FTC Files Temporary Restraining Order Against Company
Anchorage, Alaska — Aug. 21, 2018 After receiving a pattern of complaints, Better Business Bureau has issued an alert against Sellers Playbook, a Minneapolis-based consulting business. Sellers Playbook advertises services to people looking to start their own online Amazon stores. According to complaints in BBB’s files, the company offers a no-cost informational meeting wherein attendees are encouraged to attend and pay $997 for a three-day training. In recent months, Sellers Playbook has held seminars in various cities across the United States, including Anchorage. At these sessions, consumers are encouraged to sign up for consulting services at a much higher cost. Some complainants have alleged high-pressure sales tactics at these three-day sessions while others state the company did not provide the resources or support promised.
On August 6, 2018, BBB became aware of action taken against Sellers Playbook by the FTC and the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office. The U.S. District Court entered a temporary restraining order against the company and its owners, who have been charged with violating the FTC Act, the Business Opportunity Rule, the Minnesota Prevention of Consumer Fraud Act and the Minnesota Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act and violations of the Consumer Review Fairness Act.
Based on customer complaints, the first seminar is informational and free. From there, the company offers more intensive courses at a cost. At these three-day courses, complainants state that people are encouraged to sign up for different tiers of support/services – Diamond, Platinum or Gold and Silver. These different packages range in price up to more than $35,000. BBB has noted a pattern of customer complaints alleging Sellers Playbook failed to provide services as outlined in agreements or alleging the company provided incomplete or insufficient training.
Sellers Playbook has responded to some complaints brought to their attention by BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB). In some cases, the company has provided refunds as requested. In other cases, the company has stated they honored the terms of their agreement and were willing to pursue dispute resolution as outlined in their contract.
In January 2018, BBB offered to provide arbitration services to resolve a dispute with one of the company’s dissatisfied customers. Sellers Playbook Inc. declined that offer, as well as an offer to come in for an in-person meeting with BBB representatives about the pattern of complaints which has been noted. However, Sellers Playbook has been responsive via email to BBB concerns, making changes to their website so that customers will have a clearer understanding of the services they offer. BBB has processed 29 customer complaints filed against the company.
BBB encourages consumers to always read contracts in their entirety, including any clauses that could affect their legal rights. BBB also urges consumers to verify with the American Arbitration Association that dispute resolution services may be available as described in the company’s dispute resolution clause.
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