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Complaints & Reviews

Fraudulent Advertising / Phishing

Cambridge Who's Who advertises itself as a database of professionals and "an honor limited to...

Scam!

I was on LinkedIn and saw an ad for "successful women" and how they should join the Cambridge Who's Who. The application was free and costs weren't mentioned anywhere. I filled it out and nothing happened. A week or so later, I received a call and was asked to interview for the directory. I agreed. Throughout the interview, the woman kept complimenting me. I'm a young professional, and have only worked in my industry for two years, so I was flattered. But the compliments kept coming, and it started to seem like the woman was sucking up. I was then "accepted" to the directory and out of nowhere, she asked how I'd like to pay. She seemed annoyed when I kept asking for her to explain the charges. Finally, I said I would have to call back. Once again, she seemed annoyed and explained that they weren't allowed to let this take up more than one phone call (very odd). I called my mom, who is an employment lawyer in Missouri and Illinois. She was in a meeting, but after I quickly explained it to her, she said don't do it (since that day, my mom sends me similar ads she gets from other companies that are identical to Cambridge). I called Cambridge back (because during the initial flattery, I had given them my card information) and explained that I had decided not to use their services. The same woman became very angry and explained that my profile had already been created (weird) and that she couldn't reverse the charges. She kept offering me different deals, which was another red flag because if she could offer these deals now, why did she say there were no other options? She clearly had to ok to offer them. Anyway, I kept saying no and she finally put me through to customer service. The new person first congratulated me (at this point it was annoying) and also kept trying to make deals. She added that if I didn't accept now, there was no way to apply again in the future. Being a nice person, I decided not to say that I didn't care and simply stated that it wasn't the right time financially. She became very irate and started questioning my finances and bragging about what a great deal it was. Finally, after 10 minutes, I said no (for the 100th time) and she said "fine, bye." Not only was it rude, but it stuck another red flag because what business operates like that? I called my mom back and she told me about these companies. She explained that the best way to really network is with companies that actually meet in person... and to never do this with a company that is only online.

Sorry for the lengthy explanation, but the point is that you should not use this company and also, even though they say it's non-refundable, if you act quickly, they might not have charged your card. If they have, just call your bank!

  • Bv
    bvol123 Jun 23, 2011

    This was my experience too. Saw the ad on LinkedIn, did the free application and about a week later received a call. Gave a little more information, she was very complementary and then drop the $799 bomb. I should have asked more questions but I was getting close to being late for a meeting so I quickly decided, OK, this would be a good idea. Later that night, I thought more about how this transpired and was very uncomfortable. I called back the next morning and the woman I spoke with originally said she could not help me and transferred me to customer service. There that woman kept dropping the price - even offering a deal I didn't qualify for! How can you offer a deal I don't qualify for! I simply said that I had a very simple request - I wanted to cancel and not be charged. She said it would take 10-15 business days to credit my account. I called my credit card company and had them put a watch on that charge to make sure it is dropped.

    0 Votes
  • Ni
    Nicole MB Aug 31, 2011

    Your stories are so much like the one I just went through. LinkedIn should be more vigilant about protecting its users. I too, was flattered at first, and then they laid on the pressure. She wouldn't let me call her back or anything. I did finally cave...paid $99 for a trial one year membership. I should have looked up the company BEFORE giving them any information. I tried calling back but as you have stated, they don't answer. I already emailed them a notice of cancellation, and contacted my credit card company. I feel so naive!

    0 Votes

Falsifying services rendered

Cambridge Who's Who is a ripoff company backed by lawyers and Donald Trump Junior who is ripping off loads of people. They call under the disguise of doing an interview of you and your company and a press release. Twenty minutes into the interview, once they have gotten a great deal of both personal and professional info from you, they disclose that they will need a credit card for a charge of almost $600. They state they will provide you with many things including a press release for your review within two weeks as well as others. You are under the understanding that you may review it once it arrives and cancel if it is not as described. Nothing arrives for well over a month, no calls are returned, and you cannot even get anyone on the other end of the phone. Six weeks later, I recieved a folder, but nothing in it as promised. They do not respond to emails or to certified mail. When you try a credit card dispute, this company is very prepared with falsified documents that you never received. This is the biggest ripoff company I have ever seen and they need to be stopped in their tracks.

