• Report: #614793

Complaint Review: Sylvan Learning Center

  • Submitted: Wed, June 16, 2010
  • Updated: Wed, August 11, 2010

  • Reported By: Djk — Boulder Colorado U.S.A.
Sylvan Learning Center
1001 Fleet St Baltimore, Maryland United States of America
  • Phone: 410-843-8000
  • Web:
  • Category: Tutoring

Sylvan Learning Center Sylvan, Sylvan Learning, Educate Inc Tutoring, Education, Acedemics Baltimore, Maryland

*UPDATE Employee: ignorance

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The Boulder, Greely and Ft. Collins franchises of Sylvan were owned by H&S Educational Enterprises, Inc. which in turned was owned by Bruce Hassan, Sherry Hassan, and Kristin Smith.

In December of 2009 we prepaid $1800 to the Boulder operation to tutor our daughter. In May of 2010 we were notified by the center director that the center was closing and we were owed over $500. We were also told that Bruce had been Vacationing in Florida and drawing a Large salary from the company. Both the center director and Sylvan headquarters told us to contact Bruce at bruce@sylvan-fortcollins or 904.940.9084 for a refund. We did and of course never heard back.

9 News ran an article after interviewing Bruce saying For customers of the Fort Collins, Greeley or Boulder Sylvan Learning centers who want a refund on pre-paid services, contact Bruce, Sherry Hassan or Kristen Smith at 332 Edge of Wood Road St. Augustine, FL 32092 or 904-940-9084. For more information call 1-800-514-1639 or visit www.tutoring.sylvanlearning.com.

We contacted their corporate office again a week later and after going through a lot of people, electronic menus and waiting for calls back we were finally told:

Sylvan Learning, Inc. is a separate entity which licensed to Bruce Hassan, Sherry Hassan, and Kristin Smith the right to operate a Sylvan Learning Center. Sylvan did not, and will not, assume any of the Franchisee's liabilities. Therefore, we recommend that you direct refund inquiries to the Franchisees, their attorney, or your own private attorney.

Shortly after this we received a notice that the company had filed for bankruptcy in Florida. As best as we can tell Sylvan is actually run by Educate Inc. 1001 Fleet St. Baltimore, MD 21202 / 410-843-8000

It was interesting to note that the national web site guaranteed a full grade level improvement. It would be tough to do this if there is nobody to tutor the child. Not exactly the individual learning plan they promoted on their web site. In the end to get our daughter the educational help needed we had to hire a private tutor who seems to provide superior results at a lesser price.

It has been quite a poor experience working with Sylvan. If you chose to go this route it might be wise to do a pay as you go plan. Wiser still to avoid them altogether as when times are good they sell you on the national brand; but when it goes south well then it seems that no one can step up and do the right thing.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/16/2010 01:32 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Sylvan-Learning-Center/Baltimore-Maryland-21202/Sylvan-Learning-Center-Sylvan-Sylvan-Learning-Educate-Inc-Tutoring-Education-Acedemics-614793. 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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#1 UPDATE Employee


AUTHOR: jonny5 - (United States of America)

What people need to understand is that Sylvan is a company and money must support not just tutors but also location, directors, office assistants, and other needs.  It is a private company and is allowed to charge what they feel is necessary.  Parents send their children to private schools for upwards of $20,000 a year.  Do you think that money directly goes to teachers, no.  The money goes to fund, advertise, and support all members of the center as well as a franchise overhead fee.  These people really did their law research and have found ways to cover themselves for poor center owners by rejecting all liability it is smart not cheating.  All information on this public company is available, this is not public school it is not a right.  A franchise only guides the rules by which it's name is used but there is a lot of freedom within for directors to design their programs.  The trick is to finding a good center just like any other franchise a d**k can own it and screw people over.  However it is expensive, just like a private school, because you are outside the tax system to private education. If you are cheap save your money otherwise you will only complain about paying 40,000 for college each year when your tuition also supports teachers, ground keepers, security, and over priced athletic programs that your underachieving child will not qualify for since you need a certain GPA to participate.  It is sad to see centers close but that is bad management like any poorly ran McDonald's would also close in similar circumstances.  This is corporate America we live in do your research don't complain when it is too late.  Do you think that car you bought is really worth what you pay, no, the franchise gets a pay out, the dealership gets a payout, the salesman gets a pay out, and they have to cover their costs.  This is life, if you can't afford things maybe you need to go to Sylvan and learn something so you can get better jobs to afford the nicer things in life.  

As far as under paid teachers go, this isn't the public system and there is no union.  They are out to get low cost educators and this is part time work.  You can in no way expect to make as much money on the side as you do as a full time educator.  As I said some centers are run poorly and directors take raises as they fire staff members but that is just a poorly ran center.  That is why they go bankrupt because in one area everybody knows not to work for the bad director.  Some centers like mine in MA and the one i attended in RI have excellent directors and pay their educators 12-20 dollars an hour depending on experience. The education world is a horrible place to be right now career wise and it is even harder to run a private education group.  That is business get over it.  Maybe if you were a better educator you would be paid more and time on the job does not make you good, there are horrible teachers in the world who have worked most of their lives, that is life...it is just like having a horrible boss, get over it.......
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