Please help $41,000 paid to a guru company to be refunded !

459 Replies

You have 180 days in which to file your charge-back request with your card companies, so by filing soon you are well within the allowable time period. In addition, the most you could be held liable for (per your cardholder agreement) is $50, though it is very unlikely any card company wouldn't absorb that cost.

By the way, looking at what I wrote again, I would change one sentence... from:

"This merchant violated the Fair Credit Billing Act by not only misrepresenting their services, but by failing to render said services after collecting my money."

to:

"This merchant violated applicable federal and state laws by not only misrepresenting their services, but by failing to render said services after payment in full."

In the opening salvo to any litigation, you want your claims to be as broad and general as possible, rather than initially limited in scope.

@Lew Payne below is the content of the contract:

” We offer a written service commitment to all of our Advanded Training Students. Our commitment to you is that we will work with you until you succeed. If after completing the course curriculum by attending the FastStart 3-Day Bootcamp Program, watching the On-Demand Courses, reviewing the Home study materials, Utilizing the investor Software, attending Advanced Training Sessions and following the recommendations of your mentor, you have not done one or more real estate transactions with a net profit equal to the purchase price of your Advanced Training package, we will continue to mentor you through our “Mentor Hotline” at our expense until you have earned at least 100% of your investment in our program."

the underlined sentence is the the promised but not deliver .

I have there below paragraph in my letter:

I have called and called to ask for someone to hold me accountable, am I deserved to pay $41,000 and have no “mentor” to guide me step by step?

I am paid to have a mentor to guide me how to do a deal !

I also have tons of emailing/text communications to prove I was calling for no one !!!

I recall reading that you were given the wrong location (address) for one of the bootcamps, and that you employed reasonable efforts to mitigate damages (i.e., you immediately called the guy telling him nobody else is there, trying to find out where to go).  His response was that he's a single dad and (in effect) too busy to honor his contractual obligations.

Also, based on your numerous calls and follow-ups, all of which were the result of lack of mentoring and an unclear business plan, you have demonstrated reasonable effort.  The courts do not require extraordinary effort in a contract that is (in essence) rigged against you and designed such that the ordinary person cannot execute its terms.

You have also, no doubt, called or contacted various company representatives during this process... thus giving them both actual and constructive notice of their liability in this matter, none of which resulted in any even attempting to mitigate damages on their part by remediating the situation, much less remediating to your satisfaction.  As a result, it is my non-expert opinion that you have demonstrated reasonable effort.

Based on what you've documented, you can also show cause that the so-called "Mentor Hotline" is unworkable and untenable the way it's manned and operated... and that it is calculated to lead to an undefined (and indefinite) period of prohibition against exercise of the "money back" guarantee; an unreasonable restraint of a consumer's right and an act which clearly violates the implied warranty of merchantability of their service.

As far as what you send your card company - I would not engage in the lengthy letter until such time as the fraud department asks you for a full accounting of the facts.  The initial letter to your card company should be succinct and concise - you're contesting charges, based on the non-delivery of promised services.

UPDATE: The guru company called, and said they have raised a bit to refund me $25,000 in total.....they are not willing back down, I argued what your contract promised " following the recommendations of your mentor...." After payment made in full, I called and called and found no one to hold me accountable, she said " that does not matter!  but we compensated you with a "coach on one" program. 

Yeah right, After I was so frustrated and no one want to hold accountable to me for weeks ( not even a return phone call requested numerous times from management team ) just throw me a candy to tell me to shut up!!

@Debbie Lee

Take the money and run. Otherwise, you'll spend your time trying to recover $15K instead of making up that $15K by doing deals with an active investor in your area who will have an incentive to help train you with each deal you do....because he/she will lose out of profit if they don't.  

Trust me, you don't want to litigate over $15K unless it's in small claims court ($15K may exceed small claims court limits in your area) AND you were absolutely in the right contractually and have copious notes, recordings, etc. to support your position.

