Being a victim is a hard. No one likes to admit they were a victim. Criminals, rapists, child molesters, conmen and the like understand this very well and they count on the fact that a most (or at least a lot) of their victims will not tell others what happened to them. Knowing this, they're free to strike again and again.

There are plenty of fake experts, bogus gurus, bum products, and just plain "takers" in the Internet Business, home business, and internet marketing areas these days. They all count on the same quirks in our human nature to get away ripping people off. I've been taken in by more than one... I'll name one below, but keep reading for now.

Hardly an day (ok make that an hour) goes by without an email showing up in my inbox hawking the latest plan, formula, or product that just earned someone thousands dollars in just minutes or days. These are obvious lame products, yet people still fall for them. It's hard to imagine, but people still fall for the Nigerian scam letter from the wife of the late Mr. ZiZi who was the so and so in charge of "A Big Company's" vast fortune...

Before I go any farther, let me say that there are honest and ethical people in this business. In fact, I would bet that most people are. Just like a barrel of oranges, one rotten one can ruin the whole thing. It's a shame that one or two rotten oranges can tarnish those who of us who go out of their way to help others and to make sure our products and services high quality.

One of the names I've removed from my blog roll (the "good guy" list) is Eric Graham, known The Conversion Doctor.

I have a DVD product that I interviewed Eric in: it's called Masters of Online Income - The Eric Graham Interview - I'm pulling that product from the market as of the last day of 2009 because I no longer feel comfortable promoting or being associated with Eric Graham in anyway. We're known by the company we keep and if I'm selling a DVD featuring me interviewing Eric, people will assume that I approve of his business tactics and business dealings - I do not.

The DVD we made contains good material. I But I feel uncomfortable selling it.

What happened?
I have followed Eric's work for some time, years in fact. He titles himself the "Conversion Doctor" because he has performed hundreds of tests on his web sites and his client's web sites to determine what changes will improve your sales. The items he's suggested that I've tested appear to be true.

I paid for one of his packages that included a day together followed by a year of email coaching (among other things) and he has not followed through on his end of the deal. I've since been in contact with others who have had the same experiences. In fact, there are several complaints out there from dissatisfied clients (I give the link to a few below).

From time to time Eric pushes a "special" on a "package" that includes some variation of a day-long visit where he flies into your town and spends the day working with you on your business. Usually the package is combined with 6 months to a year of email coaching, 2 to 4 phone calls, a few web meetings, creation of joint venture products, new products, opening the doors to you to other "big" names in the Internet Business arena from his "huge" rolodex, etc. In the video promoting the package I purchased, he totals up its value to be around $47,000 and offers to discount it to $4,997 if you'll provide a video testimonial of how much he's helped your business. The day-long visit can be used for anything - working on your business, creating new products, etc.

I took him up on one of these in December of 2008. Instead of Eric coming to me, I went to his location. During the planning of the trip, all using his public email address, we had no communication issues what-so-ever (this would later change...).

We spent the day together and planned out a membership site, tweaked an existing sales letter I had, and recorded the the DVD. We also recorded my video testimonial about how much we'd accomplished that day. I had assumed the testimonial he wanted would be at the end of the year after he had helped me improve my business - so I was a little taken aback when, at the end of the day, he want to record my testimonial.

When I got home, I realized he had never given me the email address for his coaching program. I had to ask him for it.

That's when things started to take a turn for the worse. I had problems with the DVD video from the start. My video camera must have been jarred on the plane because it jammed - so we used Eric's video camera for the interview. I happened to have an external hard drive with me and left it with Eric so that he could copy the video to it and then ship to me. When it finally arrived I proceeded to drop the box (geez). When I connected it, it didn't work. I emailed Eric to have him copy the file to something else and he no longer had it.

About this point, his email responses to my questions started taking longer and longer. He could not locate the file. A couple of months went by. I tried the drive one more time and got it working - and copied off the video.

With most email coaching programs like this, it's common to ask the coach one question a day and get an answer back the same day or the next day, at most a couple of days. Most of my emails to Eric went unanswered - what do I mean? I mean completely ignored, no responses at all, nothing, nada, zip. The few that were answered took weeks and some took 3 months - without any mention of the lapse of time. Like he just woke up one day and answered a 3 month old email. I would get fed up and send him a scathing email saying how frustrated I was with his help and how disappointed I was in him and would summarize the questions I'd sent him that he never answered. A couple of times, in response to these hostile emails, he would forward me a month old email to me that I never received asking me if I ever received it ("did you not see this" he would ask). I have all his email addresses and domains in my spam white list, so I know he never really sent these "missing" emails.

