First I want to say how embarrassed I am that I got taken by these types of people. I had just lost my IT job when I got an invite to a consulting webinar from Sam Ovens.
It seemed to be a great fit for my field and I had the experience necessary to technically consult already. Seemed like a slam dunk... I watched the ~90 minute webinar where every promise under the sun is made. "110% money back guarantee", "$2000/month client in the first 30 days or your money back...", "anyone can do this if they follow my steps", etc.
It was stated over and over again how ironclad their guarantee was. I signed up for the monthly installment plan after confirming via webinar-chat with their associate that I would be able to have the first month refunded in the event that Sam's claims did not hold up for me. Again, "30-day risk free guarantee" seal on the payment page. I went through every single piece of material in about 21 days completing the worksheets as I went.
I won't go into specifics for fear of defamation litigation (google it, Sam does this), but suffice it to say that the overall premise is: find a niche, market it, sell it. The entire "Consultant Accelerator" course was a sales and marketing class with the addition of finding a niche. I can see how in certain cases this may work for people. However it doesn't fit with my field (IT) nor my wifes (pet care) considering both are niched to the max as it is.
The course also relied heavily on Facebook solicitation (to friends and family as well as strangers) and other practices I disagree with on principal. I decided to call it quits. I emailed the refunds department on day 21 or 22 saying I wanted out and that I completed the worksheets should they require them. I got an alert a bit later while away on business that Sam Ovens had charged another $597!
I immediately disputed the charge with my credit card as well as the original $597 that they apparently hadn't refunded yet. A month and a half later I got a call from my bank saying that Sam Oven's was challenging my dispute and provided all sorts of documentation saying the charges were valid. I then searched my email for the chain with their refund department and found it in my spam folder (firstname.lastname@example.org, not samovens.com fyi). I guess that domain where blacklisted or it matched similar items I sent to spam, I don't know.
But in the response to my refund request they said: "So sorry that you don't want to participate in this life changing course anymore. The course has tons of amazing information you will benefit from and I encourage you to participate. This program comes with a 30-day action-based guarantee.You are within the 30 day period to qualify for a refund, we urge you to give it another shot while you still have about 10 days within the refund period, we are confident you will see outstanding results. You originally signed up for the course with big dreams and ideas in mind.
Let us help you achieve that!" I wrote back (after getting another call from my bank saying they were unsuccessful with the charge-back) asking why I'm still being charged and why I was receiving an argument to my cancellation request. There's a long chain but to truncate: they will no longer accept my refund because it's been more than 30 days. Just like almost all the other complaints I've found on the internet. They string you along until the 30 days is up and then "sorry".
In hindsight there were various signs this was not a wise choice on my part. On one slide during the webinar Sam says the refund is good for 42 days, but in reality it's only 30. He says this to make you willingly go over the expiration date. In my case I gave plenty of notice to stop payments.
They could have requested any documentation they wanted, but instead decided to make me wait until the last moment to cancel (although I'm not sure anything I did would have gotten me a refund given what I've experienced with them so far).
I have the entire initial webinar with the associate's chat and promises. If anyone wants a copy to help their civil case feel free to reach out.
Review about: Sam Ovens Consulting Accelerator Program.
Reason of review: Return, Exchange or Cancellation Policy.
Monetary Loss: $1096.
Preferred solution: Full refund.