Originally posted by @Lew Payne :

Less is better; meet but do not exceed the reporting requirements to validate your claim... 

Debbie Listen to this man

This is a perfect Letter.  (see below)

Now ask him how you should write the letter to the Attorney General

Please let us know if the letter is going out and what you said.

I will repeat again, this is a perfect letter for the credit card company.

What should your letter to the attorney General say???

BG

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------you will only burden the person reading your letter, and possibly confuse them.  The letter to your card company is not an appropriate forum for discussing the merits of your claim.

Sample letter to each individual credit card company:

RE:  Dispute of Charges on XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX

To Fraud Department:

I hereby dispute the charge of $X,XXX.00 on XX/XX/2015 by [Merchant Name that appears on statement] in full and request that you issue a refund and charge-back.  This merchant violated the Fair Credit Billing Act by not only misrepresenting their services, but by failing to render said services after collecting my money.  I have reason to believe this merchant engages in a widespread pattern of similar behavior, in violation of [VISA or MasterCard - pick appropriate one] merchant guidelines.

Sincerely,

[signature]

[printed name]

There is no reason for you to communicate directly with the company itself; they cannot prevent the charge-back, and will be forced to contact you in an attempt to collect their money once the charge-back hits their bank account.  They may, of course, subject you to collection action but that can be quelled in its tracks by gently reminding them that the FCBA allows for an award of damages plus twice the amount of any finance charges - or higher amounts (unlimited liability) if a pattern or practice of violations is established.  In the same paragraph, you would then also hint of how easy it would be to establish such pattern or practice, after compelling discovery in court of their merchant statement.  In addition, at this point, an attorney would take the case on contingency - and even possibly establish it as class action once the merchant statement is compelled and other customers contacted.

Originally posted by @Debbie Lee :

UPDATE: The guru company called, and said they have raised a bit to refund me $25,000 in total.....they are not willing back down, I argued what your contract promised " following the recommendations of your mentor...." After payment made in full, I called and called and found no one to hold me accountable, she said " that does not matter!  but we compensated you with a "coach on one" program. 

Yeah right, After I was so frustrated and no one want to hold accountable to me for weeks ( not even a return phone call requested numerous times from management team ) just throw me a candy to tell me to shut up!!

"Here's my counter-offer... you refund my money to my credit cards in full within three days, and I won't initiate multiple charge-backs against you for the full amount.  Not only will you be unable to stop the bank from debiting your merchant account, you'll also incur charge-back fees and the distinct possibility of being classified as a high risk merchant, thus either placing you on the Visa/MasterCard fines program, or raising your merchant rate and holdback ratio.  If you agree to refund my money, the credit must post to my card within three days."

That's the only negotiation which should take place.

Originally posted by @Lew Payne :

"Here's my counter-offer... you refund my money to my credit cards in full within three days, and I won't initiate multiple charge-backs against you for the full amount,  Not only will you be unable to stop the bank from debiting your merchant account, you'll also incur charge-back fees and the distinct possibility of being classified as a high risk merchant, thus either placing you on the Visa/MasterCard fines program, or raising your merchant rate and holdback ratio.  If you agree to refund my money, the credit must post to my card within three days."

That's the only negotiation which should take place.

How about add more to this : " I won't initiate multiple charge-backs against you for the full amount, and complaints to state attorney general and BBB 

But I have filed a dispute to two CC company but they have not start investigate yet...

You have done fine by initiating disputes with your card companies.  The purpose of my example "negotiation" is not about negotiating; it's about uprooting their strong-arm tactics altogether and ending the air of intimidation.  In other words, it's about showing them you're in control of the situation and know the legal avenues you can pursue (at no cost to you - since they do not involve an attorney at this time).  A negotiation like that is almost an ultimatum - it is your way of saying, "here's what's going to happen, which is totally out of your control - so stop playing games with me."

