100% Satisfaction Guarantee - What does it mean to you?

13 replies
Dear Warriors,

I hope that my story will save you over $100, and help you avoid the same mistake that I made.


I am relatively new to IM and I am just starting to understand things (meaning reading a lot). The Warrior Forum has been very helpful (thanks to you all) and for the first time I think I can contribute something back to the community. I believe it is the public interest that I share what happened to me.


I purchased membership of a site. Their "100% Guarantee" statement proved to be so misleading that I believe it was probably illegal.



This experience made me think about what we really mean by 100% satisfaction. To me, "100% Satisfaction Guarantee" means "customer not satisfied for any reason, give money back".





Other people seem to have a different view. This is what happened to me.......



FACTUAL SUMMARY
  • Membership site stated "100% Satisfaction" "100% Money Back Guarantee" in badges on their sales page directly next to the PayPal payment logo
  • Because of the guarantees, I purchased their top Lifetime membership for $127
  • I was disappointed with the content
  • Within 24 hours I asked for a refund
  • One of the Owners refused my refund
  • The Owner stated that 100% satisfaction guarantees do not apply to Lifetime memberships
  • The Owner referred to Line X, Paragraph Y, on his separate Terms and Conditions page that roughly states....."Our refund guarantee is only applicable to cheap plans.....it does not include any expensive plans such as Lifetime membership"


I feel seriously misled because the small print in the Terms and conditions is so different in meaning to the "100% Satisfaction Guarantee" offered on the sales page

I exchanged several emails with the owner, but he is adamant that he will not refund 100% of my money (although he offered 25% as an exceptional measure)

So in this case "100% Satisfaction Money Back Guarantee" actually meant....

"100% Guarantee? NO WAY! Check the hidden small print pal, no money back on our most expensive offers, we only
refund the cheap plans!".

It's not the same is it?




EXTRA INFORMATION

Obviously I am disappointed, but I think my experience can trigger a wider discussion/debate and give something positive for the community.

I appreciate that I might be the one who made a mistake here, but I feel the advertising could not be further from the small print.

Nearly every piece of advice I have read on the forum suggests being clear and trustworthy, and in my opinion the sales page is not.


I checked the Federal Trade Commission guidelines, and the FTC says.....
"If your ad uses phrases like "satisfaction guaranteed" or "money-back guarantee," you must be willing to give full refunds for any reason."

"Vague labels like "Terms and Conditions" are not enough to direct consumers to important restrictions or qualifications.
In addition, information that is significant to the advertised offer should not be buried at the end of a long web page that requires consumers to scroll past unrelated information. Consumers should not have to wander through an electronic maze to discover important conditions or limitations of an offer."
I think the site breached the FTC rules.

I think that this kind of practice gives IM a bad name.

I think this is just the sort of thing that makes it harder for everyone to sell and make money online, because customers just can't believe the advertising.


CONSEQUENCES

Obviously I will never trust this website or its owners ever again. I feel they showed their true colors as a businessman and as a person......Low quality.

Unfortunately, I will be more critical of other offers in the forum. Legitimate marketers will also have some negative impact.



WHAT DO YOU THINK?

To be clear, I accept that I didn't read every line on the separate terms and conditions page. I accept some responsibility here. The money is gone, OK.

In an effort to be constructive I can at least help you avoid the same mistake, and ....

.....and I would really value your opinions for the wider thoughts that my experience triggers.

This site seems to be pretty successful.

So....

  • Was the 100% Guarantee misleading?
  • Do you think this kind of practice is acceptable?
  • Is this IM strategy successful in the long term?
  • Are "trust" and "openness" less important than we like to think?

....and thanks again to all of you for your advice so far. The positive experiences far outweigh this negative one!




P.S. I agreed with the moderators that I won't publicly name and shame the site. So to keep things in order, just PM me if you have more specific questions. Anyway, I wish you all great success!
#100% #guarantee #membership #satisfaction #trust
  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    To be clear, I accept that I didn't read every line on the separate terms and conditions page. I accept some responsibility here.
    100% your fault.
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  • Profile picture of the author onSubie
    Originally Posted by broadbean747 View Post

    I checked the Federal Trade Commission guidelines, and the FTC says.....
    "If your ad uses phrases like "satisfaction guaranteed" or "money-back guarantee," you must be willing to give full refunds for any reason."

    "Vague labels like "Terms and Conditions" are not enough to direct consumers to important restrictions or qualifications.
    In addition, information that is significant to the advertised offer should not be buried at the end of a long web page that requires consumers to scroll past unrelated information. Consumers should not have to wander through an electronic maze to discover important conditions or limitations of an offer."
    I think the site breached the FTC rules.
    Did you report him to the FTC?

    I hope with all the effort you took to write this very long post you at least took the time to report him to the FTC and PayPal.

    Does he use a processor like Clickbank or JVZoo? You could report him there too.

    What did you want the WF to do?
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    • Profile picture of the author Teravel
      Originally Posted by onSubie View Post

      I hope with all the effort you took to write this very long post you at least took the time to report him to the FTC and PayPal.
      1. If the website owner is not a US resident, the FTC has no jurisdiction.

