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Consumer Complaints

BBB Accredited Business since 01/29/2016

Growthink

Phone: (310) 846-5006

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Customer Complaints Summary

15 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 8 closed in last 12 months
Complaint TypeTotal Closed Complaints
Advertising / Sales Issues2
Billing / Collection Issues3
Problems with Product / Service10
Delivery Issues0
Guarantee / Warranty Issues0
Total Closed Complaints15

Complaint Breakdown by Resolution

Complaint Resolution Log (15)
01/07/2016Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Complaint
The Market Research Analysis was generic and didn't address the specifics of the product.
The Market Analysis the sent me was a generic overview of the fishing industry. It didn't deal with the specifics of my product in relationship to the products out there. the first of the three pages consisted of a blank first page with the name of my product at the bottom. The second page was their "Expert Market Research Delivered" and the third was the first page again. Then followed an over view of the Sport's fishing industry. The three competitor listed only had their products and prices listed with no specifics on their performance. My Patented product was mentioned by name on each page of the report but with no details in its relationship to the other products. This report was to go into a business plan for prospective investors. With a number of e mails to them to redo their Market Analysis they stood by their submission as being an effective tool for my business plan and would not consider a refund. Their only recourse was to let me select other items they had on their product line.

Desired Settlement
I gave them a number of times to reevaluate their Market Research and they refused stating that the information was adequate. A refund of $397 which I was made to pay for before I received the analysis.

Business Response
This is unfortunately part of an ongoing attempt by the Client to receive a refund for work fairly and well-performed. In our communications with him, it was discovered that the Client confused our company with another and purchased a product from us that he thought was that of our competition. He apologized and said it was "his mistake."

Despite this, we have made several attempts to resolve the matter amicably with him, including offering him additional products and services, complimentary.

We would like the Client to succeed like the thousands of other entrepreneurs Growthink has helped over the past 15+ years, however, we cannot be responsible for his purchase mistake and further, cannot offer him a product that is not our own.

The Growthink Team


Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
Although I did confuse their product with another business product and clearly apologized for that. My initial grievance was was not based on the other business product. They after hearing from the BBB agreed to give me a refund.The stipulation was that I resend the complaint with you. I stated upon receipt of the refund I would do so. Now they changed the argument saying it was all based upon my expectations of the other product. As I related to you before and them many times their product was totally unacceptable.

Final Business Response
The Client now seems to be changing his story in attempt to get a refund. Several hours were spent conducting market research and preparing a report for the Client. We have completed thousands of these types of general research projects and this is the second complaint we've received.

We will refund the Client's money under one condition - he posts the actual report to this rebuttal.

Viewers need to understand that there is no recourse for the Client in this situation - he still gets to keep the work, discredit our firm online, and yet no one has the ability to judge what we delivered.

We stand by our work.

The Growthink Team

Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she ACCEPTED the response from the business.)
I do agree to this condition and will comply "after" receiving the refund.

07/09/2015Billing / Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Complaint
I have not done business with this company since 2013. They are now attempting to charge me saying that I have made a recent purchase, and I didn't.
I received an email from a Stacey Polychronis (********@growthink.com). This person notified me that I owed an outstanding balance of 194.00 for a recent purchase of Growthink's Expert Market Research Delivered Service. The invoice was dated 5/19/15. I have not done business with this company since May of 2013, at which time I ordered a business plan template and paid in full. I have made no agreement to pay any other amount. The company is stating that if I do not pay the balance, it will be referred to collections. I do not think this would be ethical, as I should not owe anything.

Desired Settlement
I want this charge removed and certainly not referred to a collections agency, as I have made no purchase and should owe nothing.

Business Response
The client has been refunded. There was a duplicate charge that should not have taken place. We have resolved the matter and the client has agreed to contact the BBB to have the post removed.

Thank you.

Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
The business reported that they refunded me in this response. They did not. I contacted them and was told that the response they provided to the BBB was erroneous and that they were not giving me a refund.

Final Business Response
The client paid for the products that she received. All obligations have been met by both parties.



Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she ACCEPTED the response from the business.)
I'm simply tired if dealing with it.

