Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Shady 'Get Motivated' Seminar Coming to Cleveland

Posted By on Tue, May 3, 2011 at 10:44 AM


Splashy ads all over town have been heralding the arrival of next Wednesday’s Get Motivated seminar at Quicken Loans Arena. It’s billed as a day of very famous rich people telling you how to stop living like a schmuck.

For the everyday low price of $1.95 — or $9.95 for your whole office, seriously — you’ll get to bask in the wisdom of Bill Cosby, Colin Powell, Goldie Hawn, Terry Bradshaw, and others.

Also on the agenda: maddening traffic jams, wallet-busting parking costs, infomercial-style sales pitches, and a good measure of Christian revivalism and rap. And that’s if you get there in time to actually score one of the promised bargain seats. The speakers will be appearing live at the Q, with satellite viewing down the street at Music Hall.

Yes, Get Motivated 2011 has been playing to packed houses everywhere — and pissing off the faithful in the process. Holders of cheap tickets in Oregon and Florida were turned away when the venue was apparently oversold. Some reported that seats conveniently opened up later in the day — for anyone interested in paying the $225 price tag at the door. Callers trying to buy tickets reported being up-sold to much more expensive seats closer to the stage.

Most of the gripes stem from those who felt blindsided by high-pressure sales tactics. Deftly sandwiched between the Rudy Giulianis and Lou Holtzes are unadvertised, unknown speakers who tout stock trading and real estate investment programs. Of course, those will cost you extra.

Investools, one of Get Motivated’s featured programs, settled a complaint by the Securities and Exchange Commission that its speakers had a problem with lying to attendees in 2009. This year, new complaints have surfaced online that the company is pushing $99 passes to future seminars that end up costing thousands more.

Others have complained about the unannounced spiritual message served up — at no additional cost! — by Get Motivated executive VP Tamara Lowe.

For those who can overlook the money grabs and religion, the 15- to 45-minute celebrity speeches are said to be truly inspiring. Plus, they go great with the Q’s $6 hot dogs. —Maude L. Campbell

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