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Starting-A-Personal-Training-Business.com / These guys are a complete scam

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These guys are a complete SCAM!! There is no information about who they are. There is no phone number listed, no address or anything that would help validate them as a legitimate business. They claim to help you 'start a personal training business' but the information they provide is not reliable or helpful and the only thing they want to do is sell you a 'prep test' kit. The owner claims to be some person named 'Katie' but she has no last name and her picture was stolen off of another website. It's not even her!!!

I have read several other bad things about these guys and I will report them to the BBB too. Someone needs to do something about these scam websites that prey on personal trainers.

What ever you do, stay away from these scammers because you will end up regretting it.


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  24th of Nov, 2008
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Hi Marcello

I don’t publish my personal contact information (including my photo) because there are a lot of scary people on the Internet. Over the years I have received some disturbing emails and wouldn’t want them showing up at my doorstep. I try to balance my privacy concerns with my customer service obligation so I provide email customer service. I also don't provide my phone number because we have over 50000 visitors each month from every possible time zone. I don't really have time to field calls from people wondering what the best certification program is for their specific situation. So I try to help people via email when my schedule permits (I am a personal trainer first, web site operator second).

When I started my web site a few years ago there was no independent source of information for personal trainers. All people had to rely on was the marketing messages being put out by the certification providers. My goal was to change that and let personal trainers discuss each cert openly.

Over the course of a few years my site has grown to over 2000 pages of discussion, reviews and comments about matters that are relevant to personal training. Not every page is necessarily “reliable or helpful” since much of it is opinion submitted by individuals. But by sharing everybody’s collective wisdom, trainers are able to make better decisions.

In fairness the word scam used in your post is unjustified and unreasonable. I checked our records and found that you have never purchased anything from me. So while you may not find my web site helpful, I certainly didn’t rip you off. However, if you do have a legitimate customer service issue, please contact us so we can resolve it.

And remember, the Internet is open to everybody. If you don’t like the information we provide, start your own site and share your views about personal training. I have to warn you though… It is a lot of work and people will certainly not always appreciate your efforts.

Thanks for reading,

Katie Donnelly
  4th of Dec, 2008
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
The real scam is the original poster of this complaint. Katie Donnelly of www.starting-a-personal-training-business.com has nothing nothin but provide me with quality information about personal training and I have not spent a cent.


If you look at the poster's name in this complaint, "Posted: 2008-11-10 by Marcello", now go here: /URL removed/ - you will see that the same EXACT, word-for-word post has been made by a Mark Williams.

Submitted: 11/8/2008 8:10:10 AM
Modified: 11/9/2008 11:00:21 PM
Mark williams
Denver, Colorado

Sounds to me like Mark William or Marcello are them same person and must be starting a similar business to starting-a-personal-training-business.com - Afraid of a little competition??
  4th of Dec, 2008
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Earlier this year I decided to see what was involved in becoming a personal trainer. I had many, many questions and virtually all of them were answered on Starting-A-Personal-Training-Business.com. The collective wisdom that is provided by many different views and opinions cannot be overstated. It is impossible to learn from a group of people who all agree with one another and with you. However, if you have a group with differing opinions and views then you have a real opportunity to make informed decisions...especially when just starting out. I have gone back to the website repeatedly as I began to contemplate a degree in exercise science and when trying to determine which certification is best for me. I understand the value of learning from those who have already "blazed the trail" and am grateful that Katie has provided an avenue where such discussion can occur. Those who do not see its value may feel they have nothing more to learn from others and that is an unfortunate place to reach in life. Thanks, Katie! You and your site are appreciated!
  4th of Dec, 2008
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
It is important to point out that the preparation material from start-a-personal-training-business is very helpfull with more than 500 questions about different topics to help during the preparation period for the test to get certified by ACSM, NSCA, ACE ... I do not suggest to study exclusively through their material. Purchase the matrial provided by your cetification you are applying for. Honestly, I had no problem in contacting them at all. Everytime i emailed them I had a fast asnwer. I also know that they promisse that if you don't pass after studying with their material they give you double the money back and they keep their word. So why not try it out and give it a chance ... the exam costs are expensive and no one want to fail so it was helpfull for me and I believe for many others trainers
Lucas Varella
  4th of Dec, 2008
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I disagree with the complaints of www.starting-a-personal-training-business.com. I have found the site to be very informational and best of all it is free! How can a free web site be a scam? They do offer a prep test kit but there is no obligation to buy it and if you do buy it and you go through everything and fail your certification test you get double your money back. I recently bout the prep test kit and found it to be very helpful. I think it's unfortunate that this guy has the nerve to complain about someone who tried to start a on-line community of personal trainers to help each other and share ideas. It's a real low blow to knock Katie and her site. Keep doing your thing Katie! I appreciate the information I have received from your site.
  4th of Dec, 2008
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
This personal training website (www.starting-a-personal-training-business.com) has been very helpful to me. They offer a great deal of valuable information for free, and it is clear that Katie Donnelly has put tons of work into her site with the intention of helping others. She also posted a fabulous, PROFESSIONAL reply to a an attack that reads like an angry rant. To Katie: Don't be discouraged; there are all kinds of people out there in the world...angry, crazy, those suffering from mental illness with computer access...I admire you and hope to continue correspondence and using your site! You give me courage to focus on a career in training! Thanks for all you do!
  4th of Dec, 2008
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I found Starting-a-personal-training-business.com in a Google search when I was trying to decide which certification to pursue. I found their website full of very helpful information, such as a articles that helped you clarify your goals, whether or not you would find Personal Training a good fit, and listings for the various certification organizations, with information on the prices, time required for study, prerequisites, and so on. There is also information that helps you build a business plan and has common forms for the industry to use when visiting your own law adviser.

