Feedback sought - Partnering with a 'Guru' and getting screwed...

by Melani
21 replies
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Hello Warriors,

Although I am newly registered here, I've been aware and about the site for some time now (since early this year), I've just not had anything much to contribute.

I've been working towards my goal of making a living online since January of this year, and apart from a few misguided leaps of faith resulting in the loss of a fair whack of our savings, I've enjoyed the learning experience so far. However I come to you needing some feedback and some advice if anyone has any.

The short version of the story (because oh boy it's a long one), is that in April of this year I got word that one of the so called 'gurus' was looking to take on a select few partners to work directly alongside with. Part of the email stated:

So, I'm looking for a few individuals that I can personally work with to get profitable websites up and running starting from scratch.These websites are a critical part to the project, so it's important that you can follow very specific instructions.
I replied with my story and waited patiently. I was blown away when not only did I get a reply, but a response informing me that we should get on Skype because it sounded like I was what he was looking for. So I did... we got on skype, talked about it and I handed over $2500 US which at the time converted to $3400 Australian. It was the last of my savings...

The deal was that I would be working alongside this guy, creating a product from scratch on something I knew, and then these huge emails lists into the hundreds of thousands owned by all the partners involved would be used to promote it. There were approx 10 people involved with this, all with their own lists and customers.

At the end of people purchasing my product, there would be a recommendation for one of these other 10 people's products. At the end of their products, would be mine. (basically OTO's / back end sales) It would be (as I understood it) a random product promoted at the end of a sale by all 10 of these people.

This meant that not only would I make my sale profits, but also affiliate sales for any second buys. All good.

That was in April. My product was completed in June and since then I have been trying to get it online ready for sales. At the start I got replies to all my emails, but then it started taking 2...3 or even 4 follow ups to get a response. Questions went completely ignored and the 'working closely with' was complete BS. I ended up having to do everything myself, even when I out and out asked for feedback on my sales letter, price point etc.

Finally, after yet another string of emails, on the 8th of December I was informed that they would email out a test run (so not the big email lists I was promised) that weekend. Which would make it the 12th and 13th of December. I sat and watched Clickbank all weekend. Nothing.

I followed up on the 15th of December asking what was happening... I've never received a response.

On the 19th of December I wrote a lengthy email stating all the problems to date, the fact that next to nothing that was originally agreed to has been honored on their side (I've done everything I was asked and more... all alone too) and now, they aren't promoting my product as agreed so I want my $2500 back.

As one would expect... no response.

My question to you all is...
is there anything I can do? This was all handled by Paypal, but since it was back in April there's no way for me to request a refund that I can see. While there was no signed agreement, the payment was for 'services' of which I've received none. And now, any and all emails are being completely ignored.

What can do I?
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Melani, by the dollar amount and the project, I know who this is. You've
      been taken in by one of the worst crooks in this business. Because of
      forum rules, I can't say his name publicly.

      But here is some advice for the future.

      Whenever you are approached by ANYBODY go to Google and look up their
      name. If there is dirt, you will find it.

      I am sorry to hear about this experience. If it's any consolation, I too was
      taken in by this jerk a long time ago.

      I have since smartened up.

      And NEVER hand over any money in advance for a JV.

      PS - I did get my money back through PayPal by filing a fraud complaint
      so go through the process and you should win it.
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      • Profile picture of the author seasoned
        Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

        Melani, by the dollar amount and the project, I know who this is. You've
        been taken in by one of the worst crooks in this business. Because of
        forum rules, I can't say his name publicly.

        But here is some advice for the future.

        Whenever you are approached by ANYBODY go to Google and look up their
        name. If there is dirt, you will find it.

        I am sorry to hear about this experience. If it's any consolation, I too was
        taken in by this jerk a long time ago.

        I have since smartened up.

        And NEVER hand over any money in advance for a JV.

        PS - I did get my money back through PayPal by filing a fraud complaint
        so go through the process and you should win it.
        Steven gave some good advice. It IS a shame he can't say who it is but, TECHNICALLY, it breaks US law, and I have seen MANY that got a good deal and complained a LOT! Want to hear something funny? There have ACTUALLY been numerous calls to 911(The U.S. EMERGENCY number that is to be used ONLY for URGENT police, fire, or ambulance needs), for things as simple as a person getting short changed by a nickle, or not getting ketchup on a hamburger they ordered! It gets to be almost like "the boy who cried wolf".

        And NO, I am NOT belittling YOUR concern, but saying why such things can be problematic.

        If you used a chargecard, you can also go to your BANK and do a chargeback.

        1. FIRST try to get a refund from the vendor.
        2. THEN, if #1 fails, try to get a refund from the intermediary(clickbank, paypal, digital river, etc...)
        3. If THT fails, do a chargeback. IF you used an intermediary, such as paypal, a chargeback could cause repurcussions from THEM.

