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Training Co's to watch out for

Discussion in 'General Microsoft Certifications' started by UKDarkstar, Jul 18, 2008.

  1. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

    Following my post in another thread I thought I'd just show how badly it can go wrong when you opt for "cheap" training.

    After 3 or 4 years with my own business as an IT Enegineer I decided to up the ante and get certified. I was a Microsoft Registered Partner and had been on some teccy labs and workshops and was now working more and more on NT and 2000 servers.

    Being on a tight budget I spotted an ad with a company called AMRAF who were offerig a bootcamp MCSE over 6 months for £1,000. I looked at the training schedule and saw it was roughly one week in three in a classroom (10 weeks total) and that it would be possible to do it in 3-6 months.

    I plumped for this and paid for it via my business (sole trader not Limited Company) with a company cheque (so no credit card protection).

    First course was 2 weeks cramming the A+ and Network+ courses (but said we wouldn't be doing the exams as not necessary). At end of second week spent a day on the next course (Intro to 2000). We all went home on the Friday night looking forward to meeting up in a couple of weeks to start on the 2000 proper.

    Saturday morning - letter arrives saying company was in hands of receivers and not to turn up for any more courses. Receivers would be in touch.

    Needless to say I still went to the site on the Monday morning and found loads of other students there and the course tutor who had also got a letter saying he was redundant !

    They used rented offices through a Regis site and Regis had locked the office and would not allow access to avoid anyone taking equipment etc.

    We couldn't even get the course manuals so had no study material.

    Turns out they were running the cheap courses to get the places filled as they were short of cash !

    Long protracted wranglings resulting in nothing and my final payout was 14 pence !!!

    There's some articles here and it transpired the Directors (or some of them) had done exactly this sort of thing before :



    So, be warned - if something looks too good it probably is. Do a LOT of investigating before parting with your cash and try to pay on a credit card (NOT debit card) as it gives you some protection via the card provider. I certainly wouldn't use a company where any of the Directors had been involved with AMRAF :x
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  2. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    Top Thread. This should be pinned.

    Rep given.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
    Honorary Member

    UCHEEKYMONKEY R.I.P - gone but never forgotten. Gold Member

    :HHHMMM interesting thread and so true - " if something looks too good it probably is"

    I guess a lot of people get sucked in by the PR of training Companies, it's not difficult to want to believe them until you hear how much they charge for their courses. then it hits you like a brick in the face!:biggrin8)
    Certifications: Comptia A+
    WIP: Comptia N+
  4. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    In this case you were lucky as £1000 generally only buys around three days worth of full time professional training in the UK, so you probably didn't get burnt as badly as you could have been.

    This is why I would never reccomend these big up front fee courses, even degrees generally offer a fee break down per term, some part time courses even by module.

    Paying in installments is a great way to assess the training as you go and not find yourself overcommited or locked in.

    Paying a large amount upfront places you at a great risk of a loss.

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