Saturday, August 6 2022

Sally says:

You have had the most frustrating experience with this forex training company. First, being lured into a sweet sell that you were one of the lucky ones to get a huge discount on the online courses they offer, and then being encouraged to click on a link without, in my notice, be sufficiently warned of the consequences for your payment. This meant that without realizing it, you immediately said goodbye to the roughly £3,000 you had paid.

You haven’t had time to think about your purchase and take full advantage of the 14-day withdrawal period. Although you quickly realized you didn’t want to use Learn to Trade courses and tried to cancel, it forced you to heed the fine print under the “Let’s get started” button that said you would lose “your right removal of content once downloading or streaming had begun”.

The full meaning of that bad catch (i.e. the reason you were told you wouldn’t see your money again) was buried in its many pages of terms and conditions. Despite your polite but increasingly insistent requests, your refund requests have been denied.

I took the cudgels on your behalf. At first it seemed that Learn to Trade felt it was underlying to discuss your case directly with me. He just copied me to another reply which again denied you a refund with the words “your cancellation request has been closed”.

I made other attempts to get in touch, including directly calling Vincent, your “mentor”, but he never answered his phone.

I tried many times and for several days in a row, finally leaving a message on his answering machine with little hope of receiving a return call.

Maybe that message sparked some action, because a few days later, now about two weeks since you first contacted me for help, the company got back to me by my name for inform me that she was “liaising directly” with you and trying to provide a satisfactory result “reflecting terms of sale in accordance with consumer regulations”.

Meanwhile, I spoke to financial expert Alan Smith of wealth manager Capital Asset Management about these types of forex courses widely advertised online.

He had wise words. He suggested that although you may have handed over £3,000 to this company by now, by not going any further with the courses you will have saved yourself the likelihood of much greater losses from the trading that would have inevitably followed. . Individuals do not trade in physical currencies, but in “contracts for difference” or risky CFDs, which are essentially bets on price movements between currency pairs.

Mr Smith said: ‘Very few people make money from this kind of high-risk trading, and those who sign up for courses like these are like lambs for the slaughter. It’s close to the game and the odds of getting it right are slim, even for experts. If there was money to be made, these companies would do it by trading themselves rather than selling courses.

Indeed, the founder of Learn to Trade, Greg Secker, made his fortune by organizing forex courses.

He presents himself as a charitable figure, running a foundation in his own name. On the Learn to Trade website, he drops the names of well-known entrepreneurs and philanthropists he associates with, including Richard Branson.

Mr. Smith’s warnings about the risky nature of this type of trading are even backed up by broker Capital Index, which Learn to Trade directs clients to when making their forex trades (also founded by Mr. Secker). When I logged into their website, a risk warning appeared on the homepage: “84% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs and spread bets with this provider “.

With Learn to Trade resistant to a refund, I suggested you file a chargeback request with your bank, HSBC, because you used your credit card to pay for that unwanted course. A few days later, HSBC refunded the £3,064 to your account.

This did not mean you were off the hook as it takes 45 days to find out whether a merchant’s bank will accept or reject such a claim. The money could be taken back.

Around the same time, you received a surprise email from Learn to Trade stating that they would now consider refunding you – provided you agree to a non-disclosure agreement. I didn’t like the sound of that, and neither did you, so I suggested you don’t do anything until we know the outcome of your chargeback request.

Learn to Trade then emailed you again to withdraw their refund offer for the time being, as they had become aware of the chargeback request.

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