Wealthy Affiliate University Rip-off Gives Internet Marketing Black Eye
Is Wealthy Affiliate unethical? Is it an outright scam or rip-off? You be the judge. The FTC should pay attention to what Wealthy Affiliate is doing too.
This is a true story that has just happened to me and which may happen to you as well if you don’t read on.
I want to warn everybody so that Wealthy Affiliate University doesn’t take advantage of you as the company will certainly do this to everybody who is not aware of their greed and their disregard for their customers which they aren’t ashamed to rob.
If you purchase their subscription for a year like I have and have no desire to renew it the following year they will without any notice charge you for another year.
That wouldn’t be so bad if you could get a refund.
But Wealthy Affiliate will refuse to give you any refund even if you ask for it the same day they charged you for yet another year.
They bill in advance and will laugh at you if you tell them that you aren’t using their service and have no desire to do so in the future.
They will keep your money and will blame you for not reading their disclaimer which they point out to as saying that they don’t give any refunds.
This is how the Wealthy Affiliate contradicts itself in their disclaimer which I quote excerpts of:
..”If for any reason you are dissatisfied with the services of COMPANY after receipt of any services or electronic digital goods, COMPANY will work with you to try and resolve the issue.” …
“Under no circumstance does COMPANY provide refunds to dissatisfied customers”… “refund requests shall be ignored”…
You can read the full disclaimer here. Update July 22, 2018: The disclaimer page is no longer on there site so I removed the link to it because the link was now redirected to a page in which they promote themselves.
I have not read the disclaimer when I singed up and I bet that most people don’t. This is where the company hides and what they rely on.
After reading this you can form your own opinion but I doubt that you will want to deal with a company that contradicts itself saying that it will work with you to try and resolve the issue in one paragraph and that refund requests shall be ignored in another.
If this was a physical product it would still be refunded by any ethical merchant.
But Wealthy Affiliate is a membership site.
If you don’t use it at the start of the new subscription year and never intend to use it, what are they charging for? To see that there have been other cases of this blatant rip-off by Wealthy Affiliate you can view the Rip Off Report site.
Where is the FTC? Perhaps they should intervene in cases like this instead of trying to protect people from obvious scams.
Is Wealthy Affiliate University a scam? If so it is a well hidden one so far. The judgment is up to you and what I think is my qualified opinion.
You can check the Scam dot com forum if you haven’t done so by clicking on the link above to see what people say about the company. It is not always a favorable assessment.
I could understand if they didn’t refund a monthly charge but they are charging me against my will for the whole year.
Wealthy Affiliate is raking in money that doesn’t belong to them.
(But you wouldn’t suspect that if you read what Kyle of Wealthy Affiliate says about ethical internet marketing. Update July 22, 2018:That page was also removed from their site so I removed the link to it. He certainly knows the theory. What his company practices is vastly different from it).
Your credit card company isn’t likely to help you get your money back either.
It didn’t help me because the payment went through paypal first. The credit card company told me to contact paypal.
Paypal has canceled the subscription but says it may not be able to get the money back. They promised to file a dispute claim and they have done so right away. What a great attitude as compared to Wealthy Affiliate disservice.
(UPDATE: May 23, 2010 Paypal has decided in my favor. I hope that the people at Wealthy Affiliate University will cough up the money that they took from me without getting a heart attack. I detest their practices but wish no ill to them as long as they treat people without underhanded tactics to separate them from their hard earned money).
Wealthy Affiliate and their kind need to be listed in Better Business Bureau as offenders and people users. I have told them that I would make sure they are in hopes that they would return the ill gotten money. But they just laughed at me.
Apparently they don’t care so I will keep my promise to warn others about their rip-off tactics.
What do you think of Wealthy Affiliate and the way they treat people?
Have you had any terrible experience like this with them or any other company?
What have you done to defend yourself? What would you do in this case?
Please comment and bookmark and tweet this story to warn others. If you have a blog, link to this story and post about it. People must be warned and hopefully the regulators will notice too.
