Ameritrain, Inc has decided that saving a few bucks is enough reason to do serious damage to those who provide their lifeblood, their students. I am writing this under a name othe than my own as I fear for my job otherwise, however I have seen such heinous acts of deception today that I had to say something, warn someone, vent somewhere.
I am one of a small group of ameritrain employees to have been brought to Charlotte, NC to remove all trace of our company ever being here - although we have students who paid alot of hard-earned money to take classes - some of which are still ongoing (as a matter of fact, a session was due to meet tonight!) and one of which was due to begin in a couple of weeks. Here is what happened, the decision was made some time ago to end our presence in North Carolina.
This was due to new regulations that required us to become licensed in order to operate in that state. Our company made excellent profits in NC (especially Charlotte) so it was a surprise to many that we would close shop - but then the real reason made sense: the same things that allowed us to earn a high return were the reasons why we were COMPLETELY UNABLE TO GET LICENSED IN NC: some examples:
- Deceptive business practices w/customers AND employees
- illegal resume searches, followed by calls for, presumably, job interviews, which instead became high pressure sales pitches (yes, I said illegal - it is)
- Train to hire scams designed to extract additional funds from students, while setting highly unrealistic goals for them in order to obtain the promised job.
- False advertising in terms of the type of instruction and supposed hands-on experience the students would recive.
In other words, we made a profit by doing things that would keep us from ever being licensed, so we would leave - but that didn't stop the company from scheduling additional classes (some of which they knew FROM THE GET_GO would never be taught) from enrolling new students (after the state had said we could not) from falsifying records to make it appear that students had enrolled earlier than they had - from making sure certain copies of certain documents were not given to the students (though we were supposed to by law) so they would have an incomplete record if they sought action, while we could modify the documents at will to suit our goals without fear, or from continuing to tell the students their mioney was safe.
These are the steps the company took in order to pull off their escape:
1- Made sure electronic records kept by our salesmen and managers were destroyed, under the guise of accidental data losses (one employee was paid very well to "accidentally" have no usable backups for e-mail boxes and contact lists and other data that could be used to track promises made to students that the company encouraged but never meant to keep).
2- Made sure the school's director, named Joe (will not list lat nmae here) was out of town during the time when the dismantling would take place - his detailed records now shredded or in the possession of unscrupolous members of the company.
3- This morning, the corporate office called all the students scheduled to be in class this evening to tell them their instructor was sick and class was cancelled. Te class didn't meet again until Saturday evening, thus providing the company with enough time to simply vanish/
4- The instructor (who has no fault in this) was then greeted at the door with BOLD FACED LIES telling him there were issues with the lease, but that he still had a job and that the class would resume next week.
I hope he reads this and gets his resume ready. Interestingly - the instructor had somehow caught wind that his students were being told he was sick, to which the company V.P. Steven Gouvea responded by placing a FAKE call to headquarters to say those were not his instructions (when I know for a fact that they WERE - this is one of the things that disgusted me enough to post this)
5- The Ryder trueck was parked, and they took everything out of the building (including equipment that did not belong to the company - "if it was worth more than 100.00 dollars, pack it" were the standing orders.
6- I overheard Steve, our V.P. and general manager talk to some students who apparently didnt get the call or message and did show up for class, and again give bold faced lies. He told them some half-truths to lend credence to the story, but then told them all would be fine by next week and they would be able to come back and finish their classes. One student asked who he was speaking to, and Steve not only LIED and told him a false name, he then suggested the best way to get answers and help was to call - you guessed it - Steve Gouvea in Philadelphia!!!! (this was when I wanted to throw up and decided to do a little bit and post here.
As the students were leaving, Steve sensing they were still concerned made a preemptive strike by getting their names and then immediately calling the corporate lawyers to begin preparing a case against the two students - nice huh?
7- Finished packing and got the hell out of town. Once out of the state lines, the students are pretty much out of luck.
I fear for my job and for other money I have coming to me from ameritrain if I divulge much more ( I may have said too much as is ). students, good luck payiong your loans for training you will never get (not that we planned to deliver on the training we acually promised anyway ).
Charlotte, North Carolina Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Ameritrain, Inc.