This report is filed to keep other people from being victims of College Admissions Assistance, Inc.
This company somehow gets the names and addresses of children who are as young as 9th grade. They send a letter to the parents and child stating you have been scheduled to participate in an educational group presentation followed by a personal interview to help determine college admission and financial aid eligibility.
Because they have your child's name and you have already been scheduled, it's easy to believe this is somehow school related. It isn't.
Their letter implies they have some kind of authority to determine whether or not your child will be accepted into a college and additionally whether or not your child will qualify for financial help during this workshop. They imply they will assess your child for these things and they will do it for free. They do neither and it isn't free.
Towards the end of the personal interview, which consists of some questions to the child about their hobbies and what they like to do in school, the price is finally discussed.
It's $1,995.00, and they want the payment in full that day. This price is given to you at a "discount" because you "participated in the workshop". Otherwise the price is over $2000.00 You have no time to think about it and contact them because the "workshop" travels and they will be out of your area.
They ask you and your child to complete a questionnaire and mail it to them. You are told what to expect to happen, the first being a phone call once they have received the completed questionnaire. They don't do that either.
We waited and waited for the phone call that never came. We finally called CAA. The "Coach" said, "Your son needs to call if he needs help". When she was asked, "help with what...we're calling to find out why you haven't called us in regard to the questionnaire." The "coach" replied," Oh that just means your son is ready for the call to be made...it's your responsibility to call us...we don't call you."
Like anybody who is aggravated and upset our hand was tipped when we stated we weren't going to pay for "the service". After all, our first "payment" wasn't due until the first part of September and this is all taking place in mid-August.
At this point they had $175 of our money and had done nothing for it. We were locked into a contract that even if we stopped payments we would still be responsible for paying the "loan" we didn't want. They even had a clause in the contract making our heirs responsible if we didn't pay it.
You are basically getting a loan with these people at 16.8% interest and after all said and done, you didn't get a discount at all! You still pay the full price and you can't get out of the contract because all they give you is the standard 3-day rescission and that passes while you're waiting for the first call you're never going to get!
We then received a letter the latter part of August from Monterey Financial Services stating they had been assigned our account for servicing. Keep in mind our first payment to CAA wasn't due until the lst part of September. This letter consisted of 2 pages.
One page was our "statement" and the second page was licensing information for collection agency practices! Wait a minute...yep, we had been turned in to a collection agency and hadn't even made the first payment for the loan we didn't want or need!
The worst part is once you've gotten sucked in, you find out this "program" is
information you can get for FREE.
You're probably thinking why didn't you research this place before you got involved in such a mess. We did. There was nothing to suggest we had anything to worry about. It seemed legitimate. And you weren't there.
It's obvious why you can't find anything out about these traveling scammers. It's very time consuming to sit and try to put your experience down into words. The biggest reason and the hardest to write for all of you to read...we fell for a scam and feel stupid.
We don't want you to go through that and we wish someone had been able to put aside their pride to let other potential victims know.
Take heart! There is light at the end of the tunnel for you unfortunate, loving parents who only tried to do something good for your child. Drum roll please...we were able to have our money refunded and released from the contract with CAA!
If you've been scammed by College Admission Assistance here's what I did to get help:
First, contact the Better Business Bureau online. Then contact the Federal Trade Commission and the Attorney General for your state.
Also, check to see what the licensing status of any company dealing with financial matters or other consumer business for your state. This especially holds true for collection agencies.
I hope this helps you avoid a big headache or helps you get rid of the one you currently have. If this helped you, say "thanks" by passing on a good deed to someone else who needs help.