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Report: #249574

Complaint Review: Innovative Leadership International - Germantown Maryland

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: Arlington Virginia
  • Innovative Leadership International 21410 Manor View Circle Germantown, Maryland U.S.A.

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I hired Suzi to be a life coach and mentor. She was definitely not worth the $350 per hour she charges. I found out the references she provided were all business associates or other coaches, which was peculiar, but now I see why she did this.

When I received my first invoice from her, she billed almost double of what I would have expected. We had a verbal agreement in place that we were to talk for two hours each month and this was the maximum she was to bill me. When I brought the excess charges to her attention, she offered no explanation whatsoever. Instead, she made immediate threats to turn me over to collections and I wasn't even refusing to pay her! These threats came within only 20 days after receiving her invoice!

My letter to the attorney general of Maryland and Virginia tell my story. If you are considering hiring her, I strongly suggest you do some serious due diligence on her. I had never had an experience like this before and it has been a complete time waster. Anyway, if I can caution others in their hiring of her, perhaps all of this will be well worth the while.

Keep in mind that there are plenty plenty of choices out there! I urge you to shop around, get references of paying clients (not just business associates), and ask about their billing practices prior to hiring them.

My letter to the attorney general of Maryland follows:

----------------------


WARNING!!!!

BEFORE HIRING SUZI POMERANTZ, PLEASE READ THIS LETTER!

THIS IS A REAL LETTER SENT TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE IN THE STATE OF MARYLAND AND VIRGINIA


--------------------------------------------------------------
Suzi Pomerantz executive coach innovative leadership international seal the deal
Suzi Pomerantz executive coach innovative leadership international seal the deal
Suzi Pomerantz executive coach innovative leadership international seal the deal


April 9, 2007

Honorable Douglas Gansler
Office of the Attorney General
200 Saint Paul Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
(410) 576-6300
mail@oag.state.md.us


Dear Sir:

I am writing to formally lodge a complaint against a life coach operating under the name Suzi Pomerantz, Innovative Leadership International LLC. Please see her contact information below:

Suzi Pomerantz
Innovative Leadership International LLC
21420 Manor View Circle
Germantown, MD 20876
(301) 601-1525
(301) 528- 9501 (fax)

The reason why I am writing is because Ms. Pomerantz billed me excessively for her time. She took advantage of our working relationship and decided to bill me well in excess of our written and verbal agreement.

As you can see from her invoice (enclosed), she billed me for almost $1900 when I was expecting to be billed within the range of $700 to $1000. I disputed the excess charges and now she is threatening to turn me over to collections after less than 20 days of receiving her invoice! I have not even refused to pay her and she is threatening to turn me over to collections!!! Please reference the attached email dated April 5, where she threatens to turn me over to collections (enclosed).

I hired Suzi to serve as a life coach for me to help me advance my career and business interests. During an initial conversation in January I had with Suzi, she quoted me that she charges $350 per hour. I told her that I could not afford to work with her four hours per month at that rate and that I could only afford working with her for two hours per month. She acknowledged that two hours per month was workable.

I signed her contract electronically on Feb. 14, 2007, which marked the beginning of our working relationship. Please reference the enclosed contract, which establishes our business relationship.

The schedule we set up was the following:

1st interaction via a phone call, Feb. 14, 2007, 1 hour

2nd interaction via a phone call, Feb. 20, 2007, actual coaching time was 30 minutes Suzi was 10 minutes late calling me due to phone technical difficulties on her side and the call was cut short by 10 minutes due to phone difficulties. With all of the interruptions and having to restart conversations, actual coaching time was closer to 30 minutes, but clocked coaching time was 40 minutes. I was billed for the full hour with no discounts or credits given.

3rd interaction via a lunch meeting, Mar. 3, 2007 - 30 minutes of actual coaching time; we actually sat down at our table around 1pm after waiting for about 15 minutes for our table. We ordered food, ate and chit chatted in a get to know you type conversation.

During our lunch, Suzi talked at length about herself. While she talked about herself, she never once mentioned that she would bill me for this time regardless of what was being discussed.

Suzi shared with me that she lost 3 of her best friends who were bridesmaids at her wedding, one of whom betrayed her by not throwing a bachelorette party. She also shared with me about what it is like living in Germantown, about a couple that she got to know at one of her favorite local sushi restaurants where she lived and how they opened a new restaurant elsewhere after they sold their last restaurant. She mentioned about her kids' babysitting schedules and the hours their nanny works. She talked at length about her husband, her family, her kids, her babysitters, her friends and their betrayal to her, her wedding, her bridesmaids all the while billing me for this time!!!!!

I wanted to get to know Suzi as a person, but I certainly did not want to be billed for time that is of no benefit to me.

When I reviewed Suzi's first invoice on Tuesday, March 20, 2007, I was in shock. What I expected to be billed for was for between 2 and 3 hours of time, but no more than 3 hours of time, which would have amounted to $1050. What I was billed for instead was $1875, which is a difference of $825.

Suzi billed for initial consultations from even before I hired her! She billed for prep time, which was not discussed and not part of our contract! She billed for a full hour on our second call, even though she knew full well that the call was cut short due to technical problems. I even discussed my concerns about this immediately following the call and she told me she would make up for it later.

She charged me 3 hours for the lunch including 1 hour of prep time when I have no idea what she was prepping for, nor did I get the sense the she was prepared to talk about issues relevant to me at our lunch. She also billed me for the full two hours that we were together for lunch, including the time we waited to be seated, the ordering and eating time, and the time she talked about herself. She also tagged on commuting time, when Suzi was going to Arlington for an event she was scheduled to speak at George Mason University.

