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A Pleasant Surprise

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by Arroryn, Aug 4, 2007.

  1. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    Amidst all the TP bashing that tends to go on online, I thought I'd post a most pleasant experience I've just had with my own TP (who shall not be named, but should already be well known!)

    As you may see from my certs, I already have the N+. I completed this before I finished the N+ element of the course with my provider.

    I called them to tell them this, and that I didn't feel I needed to complete their N+ element of the course. I also said I wanted to move straight on to the CCNA element.

    So, completely against all the bad press to training providers, they agreed with me, without a single complaint or argument. I sent them a copy of my Cert, along with the invoice for my exam.

    I have quickly received my refund for the N+. Moreover, I have received the first CCNA element to my course. Imagine how delighted I was to receive, along with my standard red folder full of TP material, an official Cisco Press CCNA INTRO book.

    I'm just chuffed - it's saved me a lot of cash (I honestly wasn't expecting the N+ refund), and they were unbelievably understanding with how I'd already progressed in my learning. Plus, they've saved me money on a book I'd have probably bought anyway!

    I know TPs aren't promoted here, but I just wanted to post this, to show 'neutral' visitors that TPs aren't the spawn of Satan, if you follow your course through in the right way (ie, do all of it!)

    Anyway... back off to studying! Because that's obviously what normal twenty-something ladies do with their Friday nights :oops: :rolleyes: :biggrin
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA
  2. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    It is nice to hear it - and I'm pleased for you. For the record, my TP was very good as well (sadly gone bust now) - it's just that there are so many cowboy outfits out there promising the Earth to people who have no business sitting in front of a computer unless it's using MS Office in a non-technical role.
     
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: None - f*** 'em
  3. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Of course they gave you an INTRO book... the INTRO exam is going to be retired as of November 6, and the new version of the exam (named ICND1) will be released on August 15. :(

    Hopefully, they are giving you new CCNA elements instead of old ones...
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  4. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    I know the courses are going to be retired/changed soon. If they stay good to their word, as they did with the CompTIA courses, the exam updates will be available for request around a month before the switch over, as they were with the N+

    I know what you're saying BM, but in my eyes it's still a free (and technically expensive) book - and even though the particular elements are being 'retired', at this low end of the networking spectrum, the theory is still the same. They'll still probably want me to know the OSI model like the back of my hand, and the TCP/IP stack.

    Essentially, I just want people to know that TPs, though undoubtedly never the cheapest option, aren't always the bad guys.

    On that note, I'm off to bed, as it's gone 2am, and I suppose I should get some sleep amidst all this excitement :) (good ol' computers!)
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA
  5. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    In that case, it's all good. And yes, you're right: the basics are still the basics, and the book will still have some value. I still have all my older Cisco Press books from when I first studied.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  6. MacAllan

    MacAllan Byte Poster

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    Sorry to burst your bubble, but your naivety astounds me.

    Of course they provide you with the Cisco Press book, it is part of their training materials! Wait until you try to sign up for the Live Internet Training Sessions, that don't exist except as pre-recorded downloads.

    Since I am doing CCNP with the same provider, having to deal with training materials that are for the exams that were retired last December, with no date given for when the new materials will be supplied (I mean, it is only 8 months!), I wouldn't hold your breath for delivery of a CCNA course that matches the new objectives for quite a while.

    Yes I now that at the moment this can't be expected for CCNA, but experience with this tp, who also took years to update their A+ course, and provided an updated N+ course eventually that was not properly matched to the CompTIA objectives, I'm past living in hope where they are concerned.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, CCNA
    WIP: CCNP, Linux+
  7. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    As you have further experience with this TP than me, I can only sit here and accept your opinion as valid to your own experience. As I think we've spoken about in another thread, my experience with this TP has been wholly different to yours - in that I'm happy with them :rolleyes:

    I think to say I'm being naive is in the first slightly offensive, and in the second, unnecessary.

    You say the materials are not up to scratch on the CCNP. How many times have you called to request material updates? Or indeed, if you say that they should provide Cisco Press materials as part of the course, then it should be easy enough to send through the most up to date Cisco book for you? Or indeed, you should buy it and bill it to them, if it's a mandatory course requirement... :rolleyes: Failing all of this, there should be a legal loophole allowing you to withold your payments (note, not cancel, just withold) until the requirements of your course are satisfied.

    I enrolled with their Netpro course, and had almost finished my A+ when they updated the CompTIA courses. I still passed the A+ without issue, and I did respectably on the N+ too.

    Maybe I'm too forgiving; maybe you're being too judgemental, I don't know. All I know is I'm not going to sit in a forum and slate a provider that thus far, haven't failed me one jot. I just thought it would be beneficial for people to hear good press about these companies. And for that, I don't think I deserved your response.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA
  8. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    Agreed.

