On April 11, 2007 I signed up for one of their courses. Within the next day or so information came to light however re: the validity of their Teacher's Aide Program and the fact that most schools in my area will accept you and train you without prior certification.
I sent a letter requesting cancellation of my contract and return of my deposit on April 13, 2007 stating the following:
April 13, 2007
Stratford Career Institute
1010 Vermont Ave NW, Ste 805
Washington, DC 20005
Sent Via Certified Mail
Article #: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
To whom it may concern:
Please cancel my contract for the Teacher's Aide program and refund my deposit of $XX paid via XXXXXX check # XXXX dated April 11, 2007. I am well within the 14-day cancellation period.
I received the following notification from the post office.
Your item was delivered at 1:33 PM on April 17, 2007 in WASHINGTON, DC 20005.
I received a letter dated April 30th from Jason Hammond, Student Advisor, re: my options instead of cancellation. I do not think the above letter left any uncertainty re: my intent to cancel.
I sent an email to the advisor (as to have documented proof) which included the tracking information of the initial certified letter stating the following:
I wish only to cancel the course. I do not wish to transfer or place the program on hold. Your course materials were refused and returned to sender directly from the post office at which they were received on the day they were received.
Please cancel the contract and refund my deposit as requested.
On May 9th, I received a bill re: my failure to cancel w/in 14 days and a balance I owe them of $179! I have of course filed complaints with the DC Attorney General and DC BBB against them in addition to reviewing my experience here and emailing them all of my documentation that disputes their claims. The email address that they gave me however is no longer valid!
I mailed a copy of the email to them instead on May 18, 2007.
I found out too late that they have a reputation for defrauding those who wish to cancel. Luckily I sent my cancellation request via certified mail. As evidenced by post office records and the attached letter, it was sent, as per the policy they included with their scam, to the correct address and still received well within 14 days. The cancellation address, by the way, is only included on the backside of the initial agreement the one you have to mail off to them - and no where else either on their website or by any other easily obtainable means obviously more of their scam. They choose to ignore my request for cancellation. Their pathetic attempts to try to keep my business and stall out the 14 days, have been duly noted.
As for the lessons, the date the 1st and only one arrived at the post office, I refused it and wrote refused, return to sender immediately handing it back to the clerk. Again, another scam about them that I have read about. The one thing I didn't do that I wish I had of, was write down the tracking number on the refused Stratford materials.
It is apparent that their business is so poorly run that they feel the need to defraud people in order to stay afloat. Rest assured that I will do everything in my power to make it even more difficult for them.
Also please find attached a list of links detailing the same type of scam being perpetrated by them. I only wonder how many times they've successfully pulled this scam on people too ashamed or too unaware to know the proper recourse.
I urge anyone taken by these people to stand up and make themselves heard. That's the only way they will stop doing it! sorry, allowing you to give a competitors name would instigate others to just file against their competition, to only come back later to suggest their company your comments on this policy are welcome! CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report.
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Stratford Career Institute