I was skimming social media last night and stumbled across something truly disturbing, but somewhat inevitable. Apparently a popular self help guru and YouTube sensation, Shanel Cooper-Sykes has found herself in quite a sticky situation with her fans. She's being accused of allegedly running off with her customers' funds and not delivering the product. Tsk Tsk Tsk.
Apparently Shanel has been very slow to ship books and deliver refunds on a women's retreat that were all prepaid for. Fans are so angry and frustrated with the alleged betrayal that they have created their own "Shanel Cooper-Sykes Real or Fraud?" page. Others have flocked to Lipstick Alley to upload videos of their horrible experiences.
It's actually getting pretty ugly. Fans pre-ordered over 2000 copies of the book from Pay-Pal months ago and many have still yet to receive their purchases while having to watch Shanel post on her Facebook about the latest two books, "Woman Habits" and "Stilettos in the Kitchen" selling out at thirty dollars a pop. Those that are receiving them now have waited over 120 days.
Other fans say they paid for a $77 dollar three-book bundle and have yet to receive the third book, if any, because she is still "working on it".
In all fairness, Shanel has responded to the "haters". Many have found her to be standoffish on the matter, but she did release this statement after months of customer complaints:
It was only after she posted and deleted this statement to her "Haters"(Is that what you call people who pay for something and want their product these days?)
Here, of course, is where things get messy. Many of her fans that have taken to her social media pages to complain of their disdain for being kept in the dark have found their comments deleted and their emails ignored while the motivational speaker continued to post daily inspirationals. This approach has not gone over well. In addition to that it, allegedly Ms. Cooper-Syles has moved to a new loft in Milwaukee with her beau, who is also a "Motivational Speaker", Carl A. Roberts. Bamboozled fans had no choice but to look on as the couple gushed about their happy new life on what appears to be their dime. Click this link to see the site disgruntled fans made detailing the couple's new luxury loft and boasting on their lifestyle. Mess.com
SMH....Ya'll know you dead ass wrong right? How you gonna talk about a new bank account charging women 5K a pop for a retreat that you cancelled and haven't refunded folks their money back? Along with reports of fans paying from $900-$2900 dollars on "boot camps" that were cancelled and struggling to get full payments and deposits back, it appears that a lot of money has been collected.
But like she said, she's working on it and she still have very loyal fans who have a lot of faith in that. On the other hand, she also have some very angry people who know the address of this great new place you're rubbing in their noses. You're a lot braver than me. I understand the business aspect of anything can be hard for those with no training. I would use this as a learning experience for future endeavors.....after I got these folks back their money.
We live in an age where so many people are looking for personal fulfillment and companionship. This makes them extremely vulnerable to charlatans and tricksters who will take them for as much as they possible can. In many ways, gurus like this are no better than the "Snake Oil" salesmen of the Old West. I'm not calling her fans gullible. I just feel like we all need to be more conscious of where we look for motivation and encouragement. I would like to believe Ms. Sykes is working diligently to rectify this manner, but once you anger this many people it definitely tarnishes the brand. Although you have to be sure that that preserving the brand and your image is of a higher priority than than lining one's pockets.