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This Business is not BBB Accredited

Vanguard Institute, Inc.

(888) 619-78318605 Santa Monica Blvd, West HollywoodCA 90069-4109

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BBB Accreditation

Vanguard Institute, Inc. is not BBB Accredited.

Businesses are under no obligation to seek BBB accreditation, and some businesses are not accredited because they have not sought BBB accreditation.

To be accredited by BBB, a business must apply for accreditation and BBB must determine that the business meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses must pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 13 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that affect the rating for Vanguard Institute, Inc. include:

  • Failure to respond to 5 complaints filed against business.
  • Business has failed to resolve underlying cause(s) of a pattern of complaints.

Customer Complaints SummaryRead complaint details

5 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 0 closed in last 12 months
Complaint TypeTotal Closed Complaints
Advertising / Sales Issues1
Guarantee / Warranty Issues1
Problems with Product / Service3
Billing / Collection Issues0
Delivery Issues0
Total Closed Complaints 5

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

0 Customer Reviews Customer Reviews on Vanguard Institute, Inc.

Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 0
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 0
Total Customer Reviews 0 Customer Reviews

Complaint Breakdown by Resolution

Complaint Resolution Log (5)
11/04/2014Guarantee / Warranty Issues | Read Complaint Details

Vanguard used smooth pitches and promises of making a lot of money with their course. Talked me, a 72 year old, into giving them over$11,000.Now broke
7/3/13 Desmond Sullivan called me, age 72, to offer his personal help with my financial problems and interest in on-line websites. His course pitch was forceful with his promise of holding my hand through the course and his personal garrantee that he would protect my money and I would not lose it. He promised that I would only have to pay on the $11,000 CC bill for about two months and I would be making over $8,000 within a few months to pay it all off. The course would create a website for me with help in all areas. At first I did give him the cc money but then cancelled within the 3 days BUT he called me back and talked me into it all again. I know I was desperate and very hopeful that I could make money and stay in my beloved home, so I signed up again.
Then I find out that I must go through a Coaching weekly program for 18 weeks. This turned out to be a nice friendly women who was like a friend but did not actually do work on my site. She gave me lessons to work on from the course BUT all the materials were on the Vanguard site plus printed and videos for me. I could do my own study. I was upset after those 18 weeks and was then hopeful that my website would start BUT all was just over and there was no more real help- I was on my own and did not know the first step. The materials provided were confusing for me and I just stopped trying when no one would do anything for me.
I tried to contact Desmond Sullivan again. I called and wrote many email letters asking for only $5,000 refund for his lost promises and unfair advantage over me. He would never respond nor would anyone else. He got my money, I got some information that was outdated during the course plus I could not keep paying on the CC. My credit score dropped from very good (all my working life)
to poor :-( I have found help elsewhere but am left with this poor credit which affects my life,my depression and probably the loss of my home.
If he had been honest with me, I would not have joined the program. This program does not work very often and most people can not make money using this method unless they have created their own products.
I did check their website and it was so fancy and full of lessons that I thought this was for me. Now I see that there are lots of unhappy and broke clients like me who have filed complaints.
Hoping someone can help me get a refund.

Desired Settlement
I paid over $11,000 PLUS another $9,000. to some of their affiliates for creating an LLC, Business plan and SEO help. They are the ones who really helped me and set up my website.( I wish I had found just them first.)
I am seeking only about half my investment from Vanguard- $5,000. I think that is more than fair.

04/09/2014Advertising / Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details