Authored by Vance Sova
Subscribe to Vance Sova.com by Email
Filed under: Internet Marketing Course Reviews
58 thoughts on “Wealthy Affiliate Uses Forced Continuity, Ignores Refund Requests”
I am so sorry this has occurred to you. 🙁
There are so many people out there ripping people off it is rotten. 👿
Thank you for sharing your experience. I definitely know I will be staying away.
I hope everything other than being scammed is going well! 🙂
See you back here soon! 😎
.-= Jacinta Dean´s last blog ..Fire And Loss And A Business And Personal Lesson For You! =-.
May 12th, 2010 at 10:46 pm
Thank you very much for the comment. I think that because Wealthy Affiliate is plastered all over the place and because they have an army of affiliates who promote them heavily nobody would have the slightest suspicion about their being so underhanded and mean.
I truly have never been treated this way and laughed at on top of it. I have the documents to prove it. First they told me it was only my fault, then they totally ignored me and they laughed at me.
My question still remains unanswered as to what I am paying for. I should have canceled the subscription but since I wasn’t using it I missed canceling it by one day. They charged me, I think, one day before the old subscription expired. I was going to cancel but they charged me before I did.
Any decent company would honor my wish to cancel and would give me my money back.
Otherwise I’m doing fine.
It’s always a pleasure to hear from you.
I’ll be looking forward to your next visit.
I’m sorry to hear that. My experience with Wealthy Affiliate is great!However, I don’t know why your situation turned out bad, but Wealth Affiliate is the best internet marketing site to me. I’ve learned so much from them and i’ve gotten a couple of sales from reading and networking through their site. I mean, they have over 200 videos teaching you different ways to market online and are very easy to follow.
I use and teach some of their method everyday, except mines if free:)
My issue is with them charging one year in advance for something I do not want.
As to their being the best internet marketing site that is a matter of opinion which I don’t share.
Even if their service was a pure gold which it certainly is not they have no right to charge someone for it who clearly doesn’t want it.
They are using other peoples money before any service is given and regardless of the wishes of their customers from whom they already made a bundle.
To me this is a thievery of the worst kind.
Hmmmm I see,
looks like you know what u doing though…. You must have learned it from somewhere:)
May 12th, 2010 at 11:59 pm
Whatever I know I certainly have not learned from Wealthy Affiliate if that is what you’re trying to imply.
I have visited their site a total of five times which includes two days ago when I posted a thread describing my situation about being charged for another year against my will. That thread was censored and erased as far as I can tell.
The main point I take from this is if you don’t think much about any program with recurring billing that you have signed up for cancel your subscription long before it becomes due.
I agree that they are out of order in charging you when you have told them you don’t wish to continue.
.-= Richard´s last blog ..Why Should YOU Write Ebooks? – Part 8 Writer’s Block Part 1 =-.
May 13th, 2010 at 7:50 am
Welcome to my blog and thanks for the comment.
Yes, what you take away from this is correct. If you don’t want to continue cancel as soon as you realize it.
I thought the time wasn’t up yet and they beat me to it by charging me one day before the expiration.
But I let them know immediately I didn’t want to continue. And that is the issue. They are taking my money for nothing.
I do not want their membership or anything and I clearly told them so one day before the new subscription was to start.
They are way out of order but this is their modus operandi. They hijack peoples money or steal their money. There is no other way to put it.
Sorry to hear about your problem. Unfortunately, WA seems to be in charge since they appear to have renewed your order, however questionably, at renewal time. And they could have defined that time frame with tiny, weeny, lettering.
For the sake of customer satisfaction, they should allow for partial refunds at least…
Best of lucks in your brave fight,
.-= Jose@Notes on Blogging´s last blog ..Choosing a domain name =-.
May 13th, 2010 at 9:36 pm
Thanks for the comment and your sympathy. It is clear that they are money grabbers and thieves because I told them very clearly I don’t want their stuff the same day they charged me. And they are intent on not giving me one penny back.
Charging for the whole year just because they want the money with no regard to my wishes is a robbery and nothing else.
I have not yet found anybody who thinks this kind of behavior is ethical.