    I'm not sticking up for Arro here - she can fight her own battles. It does seem at times though that this site should be renamed 'certificationsuccessprovidedyouagrrethateverytrainingproviderisascumbag.co.uk'

    Honestly, about once a week someone comes on and badmouths a particular TP - many of them never to be heard from again who have obviously just bitten off more than they can chew and now want somebody else to blame for the fact that they've got sod all to show for five grand.

    YES - there are plenty of shite TPs. Plenty. But occasionally people have some good experiences with their choice of provider, and a bit of positive feedback to redress the balance every now and then can only benefit this community.

    As for the 'naive' bit - that was just plain out of order, and insulting.

    Chill.
     
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: None - f*** 'em
  9. drum_dude

    drum_dude Gigabyte Poster

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    Crikey bikey MacAllan!!!!:blink Give the young lady a break!
     
    Certifications: MCSA , N+, A+ ,ITIL V2, MCTS
    WIP: MCITP 2008 Ent Admin, Server Admin, Exchange 2010, Lync 2010, CCNA & VCP5
  10. drum_dude

    drum_dude Gigabyte Poster

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    Damn...I forgot to add: Well Arroryn for doing well on your course! Keep the quick pace up!!!
     
    Certifications: MCSA , N+, A+ ,ITIL V2, MCTS
    WIP: MCITP 2008 Ent Admin, Server Admin, Exchange 2010, Lync 2010, CCNA & VCP5
  11. MacAllan

    MacAllan Byte Poster

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    Yes, and SkillsTrain, the tp Arroryn is linked with, are one of the worst offenders in that regard. I know personally from correspondence in another forum of their selling a
    A+ -> N+ -> CCNA -> CCNP package to an unemployed 17 year old, getting his mother to sign the paperwork as he was too young, and when he found it not to his liking after about 3 months, leaving her with a bill for over £3000.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, CCNA
    WIP: CCNP, Linux+
  12. drum_dude

    drum_dude Gigabyte Poster

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    So that would put Skillstrain in the same league as a music shop that sells an expensive guitar and amp (or drumkit) on finance to the parent of child...3 months later the child can't be arsed to learn!!! So who's to blame? I would say the adult who signed the finance agreement...happens all the time with all sorts of products! And it's one of the main reasons that I had to work to buy my own drumkit - I'd bugged my mum and dad for a guitar when I was 7 - they bought me one but I couldn't be arsed learning - a keyboard when I was 11 - they bought me one but I couldn't be arsed learning and then when I was 15 I decided the drums were for me...mum and dad told me to fack off, get a job and save up for one! I did just that - 17 years later I'm still playing the drums!!! My parents learnt their lesson on getting in debt for me...
     
    Certifications: MCSA , N+, A+ ,ITIL V2, MCTS
    WIP: MCITP 2008 Ent Admin, Server Admin, Exchange 2010, Lync 2010, CCNA & VCP5
  13. MacAllan

    MacAllan Byte Poster

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    Perhaps the comment about naivety was excessive and I apologise for the offence it caused.

    Since I have only just started their CCNP course, I have yet to decide what action to take if the coursework is not updated soon.

    But just as you are unwilling to criticise the tp, I have equal cause to put the record straight in factual terms about my experience with them. The fact is that they rely on the Cisco Press books to cover much of the course material - there are areas that are not covered in the red folders, and reference is made to the Cisco books to fill the gap. I.e. they are an integral part of the course taught, not a free extra. The red folders refer to Live Internet Training lessons, that as a matter of fact, are not provided, except as pre-recorded sessions. The red folders contain factual errors, some of which corrections are now given on the website only because of the fuss I made. The TMAs contained questions that were marked incorrectly and have been corrected because of the fuss I made. This is a course several years old - why weren't the corrections made previously?

    I don't believe I am being too judgemental: I have written and delivered accredited training courses, and have taught at Universities in the UK. I was taught, and was expected, to provide a professional level of service. I would never have got away with such shoddy standards - I would been sacked.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, CCNA
    WIP: CCNP, Linux+
  14. MacAllan

    MacAllan Byte Poster

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    I haven't come here to post about my tp, and have actually been restrained in what I could say about them. Sorry, but I don't fall into your idea of someone who has bitten off more than I can chew, and have never complained that the course was too difficult or that I couldn't cope. But I don't see how it helps this community for information to be given that is inaccurate; and Arroryn's inference that the Cisco Press book(s) are some sort of generous 'extra' was precisely that.

    You say there are shite tp's, and in an earlier post give a description of 'shite' behaviour, that in fact this tp is often guilty of. So, if someone has a positive experience with a 'shite' provider (by your definition), does it help the community for that experience to stand unchallenged?
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, CCNA
    WIP: CCNP, Linux+
  15. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    Your stance on experience like this is fair enough, and I appreciate your follow-up comments.

