Beware of free property investment seminars.
Article originally published JULY 15, 2003 –Reviewed and approved.
By Neil Jenman
When 76-year-old Bert Myers went shopping recently, he felt safe. After all, what’s the worst that can happen at your local mall?
But Bert is now $14,000 out of pocket. He got caught in a property seminar ambush.
Bert is a courteous man, well liked in his community. And so, when a nice lady with a clipboard asked if he’d mind answering a few questions, he obliged. In return for his courtesy, Bert was rewarded with two free tickets to an event at the local RSL Club.
Bert’s wife has breast cancer and the chemotherapy has knocked her around a bit, so Bert, who himself suffers from prostate cancer, decided to take his daughter to the RSL Club.
The event turned out to be a property investment seminar. At his age, much as he would have loved to help his grandchildren, Bert didn’t think he could invest in property. But a helpful young man called Daryl offered him a ‘one-on-one’ home consultation. No obligation, of course.
Back at the family home, Daryl suggested that Bert should attend an educational course on how to become a professional property investor. The course, which promised to be “life-changing”, came with a written guarantee. If Bert did not believe he had learned how to substantially increase his income, the company would “insist on refunding his money in full”.
Daryl provided an enrolment form so that Bert would not “miss out”.
Bert signed the form and gave his credit card details.
A few days later, after hearing some bad reports about this company, Bert wanted out. To his shock he discovered a horrible truth – rather than insisting on refunding money, this company insists on keeping it.
Bert received a letter saying that “as a responsible corporate citizen” the company would honour any “valid request for a refund.” However, despite careful consideration Bert did not comply with the company’s terms and conditions. His request was not deemed “valid”. Therefore, he had no right to a refund. Of course.
Goodbye $13,995 and goodbye Daryl.
Welcome to a company with a respectable sounding name and their “life-changing” effect on Australians.
Responsible corporate citizens. Not.
At the request of Bert’s daughter, minor details in this article have been changed to prevent her parents from suffering embarrassment in addition to their financial loss.
The company mentioned in this article no longer exists. But there are plenty of similar companies. Remember the Golden Rule: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PAY THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS TO LEARN HOW TO BE A PROPERTY INVESTOR.
Just buy some books written by trustworthy authors such as Margaret Lomas.
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