Here is how they scammed me. The sam thing can happen to you. So watch out from these internet based scamming companies.
One day, unknowingly I clicked on link that said "Google Ad works", it took me to one guy's testimonial about the way in which he is been earning "2000 to 3000" dollars per month from home. I hesitated for a long time and clicked the link which asked me to put my name and address in it. And the web site asked my for my credit card number to send their exclusive package. The web site said it would cost me $1.95 which would be used for mailing charges or something. This is it. I did not know that this is the worst thing I could do to myself. Few days later, I got a call from a telemarketing company named "ABS"(Accelerated Business Solutions). I really don’t know how ABS got my information. A person named Phil from ABS told me about the Thrive e-Learning program. He told me about drop shipping, OPM and how good internet marketing is. All the this time I was thinking that ABS was related to Google Ad Works. He sounded so genuine and I did believe what he told me. He even made me write a business plan. He forwarded me talk to his "Program Director" Brandon Clark. Brandon promised me that it would return all money back in 2 months ( or 8 weeks) and it is proven, and in 12 months I would at least make 2 times my initial investment. He told me that it is "Drop Ship" program. He told me that I need to put some initial investment in order to get more money back. He also told me that Thrive will spoon feed me with all the information, and all I need to do is to follow the instructions. He used some high pressure marketing on me, and took $6625 from me on the same day.
I fell into this trap. Then I was assigned to a team called "Team 1A" which had 4 coaches. Somebody named Nate called me on the first day, and introduced me to their student web site http://www.thriveli.com.
And he also told me that there will weekly calls, live chats and I needed to spend 5-10 hours going through their material. He talked as if they are available 24 by 7 to for me.
Here are the sequence of events
I clicked on http://www.kevinsmoneytree.org/ns.html?from=megavid.
It took me to https://secure1.s3curehost.com/egc/?off ... 339&id1=18
&session-id=0853f61c1d1b6f0b36bb6970f20355ea. They took my name address and a 1.95 for the "Google Money Kit".
Someone named A1 Member charged 1.97 on a credit card.
A1 Member takes around, $72.21 from my account.
I got a call from a telemarketing company named "ABS"(Accelerated Business Solutions). I really don’t know how ABS got my information. A person named Phil from ABS told me about the Thrive e-Learning program. He told me about drop shipping, OPM and how good internet marketing is. All the this time I was thinking that ABS was related to Google Ad Works. He sounded so genuine and I did believe what he told me. He even made me write a business plan. He forwarded me talk to his "Program Director" Brandon Clark. Brandon promised me that it would return all money back in 2 months ( or 8 weeks) and it is proven, and in 12 months I would at least make 2 times my initial investment. He told me that it is "Drop Ship" program. He told me about I need to put some initial investment in order to get more money back. He also told me that Thrive will spoon feed me with all the information, and all I need to do is to follow the instructions. He said that, it is based on Other people’s money(OPM). All I needed to do was to spend 5 to 10 hours.
I did ask Brandon about "Google Money Kit", and how are ABS related to Google. First he appeared to ignore my question. I asked him how Discover ABS is related "Google Money Kit" again. He said that ABS is a sister company to Google. Then he put pressure on me to take this offer, because I will be working with “World class coaches”, and there is nothing to worry about. He told me about Time, money, knowledge and fear. And how to overcome “fear” and prosper.
He started using high pressure marketing on me. He also told me that money starting flowing back into my account in 2 weeks time. In 6- 8 weeks I will get all the money back, and in one year’s time I will “ATELAST” double the initial investment. He told me that, I need to put at least $5000 or more in it to get returns. He told me that I need to put $6625. Another important thing he told me was that, I don’t have to spend any more money. He asked me to give the Credit card, and I asked him to send an email about it. I replied to his e-mail, with the credit card number and the expiration date. I asked him - what would happen if I want to discontinue, and may be move to another place like India in this period. He says, the coaches will call me anywhere. And there is no walking out from this program. He also told me that, Thrive will spoon feed the information, and there is no need to worry.
He used some high pressure marketing on me, and took $6625 from me on the same day.
Somebody named “Mikal Preece “ sent me a email about few forms that I need to fill.This email had With 3 attachments -
1. invoice Dharanikota.xls _ Invoice from ABS.
