UPDATE: Lawsuits in Progress

That’s right folks, both the Attorney General from the state of Washington and Amazon have filed lawsuits against FBA Stores, LLC:

http://www.atg.wa.gov/news/news-releases/ag-ferguson-amazon-sue-over-get-rich-quick-scam

https://www.geekwire.com/2017/amazon-washington-ag-sue-con-artists-claiming-insider-knowledge-affiliation-retail-giant-classes-aspiring-third-party-sellers/

I quote:

The Bowsers do not and cannot deliver on their false promises because they have no special information about Amazon and no way to offer consumers any advantage as Amazon sellers; worse yet, the Bowsers actively mislead consumers about Amazon’s systems and what is permissible under Amazon’s selling policies. When the Bowsers’ victims realize they have been duped (as many eventually do), the Bowsers refuse to return those victims’ money.

Although I’m not sure if the Washington Attorney General will be able to help those outside of their state, I would encourage you to file a complaint with your local state AG office.

Amazon also has established a hotline for sellers with complaints about “FBA Stores”: +1 206-676-7071

I have also become aware of a lawyer who is familiar with FBA Stores and is willing to represent clients with claims against them. Please contact me for more information.

I sincerely hope that everyone across the world who has been negatively impacted by this group finds resolution and restitution with this. I suppose we’ve all learned our lessons about wisely investing our resources.

Whatever justice is served at the end of the day, please remember to learn the lesson here in forgiveness. Money comes, money goes, struggles are real and life goes on. The chance to witness such crime first-hand is rare; those who can survive and forgive despite the injury are still rarer gems.

 

 

 

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Never Surrender

I wanted to forget. I listened and was tempted to buy in because I wanted to believe, but in the end I was unconvinced. It turns out my gut feeling served me well. As an independent blogger struggling with health issues, it bothers me deeply to continue receiving email from readers containing ever more negative stories regarding FBA Stores, Adam Bowser, and his related properties.

Let me clarify: I really appreciate the emails, and am incredibly sympathetic toward everyone’s challenges. I apologize for not being able to respond personally to each situation though I will do my best to take a closer look and offer feedback as my health allows.

For now, the biggest lesson of this experience is that it is much much better to have a legal assistance before it is needed than to scramble around catching up. Whether you found this site seeking to resolve your current issue with FBA Stores or are considering investing in this enterprise (spoiler: don’t do it), I would direct your attention to Legal Shield as an excellent tool for both resolving and preventing expensive disasters.

The Price of Wisdom

If only we had known, there could have been a lot of time, money, and heartache saved. Half the point of this site is to warn those considering handing over cash to Adam Bowser by letting them know what to expect. I was advised by my attorney that I would be safe as long as I carefully reported only the truth, and I pay very close attention to make sure everything that I say is my actual experience.

Which brings me to an issue: because I can’t personally verify your stories emailed in, I don’t feel comfortable posting them here. However, the beauty of WordPress is that you are more than welcome to leave a comment with your story for viewers to read. I highly encourage sharing what you are comfortable with to help others decide how to spend their precious resources.  If you don’t have an account for this platform, I just made a page on Facebook to gather more testimony there as well.

Since FBA Stores isn’t done touring their circus around and running off with people’s retirements, I’m going to share some thoughts about the biggest problem I’ve been contacted about, and what can be done about it: How to Get your Money Back. I’ll do the best that I can to outline a process, but the truth is everyone’s situation is different and there are a wide variety of factors that influence the outcome. The most important thing to do is share your experience so that your hard earned wisdom is not lost.

There is a real 1-sentence answer: Ask a Lawyer. In this struggle, Legal Shield has risen to the top as the most affordable and effective solution for me.

Ignorance is Expensive

Let’s face it – we bought into FBA Stores training because we didn’t know. They did a good job presenting themselves, their product, and their offer. Unfortunately behind the façade experiences diverge. What you will be able to recover will depend on your behavior and attention to detail from the start, and the effort you’re willing and able to put in from here on out.

I wasn’t able to get my money back from the in-person training, but I also didn’t even bother to try because I didn’t feel I had a good argument for it. I attended the sessions, they delivered what they said they would – there was no basis in my case for a refund. However, in the follow-up their salesman went beyond his authority and sold me a package he wasn’t allowed to. When it became clear FBA Stores had no intention of delivering what I (thought I had) bought, I knew I had to speak up or kiss my investment goodbye.

FBA Stores Contracts
Identify the breach, or ask a professional for help

Business, at the end of the day, is run by people. This means that any “business problem” there is to be solved is ultimately being held up by one person’s attention or lack thereof. In the US, businesses operate through Contract Law, which basically says that you are bound to anything written on an agreement that you sign. I’ve gotten complaints about Adam’s FBA Amazon Profits Workshop from the UK now too, and I assume they have a similar system as well. It’s important to know the rules of the field so to speak, because what you need to do is convince these people that you will not rest until justice has been delivered.

Here’s the catch: our resources are limited and precious. They (FBA Stores) have millions of dollars at their disposal, not to mention the however many thousands of ours in their grip now as well. This means that if you are not truly correct, you really aren’t going to win. Another way to say this is you only get your money back if you deserve it back. Never surrender if you’re right, but don’t even bother if you’re not. The legal basis for returning your money is a breach of contract, so this will be the topic of our discussion.

Let’s make a Lawsuit

I am not a lawyer, and nothing I say should be constituted as legal advice. When FBA Stores came to stop me from sharing my story with friends, neighbors, and the world, I knew I needed a lawyer. Of course I first turned to family friends, but they were limited in their abilities to help me based on their specialties in the law. Further, I could only ask for so much for free.

