Why is there a Digital Altitude lawsuit going through the courts now? If you've had any experience with Digital Altitude, like I did for 18 months as a paying member, it's hardly surprising to see this turn of events. Today I want to explain to you:
As of early February 2018, all commercial activities on Digital Altitude have been suspended after a lawsuit was brought against the company by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC). As a member of 18 months (ex-member now) I'm not in the slightest bit surprised it's come to this after seeing how the business was run.
What are some of the specific issues the Court has set following the FTC led Digital Altitude lawsuit? They include:
Evidence that Digital Altitude has heeded the seriousness of these charges can be seen by a quick visit to the Digital Altitude Facebook page, which shows pictures and posts and messages like this one above as a result of the ongoing Digital Altitude lawsuit.
What an absolute clusterf*#k huh? But it's not in the least bit unexpected. Why?
You only need to look at the long list of serious charges the FTC has brought against Digital Altitude to get a clear idea of the highly questionable business practices it was engaging in.
And a perfect example of this in the publicly available documents is how the 'Defendants' are defined. Now, you'd think, as this is a Digital Altitude lawsuit, that the defendants might be 'Digital Altitude', and Digital Altitude only. Right?
I mean, if John Smith is accused of murder, then John Smith is the defendant. Pretty simple to follow. So in this case it's equally simple. Digital Altitude has been accused of fraudulent activities, so Digital Altitude is the defendant. Right? Ummmm, wrong.
Here's a list of the 'defendants' below. Take a good look at those numbers!
Digital Altitude LLC, Digital Altitude Limited, Aspire Processing LLC, Aspire Processing Limited, Aspire Ventures Ltd, Disc Enterprises Inc., RISE Systems & Enterprise LLC (Utah), RISE Systems & Enterprise LLC (Nevada), Soar International Limited Liability Company, The Upside, LLC, Thermography for Life, LLC, d/b/a Living Exceptionally, Inc., Michael Force, Mary Dee, Morgan Johnson, Alan Moore, and Sean Brown
So that means Digital Altitude, as a company, was operating under nearly 20 aliases, or 'shell companies' at the time the FTC lodged its Digital Altitude lawsuit. And they're just the ones we know of!
Why would Digital Altitude be doing that if there wasn't something fishy going on?
In publicly available documents online, a summary of the case brought by the FTC against Digital Altitude states, among other things:
the Defendants have engaged in practices in violation of Section 5(a) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45(a)
the FTC has established a likelihood of success in showing that Defendants have made material misrepresentations in the promotion and sale of a program to make money online, to numerous consumers, including that consumers are likely to earn substantial income and that they will receive business coaching that will provide what the consumer needed to build a successful business
There is good cause to believe that immediate and irreparable harm will result from Defendants’ ongoing violations of the FTC Act unless Defendants are restrained and enjoined by order of this Court
There is good cause to believe that immediate and irreparable damage to the Court’s ability to grant effective final relief for consumers—including monetary restitution, rescission, disgorgement or refunds—will occur from the sale, transfer, destruction or other disposition or concealment by Defendants of their assets or records, unless Defendants are immediately restrained and enjoined by order of this Court
Defendants operate a fraudulent scheme that preys on consumers hoping to earn money while working from home. Defendants falsely tell consumers that through their “system” or “program,” consumers will earn large sums of money operating their own business online.
Defendants extract steep fees for membership, but the vast majority of consumers who pay Defendants never earn substantial income, much less the claimed “six figures.”
Defendants have charged individual consumers substantial amounts of money, ranging from several hundred dollars to more than $50,000, with total consumer injury exceeding $14,000,000.
Although Defendants’ program ostensibly provides business coaching that will help members build a successful business, the goal of that “coaching” is to persuade the member to purchase a higher membership tier
As I said, the above points are all publicly available online. And believe me, there's plenty more in there that makes pretty ugly reading. The points above are just a small sample of what Digital Altitude is accused of in the current Digital Altitude lawsuit.
Now I'm not gonna pretend that I know exactly what's going on. Who knows, Michael Force and co. might beat this lawsuit and the company might go on to flourish. I highly doubt it but looking into the future is pure speculation.
However, as an ex-member for 18 months, I can provide evidence of my own experiences to show why this Digital Altitude lawsuit is certainly no surprise.
The first sign was back in 2017. It centred around constantly delayed payments and endless excuses from Digital Altitude for such delayed payments.
And it wasn't just me, it was every member of my team. Check out the pics below for Facebook Messenger chats I was having with my Digital Altitude team members regarding late or missing payouts.
This pic above was when frustration was growing and commissions totalling $1,000's were being withheld from me and my team members. One team member got so angry you can see here that he directly messaged Michael Force. But got no answer of course.
This chat above was when months kept rolling by and excuses kept coming thick and fast. They always seemed to revolve around 'merchant' problems, which all makes perfect sense now, as you'll see soon.......
Here was another message that went out after yet more delayed payments and again, revolved around problems with 'merchants' and setting new ones up.......
You can see we finally did get paid, about 5 months late. Pure relief because I have to be honest, I never thought I was going to get my money. However all the delays got me thinking about all this 'merchant stuff', and all the problems that we were having with payouts.
