I enrolled with Allied Business Schools in August of 2005 for their medical transcription course. I researched for what seemed like months on which study-at-home schools would be the best, which are the most helpful, and basically which school would help me with my future.
I found many schools that were so-called reputable, with low, low enrollment fees, but many complaints from students who had made the mistake of investing in the education the schools promised to provide. I decided that where my education and future were concerned, money was not an object.
Allied Business Schools seemed to be best choice for a study-at-home school. It promised to give 24-hour customer service and help with any questions. I paid the tuition in full, and began my course with Allied right away.
My disappointment was clear immediately. I had only received part of my materials, and upon calling and telling them about receiving only part of my study tools, they made it sound as though I really had received them and, maybe (just wanted to keep them for free?) After many an email, I finally received a notice telling me that I would be receiving another shipment of my materials, and many weeks later, I did receive them.
A bit annoyed, I carried on with my studies and everything seemed to be going along track fine.
Upon finishing the first part of my course, I was excited that my course was finally coming to a close. But something seemed to be missing.
After seeing that I had been studying at home, a relative of mine decided that she should also enroll in the course. She is a mother who took out a loan to take this course and be able to study at home, at her own pace, and still look after her children. I learned from her that I was indeed not close to finishing my course - there was ANOTHER phase of this course that I needed to take, she had received every material immediately.
I contacted Allied Schools again, and this time, not only were a few materials missing, but an entire phase of my course was not sent to me. I was missing three books, a foot pedal, medical CDs, practice reports, and study guides. On top of this, once again, the school made it sound like I was trying to get something for free.
I began on the second phase of my course earlier this year in 2006, and now in August of 2006, a year later, I am finally drawing to the close of my course.
On day, I logged into "My Progess So Far" page on the Allied website, and I was not allowed into the website.
"YOUR ACCOUNT HAS EXPIRED. PLEASE CONTACT ALLIED TO REENROLL." flashed in front of my face.
I emailed them right away, asking what was going on, I was very behind in having my transcripts graded, and this wasn't the best time to be locked out of my studying.
Three days later, I still had received no reply. I called the customer service line, and asked very politely what was going on. This was, after all, a "go at your own pace" course.
The lady on the phone was extremely rude and only repeated exactly what the website had told me, "Your account has expired. You need to reenroll."
Excuse me? Come again? Pardon? I paid over $1,700 to take this course, and exactly at the one year mark of my studies, they deactivated me. I was speechless.
The lady then said simply, "I'll give you a 3 month extension."
Well, how KIND of her!!! Bless her soul.
I hung up the phone, and vowed I would do anything I needed to make sure anyone I knew would not get involved with this school.
Had I not been so sure I could finish the course in 3 months, I don't know what I would have done.
Not ONCE, not ANYWHERE on Allied's website or brochures does it say that you have one year to complete their course. They push the "study at your own pace", and are hoping you will take as long as you need so that you will pay for tuition twice to finish what you started.
On their website, their survey asks, "How long do you think it will take you to complete this course?" Wouldn't that be a fine opportunity to place the information that you only have one year to complete this course? At the top of your progress page on their website, there is a tally of the days you have been enrolled, saying simply, "You have been enrolled for XXX days. As soon as all assignments are completed, you may take the final!" Wouldn't THAT be a fine opportunity to inform the student that their precious time is running out?
Allied Business Schools is nothing but a scam. They are looking for you to fail, they are looking for you to fall into that trap and either not receive your certificate, or to simply pay the tuition again. They are sickening.
I don't even know what my relative will do about this. Having two small children, she is extremely far behind in her studies, not even through the first phase of the course, falling back on the old comfort that she can "take her time" and her year is nearly up. Not to mention that she is paying interest on her loan for this course that she will not be able to finish.
Now that I have only a few short weeks left in my course, I anxiously awaited the results of my midterm test. I receive the email saying that I did not pass it.
And? Could I have some more information than that?
The information provided on their website states that the FINAL exam may only be taken when the midterm is passed, and you are NOT allowed to retake it. What does that mean? Does that mean that after all this, I'm done-for? That there will be no final? That I cannot move on? I have still not received a reply concerning the latest issue.
All I have to say is that if you are planning on studying at home for ANY of their courses, you will be better off going through a very cheap, very tasteless, very frowned-upon school than even considering for a moment to give Allied Business Schools a dime of your hard-earned money. At least, then, you will be able to have the OPTION of finishing your studies.