My next thought was to use the public facing e-mail contact forms for all the local firms in my area and solicit bids for assistance. This would raise some awareness of my plight, but as personal one-on-one time with legal professionals is notoriously expensive, I decided against this strategy. Next in line were some free counseling services provided by local agencies to help entrepreneurs, but I was unable to squeeze into their limited pro bono schedules. Eventually I remembered a program a co-worker had brought up to me a year or more ago: Legal Shield.

It’s not a pre-paid legal services deal in that you can get much, much more value from the amount that you pay. It’s more like legal insurance: you pay $15 monthly to have a lawyer on-call for any questions you may have. If you’ve lost more than a few hundred dollars to FBA Stores I would highly suggest giving this service a try. It will allow you to ask unlimited questions about your case to a local law firm who’ll even help if you need to file a lawsuit! And once you’ve asked all the legal questions your heart desires you’re free to cancel at any time.

I called Legal Shield up and asked some questions about the possibility of suing. They said it may be possible depending on the breach of contract, but every situation should be looked at closely by an attorney. And if you send over your contract, they will review it and offer suggestions on how to proceed. I was told that filing a lawsuit in a circuit court typically requires a retainer of $5,000 – $10,000, so to those who are experiencing significant financial damages because of Fulfillment by Adam, I would seriously suggest considering pursuing the issue further.

There is a fine line between a plainly poor product and a breach of contract. This is what a lawyer can help you determine. More importantly, legal professionals put the weight of their reputation and knowledge behind their suggestions. In this world where we are ultimately and solely accountable to our own actions, lawyers make a profession out of lending us their accountability and wisdom. For this we pay an extremely high price. Now thanks to the leveling power of the internet, you too can talk to a lawyer and get real answers for less than the price of a book on the subject:

Check out Legal Shield Here (You’ll get a bunch of neat stuff with your sub too!)

Having used it to resolve my pressing issues regarding this case, I was pleased to find out they have an attractive affiliate program as well. If the service helps resolve your problem, consider building a team to market this product as well. My next project is on this subject [link forthcoming].

Preparing to Fight

Here’s the battle plan:

  1. Get documents in order
  2. File complaints
  3. Persist to satisfaction
  4. Move on

Sound good? We line up the facts, express our concern to people who may be concerned, and stick on the problem until it is solved. Then we celebrate a bit and move on!

I don’t personally keep a journal, but do use the calendar in my phone as a record of important phone calls and appointments. Having an accurate accounting of the series of events leading up to the current situation is a definite benefit. When did you first hear about the seminar? What day were the contracts signed? When did you decide to ask for a refund? How many days has it been since the last time they contacted you? Who have you talked to?

If you can’t recreate a perfect timeline of what has already happened, just do your best to remember what you can and start paying more attention now.  I suggest using a spreadsheet (Excel, GSheets) or at least a notebook to list significant dates and interactions. First we want to know the order of things happening, then we want to see all the agreements (promises) on the table. Finally we can ask how things went sour and why it hasn’t been resolved yet. Review your contract and make clear the details where violations occurred and resolutions have not (this is a good place to rely on the advice of a legal professional).

To have found this site means you must already be experiencing a measure of frustration with the process and the people already. Having put your timeline in order, let’s voice your concern in a reasonable, factual, and productive manner.

FBA Stores came to your city with promises, took your money, and delivered something different. This is not ok, and you can do something about it: use your timeline to write a few paragraphs summarizing your situation, copy-paste it into web forms and sprinkle in details you think might be relevant.

Who ya gonna call?

The first call is to your Lawyer. If you don’t have one, get one here: real, affordable, local representation. The next calls are to the agencies who are interested in cases like ours. Here’s an idea of what some look for:

Federal Bureau of Investigation – https://tips.fbi.gov/

Members of the public can report violations of law (i.e. breaking a contract) and criminal activities. The FBI is concerned with violations of law across state boarders, i.e. if you have a case against the Amazon Profits Workshop circus please bring it to their attention. Read my complaint here for inspiration: FBA Stores FBI Complaint

Attorney General – http://ag.hawaii.gov/

The Attorney General is your state’s chief law enforcement officer and legal advisor. They are interested in scams being perpetrated in their state. Your state attorney general should have a contact form on their .gov website.

Federal Trade Commission – https://www.ftc.gov/

The FTC would like to help consumer detect patterns of fraud and abuse in the marketplace. If you have had an unfortunate experience with a company because of this, the FTC provides a claim form with an assistant to categorize your complaint.

Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) – http://cca.hawaii.gov/

What FBA Stores is doing saddens me, and I would like to believe that letting our officials know about such activities will eventually lead to enough red flags being raised for action to occur. Beyond this, there are other public media channels that are available to you to help steer others clear from making unpleasant investments:

Consumer Advisory sites – www.bbb.orgwww.scamadvisor.comwww.ripoffreport.comwww.reviewopedia.org   – www.complaintsboard.com

I clearly remember the Amazon Success Workshop presenter scoffing at these type of sites because they force you to pay to be included in their rankings. Don’t bother looking at them! (Note to self: this advice is a RED FLAG) My goal with this site is to convince whoever might be find it to save themselves from being sorely disappointed by FBA Stores, or find recourse for those who have already been harmed. Consumer advocacy organizations are large groups with similar goals, and are our friends.