I cannot help you with your FTC complaint due to scope and time requirements, but I have enjoyed helping you with getting your money back.

Originally posted by @Lew Payne :

You have done fine by initiating disputes with your card companies.  The purpose of my example "negotiation" is not about negotiating; it's about uprooting their strong-arm tactics altogether and ending the air of intimidation.  In other words, it's about showing them you're in control of the situation and know the legal avenues you can pursue (at no cost to you - since they do not involve an attorney at this time).  A negotiation like that is almost an ultimatum - it is your way of saying, "here's what's going to happen, which is totally out of your control - so stop playing games with me."

I cannot help you with your FTC complaint due to scope and time requirements, but I have enjoyed helping you with getting your money back.

 HI Debbie

This Lew is a treasure.  Everything he says is spot on.

GO LEW GO!!

Just do what he says, you are on the right path.  Next get your complaint over to the attorney genera;

bg

Hi Debbie, I hope you are able to ask for that refund. The guru company - due to their lack of professionalism, follow through and basically lack of any real service - do not deserve any penny of that $41,000.

I gave a 90-minute talk to a Chicago REIA about 3 weeks ago and I was approached by 2 couples who paid a guru several thousands of dollars and they can't believe the amount of knowledge I was sharing all for FREE. They told me they learned more from me in 90 minutes than what they learned from this real estate guru in several months. All they got from the guru seminars are upsells to the next levels. Even after you paid $41,000 - I'm sure they want to upsell you even more.

Whatever happens - you get the refund or not, move on. Real estate is so exciting and there's money to be made. There's no substitute for hard work and old-fashion talking to people and hustling. Those 3 plus the knowledge you get here on BP (and the networking) are what you need to succeed in this business.

Originally posted by @Debbie Lee :

@Lew Payne You have done tremendous help to me, I would not ask for more!

.....and please forget about the personal attack ( not sure if I had drank too much? )

 It's not your fault... I'm a difficult person to deal with, and I come on strong at first.  It's something I'm trying to change about myself.

UPDATE: I have completed all supporting documents and SENT by email to one of CC company !!!! what a relief, the 2nd one used old fashion way to post the complaint form by mail so I just have to wait.

Since I have done the 1st set of paperwork, it only takes me 2 mins to fill out  the rest just copy and ready to send to state attorney general ( can't believe is that easy) !

Tomorrow, I must well sent my complaint to BBB since I have nothing to do....

and list goes on !!

@Barbara G. I especially have to thank you for kicking me in the butt, I knew I was like a stone, no matter how many times people said I just won't move... 

I sincerely thank you for taking me on like your own family, you are absolutely amazing !! and I will kick your butt if you ever come to visit Chicago and not ringing me up!!

Account Closed wow!! so glad to see you here !! I thought I have to rally up to 1000 threads to draw you in ( as you are so busy making money...ha ha .. )

Yes, so true, just networking over here I BELIEVE I can learn a lot over time, I actually found out this forum a couple weeks after I paid 40K, and this site had really got me thinking.... "If I can learn everything here and have seasoned/experienced investor here to help me out EVEN answer questions on the spot from so many angle/ creative ways WHY should I listen to just one guru's opinion, and not even sure what are the risk behind?  IT WAS A SCARY SCARY PLACE TO BE...

The support and encouragement over here is just unbelievable !! I seriously think without the support and companionship take me through the most stressful time of the last 3 days, I might end up take the $25k and run with TONS and TONS regrets, what if?????? I should??? All I can say is " I did it my way !!" thanks to @Joe Cummings  

I am also fortunate to have people guiding me to MOVE ON, to stir up even more determination to succeed , guys these precious advise REALLY REALLY MEANS A LOT TO ME 

@Lew Payne No no... is not your fault at all, as no one can possible please every single one! and you should never have to. 

This lesson also alerts me that I should not be so narrow minded when handling issues, and later realizing you have got so much to offer, I was thinking " **** ! how embracing..."

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here