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(Sheets name is sometimes misspelled as Carlton Sheets or Carelton Sheets.)
Last update 5/9/02
I have seen Carleton Sheets' infomercials for years. I have tempted by thoughts of working for myself and retiring early so much I have almost purchased his material at least 2-3 times.
This morning I saw another one, this time he is offering all of his material including 4 free videos for only $9.95 (less than $10 - ha ha) to view in your home for 30 days. "You then get to keep the 4 videos even if you return the course."
I was tempted again, but much more suspicious and cautious. For the first time, I called. The first thing the operator asked is my phone number. For some reason I gave it to her. (I will not make that mistake again) She asked if I was interested in purchasing Sheets' materials for only $9.95. I asked how much it would be with shipping. She said, reluctantly, $24.95 for shipping. So now we're up to $35.
I then asked how I would go about returning the materials if for some reason I wanted to. She said she didn't know and gave me an 877 number which, of course, is long distance. I also asked what I would have to pay after the 30 days. She said "3 easy installments of $69.95". Now we're up to $245 at least.
I then wanted to see if there was anything about Sheets on the web and that's when I stumbled onto your site.
I took some real estate in college and I agree with your points on Sheets. I think it's very possible he's trying to just increase his profits.
Thanks for the great work on your site. It has been very informative. Matt Andruscavage
I am a Real Estate investor and I want to commend you on your site. I purchased the Sheets program and paid way too much money. Of course at the time I had no experience so it was helpful to understand the very basics of Real Estate. However, I could have picked up any book and got the same information. You are correct. There are alot of trial and error in Real Estate Investing and no one way is better then the other. It really depends on the situation. I was one of the lucky ones to determine at a real early point that Sheets' No Money Down does not work in the real world. I have purchased 3 properties and in contract for 3 more properties and I have yet to buy one with no money down. In the Oakland-Bay Area, if you tried to offer something no money down, you would be laughed off the street. Unlike most landlords, however, I really like doing Section 8 Housing. There was a lot of learning on the go and I have a good support system. I know
other investors and that helped, but if you were going alone, there are so many things you need to keep track of. Thanks for a great website.
Thanks for the great site and best wishes.
I wish I had run into your website before I purchased the Carleton Sheets "No Money Down Course"; I would have saved myself many headaches and quite a bit of time and money.
During a weak moment, I made the call to order the Sheets' course, mostly out of curiousity with a sliver hope attached. Three months later I'm at a loss as to what to do. What should have cost me $240 (CD version and shipping) has cost me over $730!!
I finally decided to cut my losses and cancelled my credit card. No more unauthorized charges for Mr. Sheets!
My experience began, and should have ended, the night I ordered the course. After ordering the course, the telemarketer began her spiel: "Would you like Carleton's newsletter?" No thank you. "Would you like '?? Steps to Financial Freedom' for a thirty-day trial period?" No thanks. "For only $4.95 a month we can send you... " NO!!! I'm sure you get the idea. After ten minutes of these offers, I became irritated and told the telemarketer that I was only interested in the course I called for and if she tried to sell me one more thing, I would cancel my order. Probably the only intelligent move I made in this entire ordeal was to give them a bogus phone number, avoiding other telemarketing calls.
Eleven days later my course arrived. I payed $30 for 2nd day air, yet it still took a week and a half to arrive. That was blamed on Fed Ex, yet oddly enough there wasn't a 2nd day air sticker anywhere on the package.
I didn't open the package for a few days, but when I did it took me about 2 hours to decide it wasn't for me. These may be thoughts of an inexperienced investor, but I wasn't about to ask a potential "motivated seller" to basically loan me $20,000 (carry a second mortgage). Most of the techniques made no financial sense to me and most bordered on unethical practices. This course could be more aptly named, "Recipe for Bankruptcy".
I procrastinated for two weeks before calling for instructions on how to return the course before my thirty-day trial period was up. I was given a mild lecture on "never getting anywhere in life without trying new things" and "maybe all you need is a personal mentor..."; another sales pitch, of course! Long story short, I played ping-pong with the course as I sent it back to Carleton as instructed, but less than a week later, again it was on my doorstep! My thirty-day trial had elapsed. Looking back I should have cancelled my credit card at this time, but I'm a trusting guy and continued to try to work this out.
