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Beware!

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by magicmastermind, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. magicmastermind

    magicmastermind New Member

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    Hello everyone, i'm new here and this is my first post (but not my last, I hope to make many more in the future).
    I'm very sure that many of you know of what I am about to say but for those who are new here and need more information I hope you find this post extremely useful.
    I work in a call centre, a decent job, I get by life fairly easily. I have an affinity for Science and I.C.T. and thought I would look into applying for a job in the IT sector. I've been looking for a new job anyway, and I found one which seemed rewarding, but as I had no experience in IT i'd have to apply through a training provider. Fair enough, right?
    So I filled in the form. And a week later they rung me, but I was at work. I phoned back, and confirmed it was the company i'd applied for. I told them what would be a good time to ring me back, and they said they would ring back at that time. Well, sadly they didn't ring me back at all, so I phoned them back and asked them to ring me again at that time. They rung me the next day outside of the hours I disclosed, and I got fed up. So I left them to ring me at the right time.
    A week later, and I thought they'd forgotten about me. So, I keep my phone on silent as i'm in work and they ring me during my break, when I originally asked them to. I rung as soon as I got home and they said they'd ring back in an hour to do an interview. So, during this interview, this guy asked me questions and affirmed with me the right answer to the question, to make me look good. (Simply stupid, who knows that type of interviewer? If you're not good at Excel, and it shows, why would they then go on to say that you are? It goes against what the interview is about. They didn't ask me if I was good at Excel, i'm using this as an example, and I hope many of you can confirm this with me.)
    The end of the interview came, and the guy is saying that I am the best he has interviewed, and that "There is the stereotypical programmer, and then there's you". So he says he needs to confer to his teammates and call me back. He said they accepted me and asked if i'd like to put a deposit down for the training. Most of you here have stopped at this point, however I was naive and went ahead with £250 of the £2750 cost of the MCSE course.
    On Monday they phoned me back and asked if I had managed to source the rest of the course fee, to which I answered No. They said that they needed to get the money by Friday 'noon, and he said he was sure that I could get the money by then. So to ensure I could get the money I applied that night for a loan with my bank, who could source the money instantly on a succesful application. So the next morning I payed the rest of the fee. The training would start on the 7th of July, and I was looking forward to something for once! The guy said he would phone me a few days before the course started to make sure everything was going OK.

    To pass the time, I looked at what I was going into and searched online, and I couldn't find any good news. I tried extensively and couldn't find an honest review of the company I paid for my training. Then I found the first mention of the company on this forum. It wasn't looking good.
    I recieved a letter from them with the two receipts for both payments I had made. The phone number was WRONG (it had 12 digits in) and the receipt had the wrong company name on (the name was mis-spelt) and this affirmed my doubts.
    I then found out that there were exam fees and so phoned them up on a Friday morning, asked if the course fee included the exam fees, and they confirmed it didn't. So I told them I would not be able to pay for the entire course and that I wanted to cancel. They said someone would phone me back on Friday. Well, they didn't. And I phoned back at the end of my lunch break, and no one answered. I phoned all different numbers when I got home, and found the stupidest way of pretending that the phone is still ringing...
    On the mobile, after 6 rings the tone would change, and the phone would still 'ring', yet the call timer started as soon as the tone changed. This was an answer-machine? Very convincing. Then on a house phone the message was slightly different - "We are trying to connect you" repeatedly over the ringing of the phone.
    They weren't available over the weekend, so I phoned on Monday morning. I aksed for the guy who I had dealt with before and was told "he is on vacation for 2 weeks" and they said they'd get someone to call me back, this time they did. Strange how he said he would phone me later that week, how could he if he is on vacation? When they called back I confirmed I wanted to cancel and the guy said that from the day I accepted the contract, I had passed their 7 day cooling off period. I then said that I asked someone to call me back on Friday and noone did, and 7 days should constitute as working days, and seeing that noone was there at the weekend or on Friday afternoon, would these constitute as working days?
    What turned my tide into favour was Trading Standards. They said anyone has a 7 day cooling off period with goods, and as this was mainly course material, this would apply. It did, but they said that it would be in the T&C's. Well, Trading Standards say that if these are not received by the customer, the cooling off period will be extended to 7 days after the day the customer received them as long as it is within 3 months.
    I told them this, and within two hours they phoned back and said that the money will be refunded. The next evening, I found a refund of £2750 in my bank, and today I went to the bank and cancelled my loan (which had a 14 day cooling off period.)

    Guys and girls, if you're going into this area and are going to pay this amount of money to a company you haven't heard of, think twice. You might not be as lucky as I am. I consider myself to be very technological yet I have had my down times, including having been in this process and using the same passwords for my accounts, and having a Chinese WoW farmer steal over £1000 from my paypal account.
    I am not naming the company unless someone wants me to, seeing as this is only an individuals opinion and not that of the entire forum, and I don't want to risk having this post deleted by naming the company.


    Now, I look to start the Comptia A+ in the coming weeks. I will surely ask for more advice later, but I would like to open this thread for discussion.

    And also, if you look hard enough in the forum, you should find out which company I am talking about.
     
  2. kevicho

    kevicho Gigabyte Poster

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    I had an issue several years ago with a company, who i signed up for IT training with, and never received the meails for several months.

