I was looking at schools for my 17 year old daughter last year when she was just a junior in high school. I was hoping to impress on her the importance of planning for her future. We requested information from all the local state universities, a few technical and community colleges, and Westwood College Online.
In addition to our "Best College Guides" we basically made a pile for our daughter to begin exploring her options. While all the other schools sent us informational brochures, Westwood called our home. I suppose they must've started calling while we were out of town for the weekend because I discovered 22 missed calls on our caller ID and not one message! Who does that? Finally when I spoke to this guy I explained that we just wanted another brochure to add to our pile to consider and he refused. "We don't do that here... tell me a little more about you?" What the heck? Nevermind, then! And so when I explain to this guy it's not for me, but for my daughter -you think he'd stop there? Of course not!
I never could have anticipated what was about to happen next. My phone has not stopped ringing since. First it was this guy named Cody, and then a woman named Shannon, and this guy Sean or was it Steven? I can't even keep track of them anymore. And each time, I had to explain to them all over again. Sometimes weeks would go by without a call, and other times, I'd see 6 missed calls in a single day?!
Is this a school or cable service? These people apparently have a quota to meet. "What can we do to get you enrolled today?" they ask everytime -I don't think this is even a real college. I think they're reading from a script. I'm sure had I told them I can't read they still would have tried to get me to pay $100 to find out how much the school even costs! This is my second complaint. When you try and find out how much the program is, they say "financing is easy!" but they won't tell you how much it costs. It costs more than $70,000! The ONLY reason we even considered online school is because we assumed it would save us money on traditional tuition. For this amount we could buy her tuition, room + board, and a car!
Eventually I asked these people to take me off their list. Not just one of them, but each of them continue to call me, even after I've already asked to be removed from their list. "Hi! This is Richard, YOUR Admissions Rep!"
Excuse me? My daughter will not be attending Westwood College. I'm surprised they could enroll anyone. Although we've decided not to take the online route, we've learned since that both the local community college and the state university offer nearly all their classes online also for less than $200 per credit, less than $5,000 for an Associates, and less than $12,000 for a Bachelor's degree at most! I've had two people call me from Westwood just this past week. Again, each of them "my" representative and "here to help me get enrolled today!"
I hope my experience is unique, but I have a feeling it's just a bunch of tele-marketers harassing people all day. And to think I've always tried to teach my children why it was so important to keep their grades up, be well-rounded in their extra-curricular activities, and be hard-workers. Why go through all that so you can fall victim and be just another number to some online education sales people?
Three weeks ago I registered my number with the "do not call registry" (www.donotcall.gov) and they supposedly have 31 days from this date to remove my name from their list. And then when they call I can document it each time and file a formal complaint with the federal government. I read Directtv was fined 5.3 Million Dollars. Maybe then these people will leave me alone. I recommend this to everyone.
Please stop already!