Navigating through life away from the library.
Navigating through life away from the library.

Buyer Beware: Blogging Workshops

I’ve been torn as to whether or not I should write this post and then it dawned on me that if a company were to treat me the way that I’d been treated by a fellow blogger I would put them and their company on blast.  I’m not writing this post to besmirch anyone’s reputation, I’m simply writing it as a cautionary tale to other bloggers who are interested in signing up for blogging workshops:  BUYER BEWARE!

A few weeks ago, I registered for a blogging workshop, the Lady Bloggers Circle, that was being hosted by The Lady Bloggers Society.  I assumed that this was a reputable blogging group as I had seen the LBS badge on a lot of established blogs.  When I registered for the five week course, the only confirmation I received of my $60 payment was an email from PayPal.  I assumed that I would hear something from LBS within a week or so stating that my place in the course had been reserved.  I never received that notice.  I let it slide because I did have the email from PayPay confirming payment receipt so I figured worst case scenario, I could use that as proof if there was any discrepancy.

The workshop was slated to begin the first week in April but I didn’t receive the material on time, so I actually started a week after everyone else.  The workshop consisted of a series of questions that we had to answer and then we were to respond to the posts of three or four of our fellow participants.  That was fine but there was no interaction with the instructor.  She did not respond to us on the forums nor did she visit our blogs to see where we could make improvements.  These small interactions are the very least one would expect for $60.

I won’t give a blow by blow of things that went wrong with this workshop but I will say, trying to get the situation rectified was very difficult.  She did not respond to email and when she did, she was rude and offered a series of excuses for why things failed.  Although some of her excuses were legitimate life issues, I felt that she should have been better prepared as she had been promoting the workshop for about a month before it actually started.

Once the other ladies and I started talking, we realized that we were all getting the run around, so we asked for refunds.  Our refund requests were initially denied.  The registration form did state there would be no refunds for the workshop but I assumed that meant no refund if I didn’t follow through on my part of the deal, not if she did not follow through on her part.  After going back and forth for a week, I was able to obtain a $50 refund ~ she kept $10 because I had already received some of the course material and had participated in some of the activities.  I accepted the $10 loss and chalked it up to payment for being stupid.  Also note that The Lady Bloggers Society website was taken down for “maintenance” right around the same time that we all started demanding our money back.

For those of you who are considering signing up for a blogging workshop, here are some things to keep in mind:

*Check the reputation of the person hosting the workshop

*Look around the host’s blog to see if they have the credentials to host a workshop

*See if others have participated in any activities hosted by the individual (check for reviews)

*Double check the refund policy

I am not the only one who has had a bad experience with the Lady Bloggers Circle.  If you’d like to read about the experiences of another participant, check out PaperScraps and Sunflowers.

The Lady Bloggers Society is a wonderful forum for meeting other lady bloggers but I don’t believe that the workshop is worth the $60 registration fee.