  • Va
    Vancouver, WA Nov 19, 2010

    Agree...whole-heartedly. I fell into the same trap a couple of years ago but stopped it about a year into the "process" in order to "stop the bleeding" of my credit card. After forcibly making the calls stop, it had been almost a year of blissful silence, until I got a call yesterday from a different representative than the one who had consistently been hounding me before. This one went on and on about my being chosen as the "Executive of the Year" in my industry...chosen out of 400, 000 people...yeah...right. While I'm very good at what I do, the thought of being chosen out of 400, 000 is simply ridiculous. I did however, continued to listen, simply out of curiosity...I wanted to know how much this was going to cost me...are you sitting down? $1, 998. Following the price tag, he proceeded to confirm the last four digits of my "credit card on file" and that the charges would "have to be processed today" as the work on the press release, etc. had already been done. Once I pushed back again and told him he needed to cease and desist, he insisted that he would be sending me an e-mail to verify the details of the press release, etc. in an effort to prove the legitimacy of the offer...I've seen or heard nothing more since I made the request for the information and breakdown of the charges.

    Take my advice...run...don't walk to the nearest exit when "Cambridge" calls you. I'm too embarrassed to admit how much money they got out of me before I caught on, but I will tell you, it was substantial. Save yourself and your pocket book from these crooks.

    0 Votes
  • Ke
    Kenji Van Dec 16, 2011

    I just received an email from Cambridge Who's Who and my Hot Mail screened it as junk mail. Funny, it says I was "nominated" too. No legit company's email would be screened as junk unless enough people have complained about it. Also, LinkedIn offers so much more than this Who's Who garbage and you don't have to pay a dime. These guys are a scam, deserve to fail, and are no better than the thugs who pick pockets on the streets. Cambridge WW is actually much worse than those thugs and steal a whole lot more money from unsuspecting professionals.

    0 Votes

Charged me $1000 bucks and never sent me anything

In 2008, I had just graduated college and was trying to get my foot in the door of the corporate world. I received a notice from Cambridge claiming that I had been "nominated for inclusion" into their registry. I was flattered but was not sure who nominated me. I had been extremely active in 8 different college organizations and had been an honors student and was well thought of by my professors, so I thought that one of them had nominated me. I filled out the form requsting more info and was soon contacted by a rep named Stacey. Stacey started the phone call making everything sound exciting that I had the chance to be included in their registry. At the end of the call she hit me with the $1000 price tag. I about fell over. I said there was no way that I could afford that price. She kept lowering the price and then offered to throw in 2 free airline tickets. I said no to her. The next day she called again...and again...and again for several days. I finally got tired of the pressure and agreed to try their service for $189.00. I stupidly gave them my credit card number, which they immediately charged. A few weeks later I received a piece of paper saying I was a lifetime member. Great. About 2 months later, Stacey called back and wanted to sell me a lifetime membership and a wooden plaque and a leather bound directory. I told her that I was told I was already a lifetime member. She said no. She convinced me that I should own the leather bound registry because I would have that and the plaque for my home and I could use the registry for networking and prestige purposes. I said no and she told me that "the registry is going to print this week and if you don't opt in to this you will have to wait a whole year to get into the registry again". Long story short, they charged my card $800.00 and never mentioned that everything was non-refundable. I was told that my purchases would arrive in the spring of 2009. They didn't. I called and they assured me that, "due to the large volume of registries being printed there is a delay and you will receive your registry in fall of 2009". By this time I was really mad and began to realize that this was a scam. I called Cambridge and as soon as I requestd a refund they were hostile and told me that "due to the highly personalized nature of our services there is no refund option". I laughed and told them that I had been waiting 2 years for a registry and plaque that was paid for and probably never existed. I also said that the only thing that was personalized was a slip of paper saying I was a lifetime member, and if that piece of paper which was personalized for me was the only thing stopping me from my refund I would gladly rip it up or send it back to them so I could get my refund. They said no.