So I dug up old emails because it was always a nightmare trying to get paid. Indeed, in the 18 months I was with Digital Altitude, I was asked to change merchants multiple times.
The first request came in May, 2017, as you can see from the email screenshot below.
The message said that every Digital Altitude member had to move their payment information over to Payza, an online payment processing system.
Moving over to Payza was an absolute nightmare. The confirmation process to even set up an account with Payza took me over a month. I'm positive that some Digital Altitude members would have lost commissions and payouts simply coz they couldn't set up Payza accounts and would've just screamed and given up.
Just speculation of course, but I wonder what would've happened to those commissions had that happened.....?
I got my Payza account set up after a month of back and forth nightmares and in fairness to Digital Altitude, received my commissions in full. Didn't think I would so that was a bonus.
Then move forward to January, 2018 and tickle me pink I get another fricken email from Digital Altitude saying they've stopped using Payza and have now moved to iPayout! And that we had to set up accounts over there.Are you frikkin' kidding me? Obviously not, and it's obvious why.......
When I got that message above I screamed inside coz of the nightmare it was getting Payza set up. Now I had to do it all again just to get money that was owing to me? And had been for months?
I did set up my iPayout account because, as I said, I was still owed about $600 from Digital Altitude.
Then I got wind of this Digital Altitude lawsuit and court case so I did a bit more digging........
What I found was that evidence points to Digital Altitude having both banks and payment processors terminate its merchant accounts up to 10 times between July 2016 and January 2017 because of dodgy business practices.
When this happened, Digital Altitude simply set up new corporations under different titles, including, but not limited to, Corporate Defendants Aspire Processing and RISE Systems and Enterprise.
DA then opened new merchant accounts via these new corporations, and started utilising the new merchant accounts to process consumers’ payments to Digital Altitude.
So it becomes pretty obvious what was going on. And why payments were always delayed - banks and payment processors kept getting wind of Digital Altitude's shenanigans and kept cancelling their relationships.
That meant DA had to constantly keep finding more and more new payment processors. Sometimes under different shell company names. These things take time of course - hence the delays month after month......
And the constant changing of 'merchants' for payment processing.
And now, judging by the Digital Altitude lawsuit undertaken by the FTC, it's all caught up with them once and for all.....
Under the conditions of the current Digital Altitude lawsuit set down by the courts, all forms of business and transactions have stopped. A quick check on the Digital Altitude official Facebook Page shows that no posts have been made since February 8, 2018.
It is the same on the official Digital Altitude Instagram page, where the last post was made on February 8, 2018.
It's also interesting to note that the official Digital Altitude Instagram account has taken down the URL in the bio, as per the Digital altitude lawsuit instructions. You can see in the pic below there is no URL bio or website link at all.
It's really hard to see anything but collapse for the company from here. No-one knows what the outcome of this Digital Altitude lawsuit will be, but you don't have to be a genius to see that everything surrounding the company right now is very murky.
There are 1,000's of people waiting on payouts that you would imagine will never come. Plus all the negative reports from this lawsuit and disgruntled members will batter Digital Altitude's reputation and anyone associated with it.
I have fled and feel so much better for it. I made the mistake of joining but now feel great having left. I think there would be 1,000's of others just like me.
I have to put my hands up and say I was seduced by the money that Digital Altitude promised. I'm not the first person to be tempted by the lure of great money, and I certainly won't be the last.
Indeed, half the things we do in life are motivated by money and the dream of creating a better life sooner. I do want the better life before I turn 65 and retire, but I certainly won't be chasing fool's gold anymore.
That's why I'm happy to stick with Wealthy Affiliate now. I was a member of WA before I joined Digital Altitude, and I never let WA go because I knew how good it was. I simply joined Digital Altitude in conjunction with Wealthy Affiliate because I thought DA was a vehicle that could get me to early retirement more quickly. It didn't, obviously.
Wealthy Affiliate (access by clicking the pic above) doesn't make big, bold promises and it doesn't get caught up in murky, dodgy controversy. That's because it's up front, open, honest and transparent. You don't make $1,000 commissions but you do get the most amazing training in how to turn your hobbies and passions into an income.
I was stupid to look for shortcuts with Digital Altitude and I got burned. But at least I was smart enough to keep my Wealthy Affiliate membership going - simply coz it was too good to give up.
Unlike Digital Altitude, it's free to start with and you don't even need a credit card to sign up. Plus you get loads of help and advice as a basic member. Once bitten twice shy for me. Don't make the same mistake.
I look forward to seeing you over at Wealthy Affiliate and helping you.
P.S If you liked this article or you think some friends might benefit from the info, please hit the icons below and share it.
P.P.S If you'd like to read more about the fall of Digital Altitude or anything else on this site, just scroll down a little and you'll see lots of posts to choose from. Cheers, Iain
Hi there Iain here. I made this site simply because I want to find ways of adding multiple income streams to my life so I can retire early and live the good life. Why rely on one income when there are so many ways out there you can earn, especially online? So as I learn about them all, I want to pass my knowledge on to you so you can do the same. Here's hoping we can all retire early and go travel the world or sit by the ocean sipping cocktails!
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