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Consumer Complaints

BBB Accredited Business since 05/25/2010

Online Trading Academy

Phone: (704) 237-3545Fax: (704) 896-7703

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Customer Complaints Summary

5 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 3 closed in last 12 months
Complaint TypeTotal Closed Complaints
Advertising / Sales Issues1
Problems with Product / Service4
Billing / Collection Issues0
Delivery Issues0
Guarantee / Warranty Issues0
Total Closed Complaints5

Complaint Breakdown by ResolutionAbout Complaint Details

Complaint Resolution Log (5)BBB Closure Definitions
06/18/2014Advertising / Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint Category: Sales presentation not consistent with advertisement

Complaint: Online Trading advertised trading courses that did not teach what they said, but used high pressure tactics to try and sale me a $30,000 course.
I was offered a FREE trading course from radio advertising from on radio station 106.1 that said it would teach you how to trade in a one day course. When I went to the FREE course, the whole course was about a 3 day course to learn how to trade properly for $299 (I have it on my credit card for April 3, 2014). During the 3 day course, which finished today on May 30th, 2014, a small amount of stock information was shared, not the same as was advertised, and a push was made for 3 straight days about the real training that was $30,000 that needed to paid upfront before the new school in *********** was even opened. The Online Trading Academy was meeting a the **************************** in ********** which it looked like they were renting, but were operating out of a school they said was in *************. When my son asked questions, he was told to be quite, and that if he didn't do things their way he would loose lots of money. They were very rude to my son who is a Phd in Microwave Electrical Engineering, and he decided not to come the last day. I decided to continue to see if they would really teach what they said they were going to teach. In the middle of the day, they had me meet with a person who was supposed to be my coach. He wanted me to pay $30,000 to continue the course to supposedly learn the good stuff and make the big money. When I refused to do so, the person teaching the class came over and started harrassing me by saying I was belittling his class because I said it didn't teach much. Then he started saying I'll just get you to teach the class, since you know so much. I told him it wasn't that I knew a lot about stock, but I did know about supply and demand which is what they base their so called CORE STRATEGY on. I told him I expected him to teach what they advertised and what I paid for and he said that was what the $30,000 was for. When I refused, he said you are not allowed in our school and that I was not a fit for their school and was never allowed to come as a sales tactic to make me want to come. I told him I did not want to pay $30,000 for his school and there were other options for stock training that was less. He said at that you are not allowed in our classes. I said that I was going to sit in the class today because I had already paid. When I entered the class he informed the whole class that he was surprised to see my in the class and that I was not welcome. I said I had paid and would like to finish setting in the class without any comments. He then told a story to the class about a person in an airport that was trying to jump out of line and get on the plane and the airport security said he could not get on the plane. The person in his story said he had a ticket, but the airport said you cannot use your ticket here because you could not follow instructions while waiting for the plane so we cannot expect you to follow instructions on the plane so your ticket is no good. He then told the class I was like the guy in the airport who could not follow instructions so I would not be allowed in any of their future classes because I would not be allowed to keep them from making money. I said back to him that the story did not apply to me because the only instructions I had not followed was that I had not agreed to the $30,000 class, and that I would like to stay in the existing class since I had paid for it. He continued to insult me until I finally left. I think this is HIGHLY UNUSUAL to offer teaching only to try and sale you more teaching for an outrageous amount of money. I think the whole setup is a con to take unsuspecting peoples money by promising a great future by spending $30,000 and then saying they cannot help what you do with the teaching when they will not even teach the $299 amount, but try to force you to pay another $30,000. I would like to receive my $299 refunded, because they did not teach what they said they would, but I do not think they will do it.

Initial Business Response
We are looking into the allegation. The complaint is not accurate so we have engaged legal to looking into the matter as to our response. We will reply by the 06/15

Complaint Resolution: Company addressed the complaint issues. The consumer failed to acknowledge acceptance to BBB.

