I would like to warn readers away from a writing service that seems to have scam-like characteristics, especially when it comes to honoring their "100 percent refund guarantee." This regards a writing support service offered by Chandler Bolt's Self Publishing School, which offers a 90-day "Bootcamp" for $497, or $600 if you pay in three equal portions, which is what I did.
Here's what happened: I signed up for the 90-day bootcamp and made the initial $200 payment, and while the materials offered were not bad (not great, but not bad), I quickly realized I had over-stretched my personal-time resources, and I wasn't able to keep up with the 90-day program. Since they offered a 100 percent money-back guarantee, I asked for a refund. That's when the horror story began.
Instead of honoring their request, they made me jump through seven "flaming hoops" (i.e., complete seven specific tasks, including creating a book outline and writing an introduction and at least ten pages from the first chapter) before I would qualify for their guarantee. This was all new to me - that was NOT made clear in the promo material.
As a result, I had to spend nine hours completing these seven steps, creating the "proof that I'd given the course a chance" (even though that wasn't the issue, and they knew it). Then I had to send this information to them - even to the point of using my phone camera to take pictures of my screen since I've never known how to take a "screenshot."
So I sent in all that material as an attachment to a return email (return from the email which spelled out the requirements). Then, about 10 days later, while still waiting for my promised refund, I got another email. This one said I had to re-send these items via either Dropbox or Google Docs - a process that exceeds my admittedly-limited tech-ability (i.e., I know you can do that, but I've never known how to do that). This one also said that the refund offer was only good for 30 days (and they'd eaten up nearly two weeks in this back-and-forth, leaving me to think that by the time I finally complied, I'd be told I was "too late" for the "100 percent guarantee" that I'd get my refund, just for asking.
While a reminder of the deadline seemed threatening, the re-send demand just seemed absurd, since they'd already received (and acknowledged receipt of) the proof that I'd taken those seven steps. Suddenly, that "guarantee" seemed a lot more like a bait-and-switch than a legitimate offer - no matter what I did, they kept adding new and (for me) nearly impossible tasks.
Finally, in frustration, I called the company then emailed the owner (who never replied) - but finally, after a flurry of emails and phone calls, I finally got someone's attention. Earlier today, I finally my refund. But if I hadn't been persistent, I'm sure I'd have been out of luck, refund-wise.
What is my warning here? Before you commit big bucks to any writer-help organization, check out the specific terms of delivery of services, as well as the specifics of their refund policy (if any). Don't get stuck like I was.