They are kind of contradicting themselves in their TOS, first it says:
If for any reason you are dissatisfied with the services of COMPANY after receipt of any services or electronic digital goods, COMPANY will work with you to try and resolve the issue. You are under no obligation to continue with COMPANY, and can cancel your membership at any time.” and then they continue like this:
“Under no circumstance does COMPANY provide refunds to dissatisfied customers….”
I would suggest that you contact the Better Business Bureau and ask them for advice, report your experience with WA. Perhaps you should also try to find other disgruntled customers, united you will be stronger, all the best, off to digging in emails now (insider joke) SY
PS Your tweet thingy is still not working properly, I tried yesterday and ended up on tweeting your post “by hand”.
.-= hospitalera´s last blog ..Cool Market Samurai Tips- Keeping Track =-.
May 14th, 2010 at 3:24 am
Thank you for pointing out how dysfunctional the company is even in their own words. Anybody can see that they are clearly out to get peoples money with no concern for anything else. They are billing before they provide the service so they take before they give anything. Giving a refund for sevices not provided is a standard practice for any ethical company. Insurance companies do it routinely if a policy is canceled before the time for which it is purchased expires.
I don’t see how the behavior of Wealthy Affiliate can be justified. Only crooks can behave this way.
The Better Business Bureau has unfortunately no power to do anything except record the behavior of the company and make that information available to those who inquire about it, I think. I will contact them and see if they can do anything else beyond that.
Thanks for tweeting by hand. I’m not sure why the thingy is not cooperating.
And thank you for the helpful comment.
I joined Wealthy Affiliate last year and did it month by month and canceled after 2 months. I did not have a problem but I canceled before the next month, so I personally can’t say anything bad about them. But in my opinion if you asked for a refund the same day they renewed your year membership and won’t give you one, that just stinks of bad customer service.
If you can’t get your money back from paypal I guess you have to chalk it up to lesson learned.
.-= Tiffany @ Online Passive Income´s last blog ..How I Choose Amazon Products to Promote on a Niche Website =-.
May 14th, 2010 at 8:10 pm
Welcome to my blog and thanks for the comment. It is not bad customer service on their part in their own eyes. This is the way they treat people intentionally because they squeeze all the money from them they can get. Yes, it stinks of more than just bad customer service. It is a true robbery.
They have been trying to entice people to the yearly subscription. I think I thought that I’d save money that way and instead they took more advantage of me. I can just imagine how they were salivating eager to charge me for another year hoping I wouldn’t cancel at the last minute. I was going to cancel but I thought the time was up in May. They charged me on the last day of April.
It is never a good idea to get a subscription for the whole year. I’ll never do that again for anything even if it looks like a great savings deal.
Hardly anything is good enough to pay for it the whole year anyway. I think the average subscriber to WA doesn’t last more than 3 months.
I learned a lesson but that shouldn’t let these crooks off the hook. They will keep doing it to people as long as they can get away with it.
Although I’m not familiar with Wealthy Affiliate, no one should be treated that way. Yes there is always fine print that one needs to read before entering into any agreement, but companies who care about their affiliates or their reputation and image, usually find their own way of getting around the fine print to allow a refund.
But in every dealing with people or companies, there are lessons to be learned…some hard, some easy.
Good luck in your future ventures and may they be as you want them to be.
To your success,
.-= MIke Helton´s last blog ..Building Relationships Through List Marketing =-.
May 15th, 2010 at 8:13 pm
This is the shabbiest treatment that I have ever encountered with any company online or offline. It may take a while but eventually people will realize what these cheats are all about. At least I hope so.
The best thing is to avoid them like the plague. When I read the reviews of subservient and self-serving affiliates of this hell-bent company I have to wonder if they are just ignorant of how the company treats people who have had enough of their membership or if they are selling their soul just to get a commission.
If they are just ignorant I hope that they will wake up to reality. They remind me of those who naively believed in mass murderers who fooled the masses into following them and even fanatically worshiped them. Everybody knows such cases from history.
Thanks for the comment and for your wishes. Welcome to my blog.
great that you shared your story onwards and upwards now
you have a really great blog and thanks for sharing
May 16th, 2010 at 12:10 pm
Thanks for the visit and comment but your comment aside from attempting to stroke my ego doesn’t contribute anything.