05/20/2014Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint Category: None of the Above - Refund or Exchange Complaint Issue

Complaint: This business is refusing to refund my money for services I will never use that cost $31,580 up front. High pressure sale, misleading, deceptive.
Regrettably, I signed up for a package of trading / investing classes from Online Trading Academy in late October 2013, based on misleading, misguided and deceptive information, as well as a general lack of factual disclosure, at a price of $31,580. They were fully aware that I had been unemployed for 1 ½ years, a single mother of two, had little savings, a mortgage to pay, had very little knowledge of the markets, and desperately looking to make an income. I guess all of these factors made me a perfect candidate to fall victim to their high pressure sales tactics.

In the one on one consultation with ***** the first thing he asked me is "would I be able to live on $200 per day?" The answer was yes, so then he proceeded to show me the chart where that could increase to $2000 per day by working only 2 hours. He neglected to disclose that the futures market he was referring to was the riskiest market in the United States (I found that out later on my own). The securities regulatory website advises that only the most experienced professionals should trade in this market. The other markets he advised me to take classes and trade in was the forex and options. Again highly risky for even the most experienced investor. If this information had been disclosed to me as it should have been, I would not have signed up for any training. I had never heard of futures, forex or options before, but the promises he made to "coach" me on how to make an income trading was appealing and I stupidly trusted him. He did NOT disclose any information about policy or refunds if the program wasn't a good fit for me. There was no contract shown to me for me to read before or after signing up. What he did tell me was that I would have the class fees paid off in six months. AGAIN, all of the facts were not fully disclosed at time of sale OR I WOULD NOT HAVE DONE IT!!!!

After attending 2 of the classes and loosing a substantial amount of money using their very complex methods of trying to time the market using candle stick charts, I decided it was all too risky for me, especially since I was not working. I could not risk any more of my small savings being lost to the market and did not want to attend any more classes that were in the package plan. The coaching was not as promised and I didn't feel comfortable using their online "tools" or stock picks. The one time I tried this they lost me money. I have NO use for any of their online tools or training and have not used any of it in months.

This company has refused to refund any money for services I am never going to use. When discussing cancelling the program, they took me into a room with 4 of them against the one of me. It was a humiliating experience. I told them that I did not have a large enough savings to loose any more and I did not have the money to continue paying the credit card bill every month since I still did not have a job. Other people have told me they have a pay as you go plan that is discounted, but they made me pay for all upfront.

It seems that Online Trading Academy only cares about their bottom line. After all, they are in the business of selling classes. This was proved to me when I saw the owner waving a stack of cash in front of several sales reps faces. The perfect prospects are people like me who know little about the market and are looking to make a better life for their family. The sales tactic used played to my emotions of providing a better life for my kids, leaving a legacy and starting my ministry. It didn't take long to realize I had been deceived. Instead of making a better life, it has hurt us greatly by taking away a substantial amount of money which was for my kid's college education and now I am forced to sell my house so I can make the payments for classes I will never take, information I will never use and for worthless information from 4 months of training (11/13 - 2/14). Online Trading Academy has basically ruined our lives and they don't care one bit.

Initial Business Response
I have reached out to Mrs. ***** several times and I am waiting for a response. Mrs. ***** has had more help with her situation of accessing, using, and understanding her education than any other student (20,000+) that I have worked with over the last five years. The biggest problem that Mrs. ***** is having and will always have is herself. In every effort that the Online Trading Academy team has put into Mrs. *****, she continues to either not implement what needs to be implemented to create success of she will implement what we show her improperly as she feels that she can do it better than our floor traders who she has sat with in training. We are willing to work out a refund of the unused portion of the education minus any fees associated with the enrollment and will do so as soon as we hear back from Mrs. *****. We will follow up with resolution after hearing back from Mrs. *****.

