Sponsored Links

To retire by age 45, start with a plan.

"Is early retirement the right financial choice?" Jim Ellis discusses long-term financial growth strategies. I have blogged a...

Past blog posts now load week by week. The old style created a problem for some as the system would load 50 blog posts each time. Hope the new style is better. Search archives in box below.

Archives

"E-book" by AK

Second "e-book".

Another free "e-book".

Pageviews since Dec'09

FOLLOW AK ON FACEBOOK.

Recent Comments

ASSI's Guest bloggers

I will not attend Multiple Streams of Income Seminar.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

After sending out multiple emails, I have not received any reply from the organisers of Multiple Streams of Income seminar by Robert G. Allen. I have, therefore, concluded that they are ignoring me and are not going to do the right thing as per my suggestion.

So, I am proceeding to blog about the whole matter here in my blog for all to see and for readers to decide for themselves if the people organising the event are fair and honest. If they are not fair and honest, then, can we logically question if a product or service offered by them has any hidden agenda?

I was first introduced to Robert G. Allen's books by a reader of my blog. He goes by the initials "SC". Then, recently, he asked if I would like to help promote an upcoming seminar by Robert G. Allen.

To be fair to myself and other advertisers in my blog, I told him that I can help him spread the word but there would be a one time advertising fee. He said that he was only helping the organiser of the event and had to check with the organiser. He came back to say that the organiser offered to pay me for every ticket I sold in my blog and to make it more attractive, my readers will get a discount off the official price of $64 per ticket. A "discount code" or "promotion code" was created for this purpose.

Now, Robert G. Allen's books are interesting and while not revolutionary, I believe that they will benefit people who are thinking of creating more income streams on their journey to financial freedom. So, there was no reason not to accept an advertorial offer to promote a seminar by the same person.

The nightmare started after a reader told me that another blog is selling the ticket at $57.00 without having to apply any discount code. So, I wrote an email to SC regarding this. His name is Swee Chye, by the way:

Hi Swee Chye,

Something just came to my attention and I am not too happy.

A reader just told me that he saw the tickets going for sale in a another blog for only $57 and I am saying in my blog that the regular price is $64 and that my readers get a special price if they use the discount code I have provided in my blog.

I clicked on the link provided by the reader and it really says $57.00. This is in Greatsage's blog. This is on Facebook too.

You have put me in a very difficult position.

My blog has a reputation which I put on the line when I do this. If I do not get a satisfactory answer, I will have to blog about this to clarify the matter and salvage the situation.

I look forward to your prompt reply as to how to remedy the situation.

Best wishes,
AK


I got a rather prompt reply from SC:

Dear AK,
 
I've checked with the organizer and he came back and clarify that the other blog link was at the net discounted price as it has already factor in the discount. This was a tie up with the other blogger.
 
I went to check myself and yes there is no promotional code area to enter for the other link, and it is at net $57.
 
So maybe you can explain to the reader that the official price is at $64, and that is why you manage to get a special price if they use the discount code, which can't be used in another link or page.
 
Hope this helps to explain the discrepancies.
 
Let me know if there are any other clarification to be made.
 
Regards,
Swee Chye

To which I replied:

Hi Swee Chye,

This is not a satisfactory answer.

If readers can buy the tickets at S$57 elsewhere without applying any discount code, why do they have to do it in my blog?

It gives the impression that my blog raised the price and then provide a discount to give an impression that it I am offering a better deal!

I get the feeling that you are also a business professional. How would you feel?

This is not just a matter of 1 reader raising the issue. How many more will there be? How many more will talk about this without telling me? It is my blog's reputation which is at stake here.

I suggest that the discount for my readers be raised to 15% to remedy the situation. For those readers who already bought their tickets and I last counted the number to be 3, you guys could give them some token for the additional 5% discount at the venue.

The current arrangement puts me in an awkward position and I am sure you can appreciate this. I cannot accept it.

I hope that the organiser agrees to my suggestion. Failing this, I will have to take matters into my own hands.

Best wishes,
AK


And this was the remedy they offered:

Dear AK,
 
I've convey your message to the organizer.
 
This is what he came back with.
 
