I’ve just posted this because I need to make my readers aware of something that is probably going to raise it’s head in the press over the next few weeks.
It’s about property gurus who take thousands of pounds in fees in exchange for stuff you can really learn online for free. They effectively con people out of a lot of money, sometimes with tragic consequences. I’ve almost been taken in by fake property gurus in the past. They are very clever and manipulative and can easily con you out of tens of thousands of pounds if you don’t have your wits about you. They are known as Contrapreneurs.
The Con Countdown
Watch this video and see how many of the 7 clues you’ve seen or experienced in your property investment life, either in other videos or by attending property courses in person.
Here’s an example of how a guy was treated after he’d been parted from his money by Samuel Leeds Ltd.
Is Samuel Leeds Training a Scam?
“STOP THE RIDE I WANT TO GET OFF
My journey with Samuel Leeds Ltd. by Danny Butcher
Grab a coffee and a nice comfy chair this isn’t a short story, but an honest account of my experience from start to date, the ride is not finished yet.
Like most I came across Samuel’s video’s on YouTube and found them very inspiring, I joined Samuel’s Facebook group and again found it very inspiring seeing the buzz of people like myself wanting to get into property.
So what was next? I decided I needed to get on the crash course but found the earliest I could attend would be in march, with it now being mid January I would have to wait until then. Patience isn’t one of my virtue’s so I decided to try and get abit of practice with talking to agent’s in the mean time which I managed to find 5 deals which was great but now what the hell do I do.
My wife noticed that Alistair was running a course on sourcing so I thought great this might help with these deals so I phoned up to inquire about it. While on the phone i spent most of the time trying to say that i couldn’t afford the up selling they was doing for the academy which was offered to me for 12k, needless to say i didn’t end up doing Alistair’s course or the academy at the time because i couldn’t afford it.
March comes and the big day of the crash course is here, like many others I was keen to learn even paying out for VIP treatment. Don’t waste your money on this as other than a book with missing words for you to fill in as you go and getting your photo taken (which I still have never received even though asking for it multiple times) you don’t get anything extra hardly worth £50 for that.
While on the crash course there is alot of dancing, high fives and telling the person next to you how amazing they are, and theres also alot of up selling for the advance courses, despite this I’d still stay the crash course was worth doing.
These courses had limited spaces as they would be taught in small class room groups as said by Samuel on the stage so you must run to the back of the room to get your place. I remember watching as everyone ran and thinking wow I’d never do a joint venture with any of that lot they would just jump both feet without doing and due diligence first. When it come to Samuel trying to sell the academy I can’t say I was really surprised to hear him say that they only offer this price at the crash course but if you sign up now you can join the academy for 12k (does that number sound familiar) still at this point I kept thinking that I would love to join the academy but there’s no way I could afford it.
On the last day, Samuel stood on stage and again was up selling the advance courses with the exception of this time he said not only do you get to join the academy and train personally with myself and my team you get the nuyoma, the DFE, brrr, deal sourcing and LOA course you’ll get access to legal contracts, a 1-2-1 coaching and a 1-2-1 mentor.
It was at that point as soon as he said 1-2-1 mentoring I thought I have to find the money, this is exactly what I need the rest I could learn and do on my own but a mentor who can point me in the right directions and can point out what I’m doing/saying is wrong or correct is exactly what I needed.
So out came my phone and mobile banking app here i come, now already being in nearly 20k worth of debt (due to an ex wife who took loans out in my name) I never thought the bank would give me 6k, but within seconds there it was.
I went up to a member of the team and asked if it was to late to join the academy, they said no and handed me a form to fill in, I told them about my deals I had found and that I really need to move fast as I can’t afford to pay the rest of the money for the academy, they smiled and laughed, and said I could put them through Alistair’s company and make the rest of the money in no time, great I signed and made a part payment.
Just to add at no point was I interview.
Now if you have read this far an still awake awesome but now your about to hear the real side of the academy.
After joining the academy I phoned up to find out what’s happening next and when can we get started, I was told that I could attend my launch pad in April, I told them it needed to be sooner it was brought forward to back end of March.
On the launch pad I met trevor Cutmore and rex and not with Samuel as he said on the crash course, but I was still excited to get started. While there I was informed that there was an academy Facebook page which I would be added to and that we would all be added to a WhatsApp group together. I left there feeling great and a buzz to really push on with my journey. It was after this point the ride started to go down hill rapidly.
A day later I was added to a WhatsApp group I quickly noticed noone in that group was on my launchpad I phoned the academy noone answered i sent a message to courtney 2 days later i was added to another WhatsApp group again noone in the group was on my launchpad i phoned again was past from pillar to post before i messaged courtney again afew days later i was put in another group and again for the 3rd time noone in that group was on my launchpad and I had given up with it.
Also during this time I had spent over a week of emailing, text messages WhatsApp messages begging for an invite to the academy Facebook group, I eventually got an invite. As well as all the messages/emails I was asking for contact information to Alistair’s company so I could try to put some deals through him so I could make the money up to pay for the academy, several times I was given different email addresses and telephone numbers before I was given max’s number, when i did get through to him i was told i couldn’t put any deals through Alistair’s company until i had done Alistair’s course which is on the 31 of july and we was in April I now had to try and find 2 installments of £4330 I went back to my bank and borrowed the next installment thinking right I’ve got the DFE which guarantee’s me a deal I could try and make the 3rd one from that.
