Report: #62322

Complaint Review: StoresOnline, Inc., PMI Coaching, Links4Trade, EMS Traffic - Orem Utah

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: Sanford Florida
  • StoresOnline, Inc., PMI Coaching, Links4Trade, EMS Traffic 754 East Technology Ave. Orem, Utah U.S.A.

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My husband and I are just two more decent, honest hardworking people who were taken in by these corrupt liars. Following the events of 9/11/01 and the recession in FL we were both out of work and simply looking for a way to make a living. We had both thought in terms of doing something on the Internet so when we received the invitation to "lunch" at a local hotel we eagerly attended. We were impressed by the brief presentation and gladly signed up for the full day seminar the following week. (We didn't stay for lunch.) The daylong seminar, held at a very fine hotel in Orlando with quite nice breakfast and lunch offerings, was fascinating, exciting, exhausting and tantalizing. At day's end we left happily, having committed to 3 storefronts that, of course,we paid for with a Credit Card. We genuinely believed we had made a wise decision for our future. We expected to work hard at our new venture, but we certainly didn't expect to become millionaires. My husband had operated a very successful business for some years, was extremely computer savvy and with my sales and marketing background, we felt we certainly were ready to join the Internet. We did expect to realize a profit and with all the "help" and "guidance" StoresOnline promised to give us we felt reasonably confident. We fully expected to be contacted post Seminar with "additional" offers. So when we were called in regard to "Coaching" we listened carefully. After giving the matter great thought, we felt it was wise for us pay additional monies to get "professional" teaching as even with all our business experience, we were Internet novices. And, of course, like idiots, we immediately gave them our Credit Card numbers (because there was a limited number of coaches and only a limited number of spots for "Success" stories the deal had to be consumated that evening). But, oh how happy we were. We so looked forward to getting started and still believed we had made a sound decision. We're reasonably intelligent, aren't afraid of hard work, and StoresOnline, PMI Coaching, Links4Trade, and EMS Traffic would be behind us every step of the way. WE COULD NOT HAVE BEEN MORE WRONG! We contracted for our storefronts in September, 2002. Here it is 9 months later, June 29, 2003, and only one of our sites is up and running, no thanks whatsoever to SOL and their cheating cronies. My husband, who had no prior HTML experience, programmed the site himself as SOL was incapable of doing it. Even though we were published in April (we didn't give the OK for publishing, it was simply done) we have had a grand total of 2 sales. What else could we expect? We now know that SOL's templates (we hate those templates) aren't optimized for Search Engine placement. We own our own domain name, but save for the Home page URL, every other page is StoresOnline. Which means we can't get listed on the Search Engines! A brief rundown of heartaches encountered: From our first Coaching session we had to select five main product categories we wanted to sell, and for the next session had to list all our keywords for those products and write up promos for each product category, heavily weighted with keywords. We were forced into making a hasty decision on products we didn't even know if we could get so that our "homework assignment" for the next week could be done. We had asked for assistance on product selection and dropshipping but never received it. Being locked into these product categories created major heartaches as we discovered after the fact that we were unable to find dropshippers for some of them. PMI coaching does absolutely nothing for its subscribers. All they give you is a raft of web addresses that you must visit and read. You absolutely drown in the printed word and end up drained and more confused than ever. Our Coach, Brent Larson, was very pleasant but provided no guidance. Our sessions, marketed at being 30 minutes each, more frequently were 20 minutes and after a bit of chit chat, consisted of Brent giving us our homework for the next week: More reading. Nothing else. When we inquired about certain things, like META tags, Brent brushed it off with: "You don't need to do that, SOL does that." Ha, not so. The META tags SOL put in weren't right and my husband ended up doing them over. As part of our "coaching" Brent even tried to sell us 2 products: A security program for our own computers and a tax package! We declined. Brent wasn't happy and the last time I spoke with him made one last ditch effort to get us to buy. He didn't succeed. After our last session Brent assured us we could call on him at any time, he was still our coach. He lied. We did try to reach him after our sessions ended, but he ignored us as if he'd never even heard of us. As for SOL, Customer Service is an oxymoron. There is NO service whatsoever. It is virtually impossible to reach anyone. If you do manage to get a representative they are incompetent, don't bother to resond to your questions, and simply tell you to read such and such a tutorial. Phone calls are never returned, promised e-mails never arrive. Their programmers, too, are incompetent. Our package was assigned to David Labbe, who didn't know how to do anything so he just let our package sit on his desk for weeks. SOL is supposed to program 25 products. When we sent our material in my husband had already programmed close to 40 products. SOL didn't do any product programming. We did have to use their boilerplate for the Order Page. Regrettably, there is also no Quality Control at SOL and they just couldn't understand why we wanted incorrectly spelled "asterix" changed to the proper "asterisk". We were told asterisk isn't an English word and there are many different acceptable spellings. Huh? Their server was very touchy and frequently not operational. Makes it real hard to get into their Storebuilder tool to work on your site. They really didn't care when they were down. Naturally, they don't care about their customers. Anything we wanted done programming wise, like moving a line from the top of the page to the bottom was met with "that can't be done". How many times we heard that phrase I don't recall. But everything they said couldn't be done, was done to our satisfaction by my husband who gave himself a crash course in HTML. They did tell us, they could "try" to do it, but we'd have to pay for the programming at $50.00/Hr. We declined their offer. Just two weeks ago when my husband tried to get into our site through the Storebuilder tool to add new products, we were denied access! It took three days to get to someone at SOL who informed us we hadn't paid for hosting and until we did our access would continue to be denied. We HAD paid for everything at the Seminar and the receipts to prove it. SOL insisted we hadn't and if we didn't cough up the money we would be shut off. After arguing we did pay the amount they claimed they were due so we couldn't be shut off! Links4Trade is a joke, too. As Platinum Subscribers we were told we would have a representative assigned specifically to us who would work one on one with us. That's another lie. We do not have a representative and won't be getting one. All we have access to is Links4Trade's software program and database. We get to plow through the database and request trades with sites we like. The database is never updated. Half of the sites are no longer in business. Many of the site descriptions are wrong. You think the URL you click on will bring you to a home and garden site, for example, and you end up at a site that makes business cards. This is Platinum Service? No, it's just one more falsehood. EMS traffic who supposedly supplies your 4,000 unique visitors is a joke. It's impossible to reach anyone at EMS. All communication is done via E-mail, several back and forth e-mails, with EMS promising they are sending you an answer. They never do. Trying to confirm they are sending unique visitors to your site can't be done. Maybe EMS is sending traffic to another site; they certainly aren't sending them to ours. These people have got to be put out of business. Believe me I haven't written about a lot of their shenanigans. All of us who've been hoodwinked must get the word out so that more good people aren't harmed. I can be reached at belfrey@cfl.rr.com. File every single report you can with your local agencies, file reports in Utah and Nationwide. This a a fraudulent scam perpetrated by lying scum. Read through all the Rip-off reports -there's lots of help and advice on who and how to contact. LET'S PUT THEM WHERE THEY BELONG: STORES OFFLINE! P.S. How anyone without a computer or at least some basic rudimentary knowledge is supposed to build Online Websites is beyond me. It's not even possible to complete the tutorials as you reach a point where you are told you must know HTML and if you don't know HTML there's no point in reading further! Pamela Sanford, Florida
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Storesonline

