I’m bloody annoyed. I have just spent 48 minutes on the phone and I know that people are going to be ripped off. I hate when people get ripped off.
Yesterday a good mate forwarded me a text message he’d received from an old acquaintance. It was for a “tele workshop” which is where invited people ring a number and listen to, well, basically a lecture. It’s kind of like a webinar over the phone.
In the text message were the words ‘Five Steps To Financial Freedom’, so naturally I was interested to know what it was all about. The truth is I am always on the lookout for good quality information that can help people in generations X and Y with their finances. When I find something good I include it in my website. When I find something sub-standard I ignore it, and when I find a con job I get angry.
Thirty minutes into the phone call (and not a word about how to actually do a few things like save money, avoid debt or what to look for in investments) and it was time for questions. The first person who pressed *2 on their phone so they could be heard by the tele workshop presenter was asked “Do you have a question, or would you like me to have a look at your beliefs?” “Beliefs, definitely beliefs please” came the reply. Pause. “Let me have a look.” Pause. “Well, a bit of the belief that’s come in – money goes out as fast as it comes in, sort of what you’re experiencing at the moment. Would you say that’s the case?”
“Hang on,” I thought, “has the person presenting this tele workshop got access to a whole heap of info about those listening that I don’t know about?” The next person who came on the line also had a “belief”. The same thing happened again and I realised that the person running the show was making this crap up. Ok, now is probably the right time to inform you that I do not read my daily horoscope. I do not believe that someone on the other end of the phone who knows nothing about you other than your first name can tell you anything about your financial state, be it mental or numerical.
Unfortunately it was apparent that the other people taking part in this phone call were not as cynical as I am. And here’s the ultimate hook. Mentioned briefly in this workshop was the opportunity to sign up to a 9 week course, consisting of 9 x 1 hour tele workshops and a 15 minute one on one session with an expert. I had to go to the website to find the cost – $1,275.
Anyone trying to sign you up for a finance course that costs more than a couple of hundred dollars should be dealt with very warily. Any price over $500 and you can just about be assured that the person selling their success is making their money from selling it, not from taking heed of their own advice.
In the end, I guess I’m glad the phone batteries died. I’m glad I didn’t waste any more of my time listening to a con rather than reading a story to my little chicken before she went to bed. And I really feel for those who are about to part with plenty of their hard earned for a load of crap.