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24 September 2003

Angry Clients Picket Get-Rich-Quick Seminar

Give the money back – QUICK.

‘Turn $1 into $1million within 7 years’, trumpets the sign outside 168 Willoughby Road, Crows Nest.

To find out how it’s done, come inside for a free seminar. There is one every Tuesday night. Learn all the secrets.

Well, not quite.

The “free” seminar, as is the norm in the get-rich-quick industry, is a lure for the next seminar – the one that’s not free. The great secrets cost more than just a dollar. Several thousand dollars, in fact.

“All it takes to change your life is a decision,” says Roy McDonald as he snaps his fingers each Tuesday night. That decision is to decide tonight, right now, to sign-up for one of his courses. And, if you act fast, you will get a discount. Instead of $6,000, you can pay $4,800. It’s your reward for being a decision-maker.

But last night, none of the people who rolled up for Roy’s free seminar made the decision Roy likes them to make. They did make a decision, however. They decided to go home.

As Roy’s prospective new clients arrived, a group of Roy’s past clients – some who had paid him more than $40,000 – were waiting outside the building. Fed up with not being able to get their money back – and disenchanted with the lack of help from government authorities – they decided to take a more assertive approach. It may have been something they learned from Roy – something about “taking charge of your life”.

Ignoring requests to “come upstairs and have a chat” (out of sight), Roy’s past clients handed out warnings to those attending the free seminar. “All we want is our money back,” said a spokesperson for the group. Apparently word had got around that a picketer from last week had received a refund this week.

In the absence of action from consumer protection authorities, this could be the start of a new phenomenon. Get-rich-quick spruikers being confronted by want-the-money-back-quick picketers.

It’s an idea that may catch on.


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