Initial Consumer Rebuttal
From: ****** ***** (mailto:**********@yahoo.com)
Sent: Monday, May 05, 2014 1:06 PM
To: ****** ******** ******
Subject: (SPAM) Re: BBB Complaint Case# ****** (Ref#XX-XXXXXX-XXXXXX-X-XXX)
Importance: Low

Hi *****

The merchant has contacted me and left a voice mail stating he doesn't see much truth in my complaint. He has requested that I come into his office tomorrow to discuss the complaint. First I don't feel comfortable meeting especially since I don't have anyone to go with me and he will have others in the room. Second tomorrow is not possible for me to meet. Third I'm not sure how much will be accomplished since his voice mail did not state he was refunding my money.

Please advise. Thank you. ****** *****


Final Business Response
Ms. ***** has never been "pressured" to do anything and we are not "pressuring" her to do anything with the refund. If the false allegations and drama could be removed from the conversation we could probably get this situation handled. I realize that Ms. ***** feels that being dramatic makes her look like a victim but we are really trying to get this issue resolved for her and the false allegations and drama are not helping in doing so.

Final Consumer Response
From: ****** ***** (mailto:**********@yahoo.com)
Sent: Tuesday, May 06, 2014 7:10 AM
To: ***** *******; ***** ****
Subject: Re: voice mail message

The only time I have been contacted was once yesterday. The statement to BBB was the truth. I am ready and willing to get this matter resolved.


****** *****

Complaint Resolution: Company resolved the complaint issues. The consumer acknowledged acceptance to BBB.

04/14/2014Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint Category: Failure to provide promised assistance or support for products or services

Complaint: The OTA has ceased to provide me with necessary continuing support for my education; and staff members have ignored my many requests for help.
I enrolled for a futures trading course at the Online Trading Academy on 11/17/13. My course contract indicates that I was to take two classes in addition to a module called "XLT courses". Professional Trader Part 1 cost $2,995, and Professional Futures Trader cost $4,990 according to the signed contract. The school also charges a $290 processing fee. The total for these classes is $8,275, leaving a balance of $6,505.
I took and successfully completed the Professional Trader Part 1 and Professional Futures Trader classes between 2/1/14 and 2/12/14. As I was taking those classes, I reached out to my "coach" to make arrangements for my next steps after the first two modules. There were several questions I needed answered, such as: (1) How should I go about taking the XLT classes while starting to trade? (I had been clear about my time and financial concerns when I met with my coach at the time of enrollment) (2) When do I get to practice with paper money?; (3) Some students have had real money accounts opened for them. I thought I was to be one of those students, but I am not sure. Who should I speak to since the accounts manager seems unable to address anything in the absence of the coach? ; (4) How am I going to afford the Tradestation platform, which costs over $280 per month?; (5) Can anyone give me the OTA's federal tax ID number, since you didn't bother to send me form 1098-T?
This last question (5) was particularly vexatious because I called the *********** office several times between 2/21/14 and 2/26/14. No one would give me that tax ID number. In fact, one staff member in ********** told me it was illegal to obtain it! This is obviously untrue. Furthermore, when I signed the contract I was told that I would be able to claim a deduction on my tuition. That was part of the reason why I signed up since the costs looked more manageable that way.
Please understand that I was particularly frustrated as each call I made ended up either in a call center, or with staff members who simply passed me along. ***** after failing to reach my coach over the phone, I called the *********** office one more time on 2/26/14. I said I was fed up and wanted a refund of $6,505 for the XLT courses that I was yet to use - I really don't know how to get into this module given my current circumstances and the negligence of my coach. It was only then that the accounts manager instantly gave me that tax ID number and hurriedly transferred me to my coach. When asked to meet at the *********** office, I told the coach that because the school had been unwilling to let me take my last day of class on a different date from the Friday on which snow storm Pax descended on ***** ********* my car had broken down and I could not make a trip to ********* within the next few days. The coach then mentioned that he had just had a baby and would be unavailable for several days. But while a newborn is always a joy, my coach's personal affairs have nothing to do with me. I expressed my unwillingness to wait any longer, and he said he would call me on the following Monday (he has not done so to date). He also gave me a woman's name to look up on the OTA website, who presumably could address my problem on his behalf. As a college teacher, I know it is not a student's responsibility to chase down unreachable teachers and staff members when I am unable to fulfill my obligations for personal reasons.
At that point - and given the frustrations of the week - I decided that my best recourse is to file this complaint. I will also seek remedy in court if the company continues to ignore me and fails to address this matter promptly.