To sum up my concerns about the business which I spent $7,800.00 on, I feel I was sold guarantees over the phone and none of them happened.
On June 6, 2012 I was sold a business opportunity in the form of an e-commerce website, and charged $7,800.00. According to the contract I was supposed to receive a package that included a web builder, unlimited consulting and exclusive internet marketing course materials. During the sales call these were the things that were stated that made me want to purchase this business opportunity:
1) I was told that I could make a substantial income if I worked hard enough and did what my coach told me to do.
2) It was stated that I would be able to pay back my credit card charges with the income I would make by using the services I was purchasing,
3) I was informed of many others who were successful by using this program even though I did not see any proof of this.
4) It was stated that I would need 20-25 hours a week in order to achieve my financial goal of $2500 a month.
5) They stated that the expenses would be 100% deductible as business expenses even though this was not the case.
6) I was rushed through the contract signing and they used high pressure sales tactics to purchase that very day saying that this price and this offer was only good for the one day of our conversation and that if I did not accept they would offer it to the next person.
7) I gave them my credit card number before I saw the contract.
8) They did not identify their complete business address during the sales call.
9) I did not understand why they had to record only a portion of the sales call and why they had to restart the recording process multiple times.
I was not exactly pleased with the services that I received. The contract stated "unlimited consulting" and I got only six 30 minute coaching sessions. These sessions were mostly pep talks and led me to develop a internet site that could never make money. The coach mostly made sure I was watching the videos and doing the homework. Some of the videos were very technical and the 30 minute coaching session once a week was not enough time to learn the technical details. I also learned that I had to build my own site or pay extra for someone else to build my site for me. The coaches were working for The Coaching Department and I felt that their answers to my questions seemed scripted and non-personal.

Desired Settlement
After a year of my site going live and investing a lot more money into it, I did not make one single sale. I demand at least a 75% refund since I did learn some about internet marketing through this business opportunity.

04/09/2014Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details

They perpetrated a fraud.
I was promised step-by-step training. The coaching is barely a half hour a week, I have to call the scheduling dept. to get an oppointment, they alwys leave me on hold and if I leave a message they do not call me back. They also have other entities that work with them to swindle people.

Desired Settlement
I want a complete refund of the $6700 I paid. I also want them to persuade Legal Service Entity to refund me the $6900 I was talked into spending for another scam.

04/09/2014Problems with Product / Service
12/18/2013Problems with Product / Service

Industry Comparison| Chart

Internet Marketing Services

Additional Information

Business started: 03/15/1968
Type of Entity


Incorporated: April 2012, CA

Number of Employees


Business Category

Internet Marketing Services

Alternate Business Names
Vanguard Institute

Map & Directions

Map & Directions

Address for Vanguard Institute, Inc.

8605 Santa Monica Blvd

West Hollywood, CA 90069-4109

To | From


1 Locations

  • 8605 Santa Monica Blvd 

    West Hollywood, CA 90069-4109

Industry Comparison ChartX

The information in the table below represents an industry comparison of businesses which are of the same relative size. This is based on BBB's database of businesses located in the Counties of Los Angeles, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito. Businesses may engage in more than one type of business. The percent of time the business engages in a type of business is not accounted for. There is no known industry standard for the number of complaints a business can expect. The volume of business and number of transactions may have a bearing on the number of complaints received by BBB.

*Vanguard Institute, Inc. is in this range.


Types of Complaints Handled by BBB

BBB handles the following types of complaints between businesses and their customers so long as they are not, or have not been, litigated:

  • Advertising or Sales
  • Billing or Collection
  • Problems with Products or Services
  • Delivery
  • Guarantee or Warranty

We do not handle workplace disputes, discrimination claims or claims about the quality of health or legal services.


BBB Complaint Process

Your complaint will be forwarded to the company within two business days. The company will be asked to respond within 14 days, and if a response is not received, a second request will be made. You will be notified of the company's response when we receive it (or notified that we received no response). Complaints are usually closed within 30 business days.


Industry Tips for Internet Marketing Services


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BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview

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Customer Review Experience Value
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Negative Review 1 point per review

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BBB Letter Grade Scale

BBB Rating Value
A+ 5
A 4.66
A- 4.33
B+ 4
B 3.66
B- 3.33
C+ 3
C 2.66
C- 2.33
D+ 2
D 1.66
D- 1.33
F 1
NR -----
Star Rating scale

  Average Score
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4.5 stars 4.50-4.99
4 stars 4.00-4.49
3.5 stars 3.50-3.99
3 stars 3.00-3.49
2.5 stars 2.50-2.99
2 stars 2.00-2.49
1.5 stars 1.50-1.99
1 star 0-1.49

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