Spokane >High Achievers Network
This group is a sham. Do not join!.
First off, DO NOT JOIN THIS GROUP. It is a complete sham and waste of money. The idea is that you pay the leaders $300/6 months for which YOU get to find referrals for other businesses and they’re supposed to do the same for you. The leaders of the group do nothing to get your business work. They arrange a twice-a-month luncheon at Luigi's (you pay for your own food) so that you can meet the other business owners. THAT'S IT! You do not need this group to network. Below is my experience. Please learn from it and stay away from the High Achiever's Network.
The owner of this business, Joe Vallorano, approached me to do web design work for a group of small business owners. It was my understanding (he did nothing to correct me) that for $300 I would buy into a slot wherein I would be the primary web designer for this group of businesses. It seemed hinky to me and I said I needed time to think it over because the money is substantial to me. He assured me that if I tried the group and found it wasn't for me that he'd refund my money. The documentation apparently says ‘no refunds,’ but I’ve never seen it. Stupid me...I took him at his word.
I attend one full meeting and part of a second. Once I learned that it is ONLY a referral group I knew I had been suckered. Joe Vallorano is bilking small business owners. There is no reason they should be paying High Achiever's Network for the right to send business to each other. HAN is an unnecessary part of the equation.
After that I called Joe to ask for the refund he promised me. He was immediately defensive and flat-out refused any refund. When I persisted about his promise when we first met he changed his story and added the stipulation that I would have to go through the whole 6 months (meetings and all) before I would see a refund. When I continued asking for a refund and explained how the group was not as it was portrayed he got vulgar and eventually hung-up on me.
Knowing that reciprocating the belligerence would not get me my money back, I made a very reasonable and calm request for my money. (read it here: https://docs.google(put dot-com here)/document/d/1aNYc-OWkz0m3EAyGE8Qa1WHSEX8IVZMaCc3BP9EY1yU/edit?hl=en_US). This was sent 4/29/2011.
After about 4 days I received an email from Joe Vallorano saying he would take my request to the other owner (whom I’ve never seen nor heard of prior to this mention) who was currently out of town. Another week passed and I contacted Joe again. He claimed the other owner was still out of town (Surprise! His trip was extended!). Another two weeks pass (during which I sent numerous requests for an update) before I get an email from Joe asking me to call him. When I do, Joe gave me a very “My hands are tied” story about how he could only refund me $100 of my $300.
Again, knowing that arguing will get me nothing, I just listen and say, “Alright, send me the $100 via PayPal.” It’s a step in the right direction, but I’m still determined to get the $250 mentioned in my first letter. Over the course of the following week, Joe asks for a signed letter of this deal. I write a simple acknowledgement of this partial refund.
As of 5/28/2011, I have not received a single dollar of my money back. I’ve come to the conclusion that Joe Vallorano has had no intention of refunding any of it since the beginning and has been giving me the run around hoping I’ll just drop it (which I’ve been close to doing). I have finally accepted that I’m not getting anything back.
Now I’m just trying to save you, dear reader, from losing your honest, hard-earned money in this scheme. Stay away from this group and groups like it. They are a waste of money and, in a word, a rip-off.
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