    I quoted consumer law to both them and the CDL providers, stating that if i was unhappy with the services then i could sue for my money back of them both.

    Needless to say days later i receieved a statement saying the balance was 0.
     
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCSA Server 2003, 2008, Windows XP & 7 , ITIL V3 Foundation
    WIP: CCNA Renewal
  3. kevicho

    kevicho Gigabyte Poster

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    The company was scheidegger, now known as skillstrain i do believe
     
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCSA Server 2003, 2008, Windows XP & 7 , ITIL V3 Foundation
    WIP: CCNA Renewal
  4. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    THis is why many people on here advise people to self study, you can't rip your self off.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  5. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    It's always sad reading some of these stories, especially as those who don't work in IT often think it's SOP
    Glad you got out of it without egg on your face
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCITP, VCP
    WIP: > 0
  6. Cockles

    Cockles Megabyte Poster

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    Very good post mate, well done. Hopefully that will help people to not get in debt for these people. I refuse to deal with any company who sends me anything with spelling mistakes in it. Not being snobby, but if you can't be bothered to even check the quality of your correspondence, then all I can assume is that the company is naff

    I very nearly parted with a good chunk of money for something very similar (can't remember if it was $killstrain or not) and backed out when they kept insisting on sending a salesperson round my house and refusing to tell me how much it cost. I told them very politely a phrase that rhymes with Buck Toff
     
    Certifications: None
    WIP: Trying to find my car keys
  7. TimoftheC

    TimoftheC Kilobyte Poster

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    Damn, some people can be real bastards can't they. Good job on spotting it M.M.M. and getting your money back:biggrin
     
    Certifications: A+; Network+
    WIP: MCDST???
  8. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    I hope this isn't gonna turn out to be one of those, you can't comment because you don't work in IT posts because it's bollocks people can have an opinion on anything and when you work somewhere you often learn how other departments work and how jobs are done. So opinions can be formed.

    Sorry if I got the wrong end of the stick but **** like that pisses me off.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  9. kevicho

    kevicho Gigabyte Poster

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    SOP = standard operating procedure???

    Either way there are con artists in every walk of life, unfortunately they mostly end up in sales and then some target people who would like a career in IT, usually after seeing unrealistic adverts.

    The only way to earn that sort of money straight away is if you have years experience in something like project or data management and the role you take is less about the technical side and more to do with that (such as database management), and then thats not a walk in the park.

    Somehow the training companies seem to forget this
     
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCSA Server 2003, 2008, Windows XP & 7 , ITIL V3 Foundation
    WIP: CCNA Renewal
  10. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Great advice, tri-M - rep given. Glad you got your money back! Your story will be an inspiration to others looking to get out of a dodgy training provider situation.

    Welcome to the forums!
     
    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!
  11. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    I just read it wrong, apologies.

    These training companies are only interested in your money anyway. I once read somewhere that two people were doing the same course but being charged different prices. Every wondered why they visit your house? To get a look at your assets so they can charge accordingly.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  12. Cockles

    Cockles Megabyte Poster

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    Is that right? Hah, if they'd visited my gaff, they'd ended up owing me money! :D
     
    Certifications: None
    WIP: Trying to find my car keys
  13. Naj

    Naj Bit Poster

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    I'm new here, looking to gain some cerification and get into the IT industry. I too got in contact with some training companies. I was put off straight away by the relentless hounding by their call centre sales staff. My mobile recieved minimum 3 calls a day for 6 weeks, Monday-Saturday, even after I told them I'm not interested!

    These are not education institutions, these are companies selling a sub standard product/service based on lies. I found it very hard to find a company which lists the course structure and a price. Why should price vary from one person to another? As mentioned, the sales person will aim to visit you in your home and pressure you to sign at an arbitrary price.
     
    Certifications: NA
  14. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    ha ha :D

    I can't remember where I read the story about two people getting charged differently by the same company. Just to add one of them was from a upper class background and the other was middle class, there was a difference of £800 which is a lot in anyones eyes.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  15. kevicho

    kevicho Gigabyte Poster

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    Im not sure what sop means lol, just guessing at that

    Its a shame because a lot of people are genuinely interested in learning, and the one thing they need is guidance, i think the debate of self training versus course training will go on forever, but i geniunely think that if more people found sites like this, and that means marketing sites like this against these training courses, then people doing a websearch will see the alternative, and at least see that these companies are overcharging by the thousands for what could be photocopies and ripped off material.

    Not wanting to band all these people in the same category, but if a good company does exist out there then i have yet to hear of them.
     
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCSA Server 2003, 2008, Windows XP & 7 , ITIL V3 Foundation
    WIP: CCNA Renewal
  16. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    They do exist. That said, the good ones are few and far between... and they are usually far less "visible" than the bad ones. Thus, the bad training companies give all of them a bad reputation.

    There's a reason why the bad training companies are usually larger and more visible... it's easier (and more profitable) to con someone out of money than it is to earn it legitimately. The bad ones don't care (or don't know!) whether what they have suggested is good for your career - they're going to sell you the most expensive course they can. And the bad ones don't care if you're a repeat customer or not - they've got your money.
     
    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!

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