• Report: #778741
Complaint Review:

Academy of Ultrasound LLC

  • Submitted: Mon, September 19, 2011
  • Updated: Fri, November 11, 2011

  • Reported By: cinderella1952 — El Cajon California United States of America
Academy of Ultrasound LLC
Mobile, Alabama United States of America

Academy of Ultrasound LLC Online Ultrasound School Program Mobile, Alabama

*Author of original report: Cindy's rebuttal to John Sheldon's argument

*UPDATE Employee: Academy of Ultrasound Refund Request

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October 2010, my friend Cheryl Crotty and I enrolled in an online ultrasound school called Academy of Ultrasound with a total 80 credits to complete the program.  We were informed by the administrator, Jennifer Sheldon that if Cheryl Crotty and I registered and paid cash of the 18 month program, we would receive substantial discounts.  The discount that was offered and that we took advantage of was one full price enrollment fee of $16,500 and the other enrollment fee would be reduced 50% for a rate of $8,250.  Total for both students was $24,750.  The school took the total for both students and split it in half for a total enrollment fee of $12,375.  Cheryl and I paid in full with a check.  

Approximately 6 months into the program, it was almost impossible for either of us to contact the director John Sheldon when we had questions regarding the course work.  She and I both became concerned.  Often times, there would be student notes indicating to have knowledge of a particular figure (diagram/picture).  When the textbook and page was indicated where to find the figure, more often than not, it referenced the incorrect page.  

August 10, 2011, I contacted John Sheldon and told him that due to the course being confusing, the fact he was impossible to reach and coordinates being incorrect, I decided to quit the program and ask for a refund.

I have the contract which states that as long as a student has completed less than 60% of the units (80), they are entitled to a pro-rata refund.  I had only completed 27 units; therefore I am eligible for a refund.

Jennifer and John Sheldon are now telling me I am not eligible based upon the fact I was given a reduced rate for enrolling with Cheryl Crotty and I had completed over 60% of the units.

I would like to report the Academy of Ultrasound for breaking the contract and misrepresentation of their promises.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/19/2011 07:01 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/academy-of-ultrasound-llc/mobile-alabama-/academy-of-ultrasound-llc-online-ultrasound-school-program-mobile-alabama-778741. 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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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

Cindy's rebuttal to John Sheldon's argument

AUTHOR: cinderella1952 - (United States of America)

In response to John Sheldons rebuttal to my original complaint regarding Academy of Ultrasound LLCs refund policy, according to their Right to Cancel Agreement, this is what it states:

A student who withdraws or is dismissed after 3 business days has passed, but before completing 60% of the potential units of instruction in the current enrollment period, shall be entitled to a pro
rata refund.

(1)    Pro rata refund shall be determined as the number of units remaining after the last unit completed by the student, divided by the number of units in the enrollment period, rounded downward to the nearest ten percent.  Pro rata refund is the resulting percent applied to the total tuition and other required costs paid by the student for the current enrollment period.

I enrolled in Academy of Ultrasounds Echocardiography program which consists of83 units.

Please refer to their website athttp://academyofultrasound.com/EchoCurriculum.html.  I paid a total tuition of $12,975.00 as per their tuition agreement.  I have my cancelled check made payable to Academy of Ultrasound to substantiate the amount I paid.  I started the supposed 18 month program October 2010.  After 10 months of the program and only completing Quarter II for a total of 26 units, I requested to quit the program and receive my pro rata refund. Nowhere in their refund policy must I give a reason why I quit; so Im not certain why his rebuttal mentions anything regarding my reasoning, particularly anything referencing finances or family medical issues.  If I decide to quit the program, it is my prerogative to do so and I am entitled to a pro rata refund based upon their Right to Cancel Agreement.  Anything else is merely opinion, speculative and argument and clearly what matters are the facts.

Considering I paid for the entire program in advance, my current enrollment period would consist
of the entire 18 month program or 83 units. The percentage of completed units of 83 if I completed 26 of the units would be 31% of the program; therefore I am entitled to a refund.

As far as his argument that I received a discount and paid only $8,250.00, I have a cancelled check to support $12,975.00 made payable to Academy of Ultrasound, LLC and Tuition and Fee agreement provided by Academy of Ultrasound requesting what my payment amount would be.  In various emails from John Sheldon and Jennifer Sheldon (Director of Admissions) they claim it was an agreement made by me and my friend who enrolled in the Academy of Ultrasound which is completely untrue,unfounded and has no basis in fact.  My friend whom I enrolled simultaneously with will substantiate that the tuition was not something she and I decided, but a formula from the Academy of Ultrasound and its representatives; specifically Jennifer Sheldon.  I am in receipt of the Tuition and Fee Schedule sent to me by the Academy of Ultrasound showing what my enrollment fee was.  Facts don't lie!