    I am quite stubborn in the support of my TP, and I will openly and easily admit that. I know there are a lot of disappointed students out there. I suppose it makes a refreshing change for one of them to be someone who's stuck the course out, as opposed to the "normal" ranters and ravers, so to speak, already mentioned by Drum_Dude. I wouldn't mind talking with you off board about their 'services' - it would be nice to have someone to speak to that has stayed with a TP this long, and will discuss the material and TMAs.

    Their material does read disappointingly in parts; I have never said it's perfect - but in the same breath, I can't read and remember anything by David Groth. It's just sometime in the writing style that niggles with me... I know you are saying the material is out of date, so it's a different argument. I'll find out I suppose, when I get to the CCNP. I just always try to make the best out of whatever situation I am in; though thus far, Skillstrain haven't put me in a bad one.

    And as for the material mistakes - fair play to you for pointing them out. I have done so too, and have suggested they make their errata slightly more accessible - the way even the mighty Mr Meyers has to when his books go out to press.

    However, the Tutor team has been more than accessible (as they should be!) and they've always refunded my exams sparklingly quickly!

    I hope you get your issues with your CCNP material sorted out; let me know how you get on, as a heads up in advance will always be appreciated.

    Arro.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA
  16. MacAllan

    MacAllan Byte Poster

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    But the music shop doesn't send a 'music advisor' to your house and use high-pressure sales techniques, does it? And the music shop doesn't make false claims about the instruments it sells, does it? And the music shop doesn't deliberately target the unemployed and people in sometimes vulnerable circumstances, does it?

    Because some tp's do: and so as far as I'm concerned, they are therefore not quite in the same category.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, CCNA
    WIP: CCNP, Linux+
  17. MacAllan

    MacAllan Byte Poster

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    You are as entitled to your experiences and standing up for them as I am.

    Thank you for accepting my apology.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, CCNA
    WIP: CCNP, Linux+
  18. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    My surprise was based on that, when I was 'sold' the course, I was told that all of my course material would be in the form of the red folders. I enquired about Cisco books, and was put under the impression that I would have to buy them myself closer to the time. I thought that was a bit skin-flinty, but accepted it. So when the book arrived, I was just surprised.

    If, in fact, the books are sent out 'as standard', I will cease being surprised, and will merely stop going out buying Cisco books left right and centre :biggrin

    It doesn't, and you quite rightly questioned what I had put, though I do wish you had put it another way*. I have answered your question in turn. As long as I can reasonably answer your questions, it's simply a healthy debate. It's just a debate that's "the other way round" from the ones we normally have about training providers!


    *I think I'm long past those jpyfully wet-behind-the-ear days when I posted on the board, wanting to know why I couldn't format my primary partition in DOS :oops:
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA
  19. drum_dude

    drum_dude Gigabyte Poster

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    Well MacAllen it really depends on what music shop you go to! Believe me I've been in the queue waiting to purchase drumsticks and I overhear the sales guy doing his best to flog a guitar pick on finance to some poor kid! It really depends on their targets!

    I agree with your points entirely but have to say that this isn't just limited to TPs! A LOT of firms do this and unfortunatley these firms are too ambigious on how their sales people reach their targets - in other words they leave too much to suggestion! The result is that the sales guy employs underhand tactics to get the sale - the way SOME of these sales guys sell is to do anything that the TP has not mentioned...this approach covers the TP's arse but not the sales guy i.e. the TP didn't say not to do it...but on the other hand they didn't say DO it...

    As for my old TP, NITLC, well the sales guy was great! Not pushy at all...infact he sold it more to my mum cos she fancied the pants of him - now I'm not gay or anything but this guy's looks could sell anything! Top sales bloke in my opinion! I see him round town a lot - he always buys me a pint...b'stard always has a gorgeous blonde with him too:biggrin :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MCSA , N+, A+ ,ITIL V2, MCTS
    WIP: MCITP 2008 Ent Admin, Server Admin, Exchange 2010, Lync 2010, CCNA & VCP5
  20. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    I'm tempted to say "caveat emptor"; let the buyer beware. As consumers we have some responsibility to make sure (as best we can) that the people we're buying goods and services from are playing fair with us. There are always going to be sales people out there who will take advantage of others, whether it's a training provider, music shop or (heaven help us) a used car dealership.

    On the other hand, if Arroyn or anyone else is satisfied with the services rendered by her TP, so be it. Other people may have been messed over by their TPs but that doesn't invalidate the opinions of those who feel they're getting what they're paying for.

    I'll step in and remind everyone that while debate is good, personalizing conflict isn't. If you read a post and start getting hot under the collar, refrain from replying until you've cooled off or if you can't be civil, don't reply.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+

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