With your story already written out, it’s both easy and useful to share it at these publicly visible sites. Why would a satisfied customer go through multiple channels to voices their complaint? Imagine that… well, unfortunately you probably don’t have to. Let us raise a tide of red flags to get this to stop.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc

We all have influence, and to the degree that we are able we should warn others around us of danger. Why would we not? Don’t be afraid to use your social media platforms to share your experience. Realize, however, that all that you post reflects who you are. Be careful about your being. Posting a link to this site, or your comment left here whenever you interact with these people is a simple way to sprinkle it in. Please join me on Facebook to raise more awareness and gather more testimony so that future issues can be avoided and resolved!

Word of Mouth

In a similar vein, be careful about the beings near and dear to you. Nothing is more important than our family and friends whom we interact with day to day or from time to time. Please speak up about your experience if you find yourself with a fellow who might be considering an investment of this type. Remember your own enthusiasm and practicality when you were investing in FBA Stores and speak to the outcome of the episode. Recommend accurate record keeping and extreme attention to detail if nothing less.

WordPress.com or other blogging platforms

You are more than welcome to literally copy the entire format and structure of this website for free. Nothing’s stopping you from this. Don’t steal my story (now I know a lawyer who can help me sue!), but replace my story with yours and you’ll have your very own personal brochure and testimony for a solid product that you can honestly get behind. Plus you’ll be creating useful content for people to find and learn from to avoid costly mistakes. Even better, Forget FBA Stores altogether and blog about the things you Love.

Ready to move on and make money? Join the Legal Shield associates program today and you’ll be connected with a local team of movers and shakers in your area ready to help you launch!

RED FLAG THIS BUSINESS

If you’re thinking of going to the Amazon Profits Workshop or Seminar, stop. Save your precious time and money.  Do not work with Adam Bowser or any of his related names.

If FBA Stores has already taken your money and has failed to deliver, please leave a comment here and file a complaint at https://tips.fbi.gov/

I offered this letter: FBA Stores FBI Complaint

Seriously, to me this looks like a simple case of nationwide fraud which the FBI should be able to uncover easily if everyone who has been affected speaks up and tells their story. The truth will speak for itself. Going from town to town taking peoples money with the promise of big returns is nothing new.

Case in point: I spent hours making this site instead of managing the Amazon store I bought from Fulfillment By Adam. His friend Al Schwietzer approached me trying to resolve the issue by buying my silence, and I really considered his offer which is why the site has been private for the past few weeks. His ploy to stall me worked, but only just. I know I’m not the only one who has been harmed by Adam Bowser and his accomplices.

It is clear to me now that his intentions are not aligned with mine. He has proven to fit right in with an organization that makes big promises, delivers stupid technicalities, and runs away to the bank with your life savings.  Not good. Business will only succeed with good people, and it appears Adam Bowser has surrounded himself with quite the opposite.

For your interest, the current state of negotiations is presented below. I left a message yesterday (3/24/17), but I guess he was too busy partying all week follow up. Well, have my decision Al.

From: Al Schweitzer
Sent: Sunday, March 19, 2017 10:06 AM
To: Tijay Syn-Rodrigues
Subject: RE: Non-Disparagement Agreement

Tijay,

I’m still at our Summit event in Las Vegas, as I hadnt planed on attending at all, really messed with my schedule. I will do my best to get with you tomorrow.

Best,

Al

On Mar 17, 2017 10:38 AM, “Tijay Syn-Rodrigues” <Tijay.Brown@outlook.com> wrote:

Hi Al,

On the phone I heard that we agreed that you would work with your legal team to create a contract that was agreeable to us both. I wrote what I wanted, and I still want these things. Perhaps you should have read what I sent before you forwarded it to Legal.

Now you have not responded with a contract, rather an ultimatum demanding your original agreement be signed as written. This is very, very distasteful. Mahalo for trying to sour my day, I hope this is an adequate response. I’ve only ever driven by, but Nevada seems like a very beautiful place in its own right if you care to see it.

I’ve included an edit closer to your original draft, but I maintain that I will not give up my right to speak my peace, good or bad, in private. If you don’t want disparaging statements made about you, don’t do things like let salesmen make bad promises and only follow up with the complaint because I made my voice public. Don’t make an idiotic demand to sign an agreement that doesn’t even have the terms we agreed on in it, even less my name spelled correctly. Well, I guess you are exactly the kind of person who has just done this kind of thing. How disparaging is this?

I have no desire to “disparage” you, neither a desire to have my right to free speech in private curtailed. I want this to work, but the people involved keep doing these wacky unexpected things like vanish as soon as they complete their transaction with me. I bet you’re starting to see the light already too.

Your company guaranteed to work with me until I earned back my investment. Instead you returned my money and are now telling me to shut up by effectively buying me out. I don’t like it at all, but I want golden coins and this seems to be a good way for it. If you can trust that I won’t defame you in private, perhaps I can trust you to deliver the product that you people sold me the first place.

Honestly though I’d rather a partner who admits their error and would double down on their generosity because they are confident in their ability to earn a positive review instead of complain that I’m being unreasonable because I need more assurance that I’m not wasting my time.  Whatever. You’ve got how much ghost money to find instead of reading this, right Al?

Finally, I insist that any complaints be handled personally if possible and then through professional mediation if necessary before approaching any court. I’m sure I have as much desire to stand before a judge for this as you have for our lovely conversations to end.

I have attached a signed copy of the agreement I am willing to make with you. Please complete our interaction with this.

