Vanguard Institute (formerly Vanguard Institute)- Advertiser 360 / SCAM - Deceptive, Unfair & Misleading Sales Tactics
SCAM ALERT!!! A business doesn’t have to be illegal to be a scam; they can be legally legitimate and STILL conduct an unethical and immoral scam. This is what I experienced with Vanguard Academy (formerly Vanguard Institute) and their “associates”. This complaint has to do with several “entities” alongside Vanguard because they all seem to work together as “affiliates” to boost each other’s business at your expense. My personal loss was: $14, 480!!! Based out of CA, Vanguard Academy works worldwide through telemarketing. No contact information can be found on their website: www.vanguardinstitute.net only a physical address as they claim they don’t want the general public to contact them, they call who “THEY want” in their program.
Vanguard Academy gets your contact information from Rapid Fire Commissions, a UK based operation, or another like it. They target you because you showed interest in internet marketing/having a website. Information from past employees has indicated they also largely target senior citizens. Personally, I was taken for a total of just under $14, 000 from all of these organizations, collectively. They prey upon one’s desperation to change their life/situation(s).
You’re sent from one entity to the other in hopes that you’ll buy into ALL of them. You’re tricked into believing they are all part of the same program by calling the next person to drain you your “Entity Coach” or the “Tax Coach”, etc. All of these businesses are unnecessary for you to start your own website business (even Vanguard Academy), but you’re made to believe that you NEED them for their training to be successful or to be “in compliance” with your state or the IRS. This is NOT true and is a deceitful tactic!
Apparently, they don’t care whether you’re fit for their program or not! If they determine you have the money or “resources” (i.e., credit cards, home equity loans, etc.) it doesn’t matter if you make it through their program and/or are successful…they are ONLY interested in the money they can get from you.
They are VERY aggressive and use hard sell tactics to lure you in. Mind bending and reverse psychology is used to boost your ego to where you, soon are telling them why THEY should let you into their program instead of them selling their program to you! You’ll be questioned on very personal things like your credit history, the spending limit on your credit card or cards, how much debt you already have on them. Watch out for this tactic…it’s how they determine the amount they can get from you and how they can “help you” figure out how to spread it between your cards.
All of these organizations have 2 to 3 options to them where the highest option is always played as the best deal (i.e., more money up front, but far less monthly charges than lower plans). Vanguard Academy’s program is not near as simple as they make it out to be…it is actually quite overwhelming and they won’t be much help to you. You’re given a “coach” for far less time than you’re led to believe (1/2 hour, one day a week for 3 months). Chances are your coach won’t be anything more than a glorified cheerleader…they’re main function is to keep you encouraged and get you through the first 3 months as quickly as possible.
You’re led to believe they’ll build a website for you…what you actually get is the “platform” and you design the website yourself. If their platform, which is real basic, is not conducive to the business you selected and you go with something else, you will STILL be charged $39.99 per month, called a “membership fee”, which is supposed to include the hosting. However, if you don’t go with Web Builder, you won’t get their hosting, your technical support will be VERY limited (if any) and you’ll STILL be paying $39.99 per month on top of what they’ve already managed to add to your credit card(s)…which is upwards of $8, 600 for Vanguard’s program alone!
They’ll tell you need to work hard, however they don’t give you any idea HOW hard it will be but that they’ll have you making $3, 000 to $10, 000 per month within the first 6 months! I imagine this is possible, but it’s VERY unrealistic! This would be akin to winning the lottery. The amount of time and work that goes into the training, building a website and running a business is PHENOMINAL compared to how it is presented to you! Realistically, this training and a venture of this sort is something that should take not less than 2 years, yet it is condensed into a short 6 month course. Most of what they tell you is deceptive, but it’s what they DON’T tell you that’ll get you into trouble.
REMEMBER that you have a 3-day Right of Rescission period if you want to back out, but you’ll have to be as aggressive with them to get out as they were with you…they won’t let go of your money easily! There’s far more to it all than Vanguard Academy (and the other organizations) will tell you up front and the problem is…you won’t know the half of it until your 3-day Right of Rescission is over…so think about it very carefully and ask yourself AND them some of the questions below:
1. Vanguard Academy (formerly Vanguard Institute)
2. Rapid Fire Commissions (Starter scam for the bigger scam: Vanguard Academy)
3. Daeus Financial (primary entity under which the next 3 fall)
4. Daeus Business Entity (Taken for $3, 990)
5. Your Entity Solutions (Part of Daeus Business Entity)
6. Daeus Tax Services (Taken for $2, 390 and they still think I owe them more!)
7. Strategic Tax Services (Part of Daeus Tax Services)
8. Daeus Credit Services (Another Daeus entity that will attempt to get another $6, 000 to “manage your business credit”)
9. Monterey Financial (Financing for Daeus/Strategic Tax Services if you can’t afford their entire fee up front)
10. International Coach Federation (Entity where their “coaches” come from)
11. Premier Mentoring (??? I have NO idea where this entity fits in, but it has something to do with Daeus)
1. Overly aggressive, persistent
2. Deceptive and vague
3. Fake kindness and caring of your personal situation
4. Ego building (yours)/manipulative
5. Withholds TONS of information (“beating around the bush”)
6. Getting personal with you and your finances, debt, credit card(s)
7. Recording your conversation with them while they control the conversation
8. NOT having themselves on record when they make the promises to you that you can’t prove otherwise
Common phrases to watch for:
1. We’ll GIVE you a website.
2. We’ll walk you through the entire process.
3. We’ll “hold your hand” all the way.
4. You’ll be making $3, 000 a month within the first 3 months.
5. We’ll have you making upwards of $10, 000 a month within 6 months.
6. We’ll work with you until you’ve made back your initial investment.
7. We worked with one guy for a full year before his business made a profit.
8. Do you have just 10 – 15 extra hours a week to spend? (HA! Unless you’re a genius or already experienced in business, bookkeeping, marketing, etc…it takes more than triple that amount of time!)
Questions to ask:
1. If your training is SO good and profitable, why don’t you have contact information on your website so others can learn your system? They’ll say they don’t want just ANYBODY…they specially chose YOU because they wanted people like you for the program (intended to make you feel special…tactic of manipulation)…don’t buy it!!! It’s actually because they wouldn’t get the “students” in the volume they need for how their operation is set up (or at all if they left the decision up to the public)…so they have to use high pressure telemarketing for their clientele.
2. What’s the percentage of your rate of success compared to failure? They’ll “beat around the bush” over this one, too. You’ll never get a straight answer! All other institutions of higher learning I know of can and will give you this information. Ask them why they don’t have an indicator to tell people how well their program(s) work! I can, pretty much, guarantee you it’s because they don’t HAVE an indicator to show the public…nor do they WANT one! They don’t want people to know how badly so many fail!!!
3. Over what amount of time will I get a coach? How often? How long each time? They’ll lead you to believe you’ll have a coach for at least 6 months time and they won’t tell you about the limit on the days and amount of time you’ll have available to you. I’d be interested to find out how they might dance around these questions.
4. When they begin to get into asking about your finances, debt, credit card limit(s)…take this as a bad sign. Ask them why they need your personal financial information?
5. Ask them why they feel the need to have to record your conversation with them…another bad sign…yet the recorder is NOT on when they make their promises to you. Agree ONLY if they agree to allow YOU to record everything THEY say.