• Report: #790361

Complaint Review: Academy of Ultrasound LLC

  • Submitted: Tue, October 18, 2011
  • Updated: Fri, November 11, 2011

  • Reported By: cinderella1952 — El Cajon California United States of America
Academy of Ultrasound LLC
Internet United States of America

Academy of Ultrasound LLC John Sheldon - instructor Breech of Contract; Bad Faith Internet

*Consumer Comment: Same experience

*General Comment: My rebuttal

*Consumer Comment: Wayne Price's Complaint

*Author of original report: Cindy's rebuttal to John Sheldon's Argument

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: John Sheldon Rebuttal

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October 2010, I signed up for and paid cash (check) for an online ultrasound program with Academy of Ultrasound.  There was virtually no instruction whatsoever and students had to basically rely upon their learning from textbooks.  If I had questions, the instructor was impossible to reach and rarely responded to my email.  Students would get emails from the administrator Jennifer Sheldon that John Sheldon (the instructor) was either in a remote location without internet access and no cell service, he was traveling, or on jury duty.

I completed 26 units of a total of 83 units.  According to the contract from Academy of Ultrasound, a student is entitled to a pro-rata refund if they have completed less than 60% of the total units.  Since I paid in advance, not month to month or quarter to quarter, my enrollment period is revolving and consists of the total 83 units.  

I decided to quit the program and request my refund via email on August 10, 2011 that I was entitled to.  Academy of Ultrasound is refusing my request, but have contradicted themselves several times in email correspondence.  I am clearly entitled to a pro-rata refund; therefore they are guilty of breach of contract.  Accordingly, they are also guilty of bad faith based upon deliberate misrepresentation of the education or lack thereof.  They made guarantees and promises that are impossible to keep. Upon doing more research and getting a copy of my cancelled check, I have since come to realize, I actually paid $600 more for the program than what was on the fee schedule sent to me.  I made the incorrect payment in error.  I have now requested the $600 over payment and my pro-rata refund.  To date, I have not received either.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/18/2011 05:44 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Academy-of-Ultrasound-LLC/internet/Academy-of-Ultrasound-LLC-John-Sheldon-instructor-Breech-of-Contract-Bad-Faith-Internet-790361. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Same experience

AUTHOR: Elissa Beswick - ()

I would like to talk with you both as the same experience happened to me! see my complaint I added on here and write me if you would. (((redacted)))

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#2 General Comment

My rebuttal

AUTHOR: Amanda - (United States of America)

Hi my name is Amanda and I am the daughter of Cindy who wrote the original complaint.  I can verify that my mom spent a lot of time researching the field of ultrasound.  She has several friends who are in the field who love their jobs.  My mom had difficulty finding a school in our area that did not have a long waiting list to accept students.  Since I had just received my bachelors degree from an online program, my mom decided to try  that approach for an online ultrasound program.  I had a great experience with my online education.  Unfortunately my mom did not have the same experience I did probably due to the fact Academy of Ultrasound is basically a husband and wife team attempting to run the business and the instructor has a full-time job as a travelling sonographer.  My mom did not know that at the onset when she enrolled in the program because those who represent the school were not honest about the program.

In conclusion, the basis for why she quit the program and all the opinions, including mine don't matter one bit.  What matters are the facts, and the facts are the Academy of Ultrasound and its representatives are refusing to give my mom a refund which she is definitely entitled to.  I've seen the facts and the facts can not be disputed.  People can go round and round over opinions and "he said, she said", but at the end of the day, no one can argue with facts.

This entire issue with this school has been exhausting and stressful for my entire family.  No one deserves to be treated the way my mom has been treated by the representatives of the Academy of Ultrasound.  Initially my mom would have been please to receive her pro-rata refund and the Academy of Ultrasound and its representatives would have never heard from her again.  But all her choices and options were taken away.  So now she has filed reports and complaints in the hope that no one will ever be cheated out of their money  from the Academy of Ultrasound.


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#3 Consumer Comment

Wayne Price's Complaint

AUTHOR: Wayne Price - (United States of America)

I am the husband of Cindy P the person who initially reported the complaint about Academy of Ultrasound LLC.  Let me substantiate the information she has provided.