Upon further research into Academy of Ultrasound, they clearly are in Breach of Contract, Fraud, Misrepresentation and Deceptive Business Practices.  My motivation to expose them for such is twofold, first Id like to receive the refund I am entitled to and second, I dont want the Academy of Ultrasound or its representatives to exploit another unsuspecting, trusting person for their own
monetary gain.

In John Sheldons last paragraph he advises potential students to perform research prior to pursuing a particular line of work, in this case ultrasound.  What I would strongly suggest to potential consumers and/or students is to perform research about the institution and only enroll in an accredited school and whatever you do, DO NOT give a dime to Academy of Ultrasound unless you wish to be ripped off.  Also, John Sheldon says if you have concerns contact the instructor and/or follow the grievance policy in the catalog.  Let me assure anyone who is reading this, I sent at least four emails to John and Jennifer  Sheldon asking them specifically what the procedure is to cancel my enrollment in order to receive my refund.  At NO TIME did they direct me to the catalog or their grievance policy, but instead locked me out of the online education program and refused to issue my refund that I am clearly entitled to!

Lastly, John Sheldon is absolutely correct, I have filed numerous complaints to various entities in an attempt to receive what I am entitled to, which is my pro-rata refund.  Academy of Ultrasound and its representatives are guilty of Breach of Contract, Bad Faith, Deceptive Business Practices, Misrepresentation, etc.  If I do not receive my pro-rata refund of $8,693.25, I will pursue this issue further, up to and including Bad Faith and Deceptive Business practices in order to receive my entire enrollment fee refunded in full. My other reason for filing complaints is so no other unsuspecting person(s) becomes victim to their deceptive business practices for their own monetary gain.  Please feel free to contact me via email at cinderella1952@cox.net and  I will be happy to give copies of my cancelled check, their Right to Cancel Agreement and Tuition and Fee Request. 

Sincerely,  Cindy  Price
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#2 UPDATE Employee

Academy of Ultrasound Refund Request

AUTHOR: Academy of Ultrasound, LLC - (United States of America)

The Academy of Ultrasound, LLC specializes in Ultrasound training.  We offer our classes in a distance format, and as such classes are taken via the internet.  This allows students the flexibility of when and where they are  to complete their assignments.  Our classes are taught by an instructor who is still active in the field of traveling sonography.  As with all distance programs, most instuctor contact is made via email, with telephone conferences by appt.

Concerning the refund issue. 
Ms. Price did start the program on October 2010 and in August requested a refund based on not seeing her doing this in the future and having a family member needing financial assistance.  She also stated that the material wasnt staying with her.  As she states, upon enrollment, she took advantage of a $8250 discount on tuition of the 2nd student enrolling at the same time.  We showed her what the tuition was split in half, at her request for purposes of the two students paying the total tuition due. This doesnt change the fact that Ms. Price received a discount of $8250 on her tuition.  She completed 2 full quarters and was in week 7 of a 10 week quarter for quarter 3 when she requested the refund.  Our refund policy clearly states, if a student completes 60% of the units available for the current enrollment period (which is the quarter) then that quarter is considered complete for refunds calcs.  With 3 quarters completed out of a 6 quarter program, the refund would be1/2 of the tuition, or $8250.  However; as stated, Ms. Price's tuition was only $8250 when she enrolled.  So there is no refund amount remaining to be due.

As to contact problems:
Ours is an online program and as such the majority of contact is via email.  Telephone appts can be made, when scheduled in advance.  Ms. Price didnt acknowlege having contact problems with the Academy, until such time as she was notified that there was no refund due.

As to problems with course materials:
Ms. Price never advised us of the problems with the course material, until such time as she was notified that there was no refund due.  Her problems stem from her receiving the wrong textbook edition from the manufacturer.  Once we became aware of this problem, we offered to replace the book with the correct text.  The syllabus Ms. Price received clearly states the edition of the textbook used and she should have notified us when she noticed the problem, not 2 quarters later when requesting a refund due to personal issues.

In conclusion, before you undertake a program of instruction, perform some research and make sure that it is what you wish to pursue.  Although our tuition is substantially lower than most private institutions, it still is a large sum of money to spend and not be sure that you are going to complete the program.  The Academy is there to train students in the field of sonography, but we can not ensure that Ultrasound is the perfect job for everyone.  Also a distance format is not for everyone, especially those students who need more live contact with an instructor.  We attempt to give as much guidance prior to enrollment, as possible.  We even suggest you complete an observation at an Ultrasound facility before enrolling. Secondly, if you have concerns with your program, contact your instructor or follow the grievence policy in the student catalog, before requesting a refund.
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