Thank you in advance for your much needed advise.
I am being taken to small claims
court next Wednesday, May 8th.
This is what happened. I am finishing a book and am planning to do speaking engagements and seminars. I have been looking for someone who would help set me up for success. I was referred to a woman who purportedly has a great deal of experience in doing just that. She claimed to have played an integral part of creating the success of Tony Robbins, Mark Victor Hansen and others who she quotes on her web site and based on that success she was charging $10,000 for a one day consultation. She promised that by the end of the day she would leave us with an exclusive manual that she wrote for executives that she had trained, a custom “blueprint” of strategies and structures that would set up my whole business, avoiding mistakes and making the best decisions, and her proprietary “Golden Rolodex” of professional people who would provide specific marketing services at a reasonable cost and who she has personally worked with and could vouch for. Her "Golden Rolodex" would save me tremendous money and time to go right to the best people at the lowest cost and was alone worth thousands of dollars.
Long story short, my brother, wife and I had the $10,000 day. It was a complete waist of time. She forgot the manual, created no blueprint, left us with six pages of elementary work sheets with useless information, and a “Golden Rolodex” consisting of four pieces of paper stapled together with references that everyone is familiar with, for example: Go Daddy. Several contacts were repeated, including her own name and information under different general categories. There were no personal individuals who she had worked with and who we could hire to do the specific marketing that we would need.
Where I went wrong is before she left she asked how we would rate the day and after paying $5,000 in advance for some reason I gave her an 8 out of 10 and signed a contract
to continue. When she left and we debriefed and looked at the materials we were all horrified at what had happened. We were bamboozled.
So, I called her and told her of our disappointment, that we did not want to continue, that we wished to void the contract and the second check for $5,000 would be cancelled. When we spoke, I was very respectful and told her that we were not expecting her to return the $5,000 I already paid, but I could not in good conscience give her an additional $5000. She was appalled and very angry. When I attempted to clarify the difference between what she had promised and what she had delivered, I felt as though I was speaking to a psychotic person who had no ability to "test reality." The truth is, $100 would have been too much for what we gained.
How should I prepare for court? Does it make sense for me to counter sue for the original $5000? I plan to bring my wife, brother and the minimal paperwork she brought to the meeting.
Thank you Very Much again for your support and advise.