Not only is  everything she has expressed in her complaint absolutely 100% factual, the enrollment fee she paid in the amount of $12,975.00 was taken from our retirement.  After Cindy researched education and employment in the field of Ultrasound, she and I were both convinced it was a good investment.  Hind sight being 20/20, although ultrasound is a good employment route making a decent salary  right out of school, the money "invested" with the Academy of Ultrasound has been a complete and utter waste of time and money.

I can attest to the fact that the supposed 18-24 month program, Cindy had only completed Quarter II in the first 10 months because the instructor was always slow to open the new Quarter and assignments. Cindy was always on top of the school work and finished the assignments quickly.  It was not Cindy's fault at all that  she had only completed Quarter II in 10 months, but the fault of the Academy of Ultrasound.  

Now that she realized the "education" at Academy of Ultrasound was sub par, she decided to quit, cut her/our losses and move on.  Now that they have refused to refund her pro-rata refund, she/we are left no other choice than to FIGHT for what we are entitled too.  Cindy and I have worked hard for our money and $13,000.00 is a lot of money.  If we have to file a million complaints to finally get someone to notice, we are prepared to fight until our dying breath.  If the Academy of Ultrasound refunds the pro-rata share she is entitled too, we will take no further action.


Wayne P

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#4 Author of original report

Cindy's rebuttal to John Sheldon's Argument

AUTHOR: cinderella1952 - (United States of America)

In response to John Sheldons rebuttal to my original complaint regarding Academy of Ultrasound LLCs refund policy, according to their Right to Cancel Agreement, this is what it states:

A student who withdraws or is dismissed after 3 business days has passed, but before completing 60% of the potential units of instruction in the current enrollment period, shall be entitled to a pro
rata refund.

(1)    Pro rata refund shall be determined as the number of units remaining after the last unit completed by the student, divided by the number of units in the enrollment period, rounded downward to the nearest ten percent.  Pro rata refund is the resulting percent applied to
the total tuition and other required costs paid by the student for the current enrollment period.

I enrolled in Academy of Ultrasounds Echocardiography program which consists of 83 units. 
Please refer to their website at http://academyofultrasound.com/EchoCurriculum.html.  I paid a total tuition of $12,975.00 as per their tuition agreement.  I have my cancelled check made payable to Academy of Ultrasound to substantiate the amount I paid.  I started the supposed 18 month program October 2010.  After 10 months of the program and only completing Quarter II for a total of 26 units, I requested to quit the program and receive my pro rata refund. Nowhere in their refund policy must I give a reason why I quit; so Im not certain why his rebuttal mentions anything regarding my reasoning, particularly anything referencing finances or family medical issues.  If I decide to quit the program, it is my prerogative to do so and I am entitled to a pro rata refund based upon their Right to Cancel Agreement.  Anything else is merely opinion, speculative and argument and clearly what matters are the facts.

Considering I paid for the entire program in advance, my current enrollment period would consist
of the entire 18 month program or 83 units. The percentage of completed units of 83 if I completed 26 of the units would be 31% of the program; therefore I am entitled to a refund.

As far as his argument that I received a discount and paid only $8,250.00, I have a cancelled check to support $12,975.00 made payable to Academy of Ultrasound, LLC and Tuition and Fee agreement provided by Academy of Ultrasound requesting what my payment amount would be.  In various emails from John Sheldon and Jennifer Sheldon (Director of Admissions) they claim
it was an agreement made by me and my friend who enrolled in the Academy of Ultrasound which is completely untrue,unfounded and has no basis in fact.  My friend whom I enrolled simultaneously with will substantiate that the tuition was not something she and I decided, but a
formula from the Academy of Ultrasound and its representatives; specifically Jennifer Sheldon.  I am in receipt of the Tuition and Fee Schedule sent to me by the Academy of Ultrasound showing what my enrollment fee was.  Facts don't lie!

Upon further research into Academy of Ultrasound, they clearly are in Breach of Contract, Fraud, Misrepresentation and Deceptive Business Practices.  My motivation to expose them for such is twofold, first Id like to receive the refund I am entitled to and second, I dont want the Academy of Ultrasound or its representatives to exploit another unsuspecting, trusting person for their own
monetary gain.