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/30/2003 12:57 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/storesonline-inc-pmi-coaching-links4trade-ems-traffic/orem-utah-84097/storesonline-pmi-coaching-links4trade-ems-traffic-consumer-rip-off-fraud-false-promise-62322. 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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#5 Consumer Suggestion

get SOL in their pocket!!!!!

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

POSTED: Sunday, July 20, 2003
We were scammed out of $5199, we have been contacted by an attorney who is looking into SOL. Please contact him, he may be able to get a class action lawsuit going against SOL. I had contacted the BBB (joke) and my local states Attorney General's office, but SOL turns around and contacts them and gives them the impression we are coming to a resolution, I will have to contact them all again.
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#4 Author of original report

Yet another update on Links4Trade and SOL

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

POSTED: Monday, July 07, 2003
Twice in the last six weeks Links4Trade has been out of operation for "updating". No subscriber is ever notified, even though after the first time it happened we were assured all subscribers would be notified ahead of time if "updating" was scheduled. The "updating" process takes 4 days. 4 days when subscribers have no access to Links4Trade's site, 4 days when anyone clicking on the Home Page Links navigation button is directed to a perfectly empty page. Can't imagine what a visitor to the site would think, save for "how unprofessional". If any of those 4 days happened to be when a Search Engine's spider was reviewing the site, particularly a SE that places great emphasis on linking, would definitely prevent the site from being listed! From 6/27 - 6/30/03 subscribers had no access whatsoever.

On 7/05/03 we were horrified to discover that our Links Page was suddenly totally blank. We have 89 Links, no thanks to the Links4Trade service package we paid thousands for, but thanks to my efforts. I spent literally hours searching the database for suitable partners. Due to the Holiday weekend I was unable to reach anyone at Links4Trade until Monday, 7/07. However, by then we had another problem. The page was still blank in the morning and early afternoon. Late in the day the page was back but half of the trade partners' links were missing and our footer was all messed up!

Finally reached Marilyn at Links4Trade who informed me the problem was caused by our host, none other than SOL. Marilyn told me SOL had "some sort of problem over the last few days".

She told me she would speak to the Links4Trade Programmer who had a "contact" at SOL. The Links programmer would get in touch with his "contact" to try to resolve. Marilyn promised to E-mail me as soon as she knew what was happening.