01/19/2016Billing / Collection Issues
07/26/2016Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Complaint
The Expert Market Research Report I purchased was not specific to my business. Growthink falsely advertised their product.
I purchased the Expert Market Research report in the amount of $397.00 as an add-on to a business plan template from Growthink. On May 20, I received an introductory e-mail from Marci Glasgow-Haire requesting preliminary information to conduct their report. After I provided a thorough description of my business, location, target customers, top three competitors, and a description of the industry the company sent me the report. Needless to say, the report was a lackluster in comparison to the information I already provided, let alone what was advertised. The information in the report such as the market sizing, products and services segmentation, financial research were all inaccurate. They discussed services that are not in our industry. Therefore, how could I use a report based on inaccurate information. In addition, I gave Growthink my top three competitors and they copied and pasted their services from each of their websites and how many Facebook likes each business had. To me this is NOT research. I reached out to the company on May 23 and May 26 to try to discuss my concerns. I was forward to Bridget ******* whom claimed to be the director of the entire market research division as well as customer service. They provided me with a " revised " report but it seems as though nothing was changed - non of my concerns were acknowledgement. I asked to speak to her on the phone, she stated she was only available through e-mail. I e-mailed her on June 22- no response. I contacted the company again on June 28th via chat requesting a manager contact me to discuss the report/refund/overall service. I received yet another E-MAIL from Bridget. I asked for a refund because I truly believe the report is nowhere near worth $397.00. I was told" As we spend several hours customizing every report for every client and we have executed on every data point promised at the point of purchase, thus fulfilling our service agreement, the market research service is non-refundable." However, the company did not deliver what they advertised on their website and my report was not " customized". I cannot use this report for a single piece of relative information because it totally inaccurate. I'm thoroughly disappointment with the customer service, product, and overall management skills of those employed at this company. I'm still hopeful I will receive a refund.

Desired Settlement
I'm seeking a full refund in the amount of $397.00.

Business Response
This is unfortunately part of an ongoing attempt by Mr. ********** to receive a refund for work fairly and well-performed. The client continues to claim that the research is inaccurate, when it is not. We utilize the most authoritative market research databases and have provided all of the relevant market research for his business.

We have contacted Mr. ********** on several occasions attempting to resolve the matter, asking for specifics on what he thinks is inaccurate, but he has failed to share what he claims to be inaccurate. Based on our years of experience and market research expertise, the research we provided is the exact research he will need to complete his business plan and is 100% accurate.

We would like him to succeed like the thousands of other entrepreneurs Growthink has helped over the past 15+ years, however, we cannot help a client that is unwilling to take our expert advice, based on factual research, but instead makes unsupported claims of inaccuracy.

Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
I e-mailed the company on several occasions trying to explain the issues I had with the report. I even recommended we set-up a phone call so I could better explain/ communicate the issues in depth and I was dismissed by the supervisor - I was told to e-mail only. Lastly, I touched on a few issues AGAIN in this complaint and Growthink claims I'm not sharing what it specifically inaccurate. I've made several attempts to resolve this problem with the company directly and they refuse to hear my concerns. Growthink fail once again to take any responsibly for their flawed report. I'm asking the BBB to please step-in and kindly resolve this matter as Growthink continues to be argumentative with their customers and offers no resolution to the problem.

Final Business Response
Growthink has tried on several occasions to remedy the situation as best we can. We responded to every single communication/inquiry Mr. ********** has had and even amended his original report. His claim that our report is flawed is unfounded as well as his claim that we were unresponsive.

We properly completed the research and delivered on all data points promised at the point of purchase- we provided an overview of his industry, provided the appropriate financials, competitive landscape information, outlined the three competitors he selected and outlined his specific target segments.

Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
I can imagine that Growthink does not value or prioritize customer satisfaction. If your company cannot provide a resolution to this problem, my next step will be contacting my attorney. I've never dealt with a more difficult company, absolutely zero concept of customer service and clearly in the business of ripping customers off!

