Check Out Seminars/Presentations First

This is borne out of our real life experience at a few seminars we have attended lately. Most seminars only tell you or promise that you will benefit from the experience if you attend. However, you have no idea what it is about or how you will use what they sell you. Or, if you even want what they have to offer.

Preparation
So what can you do to prepare? You can use the internet because you aren’t the first person that has attended one of these presentations. For years now, I have used Google Groups. I have found there is a group for just about anything and someone is either praising or grimacing over their purchase at the latest seminar.

Google Groups
To use Google Groups, just go to http://groups.google.com/?hl=en and put in the search box the name of the seminar in quotes if it is more than one word. Then put in the word hate. This will show you if anyone is speaking of the seminar and using the word hate on the same page. If you don’t get any hits then you have to regroup. This is where you have to think like the posters and use the same words they use in their posts. If hate doesn’t bring anything up try other synonyms to the word hate. In the seminar I searched on nothing came up with the word hate. However, I used the word rip-off and I got two entries. Using the word scam I got 4 entries.

When I used Google Groups for a car I purchased, I found that I got many entries with the word hate. Reading the entries, I found that they were all talking about a much earlier model year. So, sometimes you might want to add a year to the search to limit it to more current gripes and concerns.

Better Business Bureau
Additionally, you should check the Better Business Bureau. They now have a website that permits you to look up a company by name and by url. This is helpful because many times companies will change their names and/or website address. Most times their search will show you a history of the companies names. This can be found in the section Alternate Business Names. Having many names isn’t unusual but look at the grade they have been assigned and the number of complaints. For example, one company we reviewed had an A- grade. However, digging deeper we found they had 93 complaints.

Complaints can be settled to the satisfaction of the BBB and they still get a good grade. However, do you really want to do business with a company that consistently relies on the BBB to resolve customer dissatisfaction. I can tell you, we don’t.

Their Approach
Lastly, if you use Google Groups before the seminar/presentation you can also find out their approach. Once you know what they are pushing you may want to just opt out of that reservation and use your time more productively. Not to mention, save your money too.

Think about this, if they are giving this presentation about how much money they have made, then ask yourself if is so “foolproof” why aren’t they still out their making that “big money”?

They Want Your Credit Card Number
Sometimes they may be offering something free for 90 days, you only have to give them a credit card so they can automatically bill after the 90 days is up. Be wary of this approach, many consumers don’t get the charge removed even after notifying the company you want to cancel.

Search Google Groups before you give a company your credit card for any reason. Find out if they honor their word and cancel on time or not. Stay on top of this and notify your credit card company of the infraction. Remember to check your credit cards policy for disputing a charge.

Bank Card Policies Are Your Friend
I bought some software that was created overseas and I contacted them about it not working well on our computer. They said they would refund the money in 2 weeks. I thought this was strange and contacted the company that charged our credit card and they refunded the money that day. All I had to do was show them on the company’s website that the product was satisfaction guaranteed. After I did that they were very willing to refund the amount.

Conclusion
We are not saying all presentations are bad or sinister, instead we are saying watch for the loopholes we have discussed above. Follow your instincts, if it looks like they aren’t making any money then be suspect because there is some hidden way they will recoup the cost of the presentation you are attending.

Don’t be fearful of any presentations that come along. Instead just be prepared, do your research and make wise choices. That is the best way to succeed.

Randal J. Watkins
Editor

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