Back to the DVD:
For some reason I had a lot of problems editing the video from Eric's camera - the video and audio out of sync - like a Japanese monster movie. The amount of offness got worse the farther into the interview. After a ton of work I got it fixed up and created a really nice DVD.

The time had come to make the sales letter. I had figured Eric would help with this, after all, the package included a few phone calls and web meeting sessions - but that was not to be. After several unanswered emails, he sent me a long copywriting preparation worksheet - which I really actually like - to fill out and then create the copy from. There were also flash videos of him talking about the worksheet and a sales letter template he had made (which he said was just for me but later he made public on his blog). So I created the sales web site and got it launched.

I was looking forward to Eric promoting the DVD to his huge email list and getting some serious sales. He had said he would mail his list about it. Keep in mind that I had been a subscriber to his email list for years. I never saw any email from him promoting my DVD. I thought this was strange. I emailed him a few times about it with no response. So I went to his blog and I noticed he'd had a few blog posts that I didn't get email about either... one of which was about my DVD... but looking in my stats, I had no traffic to speak of from his blog. So I filled out the form to sign up for his email list and instead of it saying I was already subscribed, it let me sign up... seems I'd been removed... I emailed a buddy of mine who I knew was on his email list and he said yes, Eric did send an email about the DVD... that included a link to my sales page... but where was the traffic??? I could understand if people showed up and didn't buy, but I only saw 5 to 10 visitors from his blog and no bump in traffic what-so-ever around the date of his mailing about my DVD.

So, he either has a very small email list, or it's very stale.

Over the rest of the year, I slowly stopped trying to get help from Eric. I would sent a few emails telling him how frustrated and disappointed I was... and never get any response. Also over the course of the year, he has made several more videos advertising the same or similar packages, one or two using my video testimonial. I've asked him to stop using it.

He was supposed to help me get other "big names" in the Internet Marketing business to agree to do more of these interview DVDs. During my visit with him, he gave me a list of web sites and names. That was his help in opening doors for me. I actually did email these names (the ones that I could find contact info for) telling them that I a coaching student of Eric's and he had given me their name and that I wanted to interview them. I had zero (0) responses. I thought that he would pick the phone up and call one or two while I was there during our day together and that we'd get something setup and started.

It's embarrassing to admit that I was taken. Eric would probably say I didn't follow his plan to the letter and that's why I was dissatisfied. This is what he says in some of his blog posts and videos about other customers. But facts are facts, and the facts stand that over the course of a year he responded to and answered only a small handful of emails and never followed through on the other items on the list of things in the package... even after I sent him by overnight delivery a package with the printout of the list of items in the package.

I've exchanged emails with at least two other people who have had the same experiences and I've heard from a top Internet Marketing Coach who says he's heard the same complaints from several of his clients about Eric.

My point here is not to bad mouth Eric but to present the facts. I do actually think he knows how to improve conversion and that when he says things like "make links blue and underlined" he's knows what he's talking about.

I want to warn people: DO NOT purchase one of his package deals or consulting services. He's running one now titled: "How to Make 2010 Your Best Year Ever!" for $1997. My advice - DON'T DO IT!

He does not take credit cards for anything over $1000 so you have to wire the money, use an online check, or overnight a check. My advice - DON'T DO IT! Makes it impossible to get a refund.

Here are a few links to others who have been taken as well: (this one contains screen shots from the video promoting the same package I signed up for)

You may be wondering why I've not pressed Eric for a refund. First, read the posts at the 3 links above. Second, I didn't pay Eric with money; we traded something of equal value to the cost of the package. I have asked for it back, but, he has never respond to those emails. Actually he responded to one with the copywriting worksheet and videos mentioned above, contained in a forwarded month(s) old email he says he sent but that I must have never received... with no mention of my refund request or returning my property.

So that's today's lesson. There are good guys you can trust... but there are a few rotten apples that will spoil your day. Do your homework before spending a lot of money with anyone - use a search engine, type in their name and add the word scam, rip off, etc. - you might be surprised what you find.

Author's Bio: 

Fred Black is a web site developer, online business operator, systems integrator, father, husband, musician, and songwriter. Visit his Internet Business to read more...