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Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by AArcher, Aug 7, 2008.

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  1. AArcher

    AArcher Nibble Poster

    Before reading this article, please note that the opinions expressed are those of the author, and not those of www.certforums.co.uk

    Right to start of other people might have had a good experience with this company and found it to be very good but I just wanted to warn people of my disgusting experience.

    Lets start at the beginning, I've always wanted to work in I.T. but dragged my feet looked at courses etc only online. Then the wonderful (and unexpected) news I am going to be a father! So as you can imagine I started to look into it more intensely to get a career rather than estate agency and retail with no future. Had meetings with companies Cerco not being one of them. Now still looking into all my options my work decided to tell me that im not going to have a job soon ( they were being crafty trying to get people to leave so they didn't have to pay redundacy pay). So as you can imagine I really upped the ante so to speak. My sister in law who works for Elan IT suggested Cerco again as it was a company her an I came accross when she was helping me look. I went to London to a meeting they had with other hopefuls and took a test which I got best marks for and an interview. All making it look like a great company with only four weeks training and a job after costing £4,000 including accomodation. Seemed like a perfect option giving that I was a limited timescale. I thought about it and decided to phone them and accept their offer and asked some questions like discounts what times I have to be there etc etc including whether all accomodation and MEALS were included which was answered yes.

    So I paid £100 for the enrolement fee and started to arrange the finance for the rest through them. I got the pack through and it looked like I had to pay for my accomodation so I phoned them up with some more questions. Accomodation was not an issue as the list of places is just so you can choose then I noticed it said there is tea and coffee and a sandwich van outside so I asked is lunch not included which I was answered no. I thought it wasn't really an issue but then asked about breakfast and dinner and nothing was included at all just a bed to sleep in! Now bearing in mind I am on a very limited budget with baby on the way and an uncertain future thats alot of money for a whole month of eating to pay for from take aways and restuarants (about 400-500 quid). So I complained and so did my dad as he was standing next to me when I asked. Now they said they would get a team manager to speak to me the next day and what happens they have removed me from the course because of my attitude the day before! Now they did say they will refund the £100 for enrolement but what to add on top of this is that I've handed my notice in to my current job so im going to be jobless but also which they are aware of is that Im going away to Lithuania till the 18th and my course starts on the 18th I was so keen I changed my flight back a couple of days to the 16th so I could make the course costing me £90. So all in all Cerco have messed my life up and even if they did say I could go back on the course I won't as I've lost all faith in the company!!!!

    Alastair Archer
    Certifications: None
    WIP: CompTIA 2006 A+
  2. mickaveli2001

    mickaveli2001 Byte Poster

    Sorry to hear that Alastair. Sounds like they just had "yes" people on the phone to draw in as many customers as they could. That's why I've always looked into getting a digital phone recorder off of Ebay. They're cheap and at least you have proof, and a stronger standing point to take it further, and chances are you'll get a refund, large discount in someway. A refund you can use to take to another company, and even suggest you have this kind of money to invest into your career within IT, and some may be encouraged to take you on because of that generosity and enthusiasm.

    Can't be easy if you're expecting a little one. I'm 24, with a gf, and 2 year old, and right now there's no way I could afford to be out of a job, especially with oustanding debt still due. If I was in your shoes I'd write to the main cheif, and even threaten with legal action or press action if they do not resolve the issue within a certain amount of time
    Certifications: NC Communication/Computing
    WIP: A+
  3. The Zig

    The Zig Kilobyte Poster

    On the plus side, they may have done you a good turn by un-enrolling you from the course for free. I was looking into the same course (same date actually), and I actually put down my deposit (£100) before I really got stuck into some independent research into them.

    I'm really glad I did.
    To start, though, their training appears to be excellent. Good teachers - lots of stuff to do. For the research I did, I found no-one who criticised their training itself.
    However, the in-house Cerco tests were criticised. From what I read (in multiple sources) they hint pretty heavily at what will be in the tests. According to one account, on one test, the only difference between the practice test and the real one was a fictional client's name.:blink

    Which leads to the second issue. The Cerco certificate is strictly in-house. It is not industry recognised, and is essentially worthless outside of their circle of close partners. It's pretty limited there too, according to some accounts I read. (As the certificate isn't widely recognised, the companies that do hire you are quite aware that you don't have a great deal of choice.)

    Cerco circumvent this obvious shortcoming by claiming 98% of their graduates get a job. (Did you hear this in your interview? I sure did.) But this is the same claim they had to remove from their official literature after an ASA ruling found that their data didn't support it.
    From what I hear online, it seems their ability to guarantee job placement is limited geographically. People outside of London or some major city can be waiting a while. I'm yet to see anything kind written about their recruitment team. And if you find your own temporary work, you may have to drop it for their temporary work (even if it pays less) if you want any further help from them.

    In the end, I decided their training's probably very good, but £4000?! Nah. And their much touted after-support seem at best limited, at worst, shabby. I guess it's quite a hard-sell for their sales team, pushing staff with limited experience and just their own in-house certificate.
    I canned that idea. Now I'm studying it all at home. Self-study.

    So far I've spent about a tenth what I would have spent on Cerco getting together some old and new IT equipment to play with. I spent £20.99 on Meyer's A+ All-In-One. I've just spent another £200+ on A+ exam vouchers. It's definitely a better way to go.
    As it turned out, I was quite jammy, and the £100 direct debit for my deposit didn't clear. Guess they got some details wrong. And by the time they got back to me on it, I'd seen the ASA thing, and been advised to self-study.

    I have no regrets.

    Congratulations on the Dad thing! I was in the same boat last year.
    My son will be four months old next week. I know it's kinda scary, but it's really cool.