Initial Business Response
This was the first that I heard of this issue. I am very concerned that the issue progressed as it did. Online Trading Academy has over 37,000 students worldwide and we do everything within our power to ensure that all students are taken care of in all ways requested to have a great experience with the education. In this case, we obviously dropped the ball and for this I apologize. I have had a meeting with Mrs. ****** and I have attempted to resolve the situation in every way that I can in keeping Mrs. ****** enrolled as a student so that she could complete the path of education that she has started.

I offered Mrs. ****** the following:
1. Additional classes equating in thousands of dollars in tuition to make good on the experience up to this point.
2. For me to be her personal coach and mentor in the path of education that she has started. This would be the first time I had committed to a student that I would be their personal coach. As the owner of OTANC and OTASC, I have coaches that work with the students and I work with each student through the coaches. I offered a direct line to me with my personal cell phone number to where Mrs. ****** could contact and work with me directly.

Mrs. ****** seemed to think this was a joke and said that while I speak really well (not sure what this was intended to mean) that she just wants the refund. The reality is that Mrs. ****** is struggling financially. Many things have changed in her life since enrollment and her financial situation has changed in a negative way since her enrollment. Some of the unfortunate items in her complaint did happen and this falls on us completely. I have put a team in charge of looking into this situation to ensure that this will never again happen to any of the other over 37,000 students still enrolled. The biggest reason why a refund was request and why Mrs. ****** has decided to quit is because she just needs the finances. She is in school, she is moving out of NC, she has no car, and there are many more. I have submitted for and Mrs. ****** has received the refund that she requested with her being unwilling, no matter what I offered to make things better, to continue.

One of the things that I love about this company most is that if a student is not happy, we go above and beyond to correct the situation. This is the case even if we are in the right and the student is misrepresenting the situation. You cannot have been in business for over seventeen years as we have without having this approach.

Much Love,
***** *******

Complaint Resolution: Company addressed the complaint issues. The consumer failed to acknowledge acceptance to BBB.

07/16/2013Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint Category: None of the Above - Refund or Exchange Complaint Issue

Complaint: I want a refund of 10,000 I spent 14,000 or more and if you read below I honest felt abused. Eveyone ganging up on me telling me I was lucky.
I had never taken part in what they term XLT and originally thought I wanted stocks but later realized I could only afford options. I had never
taken one XLT course. They wanted to charge me again for Options. If I picked options on day one it would not have cost me a penny. The owner didn't have anything much to say some VP did all the talking and basically tough luck. Pay more or get nothing else. It wasn't the franchise owner but the VP of I don't know exactly what. I felt so taken and embarrassed I could never go back there. The said come in for a talk and it was 4 of them running me into the ground.

Business' Initial Response
Online Trading Academy would be glad to refund the student for unused education. The student has paid in $10,990 and has attended a class that has a tuition of $6,990. This would leave a refund due to the student for $4,000. The student can contact me directly to get this refund processed.

As for the misleading statements that have been made by the student towards Online Trading Academy and its business practices, it's sad that the student feels he needs to do this. I know personally that the team at OTA has worked very hard to show the student a path to success. Just like any other education that exist, it's up to the student to put the education in place and to follow the plan for success. Every student is asked to use the education to create a written plan for the management of their finances. As of the time of this email, no plan has been received from this student and this is one of the main reasons that he is not seeing the success that he is wanting and could achieve.

Having said all of this, A refund will be given for unused education as outlined above.

Thanks,
*************
************

Complaint Resolution: Company resolved the complaint issues. The consumer acknowledged acceptance to BBB.

09/30/2011Problems with Product / Service

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