Back in June 2014 Barbara Seif reached out to me advertising herself as a networking service under the company name Phoenix Network. She said that she works with alternative health and allied professionals in the area of Northern New Jersey and New York. The services she advertised to me were networking events that she puts together with the professionals that work with her, allowing them all to meet and network together, and then expo events to the public where we could advertise ourselves at a booth/table. She shows me the schedule of networking events coming up, so after I’m all signed up I just have to wait a few weeks for the next event to roll around. Once it comes time for this first scheduled networking event, Barbara calls to let me know it’s been cancelled and will reschedule in a few weeks. Fine, no problem, I wait for the next event. Once again, as this rescheduled event gets closer, I get a call that it’s been postponed. This proceeds to happen one after the next, at least 5 more times. Sometimes she cancels the very day that the event is supposed to happen! At this point I’m quite skeptical that I’m being taken for a ride, and I have a conversation with Barbara about the constant cancellations and postponements of meetings. She swears up and down that it won’t happen again, and proceeds to give me a pile of flimsy excuses. So I give her one more chance and wait for the next networking event, which is “shockingly” postponed. This time I’m told that she had a car accident, stood in the rain, and came down with a terrible flu. Given her history of cancellations and flimsy excuses, this is difficult to swallow. To make it even worse, looking back at previous complaint made against Barbara for similar problems, it seems they were also caused by traumatic car accidents. To top it off, when I reach out to the meeting space that she rents for these events and inquire as to the reason of the cancellation, the vendor tells me that when Barbara doesn’t get the turnout she’s looking for she usually postpones. My patience at at this point is completely consumed, and I am very tired of being repeatedly lied to. I call up Barbara and ask for a refund. We proceed to have a nearly two hour conversation in which I calmly explain my reasons and she responds by alternatingly screaming at me and attempting to bargain with me. She pleads that if only I give it one more chance, and if she cancels again she’ll give me a full refund no questions asked. However I calmly and politely decline and ask she refund me now. She finally capitulates, saying that she will refund me within 30 days. Incidentally, and unsurprisingly, I saw on her website which listed upcoming events that the next networking event that she begged me to attend in fact did become cancelled. A week before the due date of the refund that she promised both on the phone and in writing, I send her a follow-up e-mail in order to remind her. At this point she once again claims that she has had a new car accident and a whole host of new health calamities, sends me blurry photos of some kind of prescription and a bruise as “proof” (which I don’t believe for a second), and says there’s no way she can refund me right now. So, despite not believing a single thing she’s saying, I give her an additional month to refund me. Again, a week before the refund is due, I send a reminder e-mail, to which I have received no reply. Barbara Seif and her Phoenix Network is not what she claims. I gave her the benefit of the doubt and have lost hundreds of dollars as a result, without once receiving any of the services I paid for. It’s shameful she is so willing to repeatedly lie in order to string money out of people. I genuinely wanted to believe in the service she offered, it sounded like a great opportunity. Now I’m left with an obnoxious mess that requires legal action to sort out. Shameful.
This review (Phoenix Network Review) was originally published at Holy Smoke !.
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