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Published:

16 May 2003

Wealth Courses

Money Back Guarantees

“100% MONEY BACK GUARANTEE” I’ve recently bought a home study course on property investment, from Pinnacle Wealth Institute (PWI) in Perth – with a 30 days 100% money back guarantee.

I evaluated the course for about two weeks. Although it was presented professionally, it was not exactly what I needed. I started arranging with PWI to return the course to them, and for them to refund me. I wanted to return it to their offices personally, but was informed that I could only return it to their distribution centre by mail. I was told that the cut-off date for them to receive it back, was April 20 – no exceptions.

On the 9th of April I sent the parcel off to the PWI Distribution Centre by registered mail, and I then advised PWI by e-mail. A week later I enquired with PWI whether the parcel had been received in good order. I was, however, informed that the parcel did not arrive.

On the 17th of April I requested Australia Post to trace the parcel. I was advised that the parcel had been awaiting collection by PWI, at their post office, since April 10. I informed PWI about this, and I was promised that the matter would be followed up immediately and that I would be given feedback.

On April 25, I enquired again, and was told by PWI that they haven’t yet had the time to follow the matter up and to collect the parcel.

Finally on April 28, I got an e-mail informing me that the parcel had “apparently” been received by PWI.
On April 30 I phoned PWI to enquire about the progress with the refund, and was told that it could take another 14 days to “inspect the contents of the parcel”.

Then on the 6th of May, PWI advised me I had been refunded, into my credit card account. However, it only happened a few days later, after yet some more enquiries from me.

Just to get my money back, took me an enormous amount of time and effort. I feel that PWI staff were playing games, and were deliberately delaying the process, instead of just honouring their “100% money back guarantee”.

Others interested in learning more about the property market should be wary of this type of behaviour!

Compared with many consumers you are lucky. The stories we are receiving about these ‘wealth courses’, the costs and the refusal to honour refunds are horrendous.

We asked Pinnacle for a comment. They finally replied on August 5. Details below.

—– Original Message —–
From: Marketing @ PinnacleWealth
To: enquire@jenman.com.au ; neilj@jenman.com.au
Sent: Tuesday, August 05, 2003 4:52 PM
Subject: My Story – Website May 16, 2003

Mr Jenman,

I have faxed through a letter from the Pinnacle Wealth Institute Director, Damian Collins.

Please find that same letter attached.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Wakeman
Marketing Administrator
Pinnacle Wealth Institute(tm)

5 August 2003

Mr Jenman,

RE: “My Story” WEALTH COURSES Money Back Guarantees 16th May, 2003

We have noticed the above story on your website which refers to the Pinnacle Wealth Institute™ refund policy.

Pinnacle Wealth Institute™ provides a quality home study program designed to educate investors about property investment. Our program is backed by our 30 day money back guarantee in which we have honoured and will continue to honour all refunds provided they comply with the conditions of returns which is, to be returned to our distribution centre within 30 days of receipt and the program is in clean, re-saleable condition.

On April 8th, 2003, the customer requested a refund for the program. We informed him of the return address and procedure and that refunds would be processed 14-21 days after the program has been received and inspected. The customer did not at that time (nor at any time subsequent) inform us that he found this time period to be unsatisfactory.

On April 15th, 2003, the customer emailed us and enquired as to whether we had received the registered mail return. Our records indicated that we had not and we informed the customer of that immediately. The customer now claims that it was received at the post office on April 10th, 2003. This may be true. However I am confident that we had not been notified of this by the post office. We do not “delay” picking up returns as there is simply no benefit to us. We honour all refunds and had already provided the customer with a return authorisation.

Around this time the Easter break occurred. On April 22nd, 2003, the customer emailed us to enquire whether we had received the program. After receiving this email we made further enquiries with the post office and found the returned package.

It is stated in our returns procedure, which was forwarded to the customer that once the program is received: it will be inspected to ensure that it is in a resaleable condition and has not been copied or otherwise breached copyright protection. Once this is completed, your refund will be processed in 14 to 21 days.

This customer was refunded on the 6th May, 2003, which falls before the specified period for a refund. The customer contacted us two days later to inform us that they had not received the refund. Once the refund is completed by our accounts department, the amount of time it takes to reach the customers account is a bank issue and therefore out of the control of Pinnacle Wealth Institute™.

We understand this customers’ refund process did not run as seamlessly as it is intended. As a result this customer did not receive the very best in customer service that we endeavour to provide, but it was not however a deliberate act to delay the refund process.

We were shocked to see this story on your site as we complied with and answered this customers’ queries and believed that they were satisfied with the outcome as no complaints were made to us.

We were however disappointed with your statement that we were approached for a comment and did not reply. This is not the case as no one at Pinnacle Wealth Institute™ was ever approached to comment on this situation.

We would appreciate it if you posted this letter on your site, as it is in-line with the theme of your site and would only be ‘ethical’ to promote both sides of the story.

Please do not hesitate to contact myself or the Marketing Administrator, Jennifer Wakeman; via email or phone 1800-000-159 should you have any further queries.

Sincerely,

Damian Collins
Director
Pinnacle Wealth Institute™

—– Original Message —–
From: Neil Jenman
To: Marketing @ PinnacleWealth
Cc: Comment@jenman.com.au
Sent: Tuesday, August 05, 2003 6:30 PM
Subject: Re: My Story – Website May 16, 2003

Hi Jennifer

Below is the e-mail sent to your company on May 13. No reply was received from your company. The story was added to our site on May 16. Happy to add your reply now that we have received it.

Sincerely

Neil Jenman

—– Original Message —–
From: Neil Jenman
To: info@pinnaclewealth.info
Sent: Tuesday, May 13, 2003 9:04 PM
Subject: Comment re Complaint

Could you please comment on the message below which was submitted to us on May 12?

Thanks

“100% MONEY BACK GUARANTEE” I’ve recently bought a home study course on property investment, from Pinnacle Wealth Institute (PWI) in Perth – with a 30 days 100% money back guarantee. I then evaluated the course for about two weeks. Although the course material was presented professionally, I decided that it was not exactly what I needed; and I started arranging with PWI to return the course to them, and for them to refund me. I wanted to return it to their offices personally, but was informed that I could only return it to their distribution centre by mail. I was told that the cut-off date for them to receive it back, was April 20 – no exceptions. On the 9th of April I sent the parcel off to the PWI Distribution Centre by registered mail, and I then advised PWI by e-mail that I’ve done so. A week later I enquired with PWI whether the parcel had been received in good order. I was, however, informed that the parcel did not arrive. On the 17th of April I requested Australia Post to trace the parcel; and I was advised that the parcel had been awaiting collection by PWI, at their post office, since April 10. I informed PWI about this, and I was promised that the matter would be followed up immediately and that I would be given feedback. On April 25, I enquired again, and was told by PWI that they haven’t yet had the time to follow the matter up and to collect the parcel. Finally on April 28, I got an e-mail informing me that the parcel had “apparently” been received by PWI. On April 30 I phoned PWI to enquire about the progress with the refund, and was told that it could take another 14 days to “inspect the contents of the parcel”. Then on the 6th of May, PWI advised me that I had been refunded, into my credit card account. However, it only happened a few days later, after yet some more enquiries from me. Just to get my money back, took me an enormous amount of time and effort. I feel that PWI staff were playing games, and that they were deliberately and unethically delaying the process, instead of just honouring their “100% money back guarantee”. Others interested in learning more about the property market should be wary of this type of behaviour!

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