Aloha,

Tijay

From: Al Schweitzer
Sent: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 12:17 AM
To: Tijay Brown
Subject: Non-Disparagement Agreement

Good Morning Tijay,

Hope all is well, then again, how could it not be, you are living in paradise.

Upon receipt of your written desired changes to the Non-Disparagement Agreement, I immediately forwarded your desires to the legal department.

I am somewhat surprised and disappointed, in that in our most recent conversation, the only item that was discussed, was your concern that the Agreement as written would prevent you from having a simple conversation, with say, a life long friend, and in that conversation, the Agreement would prevent you from telling your friend that you had a negative experience with FBA. It was your feeling that you couldn’t live with this, as it would be too easy to “slip” and therefore violate the Agreement. I assured that it wasn’t our intention to prevent you from having personal and private conversations with your life long social circle, but to obtain your commitment that you wouldn’t intentionally disparage FBA either privately, and more so publicly; or to create situation where you have an associate do the disparaging for you, hence the total removal of the word press website.

I left the above conversation believing we had resolved your issues, as well as those of FBA, and was looking forward to witnessing the growth of your entrepreneurial endeavor?

Let me assure you that the Non-Disparagement Agreement drafted for you, is considered within the “norms”.

It should be no surprise to you, that with me believing we had resolved the situation and were prepared to move forward, based on our verbal agreements, imagine my disappointment in reviewing your modifications that go far and away from anything we discussed , either in our most recent conversation, and or in previous ones, in that as written, you want the ability to disparage FBA privately to anyone you want-including anyone at FBA events, or the ability to tell a friend to put up a website that disparages FBA. This is not acceptable. What we negotiated for is No Disparagement, period. That includes private conversations. This is the nor. It appears you want loopholes.

Further, you want to keep your disparaging website up, but not allow public access?

What would be the point, other than to disparage us privately?

Also requested was the ability to write an “honest review”.

In addition, you’ve also requested a timeline and details of what FBA would be delivering. The details have been provided to you, and the timeline is based on your progress, more so than ours.

Request for financial relief if FBA fails to deliver? FBA long ago refunded your total investment, and even after doing so, I contacted you to see how we might meet your expectations and create a successful experience for you. It was you your self who admitted you invested the $3,000 for the training, because the sales consultant mistaken offered you services that we only provide for those that invest at a significantly higher level, approximately 10 times your investment. It was you that recognized the value of what he mistakenly offered you, and after accepting his offer, the majority of your dissatisfaction was a result of your expecting these advance services, and in fact they weren’t being provided to you, even though you admitted to me, you recognized that this was probably an error.

Once again, you re asking for “Additional Bonus Product” something that was denied some weeks ago.

Unfortunately, per the legal department, your proposed changes are far from the terms and conditions you and I agreed to move forward with, as well as far from the norm in a Non-Disparagement Agreement.

I have been very clear in describing precisely what “services” Chris and Adam are prepared to provide you with, in an effort to help you succeed in your online business. The services that they proposed to offer you, are only available to those students that invest a significant amount of money, so we both know the value of what you potentially are to receive from FBA. Chris and Adam have been extremely generous in their proposal, offering to provide you with numerous tools to help in your success.

I have been directed at this point, to once again reiterate FBA’s offer to you,  provided you agree to, and execute the Non-Disparagement Agreement as it is written.

That being said, I can allow you till close of business Friday, March 17, 2017 in which to make a final decision. If you decide not to accept FBA’s offer, I will be required to forward the situation to the legal department.

It is my belief, based on your situation and goals  that you shared with me, this represents a tremendous business opportunity for you. It is my hope that you’ll understand FBA’s position, and that we can all move forward from here.

I’ll await your decision.

Best regards,

Al Schweitzer

The revised agreement sent: FBA _ RODRIGUES AGREEMENT final- TJ edits 3.17.17

After contemplating the model for a few weeks I realized that this entire model has a major flaw even if it might produce a tidy profit: to be making money you will always need to be shipping something. Is there a better way? Why, yes their is: selling intellectual property. Once its digital, making copies is essentially free and limitless.

Here’s the deal: this whole situation has led me to seek prepaid legal services for any future issues of this type, and it turns out the one I’m looking at uses a nationwide network of local firms and has an interesting opportunity for their new affiliates. I’m making a plan to give it an honest try, because why not. FBA Stores had their chance.

If you’re interested in trying a new hussle in your area, please get in touch with me!

HELP – Adam Bowser of FBA Stores is Trying to Silence Me

Uh oh. I need legal help. FBA Stores, a multimillion dollar from the continental United States of America (Boston specifically, with a warehouse in Las Vegas) is threatening to sue me if I do not agree to their terms and take down my website. Guess I should have thought about that before opening my big mouth and sharing about my honest experience with them. See why I don’t want people like this in my backyard?

Story goes like this: their salesman sold me something he should not have. When these “bonuses” did not show up in the contract, I started asking about them. I felt like I was getting stonewalled and perhaps robbed, so I demanded my money it be returned. After all, I did go through 2 of the 3 “coaching sessions” which is what my receipt actually said – but I only agreed to the purchase because I wanted the “bonuses” that the salesman should not have offered me in the first place.

But he did. And instead of resolving the situation, my money was returned and communications stopped. I felt kicked out of the club, so I made this website to share my point of view; Adam Bowser made a handful of fake sites to bury it. A month later they tried shipping products to my home in Hawaii again, I said “Whoa hold up!” and referred them to the site. Now, they have tasked Al specifically to deal with my issue and get this site down! It’s private now, which is actually kinda cool because I got to see a few others interested in this endeavor. I may need to make the site public again this week as I beg for help to understand this contract.