In John Sheldons last paragraph he advises potential students to perform research prior to pursuing a particular line of work, in this case ultrasound.  What I would strongly suggest to potential consumers and/or students is to perform research about the institution and only enroll in an accredited school and whatever you do, DO NOT give a dime to Academy of Ultrasound unless you wish to be ripped off.  Also, John Sheldon says if you have concerns contact the instructor and/or follow the grievance policy in the catalog.  Let me assure anyone who is reading this, I sent at least four emails to John and Jennifer  Sheldon asking them specifically what the procedure is to cancel my enrollment in order to receive my refund.  At NO TIME did they direct me to the catalog or their grievance policy, but instead locked me out of the online education program and refused to issue my refund that I am clearly entitled to!

Lastly, John Sheldon is absolutely correct, I have filed numerous complaints to various entities in an attempt to receive what I am entitled to, which is my pro-rata refund.  Academy of Ultrasound and its representatives are guilty of Breach of Contract, Bad Faith, Deceptive Business Practices, Misrepresentation, etc.  If I do not receive my pro-rata refund of $8,693.25, I will pursue this issue further, up to and including Bad Faith and Deceptive Business practices in order to receive my entire enrollment fee refunded in full. My other reason for filing complaints is so no other unsuspecting person(s) becomes victim to their deceptive business practices for their own monetary gain.  Please feel free to contact me via email at cinderella1952@cox.net and  I will be happy to give copies of my cancelled check, their Right to Cancel Agreement and Tuition and Fee Request.  Sincerely,  Cindy  Price

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#5 REBUTTAL Individual responds

John Sheldon Rebuttal

AUTHOR: Academy of Ultrasound, LLC - (United States of America)

This is the same complaint Ms. Price filed under the Academy of Ultrasound, LLC name.

The Academy of Ultrasound, LLC specializes in Ultrasound training.  We offer our classes in a distance format, and as such classes are taken via the internet.  This allows students the flexibility of when and where they are  to complete their assignments.  Our classes are taught by an instructor who is still active in the field of traveling sonography.  As with all distance programs, most instuctor contact is made via email, with telephone conferences by appt.

Concerning the refund issue. 

Ms. Price did start the program on October 2010 and in August requested a refund based on not seeing her doing this in the future and having a family member needing financial assistance.  She also stated that the material wasnt staying with her.  As she states, upon enrollment, she took advantage of a $8250 discount on tuition of the 2nd student enrolling at the same time.  We showed her what the tuition was split in half, at her request for purposes of the two students paying the total tuition due. This doesnt change the fact that Ms. Price received a discount of $8250 on her tuition.  She completed 2 full quarters and was in week 7 of a 10 week quarter for quarter 3 when she requested the refund.  Our refund policy clearly states, if a student completes 60% of the units available for the current enrollment period (which is the quarter) then that quarter is considered complete for refunds calcs.  With 3 quarters completed out of a 6 quarter program, the refund would be1/2 of the tuition, or $8250.  However; as stated, Ms. Price's tuition was only $8250 when she enrolled.  So there is no refund amount remaining to be due.

As to contact problems:
Ours is an online program and as such the majority of contact is via email.  Telephone appts can be made, when scheduled in advance.  Ms. Price didnt acknowlege having contact problems with the Academy, until such time as she was notified that there was no refund due.

As to problems with course materials:
Ms. Price never advised us of the problems with the course material, until such time as she was notified that there was no refund due.  Her problems stem from her receiving the wrong textbook edition from the manufacturer.  Once we became aware of this problem, we offered to replace the book with the correct text.  The syllabus Ms. Price received clearly states the edition of the textbook used and she should have notified us when she noticed the problem, not 2 quarters later when requesting a refund due to personal issues.

About her supposed $600 overpayment:

Ms. Price requested her own set of textbooks for her program. The offer of 1/2 off tuition for the 2nd student enrolling at the same time, comes with 1 set of free textbooks.  She paid the $600 which is the cost of the books and they were shipped to her.  So the statement she overpaid is false.

In conclusion, before you undertake a program of instruction, perform some research and make sure that it is what you wish to pursue.  Although our tuition is substantially lower than most private institutions, it still is a large sum of money to spend and not be sure that you are going to complete the program.  The Academy is there to train students in the field of sonography, but we can not ensure that Ultrasound is the perfect job for everyone.  Also a distance format is not for everyone, especially those students who need more live contact with an instructor.  We attempt to give as much guidance prior to enrollment, as possible.  We even suggest you complete an observation at an Ultrasound facility before enrolling. Secondly, if you have concerns with your program, contact your instructor or follow the grievence policy in the student catalog, before requesting a refund.
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