I recently became aware of Knowledge to Action's (www.knowledgetoaction.com), Greg Secker's company which offers the apparently award winning "Trader's University" Course. This is an equity trading course that promises just 1% downside risk (per trade... but over a few days you could lose all of your money by trading equity or forex, so be careful) The award is by the Business Britain Magazine for the #1 Trader Coaching Company. Mmhhh. Who is this famous, "Business Britain Magazine and what are their awards worth??
So, is there a scam in this equity trading course?
Well it didn't take me long to find out that a competing course, Win Investing (www.wininvesting.com) run by Darren Winter, is ALSO an award winning course.. but this time for "Best Investment Training Course", still by the same Business Britain Magazine.
So - how can both competing courses be Award-winning? If I created an investment, forex or equity trading, or spread betting course tomorrow, and made the necessary arrangements with Business Britain (maybe a payment?), would my course also be award winning?
Maybe. So is their a scam running on these investment and equity trading courses, or are they perfectly legal and fair? Is their advertising overly aggressive?
Both of these companies use "free seminars" that promised to teach you some untold secrets about trading equity to wealth in just 2 hours, with no hard sell. I have spoken to someone who went on the KnowledgetoAction seminar and it seems that this is far from the truth. Whilst the seminars are at best, informative, they do not really have much of substance. The "secrets" are only partially revealed - enough to get you salivating for more but certainly not enough to get you share trading. And certainly, there is no concrete evidence that trading equity with these methods will make you more money that it will lose you.
Plenty of testimonials were given of people who had been on the traders university course at knowledgetoaction, and they had all, conveniently, made money. Those who had lost their money would not have been asked for their testimonial I presume.
If you sign up for a course, you won't notice this, but you will be signing not just a payment slip for the payment of the course but also a CONTRACT with 10 clauses to it. This contract is the small print which is on the back of the form that you are signing. Because your form is attached to a clipboard, you probably won't even know that it has this smallprint contract on it! And clause 3 states that you agree to a £500 non-refundable fee being applied if you cancel - even if you change your mind just a few hours later!!
Is this illegal? Can knowledgetoaction and Greg Secker's trader's university hold back my refund or is this a con?
Well, there are a number of regulations in place that would suggest that this is not legal. For instance,
The "Unfair terms in consumer contract regulations" state that unfair terms cannot be entered in a contract if this would put the consumer at a disadvantage. Knowledgetoaction are claiming that £500 is not unfair, but to me, a 25% penalty for cancelling just a few hours later seems very unfair. I wouldn't go as far as saying it is a scam, but I would certainly be questioning the legality of it.
Are there any other laws that might prohibit knowledge2action from doing this to people who sign up to their traders university course?
As with distance selling, there is a law that gives the consumer a cooling off period when purchasing a good or service in a place that is not the trader's usual place of business. The regulation is "The Cancellation of contracts made in a consumer's home or place of work, etc..". This regulation gives the consumer 7 days to cancel their purchase if they change their mind for whatever reason. -irrespective of what it says in the contract.
Does Greg Secker know this? What happens when you contact knowledgetoaction to complain about your refund?
Apparently, knowledgetoaction will plainly refuse to issue a full refund, stating that their terms and conditions plainly state that you have agreed to the £500 penalty. If you push them a little more, they will just keep saying this over and over again like a broken record. Good old fashioned British customer service has gone out of the window and has been replaced by what really feels like a money-making operation that considers fairness to have no value.
Are there other laws that might protect me from knowledgetoaction's "scam", "con", or "terms and conditions" ?
There are. The company could be accused of taking part in Aggressive Commercial Practice when they pressured you into signing up for the course by telling you that you would never get that special price again. But this is not true, in fact, you could get that price again just by attending another seminar.
So what can you do if Knowledge to Action, Greg Secker, The Trader's University, have treated you unfairly, if you feel you fell for a con, a scam?
Well, you could phone them up first and try to settle it directly with KnowledgetoAction, but this might be difficult.
Next, you could contact your credit card company to ask for a chargeback of the amount that you paid, stating your reason.
Then you could contact the Office of Fair Trade and Consumer Direct. They will be able to advice you with the steps to take.
It seems that Knowledgetoaction are not afraid of legal action, they have probably had this kind of problem before and they possibly have a whole team of lawyers ready to scare you if you try to get your money back. But if you feel that they don't deserve your money, you should definitely give it a go. There are plenty of regulations that back you up. And the only way of knowing if this is indeed a scam, would be to go all the way.
Please let us know your opinion and experience with knowledgetoaction, the trader's university, and Greg Secker's course. This blog is open to all and we are trying to get a balanced discussion on the subject. No posts will be deleted as long as they are deemed genuine and truthful.
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Iñaki Frias, ROUSAUD COSTAS DURAN SLP, Secured Assets SL