So, here we go again. Broken promises, ancient software that doesn't work, and no concrete information or help. The nightmare never ends.
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#3 Author of original report

Update on Links4Trade & EMS Traffic

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

POSTED: Friday, July 04, 2003
Thought folks might be interested in this little bit of info on Links4Trade. Our site, www.batsinthebelfrey.com, is family oriented and certified child safe. We will never have anything on our site that can't be viewed by a child. Our profile with Links4Trade clearly states that. Today we were offered a link trade with a site that is for ADULTS only and relates exclusively to improving your sex life. We're hardly prudes, but a site devoted to adult sex lives has no place on our site. Needless to say, we didn't accept the trade.

As part of their "service" Links4Trade searches their database and suggests link partners. Right on the screen for "Suggest Partners" it states that a new list will be generated DAILY. At the present time there are 10 suggested partners for us. Only one is relatively new, having been added four days ago. The other nine have been there for 3 WEEKS!

We will not link to the remaining nine. Why not? Well, three of the sites are no longer in business. A fourth site, an online brochure for a builder in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has no Links Page and no link navigation button on their home page. Both are prerequisites for link trading. Two sites have been previously rejected. Two sites are so far removed from anything that correlates to our site which is Home and Garden oriented that we see no advantage to listing them. That leaves one new site in three weeks for us to consider.

As for EMS Traffic, I shall quote directly from the Web Traffic Certificate Agreement. The Certificate, incidentally, makes no reference whatsoever to an EMSTraffic, and the Certificate is sent directly to StoresOffline. The quote: "you (the Web Traffic provider)will provide to me (the Storefront Owner)at the (Storefront Owner's)email address A COMPLETE STATUS REPORT OF THE TRAFFIC GENERATED FOR MY SITE AS A RESULT OF THIS PROGRAM".

We have not received any type of report, status or otherwise, from EMSTraffic or StoresOffline and know now we will not ever.

Hang on, fellow victims. It only gets better - or worse, as the case may be!
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#2 Author of original report

We believed them, oh, Lord, how we believed them!

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

POSTED: Thursday, July 03, 2003
Just wanted to share a bit more about PMI. When we first agreed to work with them, we were told in no uncertain terms that we had to follow their "advice" exactly. We were told if we so much as suggested we wanted to do something in a different manner from what they told us to do they would no longer work with us. They told us they were the EXPERTS and we knew NOTHING. They said the only way we would succeed was to follow their orders.

We believed them, oh, Lord, how we believed them! Well, fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me! Don't let them do this to you!

As part of the coaching Subscribers are given "sample sites" to review. These sites supposedly followed PMI's Golden Rules for success. It's quite odd, though, that none, not even one, of these sites is done in the format we were told we HAD to use. Frankly, we did think there was something most unusual about the way we were told to do things, but hey - they (PMI) were the EXPERTS and what did we know - we were NEOPHYTES!

It's also most telling that none of these sample sites used SOL's templates.

Today, I was contacted by a Mr. Shannon Tolley, who presented himself as a PMI Mgr. Mr. Tolley was rude, insulting and called me a liar. He said we should have our Lawyer call theirs and hung up on me.

Mr. Tolley called back 5 minutes later. Said he was aware of my Rip-off report and accused me of being the type of person who would sue PMI even if we got our money back. I told him if he was going to continue to insult me we had nothing to discuss. Mr. Tolley asked if I would remove this report. I told him NO. He then asked if I would continue to badmouth (his word)them even if we got our money back. I told him once the funds were available in our account we would cease to have anything further to do with PMI, SOL, et al. However, as I am an honest person, I told him I would relate our experiences truthfully to anyone who enquired. Mr. Tolley said the paperwork for a refund would be mailed to us on Monday, 7/07/03.

10 minutes later a young lady named Julie from PMI called purportedly to confirm my mailing address for the refund paperwork. She informed we would need to send any and all certificates for service back to them. I told her once we had seen the paperwork and knew what they were requesting we would review it. Julie, too, then became rude and insulting. The call was then quickly terminated with Julie's promise the paperwork would be sent out Monday, 7/07/03.

I shall continue to file updates to make others aware if PMI honors this promise and if and when we get our refund. If PMI defaults we will share that information as well.
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#1 Consumer Comment

Yahoo Group to help organize and share information

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

POSTED: Thursday, July 03, 2003
I have set up a Yahoo Group where we can share information. I love Rip Off Reports, but I had scrolling through them to see if there is anything new. With Yahoo Groups you can subscribe and choose to get emails sent to you either in individual or group format as well as being able to look through archives. You can join and leave at will.

Please use the information below to subscribe to the group and the send information to the group. I'm thinking this will be a good place to send all the contact information that I find her scattered throughout the reports, as well as, keeping others up to date on what works, or doesn't work in getting refunds. Also to alert people to StoresOnline being in our neighborhoods, so hopefully we can prevent others from being ripped-off too!

Post message: StoresOnline_Info@yahoogroups.com
Subscribe: StoresOnline_Info-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
Unsubscribe: StoresOnline_Info-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

You must subscribe in order to post messages. I look forward to receiving information from everyone. Be sure to also file your own Rip-off Report here..
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