Been trying to get a refund for a cancelled Ann Romney event for MONTHS. No response whatsoever. I understand that things happen and events get cancelled, but no refund??!! Ridiculous.
I was a former staff member at the Brilliant Lecture Series and it was heartbreaking when I found out where all the funds truly went. The mission of the lecture series is great, but in reality it is an organization that treats its customers poorly and treats their staff poorly. I would love for someone honest and selfless to start an organization similar to the lecture series instead of worrying how to rub elbows with Houston's richest.
I used to do the graphic design for everything for BLS, and at a point they had run up a $2300+ balance and stopped answering their phones or returning emails. We had to take up a 'show up at their door' approach trying to catch them. Finally, i sat there one morning till they showed up, and i was given an "i just had heart surgery, and i just don't have any money'. 3 days later I see his range rover at the gym, and him in full workout gear. sweating up a storm Seemed a little quick to be back at the gym after heart surgery that drained your accounts.
My first lecture, George Clooney, I'd decided to attend alone. My adult, Wall Street, son from another city, heard me talk about it and invited himself as my guest. I hurried to get a 2nd ticket, still got a great seat.
My first born, I dubbed him at birth, My Nubian Prince as he is stately, intelligent, handsome, and judgmental toward anything I his mother does.
Not only did the lecture and the overall experience exceed his and my expectations he thought better of his mother’s choices and now is more willing to come to Houston for exciting things I want to expose him to. Thank you Brilliant Lectures I’ve included friends for other events including Judge Sotomayor, I’m now the person to check in with by my Houston and global buddies, you made me popular again as a Seasoned Citizen.
The Brilliant Lecture series always is an inspiration to me. I have been attending since the first performance and have loved everyone. They bring a different perspective to my life and open up worlds I knew nothing about. The work they do to bring interesting people to Houston is amazing and I hope to see many more exciting events. I donate my time because as a public school teacher, I know kids and their parents need to be inspired to learn. The Brilliant Lecture Series opens doors.
I've attended multiple lectures from the Brilliant Lecture Series, all of which have definitely been up to par. While Stephen Hawking caused a stir, it happens! I bought tickets to the Barry Manilow concert and surprise! It was canceled, because well, life happens. I think while everyone is so ramped up trying to create a "witch hunt" and burn someone at the stake, they are a non-profit that still put on a show, and from my personal experience, a pretty good one! People forget that they took their time, money and energy to fix this situation (even offered credit for a future production) and the show was NOT canceled! Yes, it was altered, but its a learning experience for them, i am sure. The video they showed was awesome, entertaining and hilarious, who knew Professor Hawking had such a funny bone! After the show, i heard many other patrons talk about how they were glad they decided to attend the production, and i think if you are truly a Stephen Hawking fan, you would want to attend to support him, not just to say you were in the same room as him...which is kind of creepy.
I applaud Brilliant Lectures for pulling themselves up by their boot straps and marching on to try and create more programs, which i am sure is time consuming while trying to put out so many fires at the same time.
Review from Guidestar
I came to know the Brilliant Lecture Series when they brought George Clooney to Houston. I have been to very event since, including the Stephen Hawking lecture. I am amazed at the caliber and quality of the speakers they bring and have already purchased by tickets to see the Edvin Marton Stradivarius Show. I was sorry that Stephen Hawking was unable to travel to Houston but understood that Stephen Hawking is a person with severe physical difficulties. As such, he has to do his job using technology and in this case, Prof. Hawking chose to speak to Houston via video because his physical limitations forced him to stay in Cambridge. The talk was world class and I was honored that Prof. Hawking chose to talk to Houston instead of cancelling. I believe the world should be more understanding of people with disabilities and hats off to the Brilliant Lecture Series for allowing Prof. Hawking to speak in spite of his limitations.
Review from Guidestar
This is shadiest organization with whom I have ever had the displeasure of doing business. I googled the organization just to see if any other guests had received their requested refunds from the Hawking event.
While I certainly understand Dr. Hawking's disease and his need to cancel, I do not understand is why an organization that offered a refund as a choice when the event was canceled decided not to honor that refund! I also find it funny that the positive reviews of this organization all happened on the same day (6/18/13)! Is someone in this organization trying to improve their average star rating? What kind of organization would do that?
Please be very careful when you buy anything from this group. They have changed their policies on their website to clearly tell you that they will steal from you. Although their disclosure doesn't make it legal, at least they tell you what they are going to do should an event cancel...
BLS has brought so many Brilliant Speakers to Houston up close and personal. This organization continues to impress me with the selection of speakers and the beautiful productions each and every time. I look forward to attending many more events...who will it be? Everyone, do yourself a favor and join in to support this very amazing group.
I can't say enough how much many of the speakers have changed my outlook on life and the world even. We jumped at the chance to meet Sidney Poitier and have attended each event since that we home for. Thank you for bringing the Series to Houston, my family and I would never of dreamed to meet and be truly life-changed by these speakers. We anticipate to marvel over our next family get together with you!
I went to the lecture. Yes I was upset that Prof Hawking wasn't going to be able to make it but really? HE HAS ALS! if these same people would have actually had the common sense (common sense and intelligence do differ) they would have come to see the film. When I saw him...on that screen...he looked sooo swollen:-(. ALS usually makes a person small and frail...but he was swollen and looks like he was in pain and couldn't get comfortable. Over all I was glad to have been able to see him. Some people only care about there own selfish pleasures. They don't care that one of histories' greatest minds is ill or the lengths he went through to make this happen. Thanks for the honest effort Brilliant Lectures.
I've attended many events that the Brilliant Lecture Series has hosted. I am always surprised at each event I attend and will continue to support the Brilliant Lecture Series. I must admit, I was a bit skeptical of the quality of the program when Stephen Hawking became "too ill to travel" but I can honestly say that Stephen Hawking was one of my favorite programs. Truly inspiring organization.
Review from Guidestar
I purchased tickets to see Stephen Hawking speak as part of the Brilliant Lecture Series. Unfortunately, due to health issues preventing international travel, Dr. Hawking was unable to appear in person and BLS is instead showing an ‘exclusive’ prerecorded lecture in place of the live lecture. BLS is not offering full or partial refunds despite the fact that ticket prices are commensurate with a live performance ($35 - $200+); instead, your choice as a customer is to pay to see an over-priced movie of Dr. Hawking or receive a credit to a future lecture (or, just walk away entirely). Unfortunately, there is only one lecture on the schedule, though I am assured that ‘there is a full calendar booked’. The single scheduled speaker likely holds little interest for anyone who bought tickets to see Dr. Hawking speak.
BLS's attitude about this is disappointing to say the least—to me this shows a lack of respect for their customers. People clearly paid to see an in-person lecture and that’s not what is being delivered. Many disappointed customers have voiced their frustration on social media only to have their comments deleted. This lack of transparency is a tell-tale mark of an organization that knows it’s not behaving ethically. I guess BLS hasn’t heard the adage that twice as many people tell others about bad service than good. I certainly won’t support BLS in the future and will be happy to share my experience with anyone who cares to listen.
I see that BLS is cited for their commitment to transparency—I can tell you this is certainly not my experience with them and there are several hundred people that are feeling similarly slighted because of their poor handling of this unfortunate situation.
Review from Guidestar