As a special appreciation and token for your readers, those who have signed up, and those intending to sign up will get a complementary ticket to "The_Secret_Of_Success" seminar on 18Aug itself.
 
This complementary ticket is value at $57 as well.
 
The session will be in Mandarin, focusing on the "Secret to Success".
 
Maybe, you can include some add on in the blog post on the special gift only for your readers, but not the poster.
 
For those who have signed up, they will be informed and given the special complementary ticket.
 
This is subjected to the first 100 sign ups only.
 
So for those already sign up or intend to sign up for Robert's session on Monday - the tickets will be complimentary,   i.e. you buy one ticket, and get to attend both sessions, subjected to the first 100 sign ups only..
 
All guests attending this event are encourage to meet Ben Lai and Jane for discussions.
This is a special arrangement just for your reader and clarification to the discrepancy, which the other blogger will not get.
 
Is this ok for you?
 
Let me know.
 
Regards,
Swee Chye

Of course, this missed the point I was making totally and I told SC so:

Hi Swee Chye,

Please tell the organiser that I am promoting Robert G Allen's seminar and not some other seminar. This is in part due to your prior good recommendation to read his books which are interesting.

I don't even know who are the people conducting "The Secret of Success" seminar. Furthermore, it is in Mandarin! My blog is in English! How many of my readers are like me and have difficulty with Chinese?

A bundle offer is not the original intention of our agreement. A special price for my readers is supposedly the offer. This special price is now discovered to be not special at all.

So, I am asking the organiser to deliver on the promise of a special price for Robert G Allen's seminar for my readers and nothing else. A 15% discount should do it.

If the organisers cannot agree to an extra 5% discount, I will simply state my views on the matter in my blog matter of factly and let readers form their own conclusion. I will still fulfil my end of the agreement but I will have to do so giving readers full knowledge.

You might know this but the organiser might not: I am not a blogger who is blogging for money. I care about my blog's reputation more than anything else.

I look forward to your prompt response. Thank you.

Best wishes,
AK


SC did not send a reply to the above email and I followed up with another email at night after publishing a Part 2 to the advertorial in my blog:

Hi Swee Chye,

I have not received any reply regarding the proposed 15% discount for my readers. So, I assume that the answer is "no".

Anyway, I have updated my readers regarding the situation in my blog and if they still want to buy tickets to the event from my blog, they are now doing so knowing fully well that the tickets are available in another blog for $57.00 each without having to apply any discount code.

I am always above board with my readers. That is the reason why they trust me and why they keep coming back.

Readers who buy tickets from my blog, I will send them tokens of appreciation at my own cost.

I have to say that I am disappointed with how this has turned out but I know you are just the middle man and you don't have a say in how things work.

Thank you for helping me pass the messages. :)

Best wishes,
AK


As anyone can see, I was still very cordial, believing that SC, a reader of my blog, was just helping out the organiser and that he was not in the know.

However, when a reader showed me that the forum at kiasuparents.com is selling the tickets at only $30.00 each and that $57.00 could get three tickets, I was really upset:

Hi Swee Chye,

A reader just told me that the forum at kiasuparents.com is selling the tickets for $30 each and $57 for 3 tickets! What is going on?

I clicked on the link provided and it brought me to:
http://www.eventbee.com/event?eid=102104202

Please find out from the organiser what is going on. This is just getting worse! It is terrible!

How well do you know these people?

Best wishes,
AK


As you can see, I still believed SC! Then, I looked at the nickname of the person posting in kiasuparents.com. It says "scang". I put two and two together.  SC's email address says anselmang@gmail.com:

Swee Chye,

The person posting in kiasuparents.com has the nickname "scang". That is you, isn't it? You knew all along about the special prices and you didn't tell me?

I entered into this arrangement in good faith! How is this fair to me and my readers! I hope you are going to tell me "scang" is not you.

If I do not hear from you by 8am tomorrow, I am going to publish our correspondence on my blog for all to see.

I DO NOT APPRECIATE BEING TREATED THIS WAY!

I want you to offer a FULL REFUND to all my readers who have bought tickets to the event through my blog if they wish it.

