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BBB Advises Caution for House-Flipping Seminar

November 5, 2016
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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Better Business Bureau is advising consumers to be cautious when responding to a mailer for a house-flipping seminar Nov. 9.

The seminar, “Flipping Ohio,” is promoted with the endorsements of HGTV personalities Tarek and Christina El Moussa under the name Success Path. Two tickets, each labeled as $147 value, are enclosed.

Consumers say they were attracted to the event, but then charged between $2,000 and $70,000 for follow-up meetings and mentoring programs, the BBB says. The Salt Lake City chapter of the bureau gives Success Path – which also operates under the names Premier Mentoring, Success Path Education and The Flipping Formula – a D grade.

Complaints to the BBB have said the seminars include aggressive and misleading sales pitches and that partials refunds were often not issued until law enforcement or the BBB were contacted.

Carol Potter, president and CEO of BBB of Mahoning Valley, said several real estate and house flipping seminars have been held in the area in recent months.

“These seminars give consumers the fantasy of retiring in the lap of luxury, but they never give an accurate picture of how volatile the real estate market can be,” she said in a release. “The gimmick is they only give a person a small piece of the puzzle. If a person wants to learn more, they have to pay more. The only people making money are those running the seminars.”

When considering attending a business seminar, the BBB offers these tips:

  • Research the business by searching the Internet and contacting BBB.
  • Before paying anything, know what you are getting for your money. Before signing any contract, read it carefully. If there is anything that concerns you, make certain the document is changed in writing before you sign off on it.
  • Be wary of any oral promises that are not in writing.
  • Know exactly how long you have to obtain a refund after signing an agreement. If that information is not there, ask for it in writing.
  • Ask for references and contact them before entering into an agreement.
  • Pay by credit card whenever possible in case you need to challenge the charge.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.