• Report: #158006

Complaint Review: Bisk Education

  • Submitted: Thu, September 22, 2005
  • Updated: Sat, September 29, 2012

  • Reported By:Oil City Pennsylvania
Bisk Education
9417 Princess Palm Ave Tampa, Florida U.S.A.

Bisk Education, Saint Leo University Bisk Education, Inflated book prices, Force students to buy through them, Poor Service Ripoff Tampa Florida

*Consumer Comment: I Was Okay With The Textbooks

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Info on UA/BISK from Ex-employee.

*Consumer Comment: I think thier book prices are much higher

*Consumer Comment: It's no different anywhere else

*Consumer Comment: It's no different anywhere else

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I have been a student at Saint Leo University (SLU) for the past two years and will finish my degree after one more class. I had fully intended to continue at SLU after my associate degree but have just changed my mind.

Yes, I have had problems with Bisk Education (dba University Alliance). They had kicked me out of class for non payment of tuition and I had to jump through hoops to show them they had, in fact, been paid as I had the money order receipt. Well, that is water under the bridge.

What got me today is that I finally had enough of them constantly changing their textbooks so that newer editions had to be purchased (more money in their pocketbooks). Well, not only do they change their texts, they also incorporate new one's that are not available through any other outlet. Hence, one must buy through them at inflated prices.

Well, I've decided enough is enough. Apparently the thousands of dollars I have spent at SLU and UA were not enough. But, rest assured, my bachelor degree will be earned at a university that has nothing to do with Bisk, SLU, or UA. I'm leaving after my next class.

Buyer beware - they do not care about their students.. only the mighty dollar.

Jeff
Oil City, Pennsylvania
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/22/2005 02:43 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Bisk-Education/Tampa-Florida-33619/Bisk-Education-Saint-Leo-University-Bisk-Education-Inflated-book-prices-Force-students-158006. 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

I Was Okay With The Textbooks

AUTHOR: Candace D - (United States of America)

I have been attending SLU online for over a year and never had those problems with the textbooks. I'm not even familiar with any affiliation it has with those other places. Saint Leo stands on its own merit. It's been a good experience for me. Pricey yes but it is cheaper than UoP (not that you want to do that anyway) and other online universities. Saint Leo is a real university with campuses as well as the online route. Got my textbooks mostly used from their bookstore at good prices and they do buybacks.
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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Info on UA/BISK from Ex-employee.

AUTHOR: Mike - (U.S.A.)

The original complainer is right about bisk/university alliance. They only care about the money. When I was employed with them, the books were $200.00 per 3 credit hour course. They coupled the book cost with an "online access fee". Therefore, even if you buy the books elsewhere, you are still forced to pay them $100.00 for the "online access fee" $365.00 per credit hour more than takes care of your online access. This fee is a ripoff charge.

Some things to note about Bisk:

The sales department makes up approximately 85% of the company. They are a mass-hire, mass-fire operation. If you call for customer service, you will only get a sales rep on the line. There is NO customer service department. These reps are pressured to keep you enrolled and paying at all costs. They are reprimanded if you withdraw from class. They will ignore your phone calls and requests to withdraw to keep their job. They WILL lie to you, their supervisors WILL lie to you. The star sales reps in this organization are liars who will say anything to get you into class, the company turns a deaf ear to this practice as they make lots of sales. Anyone else is fired because they don't reach their sales goals. Reps are pressured to lie to prospective customers. The supervisors never tell you to do so, however they will threaten your job, then sit you down to listen to one of their star liars make calls for an hour, and tell you that you can learn a lot from them.

This company was recently investigated for corrupt accounting/payroll practices, they were found to be in violation of labor laws, and the US Department of labor forced them to pay overtime to hundreds of ex employees (myself included) whom should have received it long ago. They blamed it on accounting errors, however, it's interesting to note that the CEO, Nathan Bisk, is a certified public accountant. Not only that, he is professionally known as the "dean of the CPA" as bisk started as a company which sold products to help people pass their CPA exams, and they still do! As a matter of fact they guarantee you'll pass the CPA or your money back. So if they are the leading experts on accounting education, and sell products in all 50 states to educate aspiring CPA's, HOW IN THE HELL DO THEY SCREW UP THEIR ACCOUNTING SO BAD THAT THEY NEGLECT PAYING OVERTIME TO HUNDREDS OF EMPLOYEES FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS?

This reeks with scandal.

And if they rip off their own d**n employees, imagine what they'll do to their customers.

The schools, Regis, Saint Leo, Tulane, Villanova are great. The online programs are top notch, but unfortunately, the company that markets them is a very shady operation that will do anything for the almighty dollar. You may think that I am writing this because I am mad that I got fired. This is not true, the moment I stepped out the door I felt a mountain of burden lifted from my shoulder. I found better work over 2 years ago, and I'm happy I'm no longer with them. Everything I said here is absolutely 100% true.
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#3 Consumer Comment

I think thier book prices are much higher

AUTHOR: Lisa - (U.S.A.)

After leaving CSU-Fresno for my BA, I moved to Florida and was trying to find an easy way to get my Masters, when I was contacted by University Alliance.