When I arrived at the DFE there was hundreds of people in the lobby, I thought to myself man there’s a big course going on there, not once thinking “yeah it’s your course mate” as it was made out we would be in small groups on the crash course.
When I did realise that no everyone is there for the same course I kept think how are the staff going to get round to everyone and make sure that everyone is understanding the content which is being taught.
I didn’t have to worry long. Other than meeting trevor again and sam hawking’s the DFE had no value it was a repeat of the crash course and anything that was missing could easily be made up by watching Samuel’s YouTube video’s, in fact Samuel actually played one of his videos instead of actually doing it I kept thinking I could of done all this at home instead of losing 3 days wages and spending over £300 for the hotel.
While on the DFE thinking that there must be a waiting list for everything(everything so far in my journey had pointed to this) I tried to give myself an advantage/an edge that could speed up my process to getting the training and mentoring I was promised on the crash course and earning some money.
I had recruited 5 people to the academy this would backfire on me as later on I would find out that there was no waiting list I was just a victim of poor service. I was also asked by a team member if I would like a job again before finding out there was no such thing as a que I agreed I would as thinking it would speed things up, but thankfully I never heard anymore on this.
At the DFE, this was the first time I heard anything to do with having an interview to join the academy, I thought this was a great idea as it would stop some people who have no idea what is going on from joining ie mr speaker (I’ll explain mr speaker when I get to rex)
BBC Inside Out Investigates Samuel Leeds’ Company
The BBC Inside Out programme have now investigated the case. The undercover reporter said she was pressurised to sign up for expensive training, despite saying she couldn’t afford it.
AFTER THE DFE
Despite calls to the academy and being past from pillar to post again I never did get that guaranteed deal and also lost the 5 I had found pre DFE. I had to go back to the bank to try and get a 3rd loan which was rejected due to taking out 2 loans already at such close time together, so my wife took out a loan for the remainder of the balance £4.330.
Now rex is a likeable guy, but his not a property man. I found the course useless as it was just about generic business course and not really about property, I thought this would be more tailored around property it wasn’t and if I’m honest the course could of been done in an hour if rex had just spoken abit faster or at normal people’s rate.
Rex also hosts the monthly accountability video call. Now the timings for the first 2 sessions was great 19.00 but then they started doing them at 12.00 and 13.00 when everyone is at work several times I emailed back saying these times was no good.
On the first call we had 10 minutes in which to tell the group what we had been up to. One member went on about what was the best way to sell his speaker design, I had to get up walk away from my laptop so not to embarrass the poor guy with my laughter, clearly this guy hadn’t been interviewed either has not once did he mention anything to do with property.
The course was fantastic I got real value out of listening to trevor on the brrr. But this course as also been darkened by the fact that noone from the academy team had told me that the LOA course had been cancelled it wasn’t until mid way through the second day an academy member had told me that it had been cancelled by this time after going to the hotel desk I found out that it was to late to cancel my room so I was left with a choice stay there the night on my own or travel back home and lose that money. I stayed there and got some rest before travelling 2 1/2 hours home that was a days wage lost and the cost of the hotel room for nothing.
I also found out at this point that there was no que that my experience has been just poor customer service and that I wasn’t the only one.
THE REFUND GROUP
I was invited to join a WhatsApp group of people with similar experiences as myself we all looking into legal action and all sent emails requesting refunds all was rejected and then ignored.
I made a comment on the academy which resulted in Russell himself sending me a message I asked him for his help and sent a copy of my email detailing my experience he then phoned me direct and spent nearly an hour on the phone promising me that things would change and that if I still wished to leave he would help me get my refund.
That night I sat and spoke to my wife we both agreed I would give it another try as we have Russell’s promise that if it didn’t improve then he would help me get my refund.
2 MONTHS LATER
2 months had gone by and boy did things get worse noone answering calls, email not getting answered, I sent Russell another message saying I wanted out I had given it 2 months and it’s got worse, his reply was he’d get customer services on it( this was on a Sunday)So fair enough.
Tuesday I got a call from alan asking what the problem was I then told him my experience which he said he can understand why I’m not happy and he would put it all in an email (which I highly doubt he did, as he wasn’t taking notes and as you can tell so far this isn’t a short story) Wednesday I received another phone call from mo telling me Russell had asked him to call me he spent all that time trying to get me to give the academy another chance I said no, he told me that Russell would call me later and that he would call me again at 19.30 as he had to go. It’s been 2 weeks and I’m still waiting for this phone call.
And I have also been kicked and blocked from the academy Facebook group.
Well if you’ve got this far then well done I’d of stopped ages ago.
My reasons for wanting to get in to property was to give my wife and son a future, has someone who struggles with mental health I have on going battles every day with myself and I wanted to make sure my wife and son was secure in the event of if I lost the war. Now I’m not telling you this for sympathy, I don’t ask for it or want it, I’m telling you this so you have an understanding as to why I wanted to get into property.
At no point did I ever expected this to be easy or for Samuel and the academy to do all the hard work and give it to me on a plate. All I wanted was for someone to sit and watch over me to make sure I was doing it right. The rest I can do for myself.
Well I would say I hope you enjoyed the read but none of has a great bed time story to tell on this but thank you for reading”
– Danny Butcher, October 2019
Danny Butcher took his own life shortly after this was written.
Danny’s dad has started a petition in honour of his son, to try to get the industry regulated. Please sign here
remember to confirm via your email or signature will not be counted. Thank you everyone for your support
The Telegraph have also covered the story here
Have YOU lost any money to a FURU? Tell me all about them below in the comments.