After receiving several phone calls from Brian at WordSmart, I took the time to listen to his pitch for the SAT preparation product. He called while our child was at school and while I was working, and I specifically informed him of this upfront. He refused to give up on calling. He said our child had requested the WordSmart SAT prep program by completing something at school - that was a lie. Then, Brian said our child's school had sent our child's personal information (name, address, phone number) to WordSmart - that was a lie. Our child didn't complete anything for SAT prep.
After being told that the ONLY charge (to my credit card) would be a 1-time charge of $169.80 with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, I agreed. I repeatedly asked if that was the only charge and Brian assured me that was all he needed. (That is also clearly stated on the recorded telephone conversation, but WordSmart refuses to acknowledge that.)
Brian was fully aware that our child was registered to take the SAT test in less than a month from the date of his call. The software was received less than 2 weeks before test day. Brian assured me that that was sufficient time to use the program and achieve at least a 200-point increase in SAT score. That is also clearly stated on the recorded telephone conversation, but WordSmart refuses to acknowledge that. And if our child's score did not increase by 200 points, there was a 100% money back guarantee.
Our child's score did not increase 200 points; it didn't increase 100 points; it didn't increase 50 points. It increased 20 points, no thanks to this ripoff program. Our child did not have 20 hrs per week to spend on the computer practicing the SAT test. I had also explained that to Brian, but he said because our child's score was already very good, our child would not have to spend that much time on the product. He didn't explain that in order for 100% money back guarantee, the student MUST spend the 20 hrs. because WordSmart WILL check the CD-rom for hours used.
WordSmart charged my credit card for 3 additional payments of $57.90 each. Brian had mentioned that IF I wanted additional software, to just let them know and they would send it. He had also mentioned that WordSmart does some updating and that that was included. More lies.
Brian gave me his phone number and hours and indicated that I should contact him with any questions or problems. Of course, he was never available and, according to Faith, is in a different department now. How convenient.
WordSmart refuses to refund the three charges to my credit card. Faith "offered" to exchange it for "other WordSmart products" but that would no doubt reinstate their continued access to charging my account.
Don't waste your time filing a complaint with the California BBB because WordSmart continuously lies to them even after forwarding documentation. They misstate their policies and practices to the BBB and the BBB is, after all, for the company and not the consumer. That is also how WordSmart continues a rather high BBB rating and the complaints are considered as "resolved" when they are not.
I recommend that parents contact their local school administrators to alert them that WordSmart is missusing their names and that WordSmart is accessing their students' private information. Contact the State Department of Education. WordSmart is no doubt getting its information from SAT, ACT, PSAT and other testing programs, also a breach of the student's private information.
Do NOT - I repeat - do NOT order this program. You will regret it. If your child needs extra help preparing for the SAT or ACT test, enroll them in the local school's bootcamp before the testing date or get the extra help from a teacher or a tutor. You can also purchase SAT prep programs from bookstores that are valid, one-time purchases and are more user-friendly and require less time than this WordSmart program. (Our old children used SAT prep programs purchased through the local bookstore and each saw more than a 200-point increase in their scores with a lot less time, effort, and expense. Unfortunately, the bookstore closed and there is no bookstore near us.)
The only increase from your purchase of WordSmart will be in the profits of the company. WordSmart is the "big dog" and they will continue to take advantage of the consumer until they are stopped by the courts or AGs, but until then, they will continue their deceptive trade practices, fraudulent guarantees, illegal access to students' private information, unauthorized charges to accounts, and overall preying upon the consumer. It would be a blessing if a diligent attorney would take on this company in a class action.