******Pay attention to this part if you have ever been scammed by Cambridge and want your money back!!!***
I am going to tellyou right now that I was competely scammed by Cambridge but I am proud to say that, I receieved EVERY SINGLE PENNY of my money back from them, but it was a 1.5 year long process and I had to fight tooth and nail with them to get it. First, I took it upon myself to call Cambridge again and once again ask for a refund. They said no of course. I asked them to send me a detailed billing of the charges they had placed to my Visa card. They did. I wrote a detailed narrative of my experiences with Cambridge including the dates I called them and the names of the reps I spoke with. I then filed a complaint with the State Attorney General's Office of Consumer Protection. The form was easy to fill out. A few weeks later I receieved a letter from the Atty General's Office and a response from Cambridge. Cambridge basically said I was a liar and they followed all procedures, blah, blah. I wrote a rebuttal letter once again explaining my claim and its validity and then spent hours researching all the sites like this one detailing people's problems with Cambridge. In the end, I had 70 pages of material to send back to the Atty General's Office. I also called the investigator at the Atty General's office and spoke to her about the case. She had not received a complaint about Cambridge before and was not familiar with them. I could tell that at first she was skeptical of my claim and seemed to think Cambridge had a binding agreement. Once she received all my research and carefully written letters, she changed her mind. 3 weeks later I received a check from the attorney representing Cambridge and a nasty letter saying that they were still in the right and I was still in the wrong, but they were paying me in full anyways. Bottom line is this: Cambridge will NEVER EVER admit that they are wrong or that they scammed you, however; you CAN get your money back from them, just be persistant and don't back down against their threats or namecalling. Do your research and compose a well researched and well-documented letter to your Consumer Protection Office if you want to have a chance at a refund. Cambridge will fight you about it, but in the end they know that they cannot produce any documents binding you to their agreement and they have no valid excuse for taking your money and not providing services that you paid for. I know how devastating it is to find out you have been scammed, so I really hope this info helps others.

  • Ql
    QLFANS Oct 02, 2010

    If you opt for the service and agree to pay any fee over $500 they will then do everything they can to get you to “sign” an agreement. The reason is that in the state of New York (where almost all of the Who's Who organizations are based), any telephone based sale contract over $500 has to be in writing or it is non enforceable. This is state of New York law. If you opted for a membership over $500 and didn’t sign anything – too bad they are screwed – they can’t legally enforce the contract or collect on it and trust me they know it!

    0 Votes
  • An
    anonymous4570 Dec 30, 2010

    Furthermore, if Cambridge Who's Who is giving you a hard time about refunding your membership by claiming "it's non-refundable" and they disclosed that to you during the phone interview, I strongly suggest you use the law to protect you. You can quote "Article 10-B Telephone Sales Protection Act" to them. The Act very clearly protects consumers against high pitch telephone sales. Pay special attention to Form 443 - they have to notify you of their cancellation policy in writing and prior to you receiving that written notice you can cancel at anytime without penalty. You can email them your notice to cancel and suggest you keep a copy for your records. Here's the link to the full Telephone Sales Protection Act - http://law.onecle.com/new-york/personal-property/PEP0A10-B_A10-B.html
    In addition to the New York Attorney General and BBB you can also file a complaint with the New York State Consumer Protection Board. They offer an on-line complaint form that is easy to fill out and submit. Once you submit it you will receive an email from the Consumer Advisor asigned to investigate your complaint - mine came 48-hours after submitting it. Bottom line is if you want a refund, keep fighting - the law is clearly on the side of the consumer and I am sure they know it. They just hope people don't educate themselves and share it with others.
    I hope this help!

    0 Votes
  • Bu
    BuffaloJohn Apr 06, 2011

    I am glad I did a little research. Cambridge Who's Who is a sleazy company. I am amazed they still try and peddle this scam. They are about due to change their name again I suspect.

    <b>"Hello (My email address NOT EVEN MY NAME)

    You have recently been selected as a candidate to represent your professional community in this year's
    edition of Cambridge Who's Who among Executives and Professionals.

    Your candidacy for membership was officially approved April 5th. You have been selected based upon your professional experience and achievements, and as such, we believe that your profile makes a fitting addition to our publication.

    To accept Please go to our Website Here

    Our registration deadline is April 12th. In order to guarantee your inclusion, your verification must be completed on or before this date. On behalf of our committee, congratulations on your achievement and welcome to our association."</b>

    How naive are people? I own a small business that engraves and etches awards. I fancy myself to be very good at what I do. I have an ego... but come on. Who selected me Cambridge Who's Who? Why did they select me Cambridge Who's Who? I have done jobs that were presented to many impressive people. People are always happy with my work. In the end though I generally don't ever hear anything about it Cambridge Who's Who. This is how I know my work is excellent Cambridge Who's Who. If you hear about your work after delivery Cambridge Who's Who it is because there is a problem. People today Cambridge Who's Who expect (and get) excellent products at the lowest prices. Anonymous accolades of my work are something I expect to never arrive. It is very unflattering when you get this offer from Cambridge Who's Who. It means that Cambridge Who's Who thinks they can rob you of hard earned money. Cambridge Who's Who even targets recent college grads though, they are the lowest of the low.

