Here are some things readers have sent me about Fortune 21 real estate investment information.

John T. Reed on real-estate-investment information | Real estate investment page | Order form | Real estate investment books

I received a lengthy e-mail complaint about Bob Thornton and a colleague of his named John. The correspondent, David Michael Smith, was unsure of John's last name. They were speakers for Fortune 21. In addition to general unhappiness with the information he received, Smith says he brought deals to them and they rejected them. He also says he sought a refund of his $1,600 seminar fee and got no refund. According to Smith, they claim the deals he brought did not meet their standards, standards which Smith says changed between the seminar and the time they rejected his deals, and that their receipt for his fee had the words "all sales are final " on it. Please contact David Smith and Fortune 21/Real Estate Link to get each side's version of this story.

Here's a response I got from Thornton:

Mr. Reed, I noticed a comment by a former student of mine in your webpage which is erroneous. Mr. David Michael Smith stated that his real estate transactions were presented to me and my partner and rejected. First of all both John and I were an independent contractors with Fortune 21/Real Estate Link and as such had no authority to accept or reject any transactions. This was clearly stated in the program content and the procedures for submission of their transactions to Fortune 21/Real Estate Link was discussed. John's and my mission was purely educational. I felt compelled to respond when I saw the posting regarding me and my teaching partner. I have copied you on the email that I sent to Mr. Smith. I appreciate the objective way in which you presented the issue and suggested to any reader to check the issues for themselves. Bob Thornton

Here is an email I got from Russ Dittmer:

John, Regarding your evaluation of Fortune 21, I found your assessment completely accurate. I would gladly send you the books/software/info I received from the course for you to review as long as I get them back in a reasonable (several months) amount of time. I paid for and went to the seminar. The main reason I went was the strong recommendation from the magazine, Success Magazine. I found the people teaching to more motivational than informational. During the 3 day seminar, they spent a significant amount of time (At least 6 hours total) selling other services, like a credit card merchant account, of course the mentor program, and a property evaluation/management program that cost around $1500. I spent a long time after I had purchased the program, which was contracted to be written and supported by a company called DAS, trying to get the program to run, between crashes and accounting errors. I sent over 40 e-mail reports of both massive and minor bugs and program faults to the head programmer and his manager at DAS. They were grateful and appeared to be working towards solving these problems. During this time, I had tried without success to obtain a refund from Fortune 21, with absolutely no success. After working with a liason at Success Magazine for some time who was really trying to fix the problem but was hobbled by a lack of authority, I decided to try the owner of Success Magazine, since his Company had so strongly promoted the seminars. After finally sending a letter to him, I received a call from his executive secretary indicating they were investigating the problem as they were not pleased with negative comments directed at Success Magazine. I was told several days later that my issue had been resolved and all costs for the seminar and software were being credited, which they finally were. This took over 6 month total time. The manager of DAS also committed to providing me with a final version of the software as compensation for the amount of time I had put into trying to get it working. I have not received this over a year later, and don't really expect to. My e-mails are ignored, as are telephone messages. No real surprise there, though after the poor quality of their product was shown. You might want to put the name of owner of Success Magazine, and his address on your review in case others want to pursue this avenue for a refund!-) Mr. Peter Morris, Owner - Success Magazine, 733 3rd Ave. - 10th Floor, New York, NY 10017

Later email:

I, amazingly, just received the promised copy of the real estate software, and within minutes after installation, I could consistently get the program to crash. Needless to say, the program may look much better, but the functionality is still VERY
suspect. I did, at one time, offer to formally Beta test the program for them, but they chose someone else that cost less, and apparently was not that thorough either.

Russ Dittmer

John T. Reed, a.k.a. John Reed, Jack Reed, 342 Bryan Drive, Alamo, CA 94507, Voice: 925-820-7262, Fax: 925-820-1259, Email: johnreed@johntreed.com