The next time you’ll have to do better and comment on the actual post and what you think about the subject that is discussed.
If you read other posts on my blog you will find that I don’t approve brief, lip service comments that are made just to get a link.
Hey Vance, poor you, that’s utterly disgraceful, it’s companies or people like that who create distrust online. Thankfully I have never came across any such problem, but I have heard some shocking horror stories, I know of a guy who got stung for $4000 for personal coaching, he tried to get a refund with paypal but lost, I guess I must be lucky, thanks for telling people about these scammers, Sally 🙂
.-= Sally Neill´s last blog ..Back On The Slippery Slope To Nowhere =-.
May 16th, 2010 at 7:08 pm
I know, poor me. But seriously, Wealthy Affiliate is the most disgraceful company which very few people realize. So I feel I must share how I got treated by them with others.
I would never have believed that this kind of treatment can be given by a company with near cult status. They do pretend quite successfully that they care about people when in fact they quite cheerfully rip them off. I used to think that scams happened to other people who weren’t just careful.
You have been lucky so far not to have fallen in the crooks trap yet. At least you will avoid these crooks like a plague, I think.
Thanks for commenting.
hi there Vance
sorry to hear about that, your right The FTC should pay attention to site’s like this, taking peoples money that they worked hard for just is’nt on,thanks for letting us know my friend
.-= Bezzer Brown´s last blog ..My First Blog Post ! =-.
May 16th, 2010 at 7:18 pm
Welcome to my blog. You live and learn I guess. Nearly $400 lesson was the last thing I needed though, especially since the money have been taken by force with no regard to my wishes. At least when a street robber gets you you just know that that’s what they do for a living. He doesn’t pretend to be a legitimate business like these Wealthy Affiliate thieves.
I guess FTC is out to lunch on this one and chasing some obvious scammers that everybody can recognize at first sight. They may have not learned yet how cunning the Wealthy Affiliate scoundrels are.
Thanks for commenting.
That’s bad news man, sorry to hear that.
They should not be allowed to carry on,
I can’t believe the card company would
not do anything about it.
Have thankfully never had dealings with
them but did think about it at one time
glad I didn’t but sorry you did.
Hope you get it back, and thanks for the
.-= James Howard´s last blog ..I Just Ranked In Google In Two Minutes =-.
May 16th, 2010 at 7:28 pm
Bad news for me but good news for people like you who get the warning.
Yes, the credit card company disappointed me profoundly. The person at paypal that I talked to was quite shocked and surprised by it too. It would seem that they took the easy way out.
I hope I’ll get my money back too but having to fight for my own money that I worked hard for and that I was robbed of by Wealthy Affiliate thieves seems profoundly unjust.
My only consolation is that this case will help others to realize what company is a bad idea to have anything to do with.
Thanks for the comment and you are most welcome. Please visit again soon.
Vance, I just had a look at their site and guess what? I can join for free. 😀 Now don’t tell me that’s just so they can build their list but to get the real stuff I have to pay money, is that correct?
That’s the problem with a lot of these affiliates. They promise to make you money and usually the only way to do it is to suck others into buying into the same affiliate.
Sorry you got stung mate.
.-= Sire@The Honest Blogger´s last blog ..Does Your Blog Provide Value To Your Readers? =-.
May 17th, 2010 at 9:32 am
I haven’t looked at their site since they stole my money by charging me for another full year subscription without my consent and in spite of my request for a refund which they denied.
Knowing how they are after the money I think that these crooks couldn’t care less about you being on their list. They want your money and they want it badly now.
This is just my opinion but I think they most likely give you a day or a week of free membership but for them to do that they take all your information including your credit card and they will most likely charge it automatically unless you cancel.
At the point I don’t really care what this scam and rip-off outfit does.
Thanks for your comment and if you feel like it you can link to this post to help others look at Wealthy Affiliate with open eyes and prevent them from being robbed.
Sire@The Honest Blogger Reply:
May 17th, 2010 at 3:00 pm
But isn’t that the idea of getting me on their list, so as to fleece me of my hard earned cash?