    The comedy really begins when you read about the "VIP" members. You can tell that these people wrote about themselves in the write ups. Get your money back people.

    0 Votes
  • Re
    RefundYes Apr 15, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Good news for refund - I also became one of these honorable select few of Cambridge - free at first - until I got a call and after some smooth talk agreed to pay $795 plus additional $199 in 30 days. Well the moment I put the phone down I realized my stupidity and phoned the credit card company. It was too late, already booked off $795! However next day I phoned the number I had been given as reference at Cambridge and politely insisted on canceling, and after some discussion I was put through to the Sales team. First they waived the $199. After politely reminding them I want to cancel, my fee was lowered to $198, then $99, finally to ZERO - I could cancel. I was sent an agreement by email an hour later that I accept refund in 5-10 days and have no claims. So it is EASY - be polite and firm, you will have your refund - good luck!!!

    0 Votes

Overcharging

They will scam you...I did agree to the $598.95 for the full package with the rep on the phone in Dec 09 and I paid it via my AMEX, and it was delivered. Haven't done anything with it.

Then on my Jan 2010 statement, a charge of $199 shows up. This isn't what I agreed to with the rep on Dec 3, 2009 over the phone. I told her I would agree to the $598.95 but it had to include the lifetime as I wasn't going to pay anything more. She agreed.

Now I've disputed it with AMEX in Jan 2010 and received a letter from AMEX with Cambridge supporting all these claims, but not addressing my concern. If the conversation was recorded, I want the recording; unless of course they're editing those things too.

Shouda and Coulda but didn't; "BUYER BEWARE"

I have demanded as a 26 year "member" of AMEX that they reopen this case and truly investigate; maybe AMEX should be a bit more discerning too.

I will file a claim with the NY BBB and investiagate the option with the NY Attorney General.

This is WRONG and it should not be happening to people.

  • Be
    BeccaC May 02, 2011

    Is anyone doing a class action law suit about this? I just got scammed out of over $1000 by those people.

    0 Votes
  • Ba
    BarbMT Mar 09, 2012

    I, too, just put all the pieces together and discovered that CWW billed me for one more large charge of $589.00. Because I've had so many complicated situations over the past 6 months (many family issues, surgeries, illness, etc), I thought that the $589.00 charge was actually the $569 charge for the Platinum Program that I had agreed to a few months prior. Just one moment of not being on my "A" game and this is what happens. When I google my own name NOTHING comes up linking me to the CWW directory, only LinkedIn. I just checked with AMEX and the 60 day time frame in which to open up an investigation has passed. I'm going to have to handle this on my own, or just face the fact that I've been taken for quite a bit of money, all for a nice little plaque that tells me what I already know about how successful I am.

    0 Votes

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Fradulent Telemarketing

Early this summer I received a letter from Cambridge Who's Who telling me how to submit an application to get my name and business information on their registry of professionals. The information stated that there was no fee for being on the registry. So, I went to their website and filled out some generic info about my business and professional affiliations.

Yesterday I received a call from Cambridge Who's Who. The lady conducted a scripted telephone interview with me asking questions about my business and complementing me graciously about my accomplishments. Finally, she stopped after about half an hour and said I was accepted. Here's where my confusion started.

I was not in my office when called so I didn't have my paper work in front of me on this company. As I have a number of professional agency applications out there that DO charge a fee when she started talking about a fee of $599 and another for $199, what they were for, etc., I let myself be conned into providing them my debit card number to make payment. They indicated that the transaction would be non-refundable. The lady gave me a number to call if I had any questions. As soon as I hanged up the phone, I drove back to my office, located the paperwork and noted that no fees of any kind were mentioned. I tried to call them back. There was no answer.

