Seminar director refuses refunds to jobseekers
Sun, 10 Jun 2012 6:00p.m.
By Jane Luscombe
Dozens more people have come forward with concerns about a company promising work in Australian mines.
It is claimed at least $75,000 has been handed over to AAA Job For You.
3 News has tracked down the man behind the scheme and he is refusing to repay a cent.
It's tough surviving on 25 hours work a week, so Lea Marris jumped at the chance of a new beginning in Australia.
“I'm 47, I'm on my own, and I’m struggling,” she says. “I work for a corporate company here in New Zealand that has had to cut back a lot of hours. I can see the debt climbing up and I was doing it for myself and my son.”
She paid $390 to AAA Job For You to help her find work in the mining industry and says she was told a job was guaranteed.
“I had to find care for my animals, leased out my horse. I actually went as far as getting a tenant for my house.”
She's among 40 people who have contacted 3 News since yesterday, with concerns about their money.
They've been unable to get hold of AAA Job For You for weeks.
3 News visited the company's registered office, and eventually managed to track down director Frank Yeates.
He wouldn't be interviewed on camera, but blames one woman.
Viv Burgess designed and managed the AAA Jobs website and is accused of shutting it down so Mr Yeates couldn't access people's email addresses.
She says she's the one who tried to deal with their concerns.
“Why haven't we heard anything?” jobseekers ask Ms Burgess. “Why haven't we had our Skype interviews?
“The emails got fairly intense and I asked Frank a number of times how to reply to this.”
The two are now in dispute. Ms Burgess says the reason is simple: he owes her nearly $11,000.
She also told 3 News that up until May 20, around $75,000 had been paid to AAA Jobs.
Mr Yeates won't tell us how many, if any, people had got jobs as a result.
We put other concerns to him, starting with the 24 businesses listing his name as director that have been struck off by the Companies Office.
He said most had been stripped of their assets and closed.
But he admitted the "tax people went crook at me" for failing to file some tax returns.
We also asked repeatedly if he would refund the people who have paid hundreds of dollars each and received no service from him.
Repeatedly, Mr Yeates said no.
The Ministry of Consumer Affairs says it's sufficiently concerned to refer the matter to the Commerce Commission.
It gives this advice to anyone who's concerned about their money.
If you paid for a service you haven't received, take the organisation to the Disputes Tribunal.
If you paid by credit card, contact your bank. You may be able to reverse the charge.
And if you suspect a scam, report it to Scamwatch.
There is no guarantee concerns about AAA Job For You will be taken much further. The Commerce Commission told 3 News it gets 10,000 complaints a year. Only around 450 are investigated.
For more information on online scams, or to
report a scam, please visit scamwatch.govt.nz
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18/06/2012 6:38:51 a.m.
Dave tauranga wrote:
Ive learnt the hard way too.$690down the tubes.gutted by the way they are getting away with this.want to say more but hey the bottom line is"I'm the sucker I guess".
Thanks frank Yates (from paeroa he said?)
12/06/2012 10:31:39 a.m.
My Story is pretty much verbatim, as comments posted by 'Debbie'. What these AAAJobforyou clowns don't point out is the medicals are provided by the Minings Co's themselves, fail that its all over!-Not to mention industry and specific site inductions , safety certs and licences required ( can take weeks/months to process!).The reality was and still is you are not going to 'buy' yourself a job into the Australian mining industry. You must have a skill they(minings Co's) require, that cannot be meet by an Australian citizen first. The fact is these 'AAA'-Arseholes, just tapped into the dire and desperate employment situation here in NZ and bottom feed off it. The other fact is if your going to live and work in Aus or overseas,you must do your research first- as some whom have unfortunately found out the hardway there's no such thing as an easy 'buy in'.
11/06/2012 11:36:10 a.m.
My partner and I attended one of these seminars. Met Frank Alan Yeates and his team of heartless thieves. About 8 people handed over their hard earned cash. Some were desperate and some were curious like us. They gave us their speil and then the punch line ...it was going to cost over 3k for them to find you a job, help you get an Auz IRD number and open a bank account for you at a bank of "their choice", get your licences etc. They weren't professional, got defensive when asked challenging questions like "can you quarantee us a job"and "do we get our money back if you don't find us a job" and the guy taking the money was sweating profusely . No buisiness cards or info packs, no contact details. We were quite suspicious and decided to check him out. Went on NZ Companies website and low and behold he'd been struck of many times and yes dodgey dealings in Fiji. aaajobsforyou was registered two days before our seminar on April 1st. Well you didn't fool us Frank but you did fool those poor buggers who gave you money.
11/06/2012 10:17:45 a.m.
tom thumb wrote:
frank gates was caught doing real estate scams in the 80s and may have gone to jail for it
he also was involved with a time shear scam in fiji
11/06/2012 9:13:00 a.m.
His new site:-aaajobs4you.co.nz was still open and inviting C,V.'s a few minutes ago
11/06/2012 5:26:12 a.m.
Paul, Im guessing its the big push to save money in govt depts thats the barrier to even attempting to try and stop this guy or is it just you were going to be another x pat and are off the govts radar. With this being allowed to happen in our country unstopped Im sure the govt is loosing out on some sort of tax on the money. Perhaps put to Bill in this way he may try somehow to recover some of it.
11/06/2012 12:13:43 a.m.
Te Aroha wrote:
My sister I law was really happy to hear about their possible job in oz and gave over 700 dollars. When she saw it on the news she became very upset went into the lounge and collapsed. She is now in Waikato hospital and we believe that the shock of the deception was so great it caused a rupture. Those scammers have no idea of the heartache they've caused our family. My sister inlaw have two beautiful children who now have to watch their mum in acoma.
11/06/2012 12:01:34 a.m.
Welcome to new zealand, the heaven of white collar crime.
10/06/2012 10:19:05 p.m.
Darren Buswell wrote:
Surel this man is guilty of fraud he has taken money with no intension of ever delivering his end of the deal he should be charged by the police for fraud and deception and sent to gail
10/06/2012 9:55:11 p.m.
Paul Tauranga wrote:
Yep Im another example of someone who took this guy at his word, he even had his son and one of the seminars. I emailed and check my payments were being held in the trust account and this was confirmed. I even have a copy of the CV they did for me. I saw so many people pay there hard earned cash as they were desperate for work. Shame on you Frank Gates and your fellow crew - Shannon Fisher being one.
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