I did tweet the post for you Vance and if I write something where the link will be appropriate I will do that as well.
.-= Sire@The Honest Blogger´s last blog ..Does Your Blog Provide Value To Your Readers? =-.
May 17th, 2010 at 4:34 pm
Being on a list doesn’t put you in any danger of being fleeced of your cash. Would you please download my free ebook as you have indicated you might do when I was posting about it coming out a little over a month ago? It has just been published yesterday. It will explain to you what email list building is, what purpose it serves and how it is done. You can test how I treat people who trust me enough to opt in to my list. There is nothing sinister about it.
By opt in to an email list you are just giving a permission to be emailed relevant information in the future. You can unsubscribe any time just by clicking on a link which is in every email you’ll get.
When you opt in to get my free ebook all that you will be giving is your name and email address and the permission to be emailed. When you no longer wish to be emailed you unsubscribe and will never be emailed again.
But if you get involved with Wealthy Affiliate you’ll have to give them not only your name and email address but your payment info your address etc.
Then they will charge you at their pleasure like they did me even if you don’t agree to be charged if you don’t cancel the subscription before a due date. With these crooks it doesn’t matter that you don’t want their stuff at all. They’ll charge you for a full year anyway. I said that already in the post.
Thanks for the tweet and if you write a post about scams like Wealthy Affiliate you can include a link to my post. Thank you for the willingness to do so.
Sire@The Honest Blogger Reply:
May 17th, 2010 at 6:45 pm
Vance I realize what a list is and while I trust you to do the right thing I also know there are many who would exploit the people who sign up to their list. Sure you can unsubscribe but I’ve been a member where it took several attempts before it actually worked.
Another thing, and it’s probably my fault, the unsubscribe link is right at the bottom and until someone mentioned it I never read that far into the email. Dumb huh, but I reckon there are others just as dumb as I was.
One last thing, that link that I get in the email to say you have replied doesn’t work, I have to manually find this post.
.-= Sire@The Honest Blogger´s last blog ..Stand By Me And We Will Become Better Bloggers =-.
May 17th, 2010 at 7:14 pm
Sire, I guess that it is smart to think twice before opting in. But if all you ever give is your name and email address I can’t imagine how anyone could exploit you or anybody else. The unsubscribe button shouldn’t be hidden or hard to find now that you know where to look.. If you mean a membership site than it is sometimes hard to figure out how to unsubscribe and it may be so on purpose but that is never the case with email lists.
From now on if I ever join any paid membership the first thing I’ll be looking for is to learn how to cancel in case I need that fast.
Trying to cancel just before the new period starts may end up not being able to which can cost dearly as rip-off artists like Wealthy Affiliate are just waiting for that to steal your money
I wonder why that link wouldn’t work. It could be the plug in. Could you send me the link that didn’t work?
I’ll try to fix the problem and having that link might help.
Sire@He Who Speaks No Evil Reply:
May 17th, 2010 at 7:33 pm
Truth be told Vance there are a lot of, shall we say gullible for lack of better word, people who will try anything if they think it will lead to easy money and a lot of lists prey on those people.
Consider all the spam, phishing and other emails that you get continuously, while you wouldn’t ever consider clicking on the link many do. It’s one of the reasons my Load Of Bulshit does so well in the SERPS, from people searching as to whether or not the email is a scam. Actually this post would fit that blog nicely.
As to that link I worked out why it’s not working, it’s because it puts a full stop at the end of the link.
.-= Sire@He Who Speaks No Evil´s last blog ..Scientific Revelation Explaining Why Some A Listers Are Assholes =-.
May 17th, 2010 at 11:39 pm
OK Sire, I’m now starting to see what you mean. I’m not sure if gullible people can be protected from anything including themselves.
I’d say that if it looks like easy money promise for no or next to no work do not opt in. And most of all do not give them your credit card number. The worst scams, and I think Wealthy Affiliate may have used this one at one time too, is when they offer you a ton of stuff for just $1. That way they get your credit card and everything and then just charge you big monthly fees after one week or so if you aren’t on the ball and cancel right away. I think lately the credit card companies woke up to this and do not allow tricky merchants like that to charge just one dollar to perpetuate these schemes.
