Okay, I will start from the very beginning. I run a Martial Arts School and I attended a seminar in February at Martial Arts Academy where they invited a Business Entrepreneur (Mr Mertens) from the US. I initially paid £600 to attend this three day seminar and at the end of it the Director of The Academy (Mr Bonthuys) offered me to go on a mentoring program for the whole year for £9000, which is suppose to include Manu Scripts, Business and Account support, Telephone conference every week with Mr Mertens from the US and a Monthly staff training at his academy, along with materials that would be sent with my company Logo on it. It all sounded very well to begin with and I paid him in full to go on the program.
Mr Bonthuys invited me to visit his Academy to observe how his staff and instructors operated in the facility, and to train with his Black Belts.
I didn't get to observe the classes as I was in a meeting room with one of his assistants and then he came in asking me to produce a list of all my existing students for the next meeting in a few days. I took part in his class, and I wasn't in the best of form as I had been recovering from a major hip replacement operation 2 years ago. I felt stupid and at the end of the session he offered me to join his academy and said that his program is usually £4500, but If I paid in full today it will be £3000. He was making me feel that I needed to go on his program to train towards my 4th degree black belt, and I didn't get the opportunity to go away and think about it. I also spent an addition £250 for training gear that is branded with his logos.
I realised when I got home that the days of the commitment to his classes will clash with my school and that I will have to finish my classes by 7pm on Monday and Wednesday. I was disappointed as I thought that my business would come first and that before he made this kind of offer he would help me establish my school and get an instructor under me to run my classes so I can attend his sessions.
Couple of days later I had a Audit meeting with him where I produced a list of all my existing students and the credit they had remaining on my programs. All my members are on a program but they have a monthly budget. He mentioned that I had to produce presentation brochures and cash out all of my students in full by giving them a discount. Though I have programs in my school, I didn't feel the need for a lengthy presentation packs, but he insisted that I produce presentation packs to sell my programs. He then offered me to buy his presentation packs and said that it is usually £2000 but he will accept £1500. At that point my face dropped and I asked myself what have I got myself into? As it all seemed about him trying to make more money out of me. I thought these materials was included with my mentoring program where I had paid him £9000! I started to feel stressed and depressed and left the meeting and he said that he is not trying to rip me off. I just joined his classes couple of days ago, where is my presentation pack. Surely that should of been provided to me?
I didn't buy the presentation pack at that stage, and the following week I was asked to attend a staff meeting with some of the clients who did not sign up to the mentoring program. No one signed up at the end, then we were alone in the room when everyone had left, he then persuade me to buy his presentation packs and mentioned that I will just need to spend a weekend changing the logos and some of the wording and I will be able to sign up all of my members the following week. So I parted with £1500 and agreed to buy his materials. I gave him a memory stick, where he downloaded his materials, and when I took it home, it was not compatible with my school or the programs I run, and there are 100s of pages to edit. My mind went blank and I just broke down, thinking what have I got into? Following that he offered me to join his Association and again asked me to pay £160 for students insurance and £350 for annual instructors membership and insurance.
He spoke to me in class a few weeks later and said that they had to discontinue the conference calls as Mr Mertens had pulled the plug on the mentoring program. That was the whole purpose I went on the mentoring program is to get his support. He mentioned that Not many client had signed up. I later find out that I am the only one who signed up at the seminar out of 40 attendees from all over UK.
I sustained a serious back injury from his classes and I realised that they do not conduct a formal warm up, and I was out of action for two months. The way he structured his classes are congruent to their teaching schedule, so at times when I turned up late for class, I didn't get time to warm up and was asked to join in with everyone. Few weeks ago I sprained my ankle due to missing warm up as I was late in class.
I gave him a phone call the following week and asked that I would like to speak with him and that I was not happy as I felt that I was left to my own demise. I told him that I am losing students and I cannot push my business forwards as I am thrown off with the whole experience, and that every time I need support with something I feel I have to part with more money. We arranged to meet somewhere public and I told him exactly how I felt and the whole experience with him. He kept persisting to help me promising me this and that and was isolating me with objections saying that I agreed to buy the services and products from him and what I had said at the time. The way he presented it at the time sounded all promising and I was mesmerised by his presentation to part with such huge sum of money. He then forced me to make a decision on the spot to start with him again and move forward with my business under his guidance. After coming home I realised that I don't want his help and I just want my money back.
He mentioned that he has started to work on my programs when I have not asked him to, so to make me feel guilty as to not to ask for my money back and leave.
I sent a message to Mr Mertens via facebook asking what was going on and that why had the mentoring program folded? He was persisting to get in contact with me and left several messages and even called me on my mobile phone leaving a message that he wold like to connect with me. He looked for me on Skype and we got in touch last week, and he then offered to give me 121 mentoring on a weekly or monthly basis. I said that I was not happy and I asked Mr Bonthuys for my money back. Then I told of the experience I had with Mr Bonthuys and that I had parted another £5000. We spoke of other thing that were suppose to be included and we clashed, and he raised his voice. I told him to calm down and he said that he will be in contact with me. He sent me an audio file via facebook that has 21 hours of his coaching material when I had not asked for it. I sent him a message saying that I don not wish to receive any materials for now. He replied by saying "Too late, material sent...Enjoy!"
Now I realise that they are trying to push their services on me and to say that they are providing me with training. I have been very unwell and under allot of stress. So far I have parted with £14000 and I don't know what to do. I have a Psychological condition which effects my decisions making process and I have to take Anti-Psychotic tablet to prevent me from over thinking and burning out. Recently the tablets that I had been taking has not been working as well.