This article mentions 19 complaints to the BBB, it’s out of date, the number today is 40.
The Better Business Bureau Warns About Stephen Pierce
If you wish to contact the Better Business Bureau please follow this link. The Better Business Bureau in Stephen Pierce home town of Dallas recently investigated him and went to the trouble of publishing a letter warning about his business reputation and practices.
Internet Business Hopefuls Complain on Stephen Pierce International (5/18/2011)
With millions of Americans hunting for jobs, some may be drawn to one of the many business opportunities promising ways to earn money at home through the Internet. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns that one business opportunity to “Make Real Money on the Internet”(MRMI) isn’t living up to its promises. Customer complaints on Stephen Pierce International, McKinney, TX, describe Stephen Pierce as a charismatic motivational speaker and convincing salesman. The complaints allege that despite paying $5,000 and up, customers didn’t get the counseling and training they were promised, haven’t made money as represented, and had difficulties getting in touch with the business and getting refunds.
“The idea of working from home can be very appealing to anyone who is looking for a job, needs some extra income, or is just looking for a new career direction. But don’t let your high hopes keep you from evaluating earnings claims carefully and determining whether the business opportunity is right for you,” said Jeannette Kopko, spokesperson for the BBB serving Dallas and Northeast Texas.
Stephen Pierce International has a BBB rating of F, the lowest rating possible. Although the business has responded to most of the 19 customer complaints presented by the BBB, three complaints remain unanswered and one complaint is not resolved. Complaints are from all over the U.S. – and two are from Australia. In addition, the business has not modified an advertising claim that was challenged by the BBB’s Advertising Review department.
The business’s website, http://www.stephenpiercelive.com, claims that Stephen Pierce is the “World’s #1 Internet Wealth Advocate”. As part of its ongoing review of advertising claims, the BBB serving Dallas and Northeast Texas challenged the claim. The BBB Code of Advertising notes that claims such as “World’s #1” are objective claims that can be measured. “As statements of fact,” the Code states, “such claims can be proved or disproved and the advertiser should possess substantiation.”
The BBB asked the business to either substantiate the claim, or to modify or discontinue the claim. Although Stephen Pierce International agreed to modify the claim, as of May 18, 2011, the claim remains unchanged on the website.
A woman in Georgia complained: “I purchased the Gold MRMI package from Stephen Pierce International for $5,000 … The package was to include an easy step-by-step instruction book for creating the sites – and customer support was to be available by phone. The booklet was vague, incomplete and impossible to follow. … I have worked diligently from the date of purchase anywhere from 20-40 hrs. a week trying to create and launch the sites, and still have not earned one cent. For over 3 weeks I have been trying to call their office to complain – no one answers the phones. No one has returned a call to me from the messages I’ve left. And I have not received a response from emails I’ve sent.” SPI offered to work with her, but didn’t return messages she left. Some complaints allege that Stephen Pierce International hasn’t paid commissions to affiliates. An Arizona woman complained: “I have been a Stephen Pierce MRMI affiliate since March of 2010. It has always been a struggle to receive commissions by this company. After numerous phone calls and emails to try to contact someone about why I was not receiving my commissions, I finally received my first commissions of $118.00 on 5/18/10… The last commission payment I received was for $95.88 on 11/9/10. I have not received any commissions since.” The business responded that it was working on the problem and “we anticipate the affiliate receiving the November 2010 forward payments.”
Stephen Pierce is also President of Impulsive Profits, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI. The BBB serving Detroit reports that Impulsive Profits, Inc., has a BBB rating of D-, due to an unanswered customer complaint.
The BBB advises anyone who is considering investing in a business opportunity, whether online or offline, to look into the business, the details of the offer, and the market for the product or service. The BBB the and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offer these tips:
1. Consider a business opportunity carefully. If it claims buyers can earn a certain income, how many previous purchasers achieved those earnings?
2. Check out the business. Contact the attorney general’s office, state or county consumer protection agency and Better Business Bureau where the business opportunity promoter is based to find out whether there is any record of unresolved complaints.
3. Consult an attorney, accountant or other business advisor before you put any money down or sign any papers. Entering into a business opportunity can be costly, so it’s best to have an expert check out the contract first. If the promoter requires a deposit, ask your attorney to establish an escrow account where the deposit can be maintained by a third party until you make the deal.
4. Take your time. Promoters of fraudulent business opportunities are likely to use high-pressure sales tactics to get you to buy in. If the business opportunity is legitimate, it’ll still be around when you’re ready to decide.
To learn more about BBB Advertising Review, visit http://dallas.bbb.org/dallasadreview/
To check out a business, find BBB Accredited Businesses, view tips and alerts for consumers and businesses, or file a complaint, start at http://www.bbb.org.