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Attending StoresOnline.com's Kentucky seminars?

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BBB says company offering 'free seminars' has hundreds of complaints and an "F" rating

The Better Business Bureau serving Louisville, Southern Indiana, and Western Kentucky has learned that a Utah business, StoresOnline, will offer several seminars in our area this week.  
 
The seminar invitation from Storesonline.com offers entrepreneurs "with little marketing experience" a lesson on how to make money on the Internet by attending one of the company's free breakfast, lunch, or dinner seminars. The company offers the initial seminar for free. However there is a cost for getting the software required to run an online business, and a later seminar may lead consumers to spend hundreds or thousands more for other company products promoted as necessary to "assure success."
 
"There is no such thing as a 'free lunch," says BBB President Charlie Mattingly. "Don't be pressured into signing a contract or paying anything until you fully research a business and the offer you are considering. An offer that is good today will be good tomorrow.  Checking the company out at www.bbb.org is a great place to start when researching a business."
 
Storesonline.com has an "F" rating with the BBB. The BBB system has received more than 800 complaints against the company in the last 36 months. Complaints against Storesonline.com include allegations of misleading claims made to seminar participants concerning software sold, earnings potential, unauthorized bank debits, unauthorized credit card charges and the company's refund policy. The company has also been named in government actions in several states and has been fined and ordered to cease deceptive sales in some states.
The company is holding seminars on these dates in these locations:
 
February 8, 2011 - The Historic State Theater, Elizabethtown, KY
February 9, 2011 - Best Western General Nelson Inn, Bardstown, KY
February 11, 2011 - The Seelbach Hilton, Louisville, KY
February 12, 2011 - Hyatt Regency, Louisville, KY
 
In the invitation, the company offers "free" internet marketing strategies, and a free MP3 Player to entice attendees.
With the boom in online business, there is a corresponding boom in companies that claim they can teach the everyday consumer how to conduct a successful online business. Consumers who plan to attend any "how-to" seminar should be aware that in most cases the presenters will promote products and services that are for sale.
 
The BBB offers the following advice:
 
·         Before purchasing anything at a "how-to" seminar, check out the company with the BBB (go to www.bbb.org).

·         Obtain all promises in writing - read all contracts and materials prior to purchase.

·         Be sure to read and understand any cancellation policies or guarantees before making any purchases.

·         Individuals interested in home-based businesses need to consider all aspects and costs of starting and operating a business. This may include licensing, advertising, bookkeeping and other related expenses.