Attended a seminar held by an outfit called Stores Online, Inc. (SOL) out of Utah. At the seminar the man had us write many things one being: Reasons to Get Into This Business: Item 3 – We will guarantee you that we will aide you in advertising your website and teach you how to utilize our marketing tools.
Signed the contract [3-day cancellation clause on back of it too — not signed].
SOL gave me a full website with pharmaceutical drugs to sell and with a back-end administrative section, and a package of DVDs, Vouchers for Link service, and other services. But no ADVERTISING services was within that package. The cost was a heaping $274.00/mo. which we paid for several months (approx. 5 mo.).
I did not own a computer at that time so it was about a month before I saw the website at a public library computer (you only get a total of 30 min. on their computers in Chicago, IL). I was unfamiliar with this type of business and had to use the majority of that 30 min. figuring out what to do. But I did see the back-end section and registered the domain and tried to set-up a “Link-Up” voucher/certificate.
Simultaneously, heard the news about the Presidents plan to ban all pharmaceutical websites over the internet due to children posing as adults and using parents credit cards to purchase prescribed drugs without proof of identity required by those sites.
The drugstore/pharmacy supplying my website and affiliated with SOL was named Rock ………. Drugs out of Utah.
Therefore I called SOL and asked what other products they could set me up with. They offered a “Gift Basket” website biz as a “best” “most lucrative” option which I bellowed at the Rep in laughter and stated: “In whose opinion is that deemed lucrative?” Regardless, I told the Rep that I would take a few days to research and consider it.
Life happened! I became more ill for a week or two. Put health first.
Called SOL again, asked to be set-up for the Gift Basket website. Told that last payment was not made by my Mother (who was the sole encourager behind this endeavor). I checked with her and she said she did make that payment. Called SOL back and related this fact to them, but he could find no record of such payment. He stated he would investigate it and get back to me within 2 business days. Alas, he did not. Therefore, I attempted to call SOL again but received the same crap story.
For over two months this carried on in the same fashion with SOL pretending that they did not receive the last payment. In the end, they even claimed that there were up to 3 payments not made. That is when I told them they would be talking with my attorney (as if I had one) to settle this matter. I was shocked at this company to say the least.
Consumer Action Taken:
I retained the package materials that came with the signing of the contract. They are in Chicago, IL now but I am currently stuck since 12/2011 in VA/TN Tri-Cities region until we can return to Chicago.
Eventually, I sought the aide of the “Small Business Development Center/SCORE – Parkway” office on the southside of Chicago. Lisa Heidorn (773) 955-8027, (773) 561-3500 recommended that I write a letter explaining that I wished to end the contractual agreement based on the very fact that they failed to offer any advertising assistance and failed to offer any other equally profitable type of product for my potential website business. She also advised that I return all the materials immediately. She was outraged and adamant that this company had attempted to pull the wool over my eyes.
I let her know that I really wanted to try to make this work so I held on the materials since then.
SOL continued to contact me to inform me of current workshops held in the Chicagoland region (usually waaaaayyy up in northern suburbs $20+ gasoline each way to/from the hotels. Spent nearly $180 dollars trying to attend these events. for over a year and a half or longer.)
Eventually, I called and wrote SOL that I would be willing to agree for them to take all initial profits (80 – 100%) if they would allow me to re-negotiate my contract and set me up with another website. But to no avail. They refused.
Last statement I saw from a collection agency back in 2008/2009 said I owed them $10,000.00. APR I believe was something like 36% or 39%! I screamed.
By now I probably owe everything I own (which isn’t much, truthfully) plus both arms and both legs!
Date This Problem Happened: July 1, 2003
State You Live in: Virginia
Age Range: 51-65
Total Amount of Fee Paid:
Company Name: Stores Online
89 West 13490 South
Draper, UT 84020
Company Telephone Number: 800-491-1408
Website of Company: storesonline.com
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