Travel Instagram influencer Aggie Lal who goes by @travel_inhershoes on Instagram, is being called a scammer by people who paid for her social media masterclass.
Lal is your typical Instagram traveler. Her bio reads, “LA based free spirit who can’t get enough of adventure, good energy, avocados & puppies!” Her photos are dreamy, extra and edited.
Bonus, she also calls her followers her “tribe.” Her captions are either short and sweet or lengthy self-help messages to her friends.
Her main account has over 892,000 followers and her other account (@aggiepresets) has over 11,400 followers. With nearly a million followers on Instagram, Lal definitely knows a thing or two about the platform.
She offered her expert Instagram knowledge to her fans with a master class. Lal created a 12-week course titled “How to grow your Instagram” with the promise to share with her students how she “from being a broke traveler to becoming a six figure earning travel blogger.”
Her Master Tribe students will learn how about “running a business that’s location independent so you can have the lifestyle you want.” They will learn social media strategy, photography and video tips and more business tips for creating a successful Instagram.
The cost of the 12-week course was $500. “I wanted the price to be a little ‘painful’ so it feels like an investment and will discourage people who are not serious about blogging as their future to participate,” Lal wrote.
She also noted that the class used to cost $1,000 and her former students didn’t regret spending a grand for her expertise.
The class would release new material every week from September 17 until mid-December. Lal told Buzzfeed that she enrolled 380 people at $97 a person meaning she made $188,860.
But people who signed up for her masterclass are complaining about the lack of information they received. Under the anonymous name, Wannabe Influencer, they published a Medium piece about how Lal “scammed” them.
The anonymous influencer said that during week one of the course Lal asked her 380 students to get someone else sign-up.
“[Lal] would be providing affiliate links for every single student and wanted us to influence someone else to take the class. The confusion spread rapidly. The Instagram Course straight up seemed like a pyramid scheme.”
The Master Tribe member said that many other people in the program didn’t feel comfortable advertising the class when they haven’t even finished it. She also wrote that she never received an affiliate link to share.
The user pointed out that Lal offered a free full refund after week one, but the platform that the course was on required a 30-day refund. The user provided Slack messages, Facebook group messages an more showing how other users were upset. BuzzFeed News also talked to some former students who were also dissatisfied with the program.
Then around week six, Lal stopped uploading videos and photos because she went on a three month Asain vacation to Eat Pray and Love around the continent.
Lal claimed she didn’t have WiFi while traveling, which is why she didn’t update her program and keep posting. But she maintained her YouTube and main Instagram page. Lal also promised to keep the course small so she can interact with the students, but would regularly not respond to DMs and messaged from the students.
After the negative reviews for the master class went viral, Lal addressed the issues on her Instagram story. She posted an update that everyone who requested an refund will get a full refund.Instagram @travel_inhershoes Instagram @travel_inhershoes
Some of her students have supported Lal and the class. The Wannabe Influencer told BuzzFeed that she won’t be requesting a refund for the class because they feel responsible and guilty for the internet harassment Lal has received because of her post.