There is a total lack of fairness on your part in this entire exercise! You have omitted important information which could have influenced my decision on whether to promote the event! This is MISREPRESENTATION BY OMISSION!

TREAT THIS AS VERY SERIOUS!

AK


Now, not many people have seen me furious but I was SO furious and still am.

Then, something struck me. I went to the three ticketing sites and everyone had this in the header:


What or who is ARIIX? I did an online search and I think this is an MLM company. If the seminar is just a front to promote some MLM effort, then, the organiser has truly been dishonest with me. If I knew it was an MLM effort, I would never have agreed to this. My fury went up a level because it makes me an unknowing partner to a possible deception.

I did an online search on Ang Swee Chye. He has a linkedin account: http://sg.linkedin.com/in/scang


The last piece of the puzzle has fallen into place.

In my life, I have come across many dishonest and unfair people. People would sometimes withhold vital information, putting others at a disadvantage while promoting their own agenda.

I have been a victim before and I have developed a defence mechanism over time but not to the point of being cynical or overly suspicious. I still like to believe in the goodness of people. I still believe in fair play.

A total of 6 tickets were sold through my blog. Of course, I can say that I am lucky that I discovered the shenanigans quite quickly. However, to the people who bought the 6 tickets, I am truly sorry.

I went and bought inspirational bookmarks last night to send to them as a token of appreciation because they could have bought tickets at $57 each from the other blog instead of my blog. Now, these bookmarks seem grossly inadequate.

I don't know what else to say and for someone who talks a lot, this is saying something. I am very sorry.

Related post:
Create multiple income streams with Robert G. Allen.

41 comments:

Singapore Man of Leisure said...

AK,

I now put my arm around your shoulder and squeeze.

And a few pats on the back.

OK, back to work!

coconut said...

can forgive, forgive.
can forget lagi better.

don't fight when you are wounded (angry and upset).

veronika said...

Dear AK71

What you have done is correct,
and, I also think it is sufficient.

There is no other reason to pursue this to the hilt. You have made your point very clearly.

You can choose to walk away and close this door. You have stated your views and you have acted on them.

You can also choose to engage them further.
But what will be achieved?

Your reputation is intact and I doubt it will suffer.

Continue with your usual, wonderful sharing of all things we aspire... investments, savings, and looking out for great deals,( and the not so great behaviour of drivers and marketeers!)

But do not embark on a crusade to right a wrong. It skews your original intent as a blogger sharing about life's purpose.

A life worth living, in sharing and in good humour too!

la papillion said...

Hi AK,

I'll post this on my blog too. People need to know some fishy business is at work here.

Kelvin said...

Hi AK71,

Lesson learn and its time to move on bro. Cheer up!!! Your posts has benefited many people (me included) and don't let this setback affect you too much. I bet your readers will understand your situation and that shit happens in life.

AK71 said...

Hi SMOL,

Yes, my work suffered this morning. Sigh.

Thanks. :)

AK71 said...

Hi coconut,

I know you mean well but it is very hard for me right now. I will try. :(

AK71 said...

Hi veronika,

I read your comment three times. Really, I did. Thank you. :)

What you have said means a lot to me as you have shown me that I have achieved my purpose as a blogger. :)

I would still like to send those tokens of appreciation to the readers who bought the 6 tickets if they email to me their first names and addresses.

I will not go on a crusade. I am too indolent to do this. Thanks for the good advice. :)

AK71 said...

Hi LP,

You have always been an encouraging voice in my blogging efforts. Thank you. :)

AK71 said...

Hi Kelvin,

You are right, of course.

Shit happens and we can only hope that we have enough toilet paper if it happens. ;p

OK, my sense of humour is intact.

SG Young Investment said...

Hi AK,

The organisers are really naive to think that the blogging world is non connected. In fact every blog is interconnected to one another. I'm really sad that there are people out there who want to make money at the expense of others. This upsets me too :(

Glad you realised and exposed them.

AK71 said...

Hi SG Young Investment,

If I could get all the bloggers together to warn every single person on this island about this matter, I would.

Yes, I am still mad.

Matthew Seah said...

I think there is a case for you. Go sue them??

AK71 said...