This is what he sent me (skip for the analysis):

AGREEMENT  

This Agreement (“Agreement”) is made effective as of February 21, 2017, by and between FBA STORES, LLC (“(hereafter “FBA”)”), of P.O. BOX 4470, Stateline, Nevada, 89449 and Tijay Syn-Rodrigues (“(hereafter “Rodrigues”)”), of 2888 Ala Liima Street, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96818.   FBA and Rodrigues are hereafter referred to as “the Parties.”

  1. WHEREAS, FBA is engaged in the business of e-Commerce and trains students who wish to learn how to operate a store on Amazon; and
  1. WHEREAS, Rodrigues became a student of FBA; and
  1. WHEREAS, the Parties wish to enter into this agreement to mutually benefit each other at this time.

NOW THEREFORE, in consideration of the mutual promises herein, the Parties agree as follows:

FBA AGREES:  to provide services to Rodrigues.  Specifically, FBA has or shall:

  1. Refunded 100% of Rogrigues’ investment he paid to FBA;
  1. Provide Rodrigues four (4) additional coaching sessions;
  1. Provide Rodrigues with fulfillment by Adam Bowser: Standard fees apply, i.e., $0.15 per item or minimum $35.00 per order;
  1. Handle merchandise that Rodrigues has sourced and purchased; and
  1. Permit Rodrigues to purchase inventory from FBA.

RODRIGUES AGREES:  in exchange for the above concessions provided by FBA, to  dismantle, take down, close and no longer operate or allow to be operated a WordPress site that Rodrigues created or caused to be created and which contains derogatory statements about FBA, FBA’s services, training, events and / or  personnel.  Rodrigues also agrees to execute this Non-Disparagement Agreement and agrees not to make any statements, written or verbal, or cause or encourage others to make any statements, written or verbal, that defame, disparage or in any way criticize the personal or business reputation, practices, or conduct of (hereafter “FBA”), its services, training, events and / or personnel. The Parties acknowledge and agree that this prohibition extends to statements, written or verbal, made to anyone, including but not limited to, websites, social media, the internet, the news media, investors, potential investors, industry analysts, competitors, strategic partners, vendors, employees (past and present), clients and other FBA students.

The Parties understand and agree that the above Paragraph is a material provision of this Agreement and that any breach of this Paragraph shall be a material breach of this Agreement, and that FBA would be irreparably harmed by violation of this provision.

INJUNCTIVE RELIEF.  Rodrigues understands that, in the event he breaches this Agreement, FBA may suffer irreparable harm and will, therefore, be entitled to injunctive relief without the posting of a bond or other guarantee, to enforce this Agreement. This provision is not a waiver of any other rights that FBA may have under this Agreement, including the right to recover attorneys’ fees and costs to cover the expenses it incurs in seeking to enforce this Agreement, as well as to any other remedies available to it, including money damages.

NOTICES:  The Parties shall receive written notices concerning this Agreement at the addresses below.  Such addresses may be changed from time to time by either party by providing written notice in the manner set forth as follows:

FBA STORES, LLC

Adam Bowser,  Manager

P.O. BOX 4470

STATELINE, Nevada 89449

 

TIJAY SYN-RODRIGUES

2888 Ala Liima Street

Honolulu, Hawaii 96818

 

ENTIRE AGREEMENT. This Agreement contains the entire agreement of the parties and there are no other promises or conditions in any other agreement whether oral or written. This Agreement supersedes any prior written or oral agreements between the parties.

AMENDMENT. This Agreement may be modified or amended, if the amendment is made in writing and is signed by both parties.

SEVERABILITY. If any provisions of this Agreement shall be held to be invalid or unenforceable for any reason, the remaining provisions shall continue to be valid and enforceable. If a court finds that any provision of this Agreement is invalid or unenforceable, but that by limiting such provision it would become valid or enforceable, then such provision shall be deemed to be written, construed, and enforced as so limited.

WAIVER OF CONTRACTUAL RIGHT. The failure of either party to enforce any provision of this Agreement shall not be construed as a waiver or limitation of that party’s right to subsequently enforce and compel strict compliance with every provision of this Agreement.

APPLICABLE LAW. This Agreement shall be governed by the laws of the State of Nevada.

SIGNATURES. This Agreement shall be signed on behalf of FBA STORES, LLC by Allen Schweitzer, its Personnel Director, and by Tijay Syn-Rodrigues.

AGREED TO AND ACCEPTED.

PARTIES:

By:___________________________            Date: ______________________

Allen Schweitzer

Personnel Director

FBA STORES, LLC

__________________________________     Date: ______________________

Tijay Syn-Rodrigues

 

 

What to do.

I had a friend once who tried to get me to sign up for pre-paid legal services just for situations like this, better call him up and see if he can help and maybe sign up. Facebook came up with Mom so we’ll see if she knows anyone on Maui. This situation feels like it is worth dropping the cash to have it looked at professionally, but I don’t have a relationship with a law firm here so I get to knock on a bunch of doors to find someone I trust.

I do trust my education and common sense though. After all, the intent of the contract is to silence me – this much is clear. My understanding of reading legal documents is you just look closely at everything because every sentence has significant meaning. The trick is picking out the truly important slices and reading them correctly. That’s why you need a pro who’ll stick their reputation on their advice. But let’s give it a gander and check my thoughts against reality later:

AGREEMENT 

This Agreement (“Agreement”) is made effective as of February 21, 2017, by and between FBA STORES, LLC (“(hereafter “FBA”)”), of P.O. BOX 4470, Stateline, Nevada, 89449 and Tijay Syn-Rodrigues (“(hereafter “Rodrigues”)”), of 2888 Ala Liima Street, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96818.   FBA and Rodrigues are hereafter referred to as “the Parties.”

