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FIB - Scams 101
Re: Michael Masterson/AWAI Copywriting Course Scam
Posted By: Former AWAI Victim In Response To: Michael Masterson/AWAI Copywriting Course Scam (Jim Wilcox)
Date: Wednesday, October 21, 2009, at 2:34 p.m.(pst)
In Response To: Michael Masterson/AWAI Copywriting Course Scam (Jim Wilcox)
Firstly, I would like to preface this comment by stating that I have purchased several programs from AWAI and, having done so, I am qualified to speak on the merit of the actual programs' content. I do not personally know, nor have I ever met Michael Masterson, Katie Yeakle, or Rebecca Matter and am thusly not qualified to speak on their character, or lack therof.
What I can say is that, a few months ago, when I had been looking for a course on resume writing, I stumbled across the Pro Resume Writer program from AWAI. The landing page for the course was a long, salesy letter extolling the large six-figure income to be had in resume writing and the abundant free time I could enjoy, all for just $99 and 6 hours and 35 minutes worth of preparation. Being new to the industry, I was skeptical, but had an acquaintance who had some affiliation with them, so I lowered my BS-meter and took a chance, (besides the person who wrote the letter said the program contained specific wording for a newspaper/yellow page classified ad that was GUARANTEED to have the phone ringing off the hook like crazy, and I bought into it).
The program initially appeared to be worth the money and I did gain some helpful tidbits here and there, plus the confidence to press on in the industry. However, in retrospect, I now truly understand how hollow those claims of free time and six-figure income really were.
Becoming a resume writer has been very hard work for me and learning the craft takes months, if not years, to truly be qualified enough to earn six-figures. Once you reach the level where you can earn a substantial income, you will likely work very hard to maintain it, certainly not when and if you feel like it. A six-figure resume business most definitely does not lend itself to part-time work, as stated in the program, and I don't believe a quality resume of the sort they promote can be written in an hour or two as they suggest. Each resume takes time and attention to craft. It is a unique and effective marketing piece that the client will use to outpace the competition and that's why clients pay what they do. They don't want a templated, mass produced product.
The program grossly misrepresents the realities of the business and the initial income one can expect to earn when starting out. No one to date has paid me (a beginning writer) $465 for a single resume, as suggested in the program. I have to write at least 3 resumes to make that kind of money at this point and that doesn't even happen every week.
So the four main arguments presented in their sales letter and program are false:
1) Learning to write quality resumes CANNOT be done in just 6 hours and 35 minutes.
2) Although an eventual six-figure income is possible writing resumes, it is NOT likely that you will make this kind of money for quite some time and you're gonna need a heck of a lot more training and certifications to do so.
3) The resumes they teach you to write are NOT the powerful, effective resumes you need to write to make any money.
3b) And oh yeah, that claim that if you purchased the program you would receive wording for an ad that would blow response through the roof...almost NO ONE would respond to this:
"A Professional,Winning Resume Will Be Yours...
…only when ABC Resume Services, Inc. writes it!
You’ve tried the others — now try the best. Our powerful
resumes will get you a job interview… guaranteed!
Call — today — for a free consultation, (555) 555-5555
or email@example.com. www.yourwebsite.com"
And here's why: It's weak. Since you cannot guarantee anyone an interview, it immediately surrenders any shred of credibility for your company. It sounds gimmicky and probably won't work. I knew enough not to use this headline and came up with my own.
4) ALL OF THE INFORMATION IN THE COURSE CAN EITHER BE FREELY OBTAINED ON THE INTERNET OR PURCHASED VERY CHEAPLY AT A LOCAL BOOKSTORE FOR LESS THAN $15 BUCKS. There is NOTHING proprietary at all and they reveal no "secrets".
They misrepresent the business of resume writing and feed the reader half-truths about income. This type of company takes advantage of the less savvy (as I was) who are new and don't understand the industry.
There have been posts by a few who narrowly define the word "scam" and would only reserve the word for instances where payment is rendered and no actual product is received. They assert that AWAI is not a scam and should retain a measure of credibility because it delivers an actual information product.
If you feel this way, consider this:
A salesman approaches you with a $500 bottle of oil. He claims that this oil, when applied topically will rid you of your persistent dandruff, feeding, nourishing, and moisturizing your scalp. Your hair will be left thick, full, radiant, clean and healthy, all in one application...and the smell! You may not even need to purchase perfume or cologne ever again. Think of the money you'll save at nearly $50 a bottle...
And since your hair will be so lustruous and shiny, there's no need to spend $75 to $100 on trips to the hair salon. You could save even more, maybe even hundreds of dollars each year!
And that's not all...this premium Brazilian beetlenut oil has been a closely guarded Amazonian secret for thousands of years and you'll never find it anywhere else on earth. Best of all, clinical studies from Oxford and Harvard have shown that this oil contains nutritional properties that are just as good for healthy looking skin! You can kiss ocassional acne, crows feet, dark spots, clogged pores, dry skin, and wrinkles goodbye! It even heals eczema and psoriasis. Imagine...no more expensive face creams, goopy makeup, or doctor-prescribed chemicals. Your fresh, clear complexion will shine like the sun!
This premium Brazilian beetlenut oil has been a celebrity secret for decades, commonly selling at the bargain price of $1,000 per bottle, but you won't pay a fraction of what it costs them to import it. No! In fact, if you buy it right now, he'll drop the price to just $395!! He's practically giving it away!
But you have to act fast because this is his very last bottle.
Impressed, you whip out your credit card and buy the oil. Once you get home, you rush to the mirror and anxiously tear open the packaging, immediately squeezing a generous amount into your palm and rubbing it luxuriantly through your hair and massaging it onto your face.
"My, this looks awful greasy", you think, "and it doesn't smell as good as I thought it would. Maybe it just needs time to work." So you stand there and wait for the miracle. While you're waiting, you decide to read the bottle. You scan down the tiny print and read the words: "Ingredients: 100% pure canola oil."
Do you feel scammed? Or do you reason that since you did actually receive the oil, then the sales guy really is still reputable, all this despite having charged you hundreds for $1.99 worth of oil?
This is the case with AWAI. Their slick sales tactics convince the unwary that they have access to proprietary information that will make them rich and it seems undeniably credible. When you become more knowledgeable, however, you begin to realize that you have been had.
In my opinion, that's about as 'scammy' as it gets.
Messages In This Thread
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And finally, all you scammers out there will do well to remember that TRUTH IS AN ABSOLUTE DEFENSE against charges of libel, defamation, and slander... so if you're operating just a hop, skip, and jump ahead of the law, you might want to think twice before doing anything stupid... (AND SHAME ON YOU!!).