Wednesday, November 21, 2012

If You Have Been Hurt by Zaken

It's been over 6 years since I tried out the Zaken Corporation's supposed opportunity. Since then, I have talked to probably hundreds of people (I've lost count, but on average I get several calls a week). So many people have been hurt, scammed out of hundreds and even thousands of dollars. Check out the previous post to see a video where I discuss them and give you my opinion--the opinion formed over several years and hundreds of phone calls.

The trouble is, Zaken is very careful to operate within the letter of the law. They deliver a product for your initial payment (the infamous "kit"). They provide something for every penny you spend--or at least, pretend to. Directories of companies to call, postcards, "coaching" (which is NOT worth the $2,000 or whatever it is they charge, because most people can hardly get ahold of anyone after spending the money), a website (which never seems to become active, in spite of costing in the neighborhood of $100 a month). If you ask for a refund or question the legitimacy of the business, they often turn nasty. However, they apparently stop short of violating a specific law.

Sure, sometimes comments show up on this blog saying, "Hey, I don't know why you are saying these things; I just closed my 5th deal" or something along that line. I try to delete comments like those. However, if you see such a comment, click on the username. Chances are, they opened their profile the same month they left the comment, and the profile is empty. In contrast, those who are complaining about Zaken nearly always have something in their profile besides their username. So be very careful about believing comments that are supporting Zaken.

So what can you do if you have been hurt? What can you do? The truth is, not much. However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't try. If you paid with a credit card, you can try contesting the charges with your credit card company. If you are being charged monthly, you may want to change your credit card number (be sure to let Zaken know you no longer want the services, and do it in writing so that you have documentation). And speaking of doing it in writing, please make sure you have written documentation of how they have hurt you. If they make a claim and do not deliver, even though you kept up your end, that will give you an edge. If you feel they have violated the law, You can look at the California law to see for sure, then file a complaint with the Attorney General. If they haven't violated a law, but violated their own policies (which you should have in writing), you have legitimate reason to file a complaint. When you call, ask if you can record the conversation, then make sure that you get their consent to record in the recording. This will be helpful in proving what they said in conversation. If they say you can't record the call, quit on the spot and get your money back. (I did record the call once when I talked to them; it is legal if you get their consent.) If you have lost money, file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. File more than one if you have more than one complaint category. You can also try filing a complaint with the Attorney General in your state. It might not do much, but it might do something. Then go to the Ripoff Report and file a report or complaint there. The report at the bottom of the page is written by an ex-employee, and I believe that there is truth in it. If you do all these things, you just might be able to get your money back, or at least some of it.

The Attorney General's office in Oregon suggested that anyone involved in the company can get a copy of the by-laws. If you have purchased a kit, please request a copy. Then let me know what happens.

There is something else you can do. If you use any form of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, etc), please tell your friends to beware of Zaken. A friend of mine just received their flyer, researched, and found this blog, much to her surprise! She did some research and said it sounded so good, but I was able to explain what she was seeing and she threw the kit away. You can help your friends avoid Zaken too. Please get the word out. If Zaken stopped making money, they would have to either change their practices or go out of business.

Let me be very honest here. I make money because Zaken exists. People who come to this site click on ads or take advantage of other offers I make that earn me money. If they ceased to exist, I would lose that tiny income stream (we're talking less than $100 a month).  This helps to pay for expenses related to this site, my time spent helping people, etc. However, I would rather lose that money and see Zaken go down than to keep getting it because they exist. I didn't ever plan to make money on this blog when I started it, and if I stopped making money on it tomorrow, I would still keep it up. I really want people to avoid Zaken. And I will say this: feel free to click on any ads you see on this site, but beware of what they may be offering! Check everything out with the BBB or the Attorney General. Spend nothing you aren't willing to lose.

If you still want to ask me about Zaken, or if you want to tell me your story, you can reach me at 503-919-2145 or mrs [dot] reynoso [at] gmail.com. I would love to hear from you!

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