Yes, shit happens online and scoundrels are found online just as readily as offline. But there are a lot of good legitimate people too.
If you can link to this post from your Load of Bullshit that would be great. If you do, please let me know.
How about the link, is it working now? I tried a comment response notification link sent from my blog to my email and it worked.
If it still doesn’t work for you send it to me and I’ll experiment with it.
I just wanted to stop by and see how things are going. You left a very lengthy response on my hubpages. Which I am leaving up, people should know your story.
For your situation you could have called Paypal directly, since Wealthy Affiliate uses them as a vendor. They would have investigated your situation and got back to you. In most cases they award you a full refund or demand the vendor pay you back. Try that route.
I also agree in The IM world scams do exist and being able to spot them can be tricky. I have been doing this for sometime and have been a member of WA for about 2 years now. Its has been rough road.
WA was not the only place I learned affiliate marketing. You need to constantly add new training and WA definitely has some outdated Tutorials that no longer work. I think the biggest thing most people should realize is it takes time and a lot effort to make it online. You constantly need to be moving forward.
Just stick to your guns and keep moving forward. Don’t let this get in your way.
May 18th, 2010 at 8:09 am
Thank you for visiting and for your comment. I really appreciate that you took the time to do this.
I had already done what you suggest before writing the post.
I contacted my credit card company and then paypal trying to get my money back. Credit card company failed – wasn’t willing to do anything referring me to paypal. Paypal is still working on it I guess since I haven’t heard from them since they filed a dispute.
Thank you for being so open-minded and leaving my comment on your hub. I appreciate your encouragement.
This event won’t get in my way and it’s a lesson that I hope others can take something away from too.
While I have no love for Wealthy Affiliates, could it be that you are the one responsible for this situation?
You admit that you did not read the disclaimer when you signed up. You may have also skipped the automatic billing disclaimer. If you did not put your lack of “desire to renew” in writing then your were agreeing to another year.
I have no association with Wealthy Affiliates. However, from my research I would put them in the category of “MAKE MONEY STUFFING ENVELOPES AT HOME”. From all the positive reviews I have read, I deduce that the way to make money from WA is by pitching their services to others on the internet.
I am happy that you were able to get anything positive from PayPal. There seems to be a lot of bad press about their behavior.
May you be blessed in your future endeavors!
(Read all the fine print EVERY time!)
June 3rd, 2010 at 1:01 am
Hi Noone (the only name I can find as it shows in your email),
Of course I am responsible for not reading their disclaimer in the first place.
But I have contacted them the very day they charged me for the whole year ahead of the services to be provided. If you think that their behavior subsequent to that is acceptable that is fine. To most people it’s very abhorable treatment and no business should function that way.
Reading all of the fine print is a good advice but very few people do that and that is where companies with less than stellar behavior hide. Their should be no need for the fine print where people and businesses are honest.
Thanks for your comment and for your nice wishes.
i am a new member of wA….. i want to cancel
my membership … i joined on june 06 .. i made
first month payment by credit card… i dnt
want to give next month payment… so please
tell me wat is th procedure to cancel my membership?
Please mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
June 15th, 2010 at 9:46 pm
I’ve sent you email as you requested. It sounds like you have a monthly subscription and you can just cancel before the date the new month is due which is before July 06 in your case. Do it right now since waiting till the last day may put you in danger of being charged for yet another month.
Back then, several months ago, I was using Wealthy Affiliate for a while and I have to say that I was rather disappointed with the service. I wasn’t able to earn real money and the whole thing looked pretty suspicious. The way the site runs seems more than unethical for me and I would encourage you to avoid it.
.-= Daniel Sharkov@Marketing product reviews´s last blog ..Mastering PageRank – Useful and Detailed Video Course on SEO =-.
June 18th, 2010 at 9:01 am
Thanks for relating your experience with Wealthy Affiliate. I think that you are giving your advice to the readers here since I have been avoiding WA like a plague ever since they mis-treated me by ignoring my refund requests the same day they charged me for one more year against my will.