    Good luck getting this sorted.
    Though I honestly think you're better off without their course. In a weird way, I really think they've done you a favour.
    Certifications: A+; Network+; Security+, CTT+; MCDST; 4 x MTA (Networking, OS, Security & Server); MCITP - Enterprise Desktop Support; MCITP - Enterprise Desktop Administrator; MCITP - Server Administrator; MCSA - Server 2008; MCT; IOSH; CCENT
    WIP: CCNA; Server 2012; LPIC; JNCIA?
  4. kevicho

    kevicho Gigabyte Poster

    100 poundswill buy you an A+ book and an MCDST book, and you have access to a fantastic board here and the internet to use as a library, so looks like you are in a better position.

    Get applying for IT roles now, look for helpdesk/1st line roles and emphasise your customer relationship skills as most employers nowadays will be more than happy to train new employees as long as they have the right attitude and a desire to learn.

    Best wishes
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCSA Server 2003, 2008, Windows XP & 7 , ITIL V3 Foundation
    WIP: CCNA Renewal
  5. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    Sorry to hear that, Alastair. You'll find that most of us here recommend self-study options... it's a LOT cheaper. In light of that, you might consider this a godsend! After all, you're now not on the hook for £4,000, with job "guarantees" that may or may not hold up to scrutiny. On that topic: never, ever, ever believe job guarantees - nobody can guarantee you a job unless you've got a job offer from a company in hand. There are too many ways to wiggle out of it, and still "fulfill" their part of the bargain: finding you a job for a salary you cannot accept, or in an area to which you cannot afford to commute, or doing a job you'd rather not do (such as one unrelated to IT), or working for a company you'd rather not work for (one with shady business dealings or where they treat their employees poorly).

    So... if you're interested in getting into IT, I'd recommend that you pick up an A+ book or two and an old computer you can tinker with, and get started studying... after you find a replacement job, of course. :) On that subject, the best advice I can give is to never hand in your notice until you've got another job offer firmly in hand. You're never more valuable than when you already have a job... and conversely, an employer will know you're "desperate" and will take less when you DON'T have a job.

    In truth, you don't NEED certifications to get an entry-level IT job... certifications just make your CV look more impressive to potential employers. So start looking for IT jobs now. You just might get one even before you get certified!
    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. pfairbrother

    pfairbrother Bit Poster

    Well done for posting and letting us know about your bad experience with them. Hopefully others will read the thread and stay well away.
    Certifications: MCP (70-271)
    WIP: A+. 70-272
  7. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

    Cerco has already been covered on here, do a search on Cerco and there are a couple of threads already in existence about them.
    Certifications: SIA DS Licence
    WIP: A+ 2009
  8. fillme23

    fillme23 New Member

    i was one of the people who were actually foolish enough to believe the blurb from cerco and i handed over the 4 grand.

    I have to say that things went reasonable well from the start, I had a job within a week of finishing the course. great i thought. then things started to go wrong as the after care does leave something to be desired, they could never get things right. I was supposed to get a van, pda and a few other things to do the job, the van turned up after 2 weeks, the pda never arrived which my employer had to step in and sort out as i had to have one so that i could know when and where i was supposed to be and to sign off jobs.
    They couldn't book hotels properly, constantly having to chase them for the details and then when i arrived at the hotel i quiet often found that they hadn't paid for them.

    After about 7 months i had a phone call from cerco to say that the contract had ended and i was unemployed at the end of the week. No explination to say why so i did a bit of digging with the company i worked for. I found out that cerco had been billing them twice for the same work, charging for allsorts of stuff that I never worked & charging them for expenses that i never had.

    I managed to stay on with the company i worked for but not through cerco thankfully & i still work for them today so in a roundabout way something good has come out of it.

    Now though i am left paying off the loan for a worthless piece of paper as their qualification is worthless & they did promise that they would put me through the comptia a+ but i have never heard from them since. What a suprise.

    If anyone is thinking about doing cerco's course, Don't!!!

    They will fill you full of promise which they will never deliver and when you start to question things with them they either don't want to know or their response is "We got you this job, we can take you out of it again" those are the words of Chris Edge, one of the directors there, not what you want if you spend 4 grand with someone.
  9. TheITCrowd

    TheITCrowd Kilobyte Poster

    "We got you this job, we can take you out of it again" those are the words of Chris Edge,
    Dont think he is there anymore...

    They got you in the industry and trained you, so they actually did what they promised!

    They also seem to have joined up with Unique IT training, and put the prices down.
    Certifications: Network + |CCNA |MCTS-70-680,MCTS-70-401, MCTS-70-656, MCTS-70-351 |HP AIS ProCurve Networking -2011 | HP2-896 |VCD-CP27|JNCIA |Hewlett Packard ASE - Network Infrastructure (2011)
    WIP: 642-813
  10. ThomasMc

    ThomasMc Gigabyte Poster

    Bit of an old post there TheITCrowd :)
    Certifications: MCDST|FtOCC
    WIP: MCSA(70-270|70-290|70-291)
  11. SimonD
    Honorary Member

    SimonD Terabyte Poster

    If not then he needs to update his LinkedIn profile.
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  12. TheITCrowd

    TheITCrowd Kilobyte Poster

    lol, was bored, thought it was Aug 10, only realised after I submitted it :rolleyes:
    Certifications: Network + |CCNA |MCTS-70-680,MCTS-70-401, MCTS-70-656, MCTS-70-351 |HP AIS ProCurve Networking -2011 | HP2-896 |VCD-CP27|JNCIA |Hewlett Packard ASE - Network Infrastructure (2011)
    WIP: 642-813
  13. Stephie

    Stephie New Member


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