NEW YORK -- In 2008, I had just graduated college and was trying to get my foot in the door of the corporate world. I received a notice from Cambridge claiming that I had been "nominated for inclusion" into their registry. I was flattered but was not sure who nominated me. I had been extremely active in college organizations and was well thought of by my professors, so I thought that one of them had nominated me. I filled out the form requesting more info and was soon contacted by a representative. She started the phone call making everything sound exciting that I had the chance to be included in their registry.
At the end of the call she hit me with the $1000 price tag. I about fell over. I said there was no way that I could afford that price. She kept lowering the price and then offered to throw in 2 free airline tickets. I said no to her. The next day she called again... and again... and again for several days. I finally got tired of the pressure and agreed to try their service for $189.00. I stupidly gave them my credit card number, which they immediately charged.
A few weeks later I received a piece of paper saying I was a lifetime member. Great. About 2 months later, she called back and wanted to sell me a lifetime membership and a wooden plaque and a leather bound directory. I told her that I was told I was already a lifetime member. She said no. She convinced me that I should own the leather bound registry because I would have that and the plaque for my home and I could use the registry for networking and prestige purposes. I said no and she told me that "the registry is going to print this week and if you don't opt in to this you will have to wait a whole year to get into the registry again."
Long story short, they charged my card $800.00 and never mentioned that everything was non-refundable. I was told that my purchases would arrive in the spring of 2009. They didn't. I called and they assured me that, "due to the large volume of registries being printed there is a delay and you will receive your registry in fall of 2009." By this time I was really mad and began to realize that this was a scam.
I called Cambridge and as soon as I requested a refund they were hostile and told me that "due to the highly personalized nature of our services there is no refund option." I laughed and told them that I had been waiting 2 years for a registry and plaque that was paid for and probably never existed. I also said that the only thing that was personalized was a slip of paper saying I was a lifetime member, and if that piece of paper which was personalized for me was the only thing stopping me from my refund I would gladly rip it up or send it back to them so I could get my refund. They said no.
I am going to tell you right now that I was completely scammed by Cambridge but I am proud to say that, I received EVERY SINGLE PENNY of my money back from them, but it was a 1.5 year long process and I had to fight tooth and nail with them to get it.
First, I took it upon myself to call Cambridge again and once again ask for a refund. They said no of course. I asked them to send me a detailed billing of the charges they had placed to my Visa card. They did. I wrote a detailed narrative of my experiences with Cambridge including the dates I called them and the names of the reps I spoke with. I then filed a complaint with the State Attorney General's Office of Consumer Protection. The form was easy to fill out. A few weeks later I received a letter from the Atty General's Office and a response from Cambridge.
Cambridge basically said I was a liar and they followed all procedures, blah, blah. I wrote a rebuttal letter once again explaining my claim and its validity and then spent hours researching all the sites like this one detailing people's problems with Cambridge.
In the end, I had 70 pages of material to send back to the Atty General's Office. I also called the investigator at the Atty General's office and spoke to her about the case. She had not received a complaint about Cambridge before and was not familiar with them. I could tell that at first she was skeptical of my claim and seemed to think Cambridge had a binding agreement. Once she received all my research and carefully written letters, she changed her mind. 3 weeks later I received a check from the attorney representing Cambridge and a nasty letter saying that they were still in the right and I was still in the wrong, but they were paying me in full anyway.
Bottom line is this: Cambridge will NEVER EVER admit that they are wrong or that they scammed you, however; you CAN get your money back from them, just be persistent and don't back down against their threats or name calling. Do your research and compose a well researched and well-documented letter to your Consumer Protection Office if you want to have a chance at a refund.
Cambridge will fight you about it, but in the end they know that they cannot produce any documents binding you to their agreement and they have no valid excuse for taking your money and not providing services that you paid for. I know how devastating it is to find out you have been scammed, so I really hope this info helps others.
I was taken in by their flattery, sales technique and false claims. Similar to so many other complaints I also realized the stupidity of my ways very quickly and demanded a refund the very next day. I was contacted by their complaint resolution manager and we started on a 3 week circus involving email exchanges, voice mail messages and then listening in to a recording of my call where the words "all sales are final" (which was quickly spoken and even on a 2nd listen barely audible), was interpreted by CWW as NO REFUNDS.
After a lot of hassling they agreed to a refund minus $100 for "costs already incurred." They then sent me a letter to sign that included this text...: "As discussed, this is a letter acknowledging the resolution reached today. Please sign it at the bottom and return it immediately. Upon receipt of your signed letter, absent of editorial adjustments and/or comments, your credit in the amount of $500.00 will be processed and posted to your account within 10-12 business days. This will close your membership. This offer is valid only if returned to our establishment no later than ..."