Hi Matthew,

I have some knowledge of the law and feel that there is misrepresentation by not giving me all the details on the part of the organiser.

Anyway, I am an anonymous blogger and want to remain so. So, I will let it go after this blog post.

ts weng said...

Hi AK,

I love your blog and had just read your post about the MSI Seminar.

Just for your information, there is a Groupon offer "$16.90 for 3 Day Wealth Summit Seminar with Speaker Robert G. Allen and More at Resorts World Sentosa (Worth $98)". I don't know whether this is the same seminar which you had talked about.

The Groupon link is http://www.groupon.sg/deals/singapore/Success-Resources/717264976?nlp=&CID=SG_CRM_1_0_0_213&a=715827894

You may want to check it out.

Cheers!

EY said...

Hi AK,

I would like to join SMOL. *PAT*

Do what you think is justified but don't get riled by people who aren't worth it.

Hey, you are a true scout - a man of honour. We aren't questioning that. You have done great work and an incident like just provides learning opportunities for all of us. This is as authentic as learning can get. And for $57? Sure, it is well worth it for me.

*PAT* again. :)

Endrene

seefei said...

AK, we made money from your recommendations on stocks and benefited from the last seminar you promoted.

Saddened to see that you had been taken advantage of and worse some of your readers suffer financial "loss" as a consequence.

Please do not stop the good work due to some unscrupulous scoundrel action. We sincerely believe your actions are sincere.

The fact that you openly exposed this scoundrel plot knowingly you will be part of the collateral damage is a testament to your sincerity.

Give yourself a pat on the back. We know better.

AK71 said...

Hi ts,

Yes, I was told about that just now by another two readers.

It is a different thing from what I was offered but when it is as cheap as $16.90 and for a 3 days seminar, I have my doubts.

AK71 said...

Hi Endrene,

Thank you for the encouraging words and for still believing in me. :)

I replied to your email. I would feel better if you allow me to pay you the money. :)

AK71 said...

Hi seefei,

I certainly did not receive any benefit from the organiser and now that I have blogged about the entire matter, I never will.

However, I am willing to pay readers who suffered "financial loss" as you have put it so well. :)

Those book marks I bought are obviously inadequate. Sigh.

I would like to continue blogging but I think I need a few days to recover my qi. I feel quite empty inside now.

AK71 said...

Hi seefei,

I overlooked your first sentence.

No, no. I don't recommend people to buy or sell anything in my blog. I am not allowed to. I only talk to myself very loudly all the time. You overheard me talking to myself har? ;p

You went to Value Investing Summit 2013? It was good, wasn't it? Value for money. I hope the organiser will ask me to promote the 2014 event too. :)

AK71 said...

I just clicked on the link to kiasuparents.com's forum. The organiser has just closed the special prices for early birds. ;)

It was still available just this morning. I guess no more worms for birds. ;p

wk said...

Dear AK71,

I am a regular reader of your blog and enjoyed doing so. Thank you for taking your time to share your knowledge.

Don't let this matter get into you.
Keep up the great posts.

Dividend Chaser said...

Hi AK,

Hope you are feeling better. Don't get too upset over such incident. The guy is dishonest and now we all know.

AK71 said...

Hi wk,

Thank you for the encouraging words. :)

I will need some time to recover.

AK71 said...

Hi KM,

Yes, I must count my blessings. Thank you for reminding me about Lord Buddha and I will learn to be more careful in future. :)

AK71 said...

Hi Dividend Chaser,

Well, I have at least one more blog post on the topic now. Then, hopefully, I will be able to stop.

Thanks for showing concern. :)

justin lee said...

I was actually quite keen to go but after reading your blog. I have a feeling how this seminar will go.

Speaker come and talk about multiple streams of income and some robert kiyosaki lifestyle financial freedom stuff..

tell you how vulnerable you are with 1 job/income blah blah blah.

Show you light at the tunnel by asking you join some MLM stuff etc. since AK71 has mention that there are some links to a MLM company which provide passive incomes after you have attain certain stage.

Thanks but no thanks

WK Lim said...

Cheer up. There are bound to have idiots around.

cheers!

Junsheng said...