  1. WHEREAS, FBA is engaged in the business of e-Commerce and trains students who wish to learn how to operate a store on Amazon; and
  2. WHEREAS, Rodrigues became a student of FBA; and
  3. WHEREAS, the Parties wish to enter into this agreement to mutually benefit each other at this time.

My address is wrong. That’s a bad sign, or maybe a simple error to fix. Actually maybe not because it might throw off my pal Al when his buddies come tracking me down to collect. Ha fat chance. It turns out Al made his millions from settling legal judgements that others had given up on collecting. Another good scheme: buy rights to debt, make others collect. Get rich off the scraps of the predators. Actually, teach others how to do the messy work and run the infomercial circuit: http://web.archive.org/web/20110319080312/http://millionsindebt.com/

He’s also a cancer survivor, which is amazing. Allen is the screw in this deal. I’m surprised he doesn’t recognize what he’s doing, though maybe I’m just in denial that he does. Either way proofreading goes a long way to show that something is important yes?

NOW THEREFORE, in consideration of the mutual promises herein, the Parties agree as follows:

FBA AGREES:  to provide services to Rodrigues.  Specifically, FBA has or shall:

  1. Refunded 100% of Rogrigues’ investment he paid to FBA;
  1. Provide Rodrigues four (4) additional coaching sessions;
  1. Provide Rodrigues with fulfillment by Adam Bowser: Standard fees apply, i.e., $0.15 per item or minimum $35.00 per order;
  1. Handle merchandise that Rodrigues has sourced and purchased; and
  1. Permit Rodrigues to purchase inventory from FBA.

 

OK hold on. Through either neglect or intent, two key points of our agreement have been omitted. It is specifically the “Diamond” level of Fulfillment by Adam Bowser (is this the right name?) that we agreed on. When does this start? What does this look like? The problem last time was this exact idea was sold to me and never delivered. I’m going to need real timelines that will actually be met by FBA Stores written into this deal.

Next, your salesman shouldn’t have sold me this product, but he did. There were many opportunities for FBA Stores to listen to my situation and resolve it. We continue to be in this situation. Do you want to create a satisfied customer? Will you please come back with Diamond levels of demo product included in this deal, since you seem to also have forgotten my modest request for the $500 of product also included in our original agreement.

Also: a typo in my name. In the primary section of our agreement. How can I not consider this in my review? Do you call it detail-oriented or petty?

RODRIGUES AGREES:  in exchange for the above concessions provided by FBA, to  dismantle, take down, close and no longer operate or allow to be operated a WordPress site that Rodrigues created or caused to be created and which contains derogatory statements about FBA, FBA’s services, training, events and / or  personnel.  Rodrigues also agrees to execute this Non-Disparagement Agreement and agrees not to make any statements, written or verbal, or cause or encourage others to make any statements, written or verbal, that defame, disparage or in any way criticize the personal or business reputation, practices, or conduct of (hereafter “FBA”), its services, training, events and / or personnel. The Parties acknowledge and agree that this prohibition extends to statements, written or verbal, made to anyone, including but not limited to, websites, social media, the internet, the news media, investors, potential investors, industry analysts, competitors, strategic partners, vendors, employees (past and present), clients and other FBA students.

The Parties understand and agree that the above Paragraph is a material provision of this Agreement and that any breach of this Paragraph shall be a material breach of this Agreement, and that FBA would be irreparably harmed by violation of this provision.

Every Line is Important

RODRIGUES AGREES:

  • in exchange for the above concessions provided by FBA, to  dismantle, take down, close and no longer operate or allow to be operated a WordPress site that Rodrigues created or caused to be created and which contains derogatory statements about FBA, FBA’s services, training, events and / or  personnel.

Hm, there is a Delete button to make the site disappear. It might be worth pressing in exchange for the $35,000 membership. Maybe if they weren’t trying to issue a virtual gag order on me forever. Why do you need me to stop sharing my experience if you are not a scam?

  • Rodrigues also agrees to execute this Non-Disparagement Agreement and agrees not to make any statements, written or verbal, or cause or encourage others to make any statements, written or verbal, that defame, disparage or in any way criticize the personal or business reputation, practices, or conduct of (hereafter “FBA”), its services, training, events and / or personnel.

Imagine you just bought a new truck, and you signed the agreement above. The next day the vehicle breaks down. That evening while you’re at the bar a friend asks about your new purchase, you share the story. “Oh my, I’d never buy one of those!” exclaims your friend. Meanwhile, a friend of the car dealership who’s sitting at the bar overhears this and knows just how to collect.

  • The Parties acknowledge and agree that this prohibition extends to statements, written or verbal, made to anyone, including but not limited to, websites, social media, the internet, the news media, investors, potential investors, industry analysts, competitors, strategic partners, vendors, employees (past and present), clients and other FBA students.

“Including but not limited to” are powerful words meaning “anything that we can make a reasonable relationship or association with” and in this case it seems to list every situation the legal depart could think of where financial harm may arise. After all, that is the enforceable part of this contract: if it can be demonstrated that my written or verbal statements cause FBA Stores financial loss, then I am breaching the contract. Judgment is simple. This is the intent and the content of this contract. Am I wrong?

