I enrolled in the Ashworth University (then PDCI) medical transcription online course in April, 2007, at the cost of $800. I received the materials and sailed through the terminology section in a timely manner and with friendly and adequate support.
That all came to a halt when I began transcribing medical reports. The student is to receive the graded results of one report before submitting the next; yet after several weeks I e-mailed, then called the support line to learn when the results were forthcoming. The course materials state hard-copy results would be received within ten business days, but I was told by telephone the graded exams were emailed. Her manner was derisive. Additionally, the graders couldn't open my e-mailed reports as an attachment and I had to resubmit them. Still not getting the results and again e-mailing then calling them, I was told they had sent me an email and would ask the grader send it again. I never got it. I was disgusted and the holidays were coming, so I decided to drop the matter for a while.
It was more than three months, not a couple of weeks. I was in an accident and in a shoulder and arm cast before I was able to resume my studies. My e-mails elicited no response so I called requesting either a partial refund to allow me to drop the second, uncompleted portion or for an extension since students are allowed one year to complete the course. Nowhere in the promotional materials does it stipulate students must pay to complete the studies beyond twelve months; the materials do state an extension is possible with good reason. I believe I had good reason, but another phone call informed me a refund was not possible and I would have to pay $30.00 for a three-month extension.
There was one e-mail confirmation that I submitted three lessons on March 23, 2008, but there was no response to another inquiry. I e-mailed (no reply) then called again on April 8 (the 12th business day after my submission--we're guaranteed in writing that corrected exams would be received within ten business days) and was told they have many students and the graders are extremely busy. Her manner was brusque and dismissive. I've now waited 15 business days and from past experience can see no light at the end of the tunnel.
Even had I taken no time off, it would not be possible to complete the studies in the time allotted given Ashworth University's unprofessionalism and failure to measure student progress. The earlier friendly helpful manner has vanished. I have medical transcription experience but took the course to gain expertise in all medical disciplines, to earn an accredited certificate and for assistance obtaining a home-based job. I'm on a fixed income and paying $800 is a hardship. I thought I could quickly recover the cost doing medical transcription from home. How naive of me.