06/08/2016Billing / Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Complaint
GrowThink has an unclear automatic monthly reoccurring subscription policy and they refuse to refund a full amount for non approved charges.
I have contacted GrowThink regarding their automatic monthly reoccurring charge for their "Insider Circle" service. The original purchase date was November 12th, 2015. When signing up for the Insider Circle service, there is no indication that the subscription includes an automatic monthly reoccurring charge. Since November 2015, I have been charged a total of $582 in automatic reoccurring charges. I have contacted GrowThink to have the amount refunded as I never agreed to an automatic monthly reoccurring charge - as it was not clearly defined in the subscription (as required by California Automatic Renewal Law, California Business and Professions Code §XXXXX,et seq. (the Automatic Renewal Law)). They have offered to refund a portion of the monies lost and a $400 GrowThink credit - all which I have denied as they do not cover the lost monies by the consumer due to their predatory practice. I have emailed with both Tara and Bridget regarding receiving a refund, have clearly indicated my expectations and rationale for the full refund. They have both been unwilling to provide a full refund of $582.

Desired Settlement
A full refund of $582. I will not accept anything less.

Business Response
We have addressed the Client's concerns, stopped the billing cycles, provided a partial refund and a $400 credit.

Our invoice clearly states recurring charges will take place automatically on a monthly basis and can be cancelled at any time.

Growthink Management





Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
To date, I have only received two refunds of $97 each (both issued on May 25, 2016). I have not received the $400 credit that GrowThink has indicated nor have I received the $582 credit I have requested.

Furthermore, the invoice from GrowThink does not indicate that the payments will occur on an automatic monthly basis. The invoice only states that the purchase is a "subscription" but it does not define the terms of the subscription.

Final Business Response
The Client has been refunded $291 as of today and credited an additional $400 to purchase additional products.

Here is a copy of the invoice sent back in November that stipulates the recurring charges.

XX,

Congratulations on your purchase!

Please print and keep a copy of this email as an invoice for your records.

Also, Please retain this email so that you can access your downloads at a later date if necessary.

CUSTOMER MERCHANT

Client name: XX

Client email: XX

DATE November 12, XXXX X:XX pm

PRODUCT PAID DIRECTIONS

Growthink's Ultimate Business Plan Template $97.00

Capital Raising Secrets Revealed FREE Access Now

Productivity Course FREE Access Now

Business Plan Secrets FREE Download Now

Growthink's Insider Circle $97*

* This item contains a subscription service. After your trial period you will be charged on a monthly basis the amount of $97 unless canceled. You may cancel at any time.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call me or email me.

Best Regards,

Growthink's Customer Service Team

***************@growthink.com

*****************

02/19/2016Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Complaint
I purchased a product (Business Plan) for $97.00 I submitted cancellation less than 24hrs. The company made 2 additional unauthorized charge for 97.00
I purchased a product (Business Plan) for $97.00 The product was not what I expcted and I was not satisfied. I also realized I had the same product on my computer for free (Microsoft business plan template. I submitted cancellation less than 24hrs. The company made 2 additional unauthorized charges for 97.00 Two on 1/31/16 withdraw date 2/1/16 and another on 2/5/16 A total of $291.00. I had requested a refund for the two charges withdraw on 2/1/16 and only received one refund of $97.00 on 2/2/16. However the continued to make an unauthorized charge on 2/5/16 for another $97.00. I contacted the company a dozen times. My phone record will show its only a voice recording. I emailed the company and received an email response although, I ask to be contacted via telephone.

Desired Settlement
A refund in the amount of $291.00 ASAP. This issue has caused me stress, headache and been very time consuming attempting to resolve. I have been very overwhelmed and unable to continue purchasing needed products without them returning my money in a timely fashion.

Business Response
The client as been fully refunded for her purchases as of today.

Please note, the client was sent (electronically) the business plan template when it was ordered. At that point, she also purchased a market research product from us. The multiple charges were a results of a payment plan that the client chose.

We hope the refund has resolved the situation.

The Growthink Team

01/11/2016Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Complaint
Growthink business plan services are not worth what you are charged for.
Back in Sept I contacted Growthink about their business plan services. I was impressed by their website that displays all of the major corporations that they have worked with. I figured these guys must be the real deal. They also show business plan samples in a PDF book format which led me to believe I would receive something like this in the end.