The Parties understand and agree that the above Paragraph is a material provision of this Agreement and that any breach of this Paragraph shall be a material breach of this Agreement, and that FBA would be irreparably harmed by violation of this provision.

“FBA would be irreparably harmed by violation of this provision” is the crux of the problem. You believe that my “disparagement” harms you. No, it reveals to you the flaws in your model. I would have absolutely no need to defame if you delivered. You did not deliver last time, so a shadow of doubt remains. You forget two pivotal provisions in our contract, so the shadow grows larger. Why has this happened?

 

What is asked of me to bear

INJUNCTIVE RELIEF.  Rodrigues understands that, in the event he breaches this Agreement, FBA may suffer irreparable harm and will, therefore, be entitled to injunctive relief without the posting of a bond or other guarantee, to enforce this Agreement. This provision is not a waiver of any other rights that FBA may have under this Agreement, including the right to recover attorneys’ fees and costs to cover the expenses it incurs in seeking to enforce this Agreement, as well as to any other remedies available to it, including money damages.

In the event I breach this agreement, FBA stores will be entitled to injunctive relief. Also I get to pay the attorney’s fees, and other expenses needed to recover from the “irreparable harm.” Is that irony, or just legal jargon? I need professional help. There also seems to be no end date.

What it looks like is an indefinite order such that any statement (verbal or written) that Adam Bowser might perceive as disparaging will give him the right to take me to court and demand payment. Oh and I will have to pay the legal fees should I lose. I am currently unemployed and recovering from a debilitating health condition; he operates a multimillion dollar company. Of course they see no problem here.

Further what happens if FBA stores does not deliver? If I agree to not speak you have effectively cut off my fangs. Do I just allow you into my community to do what you will and act in this manner?  I thank you for giving me a reason to go find lawyers in town to become friends with, but could we just get on with the business and make us all some money? It seems not yet.

NOTICES:  The Parties shall receive written notices concerning this Agreement at the addresses below.  Such addresses may be changed from time to time by either party by providing written notice in the manner set forth as follows:

 FBA STORES, LLC

Adam Bowser,  Manager

P.O. BOX 4470

STATELINE, Nevada 89449

 

TIJAY SYN-RODRIGUES

2888 Ala Liima Street

Honolulu, Hawaii 96818

   

ENTIRE AGREEMENT. This Agreement contains the entire agreement of the parties and there are no other promises or conditions in any other agreement whether oral or written. This Agreement supersedes any prior written or oral agreements between the parties.

No other promises, oral or written other than this contract. Like those two provision I remember but you seem to have forgot. Hm. Maybe we’ll fix that with my address and name.

 AMENDMENT. This Agreement may be modified or amended, if the amendment is made in writing and is signed by both parties.

SEVERABILITY. If any provisions of this Agreement shall be held to be invalid or unenforceable for any reason, the remaining provisions shall continue to be valid and enforceable. If a court finds that any provision of this Agreement is invalid or unenforceable, but that by limiting such provision it would become valid or enforceable, then such provision shall be deemed to be written, construed, and enforced as so limited.

  • If one provision becomes unenforceable or invalid, the remaining provisions shall continue to be valid.
  • If a court finds a provision invalid, the court may limit the provision in a way such that it would become valid.
  • This new definition will then be written and enforced by this contract.

Sounds like legal shenanigans, some kind of modification clause that allows the lawyers to win by redefining the terms without my consent, but what do I know.

This contract is the fine work of the legal team at FBA Stores.

How disparaging is this statement?

WAIVER OF CONTRACTUAL RIGHT. The failure of either party to enforce any provision of this Agreement shall not be construed as a waiver or limitation of that party’s right to subsequently enforce and compel strict compliance with every provision of this Agreement.

APPLICABLE LAW. This Agreement shall be governed by the laws of the State of Nevada.

If the contract is breached once, the contract is enforceable again until the expiration of this document (which there is none)

Oh there’s my protection, I think. I guess I have the right to approach the courts in Nevada to force my way in to Adam Bowser’s little warehousing club. Great.

Actually no, not great. That’s sarcasm. I have neither the resources nor desire to engage the courts of the great state of Nevada and fight to work for FBA Stores.

The situation is so awful it makes me want to use expletives and forget the endeavor altogether. I get sick sitting up typing this, but I still hold hope. Why? I guess the business model does make a lot of sense, but

 

This does not sound like a very good deal

In Summary:

  • We will give you more coaching sessions that you do not want
  • (And access to the FBA stuff you do want which we didn’t include in the contract this time or deliver after the sale last time)
  • If you agree to destroy your site and never say anything bad about us ever
  • Actually, sign this contract that lets us sue you at your expense if you ever dare

I am very disappointed with what has been presented to me, but still hopeful that it might be salvaged. I can agree to keep the site private, and to not go in front of crowds or on television to say negative things about FBA Stores. Sure, that’s fair.

I really wish FBA Stores would just act like they intended deliver on their promises and not have to worry about all this though. Has that ship has sailed?

They still come off like what I’ve done here is not a simple truth.  It’s the story of my experience with this company, albeit embellished in places for emotional effect. When I started asking for what I was sold, I was ignored. When I then demanded my money be returned, they did so.

So I made this site. Not to be outdone, Adam Bowser then paid someone to make a bunch of phony review sites to bury it. Classy. Now they come to me seeking resolution, only with this offer. Is the deal even worth saving? Do I want to work with people like this?