2. ABS Coach Client Contract Final. Doc
3. Monthly Report.xls
She asked me to sign and send the contract immediately. I signed and faxed the "ABS Coach contract" form on 5/28.
I called her after faxing the forms. She told me that a coach will follow up with me.
I get the Thrive eLibrary registration email. They send the user id and password.
Somebody named Nate called me, and told me that I was assigned to "Team 1A" will call me at 3 PM. He did call me at 3 PM. And he told me that this program would give me 24 X 7 support. He gave me the contact information for Team 1 A. This team included Nate, Brandon, Derek, and Berry.
He told me that, Team 1 A can be contacted by phone, email and Thrive Live chat interface on Web.
And he asked me to finish 1st week's Bench Mark. And he told me that he will call me back on Monday at 3:30 PM the following Week( 6/8)
I changed the password and got an email from Thrive.
The first week’s material instructed me to open a company. I did not know that I have to pay this from my pocket. They neglected to mention this detail. I sent an email on Monday, I asked them about differences between Doing Business As (DBA) and Limited Liability Company (LLC). I told them that I have a DBA through which I do IT consulting, and asked them whether I can use this for the Internet marketing too. I had another question about the niche market selection. Because I felt that the mechanism that they used was not sufficient to identify the product. I get a reply email from Barry, saying that they can help me with the niche, but I need to talk to my tax consultant. I try to get my Tax consultant multiple times. I was surprised that, Thrive could not help me out in figuring this important thing out, like they promised initially.
6/9/09 - 6/10/09
I sent them the nice ideas that I got by following their instructions, using email.
I also told them that, I am not getting good ideas using their process, and the direction they gave me. I listed the ides that I got anyway, in an email. A coach got back to me with 2 ideas that might suit me. I felt that, he did not put enough effort in identifying the better niches, instead, he just selected 2 from my list. I was not too happy with it. Of the two I selected one for my product.
I got an email from a coach indicating that I need to identify the suppliers. He suggested me a drop Ship listing company named gogodropship.com. He told me that this is better than the free web sites like wholesalecentral.com, that they initially provided me the reading material. I went to gogodropship.com, and found that they have 2 packages, an economy package for $97 and a premium package for $200+. (I don’t remember the exact price of the second one). In the meantime, one of the coaches sends an email about the free web sites. When I called them, and Nate told me that, gogodropship.com is the best one around.
I complained that, the web site is unreliable. What worried me in the site is the web security. I went to their sign up page and they took my password in clear text and are also took my credit card information unencrypted. And gogodropship.com are not using HTTPS for credit cards. Such unsecure personal information capture worried me. I explained this to a coach, he suggested me to sign up by calling gogodropship.com by phone. I said that, I would do it.
I finally, called gogodropship.com, And I also told her the issue I had with their web site. And told her that it is not reliable, and I am worried about putting my CC on it. I also, asked her to tell me when this company is started? She told me that she is a new employee and she does not know about it. I got slightly worried. But after she assuring me that they update the content very often, and assuring me that this is a good site... I asked her to register me by phone.
I gave my first Credit card to the gogoDropship.com's registration team(her) . She told me that my credit card did not go through. I thought some of my information is not taken correctly. And I repeated the card one more time. She still told me that something is wrong with my credit card. She asked me to give another one. I gave the second one. It did not go through either. Now she asks me for the 3rd one. I did it again. Even this did not go though. At that point I told her that something is wrong in their credit card processing on their end, not with the information given by me. I got really annoyed by this, and asked her to delete the previous CC from their system, and asked her to send me the CC information in an email. she did it, and I verified it to be correct. I told her one more time that all the information I gave is correct. I told her that there is something wrong with their system. After few moments she sends me an email that she could finally register me. I don't know how it happened. This whole incident made me really annoyed and worried. She also sent me a confirmation email with the user id and password in it. The user id and password she sends me is "ABSOLUTELY" the same as the one given to me by Thrive. Now, I got very suspicious. Because, I don't know how two different companies could generate the same user id and password. Unless, gogodropship.com and Thrive are in it together. I felt that Thrive pushed me into this web site to take more money out of me.