Aside from the issue I have described in the post I cannot say anything really bad about them largely because I haven’t used their service extensively. My post intention was not to speak against what they are offering but against the way they charge people for the whole year even if they aren’t using the service anymore and then refuse to give a refund.
For anybody who wants to use WA I strongly recommend to get just monthly subscription and cancel before the new month starts if you want to cancel. Yearly subscription is not the best idea as I have found out.
Thanks for this information. A friend of mine has recently subscribed to this website and was telling us how much he has learned using this site. Now that I know how Wealthy Affiliate works with billing issues, I can warn him about that should he decide to cancel his subscription and he should do it at an early stage.
Felicia @ No deposit poker´s last blog post ..Holyfields new career
July 27th, 2010 at 12:34 am
I’m glad to help. Your friend should plaster the date he signed up for their membership on his office wall and never forget it. In case he signed up for the whole year it is even more important not to forget the date and in case he decides not to continue, cancel the automatic renewal way before the date.
I got my money back after a long fight and only thanks to paypal. I’ll be forever greatfull to paypal for that. The credit card company did nothing for me. Wealthy Affiliate laughed at me one day after they charged me when I demanded a refund. They charge for the whole year and refuse to refund anything. Paypal made them do it though, otherwise they’d lose their status with paypal.
Thanks for the comment.
Felicia @ No deposit poker Reply:
July 29th, 2010 at 1:17 am
My friend says “thank you very much” for your advice.
I’m glad that you got your money back. Plus points to Paypal for making Wealthy Affiliate give you back your money.
July 30th, 2010 at 10:00 am
Tell your friend to visit my blog and place his own comment here as well.
Paypal acted wonderfully and I’ll always remember that.
WA is a big scam but in the sense that it will get you in the endless business of buying this or the other service to get where you want….e-books, e-courses, etc….the site is quite messy and full of old advice and tools….the same advice and tool are available for free in the internet….the site appears to make things more complicate than they are, so you need the help from “older” WA members, who usually are just affiliate members of WA. These members are very willing to sell you their own marketing material. In summary, I found WA a big disappointment and I would not recommend it. It certainly has the traits of a scam. Try not to pay a dime for this kind of stuff….there is enough material for free in the internet….even Google gives you good advice and the right tools….stay away from WA and similar affiliate marketing websites.
September 11th, 2010 at 6:00 pm
My only complaint with WA is the way they treat people who don’t want to continue with them and request a refund. Since I didn’t get too involved with them otherwise I really can’t say much about anything else.
Thank you for commenting.
This is my first visit to your blog.
This post really did create allot of response and it’s clear being ripped off spurs a lot of emotion in people.
It also really does highlight the best and worst bits of the web.
The best bits being peer recommendations, consumers can seek reviews from other consumers as a validation before purchase.(I’m sure there is a term for this but the words aren’t coming to me this morning)
The worst bits being online scams, everyone hates them but they seem to be common in this medium.
I don’t like businesses that operate a membership model as they clearly pray on consumers singing up, use the service a couple of times and forget about the renewal and are tied in. Take gym membership for example, how many of us can say they make the most of the monthly fee??
I’ll certainly be back!
October 7th, 2010 at 7:16 pm
Welcome to my blog and thank you for the comment. This post created a good response because a lot of people have been burned by WA. The majority of membership sites that I’ve had a chance to look at allow people to cancel their membership very easily and without obstructions.
It’s businesses like WA that give everybody else a bad name. A membership site is not necessarily a bad thing as long as people are free to cancel and aren’t forced to pay for the whole year if they cancel one day too late.
Gym memberships are very rarely used as intended. The worst kind are the so called lifetime memberships where you pay a big chunk of money to start with in order to get a guaranteed fixed low rate for life.
Anyway, I look forward to your next visit and comment.
thanks for this post, I was reading your post this morning and since we are shortly releasing a project that has similarities to WA I have added an exception to our Terms for exactly a case like yours. It’s not fair to charge for a whole year when the customer really just forgot to cancel.
But on the other hand you also have to understand that membership sites have to protect their business and also the attached communities of “serial refunders” that pay, download/print/save most of the valuable content and then cancel immediately. That’s why these no-refund policies are in place in most of the cases (When we talk about serious offers, not free-trial scams or the like).