Now, don't get me wrong. While I realize I could get my Masters much cheaper by using other avenues, I do like the Alliance set up and it has worked great for me.

However, as for the book prices, I do agree they are a lot higher than what I paid for books, at the CSU book store, while taking as many as 5-7 classes per semester. A typical 18-20 unit/credit hour semester would have cost me about 250 in book prices.

However, for each "8 week class" I spend nearly $400. It is also true that you can not get the books anywhere else, as opposed to normal colleges *as I order many from offline or went to the "used section".*** As there is a "manual" a few CD's with streaming video,,, and 1 or 2, at max, actual published books. I felt as though I was being charged for the CD's even when there were only 2-3 of them.

I have consoled myself that I pay the higher prices for the convenience of my education that I wouldn't normally be able to do if it weren't so darned "convenient". But I do totally agree that the prices on the books are very high for what you do/don't get.

**The last order I got, had 1 binder in it, 2 CD's and 2 actual published books. The package was charged over $300 to my account. I checked online for the prices of the actual books that were sent to me and at amazon one of them would have cost me $52 and the other was $85.**

Sorry to hear your having so many problems with them though. I love the programs and the people I talk to in the scheduling/accounting/tech help depts... And I've never had a problem with a professor, they've all been so very nice and constructive. **much more constructive than my undergrad professors were.. they were critical and undermining in many ways**

Good luck
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#4 Consumer Comment

It's no different anywhere else

AUTHOR: Timothy - (U.S.A.)

Jeff, as someone who has spent the past seven years of his life in higher education, I feel for you.

But I'm afraid that, when you go elsewhere to get your bachelors, you will learn that this book issue is the same everywhere. And that's because it's not the college that's screwing you, it's the textbook publishers.

Unnecessary "new editions" are the name of the game no matter where you go. And it's not the university's fault. The university book store actually makes a much heftier profit from the sale of used books than from the sale of new books. If they had it their way, new editions would never come out.

But the publishers profit far more if they can change a couple of words around and put out a new edition. Once the new edition comes out, the college bookstore's hands are tied. They can no longer order the older editions because they're out of print. They can't sell the used versions of the old editions because the pages won't line up in the instructors' syllabi. Like I said, they would prefer to sell used. But they simply can't when a new edition comes out.

But you had another gripe, which I see as a bit more well plead. Instructors write these books that nobody else wants to use. So, instead of just recognizing that they wrote a garbage textbook that couldn't get published for widespread use, they pawn it off on their own students.

I once had a class called "Social Inequalities." The class was supposed to be about the effects that economic differentials have on various aspects of society. The instructor, in addition to being a sociologist, was also a theologist. He wrote a "critical theory of modern religion." The book, if relevant at all to the class, was only tangentially so. But we had to buy it and read it anyways. I loved the professor, and the book was brilliant, but it had nothing to do with out class, wasn't used by any other universities, and making us buy it seemed like kind of a scam.

Now, in my law school career, I can't tell you how many hundreds of dollars I've spent on "course packets." These "course packets" are nothing more than photocopies of various cases, law review articles, etc. stapled together and sold for $20. I'm sure any law student at any law school will tell you that they have had to buy a few of these themselves.

The bottom line is that, unfortunately, you won't escape these issues when you switch to a different school.
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#5 Consumer Comment

It's no different anywhere else

AUTHOR: Timothy - (U.S.A.)

Jeff, as someone who has spent the past seven years of his life in higher education, I feel for you.

But I'm afraid that, when you go elsewhere to get your bachelors, you will learn that this book issue is the same everywhere. And that's because it's not the college that's screwing you, it's the textbook publishers.

Unnecessary "new editions" are the name of the game no matter where you go. And it's not the university's fault. The university book store actually makes a much heftier profit from the sale of used books than from the sale of new books. If they had it their way, new editions would never come out.

But the publishers profit far more if they can change a couple of words around and put out a new edition. Once the new edition comes out, the college bookstore's hands are tied. They can no longer order the older editions because they're out of print. They can't sell the used versions of the old editions because the pages won't line up in the instructors' syllabi. Like I said, they would prefer to sell used. But they simply can't when a new edition comes out.

But you had another gripe, which I see as a bit more well plead. Instructors write these books that nobody else wants to use. So, instead of just recognizing that they wrote a garbage textbook that couldn't get published for widespread use, they pawn it off on their own students.

I once had a class called "Social Inequalities." The class was supposed to be about the effects that economic differentials have on various aspects of society. The instructor, in addition to being a sociologist, was also a theologist. He wrote a "critical theory of modern religion." The book, if relevant at all to the class, was only tangentially so. But we had to buy it and read it anyways. I loved the professor, and the book was brilliant, but it had nothing to do with out class, wasn't used by any other universities, and making us buy it seemed like kind of a scam.

Now, in my law school career, I can't tell you how many hundreds of dollars I've spent on "course packets." These "course packets" are nothing more than photocopies of various cases, law review articles, etc. stapled together and sold for $20. I'm sure any law student at any law school will tell you that they have had to buy a few of these themselves.

The bottom line is that, unfortunately, you won't escape these issues when you switch to a different school.
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