*** February 29, 2016 – After reading comments, I am updating this post with more information and to clarify something: This is my personal experience. This is my opinion. Others might have different ones. Other people might have found financial and personal success from this company. After my experience with their customer service and their pitch session, I wrote this post. Take this story for what it is, my opinion after a negative experience.***
I swear this is the age of the “work at home” and “catalog company” jobs. Nothing is a pyramid scheme, all the products will change your life, and if you join you can earn your own money at your own pace.
I don’t begrudge anyone the ability to take part in these companies. I love Thirty-One gifts parties, Mary Kay’s lipsticks are like silk, and my blog partner Rachel and I can help you learn more about the benefits of oils.
But to me, there feels like there is just something off about Life Leadership. I felt it in my gut the first time some friends tried to pitch it to me. And when some other friends used the same exact tactics and I got the same yucky gut feeling, I should have followed my heart.
But nope. I felt sorry for my friends. I signed up just so they wouldn’t have to deal with the embarrassing feelings of a failed outreach.
And through the past two weeks I’ve had a really awful time trying to get my money back and it is this story that I want to share with you so you have more information before you sign up.
First, let me tell you what Life Leadership is.
What does Life Leadership Sell?
Every MLM work at home company has a product you buy that you then sell to others. This one sells a happier, inspired, more intelligent life. I wish I was kidding. They sell inspirational books and CDs. They also have a podcast you can subscribe to called “Rascal Radio.” You can learn about budgeting, how to teach your children about money, fitness, faith, you name it, they have a program for it.
What is a Life Leadership informational class like?
I don’t really like to call it a “party.” Unlike Pampered Chef where you get to make yummy treats and then buy helpful kitchen tools, Life Leadership meetings are hella awkward. And it isn’t the fault of the salespeople! I love my friends and they are just trying to build their business. But there really isn’t a “non awkward” way to get your friends to sign up.
It goes like this: Your friends sit down at a kitchen table with their upline leader who is as slick as a vacuum salesperson. They will talk non-stop for about 15 minutes about how much money the rich people of the world have that you don’t and how this is the answer to all your hard-working dreams. They ask if you have questions, but you don’t know where to start so you just listen.
As you get that feeling of “too good to be true, snake oil much?” they launch into the “it’s not a pyramid” explanation. It’s a vertical line that is actually more horizontal and when you sign up you make money without effort because others are signed up under – I mean next to – you on your team.
Then they continue to remind you that if you don’t sign up now, you will be missing a huge opportunity because there are tons of others signing up that week and you don’t want to lose your spot in the (horizontal!) line.
Life Leadership is Amazon meets Facebook
It’s a community of people, all building you up and helping you improve your life. And they sell books, so they are just like Amazon. Except they only sell their own inspirational books, not To Kill A Mockingbird or books of fiction. But ignore that. They are like Amazon.
How Much Does it Cost to Sign Up?
Here is what I purchased, you can choose only a few of them, but your friends will quickly tell you exactly why every single thing is very necessary:
- Total Access $80
- Track & Save App $25 / month
- Financial Fitness Program $117
- LIFE Training $101
Total Amount Spent: $323
My Nightmare = Trying to Cancel & Get A Refund
I wrote a check for $323. My friend had no idea how to accept credit or debit cards, so she asked me to write a check out to her, personally. So I did.
I thought I’d just write the dang check and cancel it in the morning. This was a Sunday night, so surely I can get this all figured out Monday morning without a headache, right?
Life Leadership does not have a customer service call center. You have to email them. Then wait 24 hours for a response. But here’s the catch – if they ship your $200 package before you contact them, you have to forfeit shipping and pay to ship it back to them with tracking because if it happens to “get lost” in the mail you are responsible for making sure you prove you shipped it or they won’t refund your money.
Sunday, October 4th, I wrote the check out to my friend.
Monday, October 5th, 8:16 a.m. CST I emailed a cancellation request.
Monday, October 5th, 7:37 p.m. CST a customer service representative emails back that I was refunded partially. But the $200 won’t be refunded until that part is shipped, then I ship it back and they receive it.
Monday, October 5th, 8:25 p.m. I respond back with a request to halt shipment and confirm that cancellation and to please send me a full refund.
Tuesday, October 13, 2:36 p.m. I email the rep again, requesting an update on my refund.
Tuesday, October 13, 2:58 p.m. she responds with a FedEx tracking number to say it shipped.
Tracking number shows the package information was sent to FedEx on Thursday, October 8th and officially shipped the GA FedEx location October 9th, at 8:02 p.m.
After letting the representative know I was very upset about this lack of communication, she informed me that, “Our shipping is handled by a third party, we do not guarantee your order will not ship even if you request a refund within 72 hours.”
At this point I became irate. I demanded to speak to her supervisor. Finally, on October 14th, a supervisor emailed me back and said:
“My name is [redacted] and I am a Supervisor in Customer Service. I apologize for the frustration you’ve experienced in obtaining a refund for your purchase. I’ve gone ahead and refunded the remaining charges. You should see a refund of $116.69 and $99.93 within 2-3 business days to the same card that was charged. The materials are already on the way to you so they are yours to keep as a goodwill gesture. Your membership is cancelled and you won’t receive any further charges.
Hope this helps.”
They ended up refunding the amount to my friend’s checking account and then I went to my friend and asked her to write a check out to me for the amount they refunded.
What happened to the package?
Good question! I will update this post when I find out. Today is October 19th. FedEx tracking says it was delivered to a town near me, but isn’t in my zip code. So I called FedEx. (I want to find this package just to prove that this isn’t a scam of some sort, and that maybe I over reacted to get my money back. So far it isn’t looking good).
FedEx said LifeLeadership used “FedEx Smart Post.” That is when FedEx delivers a package to a local post office and the USPS delivers it to my mailbox.
But my mailbox never received a package nor a paper informing me I have a package.
I called the USPS. They can’t find my package based only on a FedEx tracking number. The sweet lady on the phone suggested I go to my local post office and ask them.
Except the USPS is open 8:15 a.m – 11:30 a.m. and then 12:30 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. and I work 8:30 – 5:30. So that’s helpful.
UPDATE: I did eventually get the package a week after writing this post. I gave it back to my friend so she can have a free package to give away or do as she wishes with.
My theory: They make the canceling process difficult because they hope that maybe people won’t fight and they’ll make an easy $200.
But I didn’t give up and I finally did get my money back.
(Update: That “theory” above is just that. A theory. Another theory that is just as possible? Their customer service department just needs more people and/or more training so that others don’t have experiences like mine)
WHAT A HEADACHE.
Based on my personal experience, I do not suggest you sign up for them. If you really want to make money from home, sell something else like oils or makeup or cleaning products or bags. Of course, don’t just take my word for it.