What follows has been submitted anonymously by a community member. Please DO add your thoughts and advice as a comment ❤

My Secret Frustration:

I am part of a coaching program that has fallen far short of all the promised resources. When I first joined earlier this year, one of the other members voiced concern about missing promised elements and the coach went off on her, saying she expected more compassion from her members in the pandemic and kicked her out. Not understanding details, assuming the best, I liked how she stood up for herself.

Now we're headed into the fall and the program has really fallen apart. One of my guesses is that the coach has fallen into a depression. This has kept me quiet and hopeful that it will break eventually. Other members in the program aren't asking any questions, none of the training we were promised have come through and I feel like my investment was wasted.

For weeks I've wanted to ask questions and get a refund but I'm afraid to. After all this time, I'm not in any refund period I'm aware of. I feel certain she will not take it well. I value some of the relationships in the group and they all seem loyal to her. If I stand up about it, do I lose them?

I suppose my option is to speak up or walk away.

Helpful & Encouraging Responses From The Community:

Val Selby of Your Bold Life shares…

If there is no positive outcome then hit cancel. Don't feel guilt to stay in a membership you get nothing from.

Adalia John of Claim Your Confidence Now shares…

Thank you for sharing. The spotlight should be on you not the coach. One of my favorite mantras to my children (when they were teenagers) was “what you do in one area of your life, you do in all areas of your life.”

Reflect for a moment and answer these empowering questions. What area of your life are you …?

  • Saying yes, when you want to say no, or vice-versa
  • Afraid to speak up
  • Looking outside of yourself for validation
  • Following the crowd, instead of being authentic
  • Wanting to be loved/liked/accepted at the expense of being true to who you are
  • Making excuses for staying in an unhealthy relationship (broken promises. Disrespected)

All relationships should be created from a place of … I am enough. I am worthy and deserving of promises kept, respect, happiness, joy, and success.

Speaking your truth. What empowering advise would you give to a friend/loved one who had a coach such as you described? There's your answer.

I hope this helps in some way. Stay confident and be empowered.

Lynn Leusch of Create Scout shares…

I haven't been in your specific situation before, but I have purchased programs over the years that have greatly disappointed me where I did not feel I rec'd the value I was promised.

I always learn so much from these anonymous questions as I hope the owner of the original question does.

You end your quandary by stating you have two options. There is always the additional option to add to your choices…Say something AND walk away. The coach of the group certainly did not respond in a way that would encourage anyone to speak up, whether or not she is going through issues or not. If you leave without saying anything then the coach of the group will have no understanding why you stepped away and of your un-satisfaction. It's important for her to realize that her actions are wrong and has not fulfilled her promise. It certainly isn't easy to speak up, but you can always feel more confident with decisions like this when you do it with kindness and from your heart. I don't always feel saying something publicly is the best option and would likely say something in a private “official” message. If you go this route, why not ask for the refund for the product that was not delivered. If the answer is no, you will at least have tried.

Suzanne Sukhram shares…

You've gotten some good advice here.

Regarding the relationships built, make a plan to connect with them outside the group before leaving. If they don't want to connect with you after you leave, then that is their choice.

I was in this situation last year. I chose to walk away and not ask for my money back, because I felt like I had gained valuable lessons even though I didn't get what I hoped for out of the coaching relationship. But that may have been a smaller investment than yours.

Whatever you decide to do, I wish you well, and hope that you've gotten at least a bit of benefits out of the situation.

Sadie Smiley of SadieSmiley.com shares…

I joined a coaching program at a friend's insistence not too long ago. It included two 15-minute coaching calls every month. The first call was pointless, but it was the first call so I figured the next one would be better. It wasn't. The coaching didn't help me, even a little bit. As soon as I got off the second 15-minute call, I cancelled my subscription and left the group quietly.

Because of the headspace the coach seems to be in, I'd leave quietly. I know this post is old so you've probably already handled it, but I've had this experience and it was rough!

Final Thoughts From Kelly

Really good input here and I appreciate the awkwardness of the situation.

Imagine for a moment the money you paid is on a table between you and the coach. Let's say it's $10k. Ten thousand dollars in cash is on the table between you.

What amount would you joyfully give her for all you've received in your time together?

What amount would you NOT joyfully surrender to her?

I bet a number jumped into mind immediately. Trust that, express yourself to her and ask for the refund you want.

You get to ask, she gets to respond.

Even if she does respond poorly and you get nothing returned – you'll feel powerful for standing up for what you want.

We all have secret frustrations and I invite you to share yours. Submit your anonymous question, comment or story here.

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  1. I am so sorry this is happening to you. Before I answer, I would like to share my similar situation as I’ve always been concerned at how often this kind of thing actually happens.

    I spoke up. I was promised the missed deliverables. Two years later: NOTHING happened and the leader has moved on to another venture. I reached out to her and asked, again, to at least provide the materials promised to us. I don’t even want a refund anymore. Just give me the content you promised, right?

    Her response? Silence.

    At this point, I have done all I can do. The refund period has long since expired, and I have absolutely no recourse. It feels awful. She took advantage of this FB Group of over a thousand people. I want my $300 back, but it’s not coming.

    So, I’m letting it go, but I have some advice for you: ask for what need now while you still have access to her/him/them. Don’t wait. You can approach anyone with respect and dignity asking for what you need.

    Your financial, mental, and emotional investment should neither be disregarded nor minimized. Be kind but firm as you seek your resolution. I wish you well.

  2. There is some really great conversation here about the situation and how to handle it. This post made me uncomfortable because it reminded me of a situation from July 2020. I was selected to join a beta coaching group for a social media platform (the coach was coaching on how to grow that platform for your biz, etc.) and after going through that, I was offered a discounted monthly membership and if I signed up and paid for one month she would give one month free but because it was a subscription based sign-up she said when the 2nd month payment went through, it would be refunded.

    Well, that 2nd month rolled around, my payment was made and it was never refunded. Thankfully it was only $37.00 which isn’t much. There were a few times I wanted to reach out and ask her about it, but I was afraid to so I just ate the cost.

    I still kick myself for not asking about the refund. I believed I didn’t have a right to ask for it which is hog wash!

    As uncomfortable as it might be, I’d highly recommend letting the coach know your feelings and why you want a refund. You deserve to be given the promised resources and if not, it’s up to you to speak up about it.

    I really like the advice Kelly gave in her closing comments above.

  3. One additional thought I’d like to add is that the longer we wait and put off the decision to speak up the easier it is to just let it go and not ask for what we want.

    When situations like this arise, I have found it’s good to first evaluate whether not to say something. If the right thing is to speak up, then do so as soon as possible. If we put off speaking up (ask for a refund, etc), then it is possible that time will eventually slip away and the opportunity for getting that refund will be gone. Also, if we wait too long, we might end up listening to the wrong little voice in our head (kelly call this voice, Trickster), and talk us out of doing the right thing.

  4. All great words of wisdom everyone has shared here. And I agree with Lynn, the longer you take to speak up, the easier it is to say nothing. But that could lead to lingering feelings of resentment. Although speaking up may not bring the resolve you want, you’re likely to feel better in the end.

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