion is to put in the demo CD before you decide.

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

I orderd it too. The cd's were shrink wraped but I put the non shrink wraped CD into my computer. I found it was a demonstration of the four shrink wraped CD's. So that is how you determine if you want them or not. I decided I did not want them and called the company and they offered to give me a full refund without any problem. I changed my mind and kept the product. My suggestion is to put in the demo CD before you decide.
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#16 Consumer Suggestion

I orderd it to My suggestion is to put in the demo CD before you decide.

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

I orderd it too. The cd's were shrink wraped but I put the non shrink wraped CD into my computer. I found it was a demonstration of the four shrink wraped CD's. So that is how you determine if you want them or not. I decided I did not want them and called the company and they offered to give me a full refund without any problem. I changed my mind and kept the product. My suggestion is to put in the demo CD before you decide.
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#17 Consumer Suggestion

I orderd it to My suggestion is to put in the demo CD before you decide.

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

I orderd it too. The cd's were shrink wraped but I put the non shrink wraped CD into my computer. I found it was a demonstration of the four shrink wraped CD's. So that is how you determine if you want them or not. I decided I did not want them and called the company and they offered to give me a full refund without any problem. I changed my mind and kept the product. My suggestion is to put in the demo CD before you decide.
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#18 Consumer Suggestion

I orderd it to My suggestion is to put in the demo CD before you decide.

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

I orderd it too. The cd's were shrink wraped but I put the non shrink wraped CD into my computer. I found it was a demonstration of the four shrink wraped CD's. So that is how you determine if you want them or not. I decided I did not want them and called the company and they offered to give me a full refund without any problem. I changed my mind and kept the product. My suggestion is to put in the demo CD before you decide.
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#19 Consumer Comment

Defending the indefensible

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

So, if I have this right, you go to order what you think are going to be some free materials on investing, and instead you get a couple of free "commercials," along with a charged roduct that you probably didn't want?

And then, once you realize what you've actually ordered, you follow the policy which is "clearly indicated in several places," (although none of us are so naive as to believe that consumer avoidance of these terms isn't the intent) only to be stifled at every turn?

Sounds like a scam to me.
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#20 Consumer Comment

Defending the indefensible

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

So, if I have this right, you go to order what you think are going to be some free materials on investing, and instead you get a couple of free "commercials," along with a charged roduct that you probably didn't want?

And then, once you realize what you've actually ordered, you follow the policy which is "clearly indicated in several places," (although none of us are so naive as to believe that consumer avoidance of these terms isn't the intent) only to be stifled at every turn?

Sounds like a scam to me.
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#21 Consumer Comment

Defending the indefensible

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

So, if I have this right, you go to order what you think are going to be some free materials on investing, and instead you get a couple of free "commercials," along with a charged roduct that you probably didn't want?

And then, once you realize what you've actually ordered, you follow the policy which is "clearly indicated in several places," (although none of us are so naive as to believe that consumer avoidance of these terms isn't the intent) only to be stifled at every turn?

Sounds like a scam to me.
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#22 Consumer Comment

Defending the indefensible

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

So, if I have this right, you go to order what you think are going to be some free materials on investing, and instead you get a couple of free "commercials," along with a charged roduct that you probably didn't want?

And then, once you realize what you've actually ordered, you follow the policy which is "clearly indicated in several places," (although none of us are so naive as to believe that consumer avoidance of these terms isn't the intent) only to be stifled at every turn?

Sounds like a scam to me.
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#23 Consumer Comment

IT IS A SCAM.

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

How can you test a product for 30 Days if you are not allowed to open it? It does state that after the 30 days or once any of the 4 shrink-wrapped software has been opened, it may not be returned. What is the address to return the product? I can't seem to get in touch with anyone.
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#24 UPDATE Employee

The Berman Investment Group has a 100% return policy and we will accept any book or CD's in saleable condition for a full credit.

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

In addition, we do not ship unordered products and our web site clearly indicates, in several places, our terms and conditions and return policy of our offers. An insert is also shipped with all of our products informing the consumer on how to return any materials if they desire a return. The Berman Investment Group Customer Care Center is open Monday Friday from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM PST. After hours customer service is available 7-days a week. The Customer Care Center and after hours center can be reached toll free at (877) 237-6265.
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