Consumer reviews and reports on scam companies, bad products and services
SKW Central SKW Central, Sean Keegan Walker's Tax Liens Increased fees without notification,
27th of Dec, 2011 by User953743
My entire experience with SKW Central, or Sean Keegan Walker's Tax Lien Company, starts like this. I'm attending a free seminar about making money in real estate at a local Holiday Inn. Obviously, we all know that aside from the air we breathe, nothing in life is really free. But being completely aware of that from the beginning, I am happy to attend the seminar to see what products and services they have to offer. After all, being sold isn't necessarily a bad thing--salespeople keep the world moving forward. However, you have to make sure that you're buying quality products/services, and not wasting your money. It's fine, though; I'm smart enough. And I feel like I know a good investment when I see one. Ultimately, I'm not there to throw money down the drain, but I'm certainly open to the idea of paying for value if legitimate value is being provided. That is my mindset. As expected, the speakers are very talented, and there is clear value in the services they're promoting. Dean Graziosi, a well-known, rags-to-riches, multi-millionaire, real estate investor is the main event, though of course he himself does not attend (he has a team built for these things). In a nutshell, they talk about all the money they make in real estate, the lifestyles they can afford because of that money, and how you too can make that money by using their special techniques--if you buy their service. All right, fair enough. If I went from zero to millionaire, I'd charge money for my time and knowledge as well. Having said that, I won't go into Dean Graziosi too much in this article because it's not about him. For the record, I feel like he is legitimate and wish him the best of luck in growing his business and helping people live better lives. After the real estate investing pitch is over, the tax liens pitch begins. Now I've been to a few other free seminars and thought the products or services being offered were complete crap, but like the real estate course, this tax lien program is also sounding pretty good. In fact, I saw a lot of value in the tax liens program because of (a) how lucrative it was, and (b) how safe it was--if you do it right. The pitch was good and professional, and since SKW Central was the company being promoted, they were the ones getting the business. I thought Dean Graziosi's and SKW Central's services were both great, and I purchased each of them. The real estate program was $2000, and the tax liens program was $1000, plus $14.95 a month. Once again, no complaints about Dean Graziosi--this isn't about him or his company. A couple months or so later, I realize that I've actually been getting charged $19.95 instead of $14.95 per month. It's just a $10 loss so far, so it's not really a huge deal financially, but I decide to call SKW Central customer service for the principle. Not to mention, an extra $5 per month can add up, especially when you take into consideration that they like to increase the price without notifying you anyway. For all I know, it could be $25 the next month, $30 six months from then, etc. Hey, accidents happen, though, right? Business is human, and humans aren't perfect. I'm certainly not perfect myself, so I'm going to give these guys a fair chance. When I reach a representative in customer service, I calmly and politely explain my issue to her, and she tells me that her manager will call me back by the end of the week with a resolution. I don't think the issue is that complicated to resolve, but I keep those thoughts to myself, because I know how powerless individuals in customer service can be. I'm not saying that customer service never has any power, but many times this is the case (having worked in customer service myself in the past, I know this from experience). Waiting a week isn't a big deal, and whether it's solved then or now makes no difference--as long as it ultimately gets solved. Fast forward a week, no call from her manager, or any manager for that matter. Now I'm beginning to get frustrated. I call back, still calm and respectful. What a coincidence, I get the same representative. Either this is a super-coincidence (this happens very rarely in medium to large-sized businesses), or they have a very small office, with very unorganized (or uncaring) people. She apologizes that her manager has not gotten back to me, and lets me know that he is on vacation (how convenient). The most unfortunate part is that she or someone else in the office did not have the courtesy to call me and let me know about this--I had to call them and ask why I was essentially lied to. Either way, holding grudges and harboring negative energy is not something I enjoy doing, so I let it go. I continue to treat her with dignity and respect, and she assures me that her manager will call me when he gets back from his vacation. Although I feel like this is ridiculous, I can honestly wait another week or so since I'm only billed monthly anyway. And soon enough this will get resolved and I'll forget about it. Another week passes. And another. Then a month passes, and no call from anyone, especially not a manager. By now, I feel like calling SKW Central's customer service is a complete waste of time, so I'm obviously not going to call a third time to simply get lied to again. Such a simple issue, yet no one can handle it. A manager can't even take 5 minutes out of his or her day to call back a customer who has paid the company over $1000. I'm already feeling nauseated that I'm even affiliated with a company that operates on these principles, and decide to check my SKW Central account to potentially salvage any kind of value that I can before canceling. Lo and behold, my account has been mysteriously deleted (can't login, reset password, or re-create account with the unique passcode/key I purchased), though I am still being charged $20 a month for a service I am apparently not getting. And let's not get started on the $1000 I had to pay up-front to even get access. So I'm in a situation. When things mess up, especially any subscription (recurring) type service, your first instinct is to call customer service and get things handled. However, SKW Central's customer service is the last group of people I want to speak to by this time, for very obvious reasons. If they couldn't even fix a tiny billing error, despite calling multiple times, god forbid I ask for help on a more complicated issue. This is the straw that broke the camel's back, and I call American Express promptly to file a chargeback on this ridiculously terrible, borderline-fraudulent service. Thankfully, American Express is an excellent company and is very helpful when merchants misrepresent themselves and/or do not follow through on what they say that will provide. Fast forward a few weeks after that, and I finally get a call from SKW Central. "Interesting," I think to myself. The representative is just a regular guy in customer service/billing, and asks me if something is wrong with my credit card, because the charge isn't going through (I blocked all future charges from SKW Central when I filed my chargeback). Wow! The audacity this company has! After "giving" me the kind of experience I received, and never calling me back for support purposes (despite being told... twice!), they have the audacity to call and ask why they can't charge me next month's $20... wow. Don't get me wrong, I'm already done with SKW Central by this time, but this incident just blew my mind. Perfect example of a company that just wants the customer's money and does not care about the customer. Funnily enough, a few weeks after this happened, I actually do get a call from someone that is genuinely interested in my issues. Not that I care at this point, but it was refreshing to see that a company may actually start to give a damn. However, it turns out that he only called me because he saw my YouTube video on Google Search, and not because customer service finally got their sh-t together or they realized that pretty major errors/glitches existed in their system and they wanted to apologize and make things right. He called to ask what he could do to get me to take down the video. What a surprise. If you value your time or money, don't do business with SKW Central. I want to make it clear: tax liens can be a very lucrative investment--tax liens themselves are not a scam. But invest in tax liens with a company that will actually care about you. Not a company that will overcharge you, lie to you, ignore you, delete your account on "accident," and only call you back when you provide them with negative publicity in return for the headache they've given you.

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