When I asked questions about her invoice, she took a my way or the highway attitude and she demanded that she be paid in full, no questions asked. She did not provide reasonable explanations for the excess time in question as I would have expected of a professional.

I communicated to her my concerns for all the charges that appeared on my bill. I also communicated to her that we discussed in our initial discussion is that I could only afford two hours per month. The reason why I agreed to the lunch is because I had not yet met her in person up to that point in time. I also told her that she was not acting in good faith nor did she exercise any fiduciary responsibility on my behalf when she was well aware of the two hour limit per month and my financial constraints.

To date, I have not refused to pay her invoice. I have questioned charges but I have not refused to pay her invoice. Yet in an email correspondence she sent me on April 5, 2007, only 15 days after reviewing her first invoice for the first time, she already threatened to take me to collections and charge me even more fees for doing so.

She even mentioned that she really could have billed me for closer to $4300, which would account for ALL the time she's spent on my case and that I should appreciate that she was giving me a generous discount!

I pay my bills and I pay them on time. As of yesterday, April 8, 2007, my credit score was 781. I also happen to be a small business owner and dependent on using my credit to earn my livelihood and to provide for employees and independent contractors who work in my company.

In my contract (please review the enclosed contract) with Ms. Pomerantz, it states:

2. The structure of coaching sessions in terms of frequency and duration will be determined and agreed upon by the Coach and the Client together. The Client agrees to compensate the Coach for all sessions based upon verbal agreement of structure.

This means that I get the opportunity to approve billable time and determine our coaching schedule. Ms. Pomerantz is taking the position that she has the absolute right to bill me for whatever time she sees fit.

It concerns me greatly that Ms. Pomerantz is steamrolling over my concerns. She is taking advantage of the situation and using collections agencies as a tool to strong arm me into paying fees I do not agree with. I find this very disturbing.

I mentioned to Ms. Pomerantz that if she is doing this to me, she probably has a pattern among her clientele of excessive billing and that past clients should be contacted to ask questions of this nature. Please see the enclosures Ms. Pomerantz provided me with a list of testimonials and references. I would urge you to contact these people to see if they have been taken too.

Thank you in advance for addressing my concerns with Ms. Pomerantz. Should you need to contact me please email at caroline_allison@yahoo.com.

Sincerely,


Caroline

Suzi Pomerantz executive coach innovative leadership international seal the deal
Suzi Pomerantz executive coach innovative leadership international seal the deal
Suzi Pomerantz executive coach innovative leadership international seal the deal



Enclosures:
Invoice for Innovative Leadership International LLC
Contract Coaching Agreement
Email dated April 5, 2007 Suzi threatens to turn me into collections for merely disputing charges
Testimonials

Cc: Maryland Attorney General, Douglas Gansler
Maryland Consumer Protection Division
Virginia Attorney General, Bob McDonnell
Virginia Office of Consumer Affairs
Federal Trade Commission
Better Business Bureau
Suzi Pomerantz, Innovative Leadership International LLC


Suzi Pomerantz executive coach innovative leadership international seal the deal
Suzi Pomerantz executive coach innovative leadership international seal the deal
Suzi Pomerantz executive coach innovative leadership international seal the deal

Caroline
Arlington, Virginia
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/21/2007 04:34 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/innovative-leadership-international/germantown-maryland-20876-5937/innovative-leadership-international-suzi-pomerantz-author-of-seal-the-deal-and-excecu-249574. 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:
0Author
4Consumer
0Employee/Owner

#4 Author of original report

Suzi Pomerantz is NOT the definition of integrity and I can prove it

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

POSTED: Wednesday, May 30, 2007
I received a written communication from Ms. Pomerantz via the Consumer Complaint division where she states that the consumer complaint division does not fall within the jurisdiction of a consumer because this is a "business-related matter and not a consumer matter." In other words, she knowingly and intentionally lied to a state agency.

Ms. Pomerantz is well aware that I did not sign as a representative of my company, and that this is not a business to business matter. This is a business to consumer matter and she is refusing to deal with the Consumer Complaint division. Her lack of willingness to "work things out," furthermore shows a real lack of integrity. She has now reported me personally to a collections agency.
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#3 Consumer Comment

No, I'm a very satisfied client, not a "cohort."

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

POSTED: Saturday, May 26, 2007
I could not be more satisfied and delighted with the professional guidance my company has received from Suzi Pomerantz. She is a highly effective business coach, a generous guide, and a priceless resource.

Suzi Pomerantz is the rare individual who combines quick comprehension, innovative strategies, and a natural, genuine desire to help her clients realize their potential.

I do, and will continue to, highly recommend Suzi Pomerantz and Innovative Leadership International to others. Suzi leads by example in modeling success with honor and integrity, and we would use her again in a heartbeat.
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#2 Author of original report

Suzi Pomerantz Uses Cohort to Provide Positive Rebuttal on this Report - A Deceptive Practice

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

POSTED: Saturday, May 26, 2007
Obviously the person from Bethany Beach, MD is yet another cohort of Suzi Pomerantz. This is a pattern within her business practice is that she gets business associates, fellow coaches and cohorts to say that she is "generous" and the "definition of integrity", which clearly this is yet another deceptive practice on her part. If Bethany Beach had a legitimate comment about Suzi, they should tell us who they are! Suzi, it would be helpful if you don't use your husband, Sugarcrest, or any of the other coaches in your network toi stick up for you for a change!
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#1 Consumer Comment

Suzi Pomerantz Is The Definition of Integrity

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

POSTED: Friday, May 25, 2007
Suzi Pomerantz is the definition of integrity and fair dealing. She has helped our organization many times over the years. Her input has been on-the-mark and her dealings with us have been generous and more than honorable.
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