I refused as it was not a full refund. After a few more less polite emails, voice mail, and phone calls they agreed to a full refund. I will say one thing in support of CWW, the lady that I was dealing with was always pleasant and DID return my emails and phone calls. I was a little surprised at this. Anyway, my advice is to have NOTHING to do with them. It is probably NOT a scam in the true sense of the word, but really has NO value and anyone that signs up and is happy with it is NOT be worth networking with.
IF you do get caught as I did, be unrelenting in your requests for a refund. Email via their website EVERY night, leave voice mails EVERY day and do NOT accept NO for an answer. They have NO right to keep your money. Their call recording is for Quality Assurance purposes and NOT a legally binding contract, they are not even allowed to present it as such.
UNIONDALE, NEW YORK -- Last Sept 06 I was offered an opportunity to be in the Cambridge Who's Who, a book which is supposed to reach millions and I sent my biography to them. I was told it would publish in I believe March but in the interim I found I was enrolled in the quote unquote "executive programs member 2006-2007" honors edition. In Sept of 06 I had to pay upfront 189.00 and it was put on my credit card. I have spoken to numerous folks at this place and then was contacted by a mark for a "deal" on the upcoming edition - this was around Jan 07.
I wrote to Mr. Michael Robbins, CEO and told him of my dilemma. I have also spoken with Julie at Who's Who at 516-742-7907 ext ** several times asking if I could get a refund, this is what I want. I called today June 1, 2007 and left Julie another message and ask for a refund. She has not contacted me. The problem I find with this is when they were trying to sell this program and I might add it started at around $600.00 for this and that and finally I was told 189.00 was as low as they could go but was assured of national notoriety with my peers and could be used for networking.
I have a fairly good biography including being a nurse, certified colon therapist, foot reflexologist, former chairperson of the local republican party, write editorials, wrote monthly articles on herbs for several years, started an anti porn organization in 1989, stopped when my husband died very suddenly.
And lastly owned and operated a bottling plant in upstate NY, and started the Snapple line, (which belonged to our ex-partners) but we started it with them and bottled it and had a very successful operation both for chain stores, private label bottling, which by the way our ex-partners defaulted on the payout and left us with 28,000.00 in back real estate taxes and this was our retirement money.
So you can see I am not just a fly by night but was taken by thinking I could get into a national registry which may be would have enhanced my career in one of these fields, but I grant you I was taken I am too trusting. I am writing to you because I want my refund. I do not care about Who's Who or what their rules are. I no longer want the book, a cd or anything else they have to offer. I want a check in the amount of 189.00 as soon as possible. I get nowhere with letters, calls or anything else. I have resorted to your help with this matter. Thank you.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA -- Cambridge Who's Who represents themselves to being a company that only accepts exceptional people and companies for their interviews. They represent that they are doing an interview for their publication. Twenty minutes into the interview, they disclose that it will cost you $598 and $199, but that within two weeks you will have the opportunity to review everything. They do not disclose that this is non-refundable if you do not receive anything at all or anything as promised. And you don't. You receive nothing in the mail and cannot contact anyone by phone, email or even certified mail. You leave messages and get no response to anything.
Six weeks later, you get a folder with almost nothing in it. Try to cancel through your credit card (Citibank Mastercard) and Cambridge has sent them hoards of falsified documents that you never received, but neither do they qualify for what you might have purchased if you had actually gotten something. This is indeed a prepared company, knowing that most will not take the time or effort to fight this injustice and they should be jailed for ripping people off like this. Don't fall for it and these people need to be put out of business.
I have spoken to Cambridge Who's Who, and I am currently a member with them. In fact the programs are highly priced, but the service is great. I checked how much all of their benefits would cost me and I saved over 50% than I would of spend for the same service. The letter did in fact say free, but I thought what they were selling was an investment not an expense. A friend I nominated did get listed for free, so there is an option of a free listing. I guess I was one of the lucky ones that have had a great experience with them. I have gained a great amount of business, and it has been great.
UNIONDALE, NEW YORK -- They are very good sales people as noted by others like myself. A lot of pressure. I decided that this was not a good move on my part that really I could not afford the service at this time and called them to withdraw. No answer, reported to my credit card company for dispute immediately after reading and calling company that does not answer. I should have caught on when the numbers of cost kept going down. I will post my outcome as my new battle begins both with the company and credit card company assistance.
UNIONDALE, NEW YORK -- This company is ridiculous to work with. High pressure phone sale, does not provide what they promise, will not issue refunds. I've spoken to 3 reps at their company now and am not getting anywhere in obtaining a refund. I have disputed the $518.95 they charged my credit card with Visa and my bank and am waiting on their response. Do yourself a favor... if you get a call or letter from them ignore it.
UNIONDALE, NEW YORK -- Save yourself a lot of headaches by throwing away the letter from this company. It is not free to be listed and nor are they not affiliated with other Who's Who. You could be whopped with a highly pressured sales call who wants you to pay $898 or more then goes down from there. Don't be stuck trying to fight them for a refund. Customer service reps who transfer you constantly then put you on hold and never answer your questions.