At this point I went to the internet to find an alternate number. When I googled them, the first thing that came up was a page of consumer telemarketing scam complaints. Yes, I should have done my homework. I called my bank, Bank of America, and explained what had transpired. They showed that Cambridge Who's Who was had submitted a transaction for $599 but it had not be processed. BOA graciously agreed to stop the transaction for me and cancel/reissue my debit card, and put a block to prevent Cambridge from accessing any funds. I did some more Internet research and found a number to call for Cambridge and left a message telling them that I had stopped the transaction before it was completed out of concern for all the reported fraud/scam activity related to their business.

An hour later, around 8pm PST Blocked caller ID calls began coming to my business line. No message was left. Today, Oct. 15, the calls started again around 2pm, again with blocked caller ID. On the last call, a lady left a number for me to call.

I called them. They pretended not to know who I was, put me on hold. When someone finally came on the line they said, "I hear you have some concerns about the inaccurate blog information on the internet about our company." She reminded me that the transaction was final and non-refundable but was willing to drop a charge of $199 and only charge me $599. I explained that due to multi-state fraud/scam info related to their company no only at sites like this but with the BBB and a number of State Attorneys Generals, I did not want my name associated with their company. The lady stated that they had already taken $599 from my account as soon as I hanged up with them yesterday and she seemed please with herself in making this statement. She said that Cambridge was in litigation in a number of states regarding fraudulent accusations and again reminded me that the transaction was done and there was no refund.

This is where I told her that there was no deal. That I agreed to their fee based on incorrect information and that I had successfully blocked them from pulling funds from my account with my debit card number. The lady paused and said I was wrong, that the transaction went through and began slamming Internet information sites, then switching to reminding me she was going to waive an additional $199 for me. I advised her I would not belong to their organization. What kind of legit company calls up a perspective member and gloats about getting their money from someone who decided almost immediately that the agreement was made by mistake. I ended the call asking them not to call back. She ended the call by stating she'd be contacting my bank and getting all the money from me owed.

My final call was to my bank to alert them to the numerous phone calls and veiled threats to access my account. BOA assured me that Cambridge was blocked from accessing any funds and since I had asked that my card be canceled and reissued, they no longer had valid info. BOA also seemed to be familiar with this company. As I spoke about Cambridge, the bank associate pulled up some info and spoke as if she knew about this company.

Bottom line, I am thankful and appreciated the way BOA jumped on this to prevent any exchange of funds which, at least in my state, means the transaction was not finalized. I am filing a fraud complaint with BOA, Washingto State Atty General and the Pennsylvania Atty General related to deceptive telemarketing practices, and I am very lucky. I will do my homework better, much better, before I allow myself to be lulled into something like this.

  • Al
    AlexMt Feb 08, 2010

    Hi,

    with all objectivity to people who have paid and like the service (if you pay for something, you will say that it's useful as a way to make you feel better than you just weren't scammed so I understand your comments).

    Well I was happy of joining yet another networking service which was advertised as free. Then after the nice little speech by the phone person, they went into Memberships. I don't mind a professional service to charge for more services but want I told her that I'd like to take time to think about it, then she moved on and offered me a better deal, then I told her I would like to take time and read more information on it, then she wanted to give me yet another deal. This went on for about 10 minutes (people who agreed from the get-go, sorry but you definitely got scammed as you could have gotten a Platinum membership for half the price of the initial offer...)

    As I work in sales, I can smell pressure sales closing. The lady read her book right and did a great job as selling. When I told her there was no way I was agreeing on a deal on the phone and I wanted to review it, she didn't even want to send me more info by e-mail and just told me I was going to be added to the free directory. What kind of organization is that if they can't even let members take time to review the choices before making a decision. If you have to agree on a sale right there on the phone or it's over, it shows exactly what kind of scam that is. They know if they let you gather more information on the product, you will find out that it's not worth it and you will definitely no buy it.

    So, if a product can only sell through pressure over the phone and a complimentary plane ticket, I would highly suggest you to stay far from it.

    And to the people who are in the directory, congrats and make the most out of it. I'm sure it's great but you could get more out of your LinkedIn account (notice how you can upgrade your LinkedIn account but no one calls you to try to pressure you into doing so).

    Hope that helps

    0 Votes

Fraud/advertisment

They call you and offer this great advertising package for your business. They were extremely pushy and then...

Scam

I was conned into a supposed free listing in their directory which I called back immediately after finding...

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