Personal training students may also post questions that are answered by those in the profession, and give feedback on various gym chains, ect.

The site offers a Certification Exam Preparation Course, including a pre-test. The price of the course is very reasonable, and the site owner offers a double-money back guarantee. Until today, there were no negative comments that I found on the web, so I decided to chance the $29.95.

I was *highly* pleased with the Exam Prep course. The format is excellent and the pages load quickly, even on my slow dial-up connection. The sections are very thorough, and cover more material than the rather poor Sample Test provided by the American Council on Exercise (the certification I chose to pursue.) I found a couple of typos, but no factual errors, and used the test repeatedly as part of my studies.

I took the Certification Exam 12/2/08 and passed it with flying colors, and I credit Starting-a-personal-training-business.com's Exam Prep Course in large part for my good score. Katie, the site owner, is available via email and responds quite promptly. I don't feel you can go wrong with this course, and even if you choose not to take advantage of it, the free material on the site is well worth a visit.

Tess M.
  4th of Dec, 2008
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I can not offer any mjore than what has already been writen on Katie and her website. I too found it thur google and found nothing but helpful info and Katie even takes time to write personally to answer some of my questions. And this person has written this same complaint on two seperate web sites and using two different names...so you tell me who is seems to be the fake here???

Westminster, CO
  5th of Dec, 2008
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
1st off Katie has done a great job of providing tons of free content for trainers. It is also an open forum for other trainers to share their views. Also, she tells you right on her site how to increase your exposure on the web..FOR FREE! I don't get how that can be scam. I honestly don't care if Katie doesn't post her real photo, nor should anyone else care if there is not a phone #. I know that she comments on my content and contacts me direct by email when her time permits. Understand she is busy and doesn't have time to answer a phone all day. Her site is a great resourse of information, again FOR FREE!

Connecticut Personal Trainer
  5th of Dec, 2008
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Katie's web site is just giving advise...you can choose to take it or leave it. You have a brain...USE IT!!!
  14th of Apr, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Starting-A-Personal-Training-Business.com - Scam company
Los Angeles
United States

Starting-a-personal-training-business.com is a rip off. They scam on newbie trainers who don't know much about the industry. Any company that has to sell merchandise by using PayPal is a scam company. Any legitimate company has a Visa or MasterCard merchant account.
  16th of Apr, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I have visited this site many times, have learned a lot there, have posted some comments, asked questions that were always answered promptly. This is a very helpful website written by a knowledgeable and friendly person. MANY legitimate websites use PayPal. She sells a few reasonably-priced information products. No one in their right mind is going to get a merchant account with Visa/MC for something like that... that is ridiculous to even suggest. Your complaint is completely unfounded.

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