The Better Business Bureau is advising consumers to use caution when engaging with a Rogersville business consultant.
Ascend Ahead Agency LLC is accused of allegedly failing to provide services, failing to issue refunds, making unauthorized charges and providing lackluster customer service, according to a news release from the BBB consumer watchdog nonprofit.
Consumers told the BBB they paid Ascend and its owner, Soren Dewey, to help grow their businesses via coaching and other consulting services. Dewey has promoted his business through his Instagram account, which has more than 80,000 followers and makes earnings claims of "0-7 figs in 7 months."
“The promise of quick, easy money is a red flag,” said Michelle Corey, BBB St. Louis president and CEO, in the release. “Always investigate any earnings claims a business makes during its sales pitch. If those claims sound too good to be true, they usually are.”
The BBB was unable to reach Dewey prior to publishing its report. Dewey also did not respond to a Springfield Business Journal request for comment by deadline.
The BBB gave two examples of customers who paid thousands of dollars to Ascend but allegedly did not receive any or part of the promised services, according to the release. A customer from Vermont told the BBB he paid Dewey $6,000 in December 2020 for a coaching program, but he estimates he only received a third of what he paid for. Another customer from Georgia said he paid Dewey $3,300 in January for consulting but did not receive services including social media marketing help and a new website.
Company commissions locally produced pieces that highlight takeaways of the pandemic.
Becky Thomas, co-owner of Third Street Sportswear, discusses an issue she sees in how business is presented to young women. She says because social roles are different for men and women, women can be led to expect an unrealistic work-life balance as business owners.
Randy Bacon, a longtime professional photographer based in downtown Springfield, says preparation before making big decisions helped him transition between important stages in his life. He says his big decisions were ultimately a big leap of faith.
Andrea Petersberg, owner of the Local Bevy, says the appeal of a local store holds a lot of value for people in and outside of Springfield. Petersburg says being a supporting part of the local connection for artists is important for her.
Randy Bacon, professional photographer and humanitarian, shares his story on how he left his job in the corporate world to pursue his dream. Now 60 years old and with signature character to his photography and business, he says he still is a 15-year-old boy with a camera.
Becky Thomas, co-owner of Third Street Sportswear, gives her advice for maintaining good relationships with clients. Drawing on her experience working with customers coast to coast, Thomas says equity and fairness are some of the best ways to build trust and respect.
Don Helms, co-owner of Munchie Moe’s, says it's important to know your business and to think ahead of your supply chain. Helms says COVID-19 has changed the way he has experienced business operation. He says foresight is key.
Janet Susdorf, business consultant and founder of Brain Power for Hire, LLC, discusses the importance of adapting and learning from failure. Drawing from the struggles she has faced in her own life as a sixtime cancer survivor, Susdorf talks about when to fight and when to accept change.
Jennifer Charleston, a 20-year veteran of the Springfield Police Department and the only female lieutenant in the department, talks with SBJ’s Christine Temple about her career in law enforcement and her new position in the department as a liaison to the LGBTQ+ community.
Moving from physical meetings to digital meetings can feel like a barrier, but Mackenzie Scherer, an independent technology business consultant, says it can be an opportunity. Scherer says that with good moderation, a digital meeting experience can make people feel more included in the discussion.
Abby Glenn, development director for Habitat for Humanity, says corporate partners are a huge asset to the work they do. Corporate donation matching programs help individual donors feel they are contributing more and help Habitat for Humanity cover the large costs of their projects.