6/14/09 to 6/15/09 ( I don't remember that exact date, must be one of these days)
I got a call about a merchant account, from a company named “IMAX”, and from a person named Chris, who did not want to give me him last name, even after my insistence. He told me that his company is the “premium provider” for Thrive, and starts going through the account policies and charges. He immediately asked me to give my name, address, and SSN on phone. I asked him to hold on and told him that I am not interested in Merchant account at this point, because I don't have any product to sell yet. I also told him that, I am not comfortable in giving these on phone. And I asked him to send me an email with appropriate form that needs to be filled and about his company. He got really angry and told me that, it is not the company policy to give any of this information in email. I told him that, I am not giving any of my information to him on phone. And I asked him to wait for couple of days before I can verify this with Thrive.
I send an email to Thrive and told them that I registered in gogodropship.com.
I waited for Nate's (Team 1A coach) weekly call. I didn't get any call from him. I tried to chat with them in their live chat couple of times and I could not find any one online to chat with me. One time I even waited for 10 minutes and finally left with out talking to any coach. Initially Thrive promised me that I will have a 24X7 support from the coaches. This turned out to be totally false.
This whole sequence of events really made me think that something is totally wrong with this program. I started leaving voice mails to coaches to talk to me, because I am really concerned about this. I also tried Live Chat again. I could not get hold of any one.
That night, I could not sleep well and went to google.com to find more about Thrive, and the effectiveness of this program. I typed the phrase "Internet Marketing Thrive fraud". I got so many web sites and blog postings complaining about Thrive. I carefully read each and every link in it. And I realized that all of them were dragged into this program just like me. Some people lost lot more money and some realized it late. I decided not to wait any longer, and wanted to talk to someone immediately.
I started calling coaches and somebody named “Zack Bradshaw”( I got Zach's information in one of the blogs.) again the next day. Now I started becoming more demanding. But I still could not get hold of any of the coaches, who were supposed to be available 24X7. Now they don't even call me even after multiple voice mails.
On the same day, I get a call from Chris from IMAX. I told him, I am not interested in his service, and will contact him if needed.
I finally get a call from one of the coaches named Brandon. I told him, how unhappy I am and list him all the findings, and demanded him for the money to be returned. He told me that Isaac is his manager and he should help me out. I immediately called Isaac and left him a message. After few hours, left few more voice mails to Isaac and Zach Bradshaw.
I left more messages on Isaac and Zach's extensions.
I get an email from somebody named Drew who is the real Team 1 Manager. Apparently Isaac is not the one. In the email he said that he could resolve my issues. And I called him multiple times on Friday. It always went to his voice mail. I always gave my cell number as my contact phone.
Isaac still did not call me on Monday. I called Drew few more times. And finally sent another mail with my best times to talk. And specifically asked him to call me at 1 PM PST, because it is the best time for me. I did not get any confirmation email from him.
I waited till 1:30 PM PST, and gave him a call. Left him a long voice mail message. I finally get a call from him. This time told him all my complaints and demanded for the money to be returned. He tried to convince me, but I did not agree. Some of the big items of the discussion are -
1. They sold me the idea that, I would start getting money from this program in 2 weeks time. I asked them how was it possible? From what I have seen
so far, it is impossible to get any returns. I told him that I was miss informed about the whole program, and the costs that I incur in this.
2. I told him that, I could not reach the coaches even in the regular hours. I was promised that, I would get a 24 X 7 support.
3. I told him about the gogodropship.com incident. My worry about the user id and password that 2 different companies gave me. “He says that it is convenient to give the same password to the some members”. Then I told him that I don’t agree to this. I don’t like giving my user id and password to another company without my consensus. It is a security violation. I also told him that, I am concerned about the other things that these two companies might have shared between themselves. He told me that, he could not answer me the questions about other company.
4. I tell him about the Merchant account incident
5. I told him that, I could not find the company named ABS in UTAH state's BBB. How is it possible? To my surprise, First he did not even recognize ABS, he keeps
mentioning about another company.
6. I also told him about the fraud charges from A1 Member and Grant Master for 150 dollars.
7. I finally, told him about the possible identity theft.
After listening to all this, he told me that he would get back to me in 2 days.
6/24/09 - 6/29/09
I still did not get any response from Thrive. They are still ignoring me.