Hi AK

I appreciate you for standing up for your readers.

Actually the 7th stream of income featured in the book is network marketing so I'm not all surprised that an MLM outfit was behind this whole shenanigan.

I have not lost faith in ASSI. I am certain that many others share the same sentiment.

Keep up the good work. ASSI will only grow stronger from this.

Kim said...

Hi AK

The bad egg will be punished one of those day...人在做 天在看. You have done your best to salvage the situation. And your readers will believe and understand u :)

AK71 said...

Hi Justin,

Well, my investigation into the matter did reveal some signs of what it might be. It is what I think it is, obviously, and not what it definitely is.

If there is any evidence at this stage, it is circumstantial.

In a way, maybe it is good that it turned out this way. Otherwise, who knows? I could be sending them tens of readers and if it turns out to be a disguised MLM membership drive, I would go berserk!

AK71 said...

Hi WK,

Idiots, I can sometimes tolerate but unfair and dishonest people, no way.

Thanks. :)

AK71 said...

Hi Junsheng,

Now that you have mentioned it, yes, I can see the connection now. Sigh.

Thank you very much for your encouraging words. :)

AK71 said...

Hi Kim,

Well, I can only hope that "all" my readers feel the same way you do. I will be very happy with "most". :)

I got to know that some people have said less pleasant things about me in connection with this matter but I guess it is only normal. Can't be helped.

Thank you. :)

Kyran Tan said...

Hi AK, don't let this episode get u down. I don't think this has changed the way I view of u and ur blog. Although I don't know u personally. Take care!

AK71 said...

Hi Kyran,

Thanks very much for the encouraging words. I appreciate it. :)

weirdchinese said...

I did purchased the ticket from your site paying via paypal and I realized that the payment is made to "Ang Swee Chye ", smell a rat huh?

AK71 said...

Hi weirdchinese,

If you have decided not to attend the seminar, please email your POSB savings a/c number and a scan of the Paypal acknowledgement to me.

I will make a personal transfer to you for the cost of the ticket. :)

Also, please include your first name and address in your email. I would like to send a token of appreciation to you by snail mail.

I am sorry as this matter has probably caused you distress like it has for me. :(

Google Rocks said...

Few years back, I attended a seminar by Robert G. Allen in Malaysia. It was FREE. I suppose that Singaporean organisers are smarter by charging something. Ironically this lends credibility.

I must say, Robert writes a good book and makes a good speech, but he isn't the most genuine person to give you anything, for free (in this instance, whatever they are charging in SG, please consider it the same).

He will ask something like who wants to be rich after stirring up the crowd. Then something like 20 or 50 seats will be available and you will be encouraged to rush to the stage to collect your ticket to wealth. Those who managed to beat the crowd and RUN to the stage will get to be personally coached by Robert, it was said. I felt terrible attending that seminar. It feels very much like American coming to our country and consider us a gullible 3rd world population, no?

So AK, I can't help but say that it's bad enough that you are actually promoting one of Robert's Asian seminar, what more the subsequent events caused by the local organisers.

It is indeed your fault by being so gullible and in so doing misled some of your readers.

HOWEVER, the way you handled this shows that you have integrity, and the courage to deal with this. In a way, this incident, at least insofar that I am concerned, cements your good reputation, and not the other way. Kudos to you AK.

p/s: AK is super kiasu and stingy ok, the fact that he is reimbursing some readers for the costs of the seminar fees really means he's sorry. I for one, would take this gesture itself as a good enough apology and continue to support AK.

AK71 said...

Hi Google Rocks,

Thank you for sharing your experience as to what the seminar is likely to be, having attended one yourself in Malaysia for free, no less.

You are right to say that I was a party to the whole rubbishy deal which had caused a few readers to pay (inflated prices) for tickets to the event. Unknowing party I might have been but a party nonetheless. Gullible. Guilty as charged. :(

This has been the most mentally and emotionally draining experience on my blogging journey to date because it didn't affect me alone. It affected a few readers as well and I feel responsible. I will never forget this.

Thanks for taking the time to write. I really appreciate it.

Monthly Popular Posts

 
 
Bloggy Award