I own a small wedding planning company and thought it would be nice to take their Event Planning course. I signed up, paid the initial fee, and waited to get my lessons, which never came.
A month later, they contacted me asking for payment. I explained that maybe they had my wrong address because I never received the materials. The lady was nice, and said that they'd "re-send" them and that in the meantime, I could see some material online and take my first quiz. The quiz was a joke - it was about 10 questions of kindergarten-level multiple choice.
I finished the one quiz and signed off, figuring i'd wait to get my books in the mail. Well, they never came. I called twice and was transferred and left on hold both times and eventually hung up. I figured I was simply out the money that I paid and wrote it off as a scam.
Fast forward a year later, I start getting calls from Penn Foster (all different numbers but MY area code) as late as 11pm from a VERY RUDE, NASTY woman demanding payment and threatening to take me to court. I essentially laughed at her, and said "You've got to be kidding me. I never received a single thing form you guys, AND you took my enrollment fee." To which she replied, "The moment you took that online test you became liable for the full tuition." I told her this was a complete scam and I think it's disgusting to take advantage of people who are only seeking to better their careers in a bad economy. That was 2 years ago.
I'm currently a fulltime student at a REAL state university with a 4.0 GPA, and I recently applied for a student loan and was denied. Puzzled, I pulled my credit report and found that Penn Foster has reported me as "In Collections" for $393!! It is literally the most insane thing I've ever heard of. Essentially, I spent $149 for taking a 10 question quiz that my 5-year-old could have written, and never received another thing from them except hundreds of harassing phone calls.
Now I'm "in the hole" for another $800?! This has to be illegal. Also, Penn Foster's "certificates" are not recognized by any institution except their own. Total scam...do not even CONSIDER doing "business" with them.
I suspect the "school" is actually some miserable cat lady and her boyfriend sitting in their mother-in-law's basement with sweatpants and internet access. I'm embarrassed that I even considered such a thing.
Product or Service Mentioned: Penn Foster Program.
Monetary Loss: $550.