My mobile rang: – “Hello ?” – I greet the unknown caller

“Oh, hello. Is this Mr Kristanda ?” – a pretty voice on the other side.

“Mr. Kristanda, we have a problem with your credit card, sir …”

This big international seminar promoter “Empowernet” who carry some big name such Anthonny Robbins on their pay check, contacted me in relation to my installment payment of one of the program that they sell.

For you that ever go to any motivational or investing seminar, you should know this scheme. The presenter shows great product then he/she offers big discount to buy the product “only for today”, “for the first x person” and “save $x000”. This scheme is one of the main cash flow for any seminar promoter as they got big chunk of the proceed (at least 50%) as their commission and time slot on their seminar.

I am one of that ‘victim’ :-) … Well, to my defend, as I want to buy the product and it’s still affordable and furthermore they provide 3 installments without interest, why not ?

The big problem with this company is their administration and infrastructure are not good terrible. Judge yourself: broken sign-up page on the website, no confirmation/ receipt after online purchase (both programming related error), non-responsive customer service / technical support (I try to feedback those website problem with email/call for three months without any response) and the account is a bit chaos.

My credit card was supposed to be charged 4 weeks apart for “easy budgeting”: November (purchase month), December and January. Somehow they “forget” to charge the December one. They just charge the January one on 30th, and this call is 1 week after that. Yes, this time I am on the advantage as payment delay always good for customer.

“Is this for the final payment?”, I asked the girl
“I think I remember that you just charged my credit card last week”, I am probing whether they know that the missed the December payment.
“O, yes, sir. We did not charge your credit card on December, so this is the final one.” So, they know exactly.

Probably she is under pressure to take the money as soon as possible.

“OK, what’s the problem with my credit card ?” (Genuine question, the credit limit still quite far)
“Hmm, yes, Sir. We cannot charge your credit card. We got the message from the computer”

“What is the message?”
“It’s.. Host Not Found. Do you have any alternative credit card?”

(What the ???? :-P …lol… I almost chuckle immediately, but I just cough. Then, I just told her to contact IT support. For non-geek: the real problem she had was the internet connection, not the credit card)

Knowing that on Feb 2008 (that month) there is scheduled for Extraordinary General Meeting, it is clear to me that they are in a hurry to patch up the Half Yearly report. The company is in $320k loss the year ended 31 Jan 2007.