We had a phone interview with the person who would be handling our plan and walking us through the process. We received the contract by email and settled on a 2 payment system $2750 upfront and $2750 2 weeks before they delivered the final version.

I have a few complaints that I want the public to be aware of if you decide to use this company for your business plan. I should disclose that I had little experience in the beginning on what should be in a business plan and learned as the process progressed.

1. The "research" they claim to do on your behalf was information I gave them. I sent a mock plan I worked up on a word template and that was used for the base of what I was given. On several occasions I questioned Ethan why am I not seeing anything I don't know? On the web site they say in part "Not only do we subscribe to multiple market research databases, but our methodology and experience conducting thousands of research projects allows us to uncover the data you need to making the right strategic decisions."
This is what I was looking for. I hired them to tell me something I didn't know. Show me this data you've compiled so I can make the right strategic decisions. It wasn't their. All of the research I provided to Growthink and all they did was format it.

2. The financials were way off. I had the plan reviewed by a professional and it was ripped to shreds. It was a very embarrassing moment to say the least. Realizing that these are assumptions, they should still make sense. Their were things that made absolutely no sense and were also pulled from some kind of national data base that wasn't even current. In 5 minutes we were able to find the latest market research and financials from LCT magazine which we later incorporated into the plan, after receiving the final version.

3. Their were typos and sentence fragments that we did not catch. Granted we should of been more diligent in finding these things but for how much I paid for this typos should even exists.

4. They do not include a break even analysis or exit strategy. These are two things that are critical to any business plan and investor. The investor needs to know how and when they are going to see a return. I was told that since we were a startup their was no need for it.

5. We were told we would be working with a team, that would help brainstorm ideas on how to best market our ideas and get the funding we needed. In the beginning we were introduced to 2 people. Throughout the rest of process we only worked with one person who claimed he would talk with his team to find solutions and research ideas. A team or some kind of leadership review, should of caught these mistakes before it went out.

So, after a month of meetings and $5500 later we are still at square one, and I have to pay someone else another $1500 to fix what was said to be ready to pass out. We might just do the research ourselves and save the money. After looking at other reviews of other business plan companies they all pretty much have the same issues.

My suggestion to you in to do your homework, get with someone who is already in business, is an investor or a former corporate exec. You can find these people at a SCORE division in your area.

After all is said and done I would not recommend Growthink to anyone with limited funds or is in the startup phase. I'm not going to bash them and say they are a bad company. I cannot rightfully speak for someone that is already in business because they are in a different stage and require different services. But, if you are in the startup up phase this is not the place for you.

Desired Settlement
I put that I would like a refund but I'm sure that's not going to happen, especially after seeing the other reviews. Honestly it's up to them to make this right. I shouldn't have to ask for anything else. It was very embarrassing getting the comments and questions back on what I thought was going to be a good plan.

The web site says;

"We have a highly intelligent, experienced and entrepreneurial team that takes great ownership and pride in the work we do for our clients. Our attitude is that we only succeed when our clients succeed. And we are laser focused on success."

My question is what happens when their is a failure like this?

Business Response
We have addressed the complaint and spoken to the client. Together, we're currently in the process of resolving the situation amicably. Will update on outcomes.

Growthink Management

12/01/2015Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Complaint
I tried contacting the company a number of times to cancel the product immediately Cuz the product didn't work for me. I just received a charge nov.
I paid a dollar for a business plan template back on July 5, 2015 but the product didn't work for what I needed so I tried to cancel immediately. I sent email and left message because I couldn't get a hold of anyone. I stopped receiving emails about different products so I thought it was canceled but I just received a charge of $97.00 on November 4 four months after I ordered the product. i tried for a week to get a hold of a person and had no luck, and when I sent the email to cancel and stopped getting information sent to me so I thought that it was canceled.

Desired Settlement
I would like the $97.00 refunded back to my account.

Business Response
Contact Name and Title: ******* - CS Manager
Contact Phone: XXX-XXX-XXXX
Contact Email: *************@growthink.com
At this time I have sent email correspondence to this consumer.

Her claim is not completely accurate and I have explained to her in detail what has transpired on her account in our system.

But I have at this time issued a refund to her credit card and she will be receiving the funds back in 3-5 business days.

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