'Success' Firm Only Gets an F; Americans Offer 'Personal Development' - but in Florida the Authorities Don't Rate Them Highly after Many Complaints

Article excerpt

Mrs A.J. writes: I attended a seminar and signed up for personal development courses run by Tigrent Learning UK Limited. I was assured I could have a full refund if I cancelled and I handed over [pounds sterling]11,215. After some consideration I changed my mind and cancelled within the seven days allowed. However, no refund has been paid. I have even been to Citizens Advice, whose staff phoned the company, but to no avail. I feel so helpless and such a fool for being taken in.

THE more I looked at Tigrent and its courses about how to be successful and make money, particularly from property, the more I had the feeling that I had bumped into an old acquaintance who was wearing a new suit and hairstyle.

And I was right. Tigrent, which is based in west London, is the new name for an American-owned company called Whitney UK Limited.

Seven years ago, when Whitney was inviting people to sales presentations around Britain, I did some digging in the US and found that it had run into all kinds of legal trouble and complaints.

The US watchdog Better Business Bureau had helped people who alleged false claims were made at free seminars to get them to sign up for paid courses, and in Tennessee the attorney general did not even wait for the company to set up shop before he filed a lawsuit alleging false advertising. …