The ball is in my court now and I really need the eyes of a professional to craft the contract of what I am willing to agree to in this situation. I believe in the business model, but its been stormy weather from the start; perhaps I should let this one go. Perhaps I should continue warning others to stay away?

 

If you have any insights or interest in this situation, please leave a comment to contact me. I will gladly discuss my experience with FBA Stores with you… while it’s still legal for me to do so!

 

Aloha,

Tijay

Tijay.brown@outlook.com

Letting go

Al Schweitzer convinced me to take the site down by saying that FBA Stores will give me the “diamond” level Fulfillment by Adam warehousing club membership. All I’ll need to do is sign a contract saying I can’t write an honest review about them publicly again. Ok, send me the paperwork.

But seriously, this is the second time. Can I please ask for some class? You aren’t showing me any faith that you will fulfill your side of the bargain by asking for this. After all, this “deal” is effectively what your salesman sold me in the first place. I said yes once, and here I am saying yes again. Will you deliver? I really thought so the first time, pardon me if this feels familiar. Oh but now you’ll be sure to sue my ass in a heartbeat if I make a sound.

Great, let’s celebrate!

As a sign of good faith I’ve made the site private until the ink dries. For invited eyes only.

The Divine Feminine

Adam Bowser called me up an asked me to take the site down. Actually, that’s not quite right: if I do nothing, the next step is Legal Action, that is, taking me to court.

Hold on, still not quite: Al Schweitzer, a faithful employee of over a month, was paid by Adam Bowser to tell me these things.  Maybe we could come to a deal. He reads the site! Whooo! My first viewer interaction is a phone call – this is a good sign.

While I have your attention, I wanted to share this:

You know male and female are just opposite sides of the same coin. These are some of the most interesting thoughts I have heard in a very long time! Life is a mirror, that’s why we see the same patterns over and over and over and over. That’s how I know you are my friends and seek to forgive. What will we do?

Amazon Profits, Packaging, and Success.

Amazon.com adopted a basically no-questions-asked model to deal with complaints similar to Walmart. This works great in retail, but unfortunately isn’t as great in service industries. Its telling that instead of treating me like a real person and addressing my issues that Adam has instead outsourced the production of fake reviews for himself: http://www.adambowserreviews.com/

adam-bowser-makes-fake-reviews-for-himself
If you provide a good honest service, you don’t need fake reviews.

However, I do not plan to reveal what I was taught by FBAStores.com, mostly because I knew most of it before anyway. All that Adam Bowser and friends did was apply basic principles to the specific example of Amazon.com and show some tools and forms to use. These tools are available to everyone for free anyway if you look. For now I would like to return to my initial proposed solution: share my knowledge so that the people in my community have no use for the FBA Stores product.

How to make a profit on Amazon

Its the same way to make a profit anywhere. Buy low and sell high. The cheaper you buy the better. There is a process and learning curve when starting up any venture, and selling online is no different. If you want to make large amounts of money, you need to sell a lot of products. Has any of this been surprising? Aren’t you glad you didn’t pay for this?!

At the 3-day Amazon Profits workshop at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, the motif of 20% profit margins was repeated endlessly. It’s a very good margin, and they show many ways that it can be achieved. The problem is that Fulfillment by Amazon is essentially fueled by the sale of durable goods – meaning that every time you make money a physical transaction needs to occur. Because of this there are inherent limits to how big you will be able to grow your business without diversifying. Hence, Adam Bowser turns to running a scam on the good people of Hawaii. He may be profitable in the short run, but everyone will get whats coming to them one way or the other.

Packaging for Success

The number of names that Adam Bowser is using is somewhat impressive. In my short time looking I found: FBAStores.com, Amazon Success Workshop, Amazon Profits Course, Online Auction Learning Center, Auction Riches, and a slew of older products with “Ebay” in the title instead. He’s certainly not afraid to repackage the same shit and sell it to you. And the kicker is that he really reveals his approach even though his products are all teaching something different.

Think about this: a guy who claims he has made himself from selling millions of dollars in product on Amazon is… holding a seminar. Why would he need to hold a weekend long event to teach this method? Because the seminar is more lucrative than what he is able to do to expand his Amazon business. He’s hit a limit: two warehouses. One in Boston, one in Las Vegas, neither with people who will talk to you or help you out. “Fulfillment by Adam” is entirely not worth dealing with this person.

If you really want to know how to do Fulfillment by Amazon, go to Amazon itself and just start. It’s not that hard to figure out. Find a friend or cousin on the continent and build a business with them. However, I would recommend a different approach: escape the limitations of physical goods and create a digital product.

In terms of time-invested to potential returns, e-books are about one of the most effective things you can do. This is because once it is complete it costs basically nothing to distribute, and can and will be distributed as long as there remains interest in the subject. Beyond this, we all have interests that we would like to devote more time to – why not spend the time cultivating a skill or talent and create an income stream at the same time?!

1-1
Spoiler: You will likely not see any Riches

The thing is, Adam Bowser knows this. He’s made a DVD set that supposedly sells for $2,000 that says the exact same thing as the seminar. And the Coaching. And all of his other sites. So not only has he created one product, he’s re-branded it several times so that when people find out its terrible it typically doesn’t affect him. Further, his product directs people away from the this truth as he ensnares them in his warehouse club. If you spent $35,000 learning to sell physical products, how willing would you be to learn to make digital ones?

Please help me to continue pulling down the curtain so that our friends and neighbors here in Hawaii don’t fall victim to this man’s schemes. If you have any friends calling you up talking about this exciting workshop this weekend about Amazon Profits, please direct them here. Mahalo!