Stores Online (SOL), Professional Marketing International (PMI), The Tax Club Scam
Like many out there I fell into the trap set by this trio of high pressure selling, let's get the newbie companies.
OK, I admit it, I was gullible and I knew nothing about Internet Marketing when SOL came calling in my town (Australia) in March 07. I bought 6 websites (US$ 3535), quick sign here, where is your credit card, by the way you need this as well and this, blah blah blah; you got 3 business days to make up your mind.
I was never asked what I was going to sell or advised whether my product (niche) was suitable or had profit potential
I was never told the truth about what hidden traps (like the Tax Club) were waiting down the road or what is truly needed to trade online in the US (or so they say).
When I did not activate any of my sites due to unexpected work commitments, they had sales people call a few times to coax me into using their services for more money (I don't blame them for that).
But in October 2008 SOL passed my details on to PMI and after more high pressure phone calls I relented again (!) and signed up for 5 live training shows (including building my website and helping me advertise it) with some of their specialists (US$ 4645). I asked for the first show to be scheduled for Nov 26 as I was busy with other stuff till then. When the time came for LIVE training I could not access it because their toll-free number is not valid where I am. In the end we settled that I should do the pre-recorded version which they said was the same. Strangely enough the girl on live chat could neither find my account nor the 5 live calls I scheduled during their first call in October at first.
During this time, on Nov 6, I had already been approached by The Tax Club (TTC). I'm assuming my details were passed on by either SOL or PMI. The Tax Club turned out to be the worst as far as pressure selling and being secretive about cost is concerned. They told me that I could not run a drop-shipping Internet business in the USA without starting an LLC with business name, EIN number, bank accounts and credit card. I had given PMI $4645 which now seemed useless unless I agreed to join The Tax Club for US$ 3890. This included $1195 for the business name and EIN number (this can be done for free online) and looking after my tax.
On Nov 26, the same day my first PMI live session got messed up, I had my 2nd call from TTC and the motor-mouth sales person had the hide to ask me for another $8000+ for business graphics and getting my website all finished and launched real fast before Xmas (he must have known that I had already paid PMI for doing that). I declined. One week later he asked for $1700+ for setting up a bank account with credit card and never having to worry about another thing. I declined again.
By now I was so cheesed off, confused and disillusioned that I canceled my membership with PMI and TTC.
I never bothered to take my second training call from PMI.
The Tax Club's letter of engagement states that if cancellation occurs within 30 day of the initial transaction, they will keep a 15% processing fee and retail price of services rendered. I returned all their documentation unused to their NY address and I figure that, considering the whole mess, they owe me at least $1600, yet they have determined my account to be eligible for a refund (nice Hey!).
PMI have emailed me that I will be contacted by phone to discuss my cancellation. I've asked for a refund of $4000 since I only got to course 1 (with difficulty and not as promised) and all the "hard" work for them, like setting up the site and advertising it, never got done. So far, no call.
SOL is ignoring my long detailed email. All they are doing is telling me that selling my 6 sites is not recommended. I still have access to them.
PMI & TTC have stopped me accessing their sites.
I'm sure that there are many people out there who have benefitted from these 3 companies. Their sites are well set up, they have 24/7 support and all the trimmings but they are unscrupulous, prey on the gullible internet marketing beginner with false pictures of easy success stories and don't tell the real truth about all the cost involved. Outside the US it is almost impossible to talk to somebody in person. Their online chat and email communication is not what one needs when discussing problems like the ones detailed above.
My advice: STAY AWAY FROM THESE 3 COMPANIES UNLESS YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU'RE DOING!