Around this time my credit card statement came and I found out that Carleton's Clan had already zapped my card for $190. This was odd to me that my card was accessed only three weeks into my thirty-day free trial period. It was also odd that $190 was taken when I only authorized three $80 charges over three months. Another call to Carleton produced an argument over billing procedures and free trial periods. I was so frustrated that I decided to keep the course and authorized them to charge me $50 the next month to pay for the course in full and be done with them.
One month later my credit card statement came and I had been charged a total of over $260 in five different transactions. I had now been billed over $450 for my Carleton Sheets course. This led to a call which took me well over two hours of arguments. I was disconnected while on hold twice and was also hung up on. I was now paying for almost everything I had said no to when I first ordered the course. What made this even worse was the fact that I had not received any of this except for one $8 four-page newsletter. I even agreed to pay for the one newsletter as long as the other $200-plus was credited back to my card. I feel like a fool for being so trusting, but...
I checked periodically throughout the month with Visa to see if the money had been credited back and it hadn't. Again, being overly trusting and allowing them thirty days to complete the transaction I let it go. Saturday afternoon my credit card statement came. Not only were there no credits to my card from Carleton Sheets, but it was accessed four more times for over $280. I don't know if it was by design or coincedence, but these charges came on the final day of my billing period!
The card is now closed and Visa seems to be on my side and will try to help recoup or absorb some of my losses. I have to add to the losses tomorrow by taking the day off of work to talk to Visa, Carleton Sheets, and my attorney.
I'm sorry this has been so long-winded, but I thought if you could use this in any way to discourage someone else from making the same mistake as I have, you have my blessing. Thanks for your time Mr. Reed.
I was reading the updates on your website concerning Carleton Sheets. Someone reported to you that they received (and were charged for) materials they did not order from the Carleton Sheets company. Well, just an FYI, the same thing happened to me! They sent me 3 tapes I did not order and charged them to my credit card. I watched the tapes and sent them back. It took old Carleton 6 months to credit my card for the return!Yes you may quote me.
Just to clarify here is exactly how it happened. I ordered the basic course with regular delivery of 4-6 weeks. I did not order the quick delivery option of 1 week. I was surprised when I got the course in 1 week. There was no invoice in the Sheets package which I thought was strange. When you order items through the mail, you generally receive paperwork stating what was delivered and how much you were charged. Since there was no paperwork, I call my cc company to see what the charges were. The charges on my order were about $90.00 over the price of the course. So I called the Sheets organization to see exactly why the charges were so high. They said I ordered 3 additional tapes along with the basic course. I told them that I did not order the tapes and wanted to send them back. I told the Sheets operator that I had no idea that the tapes were not part of the basic course SINCE THERE WAS NO PAPERWORK IN THE BOX THEY DELIVERED TO MY HOME! And, I had already watched the tapes which were not worth $90.00. I sent the tapes back and it took the Sheets organization 6 months to remove the charge from my card. I then cancelled the card jus to be on the safe side. Matt Fletcher
I was in the home rehab business for approximately 5 years, with great success.
I have since left the business, but have frequently looked into possibly rehabbing 1 or 2 properties per year due to the fact that I love the transformation from an old run down house to a nice home for someone and their family.
Anyway, in my experiences since leaving the business, I have found NUMEROUS people that would also like to get started into the business, and have parted ways abruptly after learning that they wanted to follow the guidelines set by the GURUS.
Sheets is not the only bad guru by any means, but hopefully your information will guide others away from these people.
I have learned in my experiences that it is usually best to follow your heart, take it SLOW, and trust only those directly involved for your interests. (Inspectors, appraisers, etc.)
their systems DO NOT WORK, as you said, and I wish the word could be spread a little better, and these people could find the same joy I did in the rehab business.
Just wanted to say that you are dead on in your writings.
sincerely, mark Ford