The Better Business Bureau of BC recently issued a warning about a real estate seminar company – “Success Path Education”
Here is the text of the warning:
May 18, 2016
Vancouver, BC – A Utah-based business that is the focus of more than 150 complaints about what consumers describe as misleading and manipulative marketing practices has scheduled a series of real estate investment seminars across Mainland BC this week.
BBB advises consumers to exercise caution when dealing with Success Path Education or SuccessPath, which touts its upcoming seminars as “an exclusive real estate success event.” The company claims attendees will learn the ins and outs of buying and flipping homes for profit.
While the seminar is free, the business uses the free events to enroll consumers in progressively more expensive programs.
Most BBB complaints are from consumers who say the business or related businesses charged them anywhere from $2,000 to more than $70,000 for classes and personalized mentoring programs with little or no value. Some said they got partial refunds by contacting BBB or law enforcement; others said they were unable to get any money back.
“This warning comes out of the United States. BBB’s there have heard many stories from frustrated clients who paid thousands of dollars on promises of real estate secrets and tricks, only to come away disappointed,” says Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor for BBB serving Mainland BC. “We just want consumers in BC to go into these with open eyes and do their research before spending any money.”
Most complaints to BBB are from consumers claiming they felt the business misled them about the potential value of its programs. Several consumers told BBB much of the focus of the seminars seemed to be designed to get them to sign up for more costly programs.
Most consumers told BBB that the first, free seminar ultimately leads into a sales presentation to get attendees to enlist in an upcoming three-day event at a cost of $1,997. Consumers who sign up for the three-day program eventually are invited to sign up for a more intensive, seven-day program – usually in Las Vegas – at costs ranging from $10,000 to more than $40,000.
The business appears to have used a variety of names including Premier Mentoring Inc., Advanced Financial Training, Advanced Real Estate Education, Zurixx LLC, Real Estate Addict and Top Trader.
BBB offers the following tips to consumers considering attending a free business seminar or meeting:
- Research the business by searching the Internet and contacting BBB.
- Understand that ‘free’ seminars are often set up to sell other products to the public.
- Before paying anything, know what you are getting for your money. Before approving any contract, read it carefully. If there is anything that concerns you, make certain the document is changed in writing before you sign off on it. Be wary of any oral promises that are not in writing.
- Know exactly how long you have to obtain a refund after signing an agreement. If that information is not there, ask for it in writing.
- Ask for references and contact them before entering into an agreement.
- Pay by credit card whenever possible in case you need to challenge the charge.
Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor BBB Serving Mainland BC 604-488-8702 604-505-2307 firstname.lastname@example.org 404-788 Beatty Street Vancouver, BC V6B 2M1
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses and brands they can trust. In 2015, people turned to BBB more than 165 million times for BBB Business Reviews, all available for free at bbb.org. BBB Serving Mainland B.C., founded in 1939 and serving the Lower Mainland, Thompson-Okanagan, Northern, Central and Southern Interior BC, and the Yukon, is one of 111 local, independent BBBs across North America. In 2015, consumers turned to BBB Serving Mainland B.C. more than 2 million times for Business Reviews and processed over 7,500 complaints.