• Report: #660803

Complaint Review: Penn Foster Career School

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  • Submitted: Thu, November 11, 2010
  • Updated: Mon, November 15, 2010

  • Reported By: Shelley — Albuquerque New Mexico United States of America
Penn Foster Career School
925 Oak St Scranton, Pennsylvania United States of America

Penn Foster Career School Dressmaking & Design-on your checkbook and nowhere else! Scranton, Pennsylvania

*Author of original report: No matter how you dress it up-Penn Foster is still a"Turkey"

*UPDATE Employee: Unfair criticism

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I am a single Mom and I have enrolled my daughter in a Dressmaking and Design school at Penn Foster to the tune of $713.00 hard-earned dollars. My daughter had always hand-sewn all kinds of things. This course was supposed to teach her dressmaking and design but fell short in so many areas and is a downright Rip-Off in EVERY sense of the phrase. First off it did include a sewing machine- a bottom of the line "Brother" sewing machine. Early on, the test questions, such as what type of sewing needles should be used when that wasn't covered in the text and she hadn't even gotten her sewing machine yet.Then they bugged her because they said her progress was not fast enough. What do they care? It was supposed be be at a student's own pace. The course material was old and outdated. When you called what they laughingly referred to as "Student Services", they never answered or told you to E-Mail your question. I'm sorry if you have a question, you should be able to talk to a live human being,after paying that much, and that simply wan't the case. My other complaint is the Design part of the course, as there simply isn't anything  in the text or anywhere that addresses design. They also did not go over patterns, which is only the MOST important element in dressmaking and design. I found a wonderful local person to give her "hands on" experience which was never addressed at Penn Foster.When my daughter submitted her final project, it was filled out in detail,pictures were taken of all angles of a dress, that she redesigned the pattern as well.She used a zipper top to bottom in the front of the dress, very daring for a beginning seamstress. They sent it back and gave her a 54, because they said the dress was "unattractive". Well that is an opinion, it wasn't unattractive and she shouldn't have been marked down because they didn't like it. The only thing that should have mattered was that the coursework was completed and done correctly.They also said the material should have been "pre-shrunk" The "instructor/grader" should have know that because it was a nylon /polyester blend and not a natural material, it didn't need to be preshrunk. Only natural materials like wool, linen, cotton needed to be preshrunk. You would think an "instructor with 25 years experience" as they put it, would know that.They use outside graders, exposing students to possible idenity theft.Your name and address and student number gets mailed to an outside person. I wrote to what I thought was the Head CEO, a Stuart Udell, and I found out that this person was no longer there.I guess he saw what they were like and had the good sense to quit. 


I forwarded my Email to the new CEO Tom O'Keefe and received an E-Mail from him and a call from a Susan McGrath who gave my daughter 2 options. She could accept the 54 and get her diploma as she had a 90 grade average, or resubmit it. She opted to resubmit it and they came back 2 weeks later and gave her a 60. We were so disgusted at that point, my daughter asked them to send her diploma. Penn Foster, if they had a modicum of sense, would encourage young people, instead of ripping up their dreams by judging someone's work so harshly, that they are discouraged from ever trying again. Part of being a school ,is to train the next generation and help them with their goals. They surely have this idea in the glossy brochures they send out, but the image doesn't hold up to reality in the cold light of day. The most laughable thing is when they sent her diploma , they "invited" her to take more classes. Well Penn Foster, not one more penny from us. It is also my hope that no one else will not be drawn in by Penn Foster's lack of substance or credibility. I hope their slick advertisng campaign will not ensnare anyone else to invest their hard-earned money and valuable time and shatter their dreams as they did my daughter and to others on this website. STAY AWAY and Shame,shame,shame on you Penn Foster!


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/11/2010 10:16 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Penn-Foster-Career-School/Scranton-Pennsylvania-18515/Penn-Foster-Career-School-Dressmaking-Design-on-your-checkbook-and-nowhere-else-Scrant-660803. 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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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
1Author 1Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

No matter how you dress it up-Penn Foster is still a"Turkey"

AUTHOR: Shelley - (United States of America)

Mr O'Keefe posted a rebuttal to my original Ripoff Report. I find it incredulous that he has time to answer all reports on Ripoff Report ,as there are 40 of them ! I guess everyone is treating Penn Foster unfairly! Well boo hoo, Mr. O'Keefe,and grow up ! So I guess all 40 of us are lying and you are the only one telling the truth. Suspicious, I'd say ! First off they did NOT bend over backwards in dealing with myself or my daughter. The opposite is the truth. They had two people look at my daughter's work and both come up with the same conclusion. Well DUH! They are getting paid by Penn Foster. What result would you expect? That's like the doctors who were paid by the tobacco industry who reported, tongue in cheek, that smoking wasn't harmful to your health. Penn Foster doesn't even suggest that you get someone to give you "hands on" with a sewing machine. We had a witness, Ruth M, who watched the dress being made from when it was just fabric to a completed dress. I gave the school her phone number. Did they call her? No, of course not. Secondly,identity theft is NO JOKE. Anytime your name address and Student ID are out there, there is the chance that someone could steal your identity. That is NOT SILLY, and a concern that was never addressed by Mr. O'Keefe or the school. As far as your approval rating goes, the 40 people on this website who think Penn Foster is a rip-off are not wrong. What about the other things I raised, no text concerning design at all, to be found in your booklets.There is nothing on reading and understanding patterns, something vitally important. There is a LOT missing from your outdated text books. The only thing I agree with is that I am EXTREMELY disappointed, with you as an  administrator/apologist,your customer "Non-Service" and the "school" itself. The shame still rests with you my friend! This is America, last time I looked and if someone rips you off, like I was, I have the right to let people know. I will do my level best to let any and all know to avoid Penn Foster at all costs, and the other 40 people on this website agree with me.
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#2 UPDATE Employee

Unfair criticism

AUTHOR: Thomas O''Keefe, President, Penn Fos - (United States of America)

As you know, we at Penn Foster are well aware of your unhappiness with our faculty. Nonetheless, your representation of our institution is blatantly unfair.

We did everything we could to accomodate your daughter's final project. We had two independent instructors view her work and they came to the same conclusion. I can appreciate the frustration of a parent who has paid for a child's training program and then not get the result desired. Nonetheless, I believe we were more than fair to you and your daughter. The other accusations in your post are simply silly. There is no danger of identity theft by outside graders or adjunct faculty. And to suggest that our previous CEO Mr. Udell left Penn Foster after four years for any reason other than a unique business opportunity is nonsense.  

I am sorry for your disappointment with Penn Foster but we are not a "scam." We have been educating students for over 100 years. We are regionally and nationally accredited. We have a Better Business Bureau rating of A+. We have a 97% approval rating from our students. We are state licensed and many of our programs have programmatic recognitions such as the American Veterinary Medical Association. Every year thousands of our graduates go on new careers. We received hundreds of letters and emails from students who thank us for "saving their life".

I think the "shame" here is publically attacking a great institution like Penn Foster and our 500 employees because of your personal situation.

 

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