I think WA is a good project and really helps people, I myself have never been a member there but from what I have read it’s a great community that really helps people to make some money.
Anyways, I just wanted to let you know that your post was the reason for me to adjust our own terms of service to protect people from something like what you have experienced, but I also wanted to say that these no-refund policies are almost a must-have for digital-products these days 🙂
But in the end it should be about the consumer, so letting customers easily cancel if they decide it’s not for them, or giving them a refund if they were already member for a year and forgot to cancel… should also be a must!
December 11th, 2010 at 10:39 am
I’m glad my post was helpful to you and that it contributed to your better terms and conditions. Assuming that everybody is a thief and criminal which is what Wealthy Affiliate does is ridiculous. Most people are still honest. If somebody has been a member for one year already he or she has proven that they aren’t trying to rip anybody off. It is the Wealthy Affiliate that is doing the ripping off in such a case.
I appreciate your comment very much.
I totally agree, no company should assume that their customers are thieves, that kind of contradicts the purpose of offering a service to help people.
But I also don’t really believe that this is how WA feels towards their customers, I can’t say for sure of course, but I think they might just not really thought it through if these clauses in their terms are the best way to handle situations in which customers simply forgot to cancel 🙂
I feel that some companies should not insist on their terms too much, the terms are there to protect the company and the community, not to hurt your customers.
In the end the service you are offering is there to help people, it’s about the community and the terms are just the device to protect your assets so you can continue to help your customers with your product.
Have a great day Vance,
P.S: This time I subscribed ;o)
December 12th, 2010 at 1:07 pm
You are very kind to WA and I don’t really know how the two guys who started it feel but the lady I talked to on the phone told me that she’d talked to them and the reason they wouldn’t give me the refund was that I could have taken advantage of all the goodies and that wouldn’t be fair to them. This was one day after they charged me for yet another year.You tell me how much new stuff they could have had in that one day.
They showed absolutely no regard for me but were only thinking of themselves and how to keep my money.
What did you subscribe to? Email or my RSS feed? In any case I appreciate that very much.
Have a great day too and I’ll be looking forward to your next comments.
I didn’t know that you talked to someone on the phone who really told you that! As I said, that’s only what I like to think, and only because I can not imagine why WA should not give you a refund after you have been a member for over a year.
The Work From Home Project will give customers a refund in these cases, because it just makes sense. But maybe I see these things a little bit differently than other people, who knows 🙂
December 13th, 2010 at 10:36 am
I was really shocked by their behavior. I didn’t think until then that a legitimate business would even dream of treating their paying customer that way.
Something is very lacking there, like common decency.
After a quick Google search, I’ve found that there are a large number of people that feel the same way that you do Vance. 5 of the results were about it being a scam! Congrats on PayPal deciding in you’re favor.
I am going through something similar. I canceled a few days before they were to charge my account and they actually told me I did not cancel on that date. Then after telling me my account was closed, withdrew another month of fees two weeks later. Both of these debits caused my bank account to be overdrawn so with the monthly fees and o.d. fees, I am out $164. I don’t know what to do…
Your issue here is your money that was not refunded. I’m sorry to hear that and anyone who loses money will surely complain. However, you have to understand that subscription is run by a system that was programmed to automatically bill members. Since you subscribed, you should have see to it that you unsubscribed before your next billing period. This is your responsibility that I guess you overlooked. So in one way or another, it is still your fault. Don’t scream here like a little kid complaining if it is your fault!
About that refund, it is of course hard to see your issue in the moderators end. Well, I think you can still reach out Kyle and Carson and they can look into that problem as long as you can prove to them that it is true. They are nice guys I know. I’ve been there for more than a year now and Wealthy Affiliate is great to me!
November 2nd, 2012 at 1:19 pm
I have spoken to a real person there who told me that the “nice guys” don’t deal with these things. They treated me like garbage fully intent on keeping my money for the whole year although it was only one day into it. If you like people who do business that way then like them all you want but don’t call people who don’t stand for being robbed this way little kids.
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