        BTW if they want you to help out with THEIR sites, they shouldn't ask you for any money. Frankly, if they aren't offering you a LOT, you should wonder why you have to pay so much.

        It is TOO easy to scam people, so the internet is rife with people that do.

        Steve
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        • Profile picture of the author Melani
          Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

          BTW if they want you to help out with THEIR sites, they shouldn't ask you for any money. Frankly, if they aren't offering you a LOT, you should wonder why you have to pay so much.

          It is TOO easy to scam people, so the internet is rife with people that do.

          Steve
          Oh no, they weren't needing help with their sites. Everyone worked on their own product and websites, no one elses. The other's were just promoted as back end / one time offers after sales were already made. Same as my site was meant to be promoted at the end of their sales.

          What I was meant to be paying for was access to the email lists. I was informed that these were all 'big named people' with lists into the thousands - hundreds of thousands and one even had a list with over a million people on it. Supposedly, all these lists would have been used to promote my product.

          I was going to make thousands of dollars from these lists alone. Not including affiliate sales from any back end sales, having these people on my list to promote to, future sales, etc. That's what I was meant to be paying the $2500 for...
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          • Profile picture of the author WD Mino
            Holy Burnt Turkeys Bertha.

            Melani,

            Even though we can give you encouragement you have no money now because someone is unethical in their practice. man this burns my but I got taken in too but it was only 700 and I took some drastic measures so I got my cash back.

            Man alive Melani don't ever make a decision like that again without posting in here first we will help make sure it is legit that is part of the reason we are all here to help one another.

            If i had a lot of cash I would replace the money for you but right now I don't I have tied it up into various projects. However.

            I would be willing to contribute if others will as well you may not get all your cash back but maybe some of us can pull together to help you out. Don't EVER do that again without first consulting the experts here on the forum. Man I feel so bad for you that is a ton of cash .

            I am terribly sorry this has happened to you
            -WD
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            • Profile picture of the author Melani
              Oh WD, thankyou for such a kind gesture, but I couldn't take other people's money. Certainly not for nothing...

              I worked out that I only need to sell 175 copies of my ebook to make my money back ($20 x 175 = $3500). I sat down and calculated it when I started to think the email lists would never see a word about it - I thought even if he only emailed it out to say 1000 people, there might be a good chance of doing it (with a a 17% conversion of course...)

              Of course, I hold out no more hope that the claimed email lists will ever be used. Unless there is 175 people in here that would like it... :p That's the only way I could ever accept money from others, if I was able to give something in return. But again, such a generous offer to even make. Thankyou.
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  • Profile picture of the author tryinhere
    Originally Posted by Melani View Post

    Hello Warriors,
    So, I'm looking for a few individuals that I can personally work with to get profitable websites up and running starting from scratch.These websites are a critical part to the project, so it's important that you can follow very specific instructions
    So, I'm looking for a few individuals that I can personally work with to get profitable websites up and running starting from scratch.These websites are a critical part to the project, so it's important that you can follow very specific instructions.
    I am sure there is a phone call version of that also doing the rounds down under. the 2 man good guy approval team n all, you will feel real special. sorry these guys took your $
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  • Profile picture of the author Melani
    Thankyou for your response Steven. I've twitter you a quick comment asking if we are talking about the same person. I didn't realise you weren't allowed to name names on here. Good thing I didn't then lol. I just thought I'd still give them the benefit of the doubt...

    I did google search and looked for his name on here before I started. I couldn't find any dirt, but perhaps I didn't look hard enough. :confused:

    Thanks for the Paypal tip as well, I'll look into that. Not sure if too much time has passed but it's worth a shot. Even just to get half the money back would be really helpful right now.
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  • Profile picture of the author KimW
    The "deal" sounds very familiar, but the person I'm thinking about has never been called a crook to my knowlwdge.
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  • Profile picture of the author ricok
    Melani,
    If you have a physical product you may want to market it yourself and see if you can recover your cash. There's tons of ways to do it and you will get many suggestions. Simple solution is to get yourself some basic marketing training and see if you can find a market looking for your product. If it's just an e-book see about turning it into and actual physical product that you could actually ship to your customer. More and more of the on-line marketers appear to be truning to physical products. Plus, the physical product gives you the person's address so you can market to them more items. You can google "free marketing tips" and research the internet or go to the business section of your local library and check out some of their free business marketing books. I'm not sure about your marketing laws "down under" so you will have to research that yourself.
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    • Profile picture of the author Melani
      Hi again Warriors...

      As I got up this morning wondering what I was going to do for New Years Eve, I was very surprised to find the Guru in question actually replied to my last email! I'm not sure if it's coincidence or not, but they replied pretty much after I started this thread. Do you think they saw it? What are the odds amongst all the other threads?

