Like many of us, we manage to see deals and offers that are too good to be true. About 3 months ago, i needed to become CCNA certified, but did not have a lot of money. As I shopped around, I noticed that the better online programs were going to cost me around $1,000. I can now see that you truly get what you pay for when you try to spend $99 to do something that normally costs more.
I went online to this amazing, or so it seemed, groupon deal. This deal gave me a $3,300 training library for $99. Naturally, I purchased it after being told by a sales rep at IT University that I could be cisco certified for $99.00. After going through the videos and what I was told were the transcender practice tests, I went to take the ccent exam and not only failed it once, but twice. It was then, when I did a little legwork to unravel so many issues that this groupon has.
First I decided to call cisco to verify if IT University Online was a cisco training partner. The representative at Cisco explained to me that they they were in face, NOT a recognized Cisco training partner, and also explained to me that they have received dozens of inquiries regarding the company and the groupon. As we continued our conversation, it dawned to me: A training partner would have to pay Royalties. Assuming that out of the $99, ITU receives about maybe a third of that (producer and groupon receive funding), so how is CISCO even getting paid on something like that?
I then decide to take it a step further by going to visit my friend who advised me to get the certification. He had come across a Transcender test prep kit for the CCNA and CCENT. We took a look at the questions he received and the questions that I had and they were very different. I then contacted Transcender, emailed a few questions, and it was confirmed that these were not official test prep. I'm under the assumption that the questions were switched out, because it's impossible to pay any royalties to a company when your share of a sale is $30-$45, let alone two companies.
Keep in mind, I spent $99, and that's not the end of the world. The issue that danced around in my head is that if these were being sold in the thousands, this company was making a pretty nice hit by taking advantage of it's customer base and lying to them. My final call was to my state attorney general's office. Not only was I not the first person to call in the last 7 days, as per the clerk on the other end of the line, but I was the 4th person to call that day. Apparently, others have had the same issue and are now attempting to collaborate with their office to envoke some sort of class action law suit. I for one, would like to be refunded and paid on the failed exams.
I don't know if my story will make a difference, but Cisco training should not be something you ever buy into for $99. I'm sure that with these videos (which weren't terrible, just incomplete), a router, books, real test prep, it'd be a better investment.