      2. Paypal does not cover digital goods or services.

      To be clear, I accept that I didn't read every line on the separate terms and conditions page.
      Just like those people that claim Paypal stiffed them, or how Google sandboxed them, or how this company did that to them, it all came down to the person not reading the ToS and following the rules.

      Before using any web service, you must do your due diligence and read the damn ToS.

      As much as it sucks, you already found the solution to your problem, and even pointed it out. Next time, pay more attention.
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      • Profile picture of the author onSubie
        Originally Posted by Teravel View Post

        1. If the website owner is not a US resident, the FTC has no jurisdiction.
        He was complaining about the FTC regulatons, not me. I just asked if he followed through and complained to the FTC instead of ranting in a forum.


        2. Paypal does not cover digital goods or services.
        I said "report" not file a dispute. PayPal cracks down on deceptive marketing and "make money online" businesses with complaints.

        I tie my PayPal to a credit card. If PayPal refuses a refund then I can do a charge back and PayPal has no choice but to honor the refund.
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      • Profile picture of the author christophercuna
        You should always doubt things whenever you're paying money. And never forget to read the ToS.

        I think 100% guaranteed can be good but you have to learn that with great advertising there would fools there (including what you did) that will take it.

        You should doubt anyone with too much overconfidence regarding their product. Think of the 100% 6-week ab stuff that's been selling like hot cakes years ago. Do you think that's believable? If you did your research, you'll very well find out you won't like like those buff guys in the adverts. There are even bodybuilders mocking that.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mark Singletary
        Originally Posted by Teravel View Post

        1. If the website owner is not a US resident, the FTC has no jurisdiction.
        Not true. Here are just two examples:

        FTC Halts Massive Tech Support Scams | Federal Trade Commission

        Court Finds Payment Processor in Contempt, Issues Warrant for His Arrest | Federal Trade Commission

        While some people may be out of their reach due to lack of cooperation, if the perpetrator has any traceable business or personal financial dealings with the US or a cooperative country such as hosting, payment processors, email, bank account, etc. those things can certainly be seized.

        Mark
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  • Profile picture of the author Sarevok
    For what it's worth - if any of my customers ever ask for a refund for any reason, they get it immediately.

    (Even though most of my refunders have been people that share my product on blackhat sites, lolz).

    My philosophy is simple - if you don't want my products, I don't want your money.

    (And if you're a pirate? Well you'll pirate my stuff anyway).

    For digital products I think that's the only way to operate a commendable business.

    As far as this other company? - I think they're in the wrong and should happily accept all refunds. An unhappy customer will always come back to bite you.

    Just my $.02
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    With Paypal, it's a crapshoot with disputes. Nothing is black and white. I think it's worth filing and a dispute saying "item not as described" ... I think the guarantee is very deceptive.
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  • Profile picture of the author joseph7384
    Originally Posted by broadbean747 View Post

    I think I can contribute something back to the community.

    You really call this giving back to the community?

    You have been a member for 2 years and your post count reflects your desire in giving back to this community, and if it weren't for the fact that this happened to you, your post count would still be at 1.

    This thread seems to be more of an attempt to seek vengeance on the site that you really wanted to expose but did not because of advice given by a moderator as mentioned in the quote below.

    With that being said, you invite members to pm you with additional questions, but is this really an attempt to expose the other party in a private message.



    Originally Posted by broadbean747 View Post

    P.S. I agreed with the moderators that I won't publicly name and shame the site. So to keep things in order, just PM me if you have more specific questions. Anyway, I wish you all great success!
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  • Profile picture of the author angel43110
    You should have read the terms and conditions and asked the owner/ support questions...
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  • Profile picture of the author drewfioravanti
    How did you go through all of the material and try it in 24 hours?

    Eiather way, in my book, a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is just that. I never have a problem giving a refund. If you don't feel the product is worth it, that's your opinion and you are entitled to it. I don't agree, but I'm not going to argue.
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    I'm no expert but if a company claims a 100% no questions asked guarantee and there's an exception to that, they need to post a disclaimer that says something like, "certain restrictions apply" or something similar. It can't hurt to open a dispute with Paypal. Claim, "not as promised" or advertised.

    EDIT: I'm not interested in hearing more in a PM.
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Without getting into the legalities, here's how this would work in the ad sections of this forum: If you have a graphic that specifically says "100% Satisfaction Guarantee," that's your refund policy. Period.

      Using a misdirect like that to encourage sales and then falling back on some other text doesn't fly.

      It is always a good idea to read the ToS of any site or offer. No question there. That doesn't mitigate this kind of active deception, though.
      P.S. I agreed with the moderators that I won't publicly name and shame the site. So to keep things in order, just PM me if you have more specific questions.
      [sigh] Why do people insist on looking for ways around the rules?

      This is a great example of why we normally just delete things and don't explain. Too many people insist on pushing the limits, even when the intent and spirit is clear.

      I made the mistake of explaining the problem with the original post and suggesting it be re-posted with the details omitted. I thought it was an important point.

      After all this time, I should know better.


      Paul
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