      Anyway, they are now saying they will promote my product just after the new year. I have very little faith in it at the moment after being promised and dissapointed so often already, but it's something. Right? Or do we think this is just another delay tactic? (my husband labelled it that)

      @Ricok Thanks for that tip - I like the idea about having a physical product. Not sure how well that would work needing to ship them all overseas (where I presume most of my buyers would be), but certainly something to consider. Thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author garyv
    I would go ahead and start the paypal process anyway. He could be just stringing you along to prevent a chargeback. You can always pay it back if he comes through. But he should have been up front w/ you to begin with on the amount of time it would take.
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  • Profile picture of the author Justin Wheeler
    It looks like you developed a product back in June and so if I was you I would really start trying to sell it. I'm assuming it is the CashInMembers product you link to in your site.

    I would start by relaunching it as a WSO and look for affiliates at the same time, possibly to those who purchase your WSO. If you are going to go down the WSO route I would highly recommend Oz's The Q Factor report that can be found here: http://www.warriorforum.com/warrior-...-24-hours.html

    If it is any good I would be happy to help you, although there will be many more qualified individuals around than I.

    Anyway if you want to talk feel free to send me a PM or Twitter me @janwheeler.

    Please keep your chin up, it is miserable to be taken advantage of and those wretched sales letters can be so beguiling it is hard not to part with your cash!
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  • Profile picture of the author Melani
    Well New Years didn't bring in the best news to start with - Paypal have said there's nothing they can do as it's outside the 45 day time frame. The next stop is contacting the bank I guess?

    @justinw - Yeah the core product was completed back in June. And yes, it's the Cash in Members I have linked from my blog. I figured I might as well link it in the vein hope someone might see it lol.

    I'll look into a WSO, I've never done one before. I had hoped to get some feedback from those involved on the actual product as it's the first I've ever written, but, well, they didn't give me feedback on anything. I'd probably like to get some idea of the quality I'm provided before I go trying to sell too many, I'd hate to dissapoint people.

    I can't send a PM just yet (post count), but did say hello to you on Twitter. It came from @AffiliateSpam
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  • Profile picture of the author lcombs
    Been there, done that.

    HIGHLY respected 'guru'. One of the biggest.

    Grilled them for about an hour about what I needed and would they deliver.
    Of course, they promised yes on everything.

    Long story short.

    They delivered nothing as promised.
    My "mentor" was obviously following a manual. At times, I even heard him turning pages.

    Cost.... $6,000!

    How much outsourcing would that buy?
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  • Profile picture of the author jacktackett
    Melani,

    I am sorry for what's happened, but hopefully you've learned a lesson and at least have a product to promote. What I want to say is you've accomplished a lot on your own so congrats. Also since you're obviously a hard worker I'd like sponsor you into the War Room. Please PM me your information and I'll send you the fee to join. Also if there's anything I can do to help out in the future just let me know.
    best of luck in the new year,
    best,
    --Jack

    you can also reach me at jacktackett on twitter so just send me a dm if you can still not post a pm.
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  • Profile picture of the author WD Mino
    Very cool of you Jack your a good man
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  • Profile picture of the author Melani
    I have to say, I'm absolutely blown away by your offer Jack! Thankyou. There's very few things that make me speechless lol, yet you did it this morning. It was also one of the first emails I read after getting up, so thankyou for kicking today off with a bang! I've replied to your email address provided as I can't PM just yet

    @Leanne - I've had a couple of suggestions to make it a WSO, and my confidence is slowly rising again so it's definitely something I am going to look into. At the moment even recovering some of the money would make it a bit easier.

    I've also had a member suggest putting out a couple of review copies to get some testimonials on the sales page (there's none so far) which is something else I'm going to look into.

    I am so beyond glad I took the plunge to post my problem here. I've been on a few other forums which have been less than welcoming and I have to comment, so far absolutely everyone I've interacted with here has been beyond awesome. It's re-sparked my desire to really make it work and shown me that not all those involved in the industry are just out to take your money.

    Thankyou so much Warriors - all of you!
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  • Profile picture of the author Simo
    Hi Melani,

    I strongly agree with @WD Mino. Talk to the community and we'll help. I sincerely hope you have some luck with Paypal, and I hope that hard earned money of yours makes it back into your pocket shortly.

    @jacktackett - and just when all seemed lost, you go and restore my faith in humanity. Good on you Jack.
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    • Profile picture of the author Intrepreneur
      There's a place to report these kind of people and THEY WILL regret being so NASTY when you do so. My 2 cents but before doing that.. do everything else suggested by the other contributors here.

      Also ENSURE to keep all corrospondence between you and the person. In fact back it all up now to ensure you have it when you do/ if you do go forth with proper reporting of their scandulous tactics.
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  • Profile picture of the author bettersocial
    I remember seeing this email in my inbox last year. I was almost tempted to apply - but I wizened up

    One thing I've learned after 3 years in the domain business is: never give out payments above $500 to anybody, even your closest friend, without some sort of guarantee. Paypal, unfortunately, just doesn't cut it.
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