The purpose of this letter is to request a full refund for the tuition in order for our son to complete high school on time.
The classes were necessary because of a change in requirements for graduation moving from another state. Additional units (credits) were needed to complete his high school education so that he could graduate on schedule. American School classes were recommended by his ********* Senior High School counseling staff. We were given a brochure and registration form, and told that the school was accredited.
Our son was unable to complete the classes in order to graduate on time. This was not due to his inability to do the work, but due to American School's slow response and inaccurate grading.
Each time he completed a corrected lesson/module, I would send the corrected material back, stating that time was of the essence. I tried several times, even sending corrected papers back within a day, registered and certified, to expedite this process. Other times I mailed back the tests the following day after receipt, regular mail, hoping that would help. While I understand that you have many students, it is unacceptable that corrections would take up to a MONTH to be returned. Three weeks to a month was your average turnaround time. The school offered no alternate way to receive corrections (download lessons, correct on line, fax, scan, etc.) When I called and explained the issue to your representatives, I was told that "every student is important" and nothing could be done to expedite the process. His high school counselors also contacted the school to explain that time was of the essence. Even then American School was unwilling to accelerate the process.
In addition, I was appalled to discover that some of the corrections were inaccurate. Several simple math computations were marked as incorrect that were, in fact, correct. I included a copy of corrections in my letters to American School.
We were unable to complete the classes due to This company's lack of response, accuracy, and attention. We had to FIND AND COMPLETE OTHER CLASSES IN THE LAST MONTH OF SCHOOL realizing that American School was unable to fulfill their obligation in a timely manner. They failed.
It is important to be aware that college, careers, goals, life plans, and finances are all complexly integrated in their failure to complete their obligation in a timely manner. When a student is unable to graduate, based solely on your inept response to fulfill their "teaching" requirement, they have damaged a student, as well as their plans for their future.
I am requesting a full refund of the investment made to this company. While this does not make us "whole", it does at least reimburse us the monies out of pocket, not including postage and registered mail.
Contact Name and Title: **** ***, PR Coordinator
Contact Phone: XXX-XXX-XXXX
Contact Email: ***************@americanschool.org
I received word of the complaint on Friday, January 31 and was able to find the student's records in our record system. The student received photography materials in October 2012 and math materials in January 2013.
In an attempt to get as much information as possible about the situation, I called the student's school and tried to speak with his counselor. She had left the school and moved to another school. I called her new school and was told she was no longer employed there.
I also left a message for the student's mother, and she returned my call Friday afternoon. She indicated that she was most frustrated by the way exams were graded and gave me examples of questions that were marked wrong that she felt should have been marked correct. I asked her to scan and send me copies of those exams for review.
I asked the student's mother why we did not receive exams from the student until March when he had course materials for at least two months. She explained that she thought it would be best if he completed all of the exams and then send one package of work to us. I explained to her that sending exams this way is not prohibited but also does not allow the student the best chance for success. In the case of this student, he received failing grades on 3 of 6 math exams and 1 of 6 photography exams.
Our policy is such that if a student fails an exam, we send an alternate exam for the student to complete. His mother said he completed the alternate exams quickly and mailed them to us, but by this time it was April, which is one of our busiest months for students in credit recovery programs. It is not unusual for exams to have 3-week or more turnaround time, especially in math courses where exams take longer to grade. The student received passing ****** for 3 of the 4 alternate exams by late April but still had to pass * more in order to earn the math credit. He passed **** exam in ***, but by then he had enrolled in another program to get the credits he needed to graduate from high school.
In response to the mother's request for a refund, I pointed out the refund policy which is clearly stated on the online or print application a student submits to us. It reads "All requests for cancellation must be made in writing within
90 days of enrollment. If no exams have been submitted, we will retain the $30.00 enrollment fee and $50.00 per course for textbooks
and study guides. If any exams have been submitted in a course, full tuition will be charged and no refunds made." Exams were indeed submitted and graded in the case of this student, so therefore we are not able to offer a refund. I explained to the student's mother that she *** not be happy with the quality of grading or the timeliness of grading, but we did in fact provide grading services to every exam the student submitted.
At the end of our cordial conversation, I told the student's mother exactly what I planned to type to you in response and apologized once again for any hurt the American School has caused her family. At the same time I reiterated that I refund would not be possible because of the refund policy printed on the enrollment application which the student signed and submitted to us at the time of his enrollment.
Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
I have attached a response to this attempted resolution below
Final Business Response
Once again the American School adamantly refutes Mrs. *******'s claims. In our last reply, we included a copy of an enrollment application signed by Mrs. ******* which stated "If any exams have been submitted in a course, full tuition will be charged and no refunds made." Her signature is proof that she read the application and agreed with the terms. In her most recent reply, she herself says "we did indeed submit the first exam at the end of February," which is proof that she agrees that exams were submitted. Therefore, we are entitled to full tuition, and Mrs. ******* is not entitled to a refund.
Mrs. ******* remains upset with how exams were graded, but, as previously written, the American School did not receive any form of communication from her indicating her feelings until June 25, 2013, approximately one month after her son was scheduled to graduate. Since the BBB case was opened, I asked her to send me copies of every page of every exam with which she had issues, and I also asked her to send copies of the first page form which includes the exam grade, the date it was received and the signature of the instructor. To date, I have received one page of one exam and nothing else. In addition, as previously written, if she was upset with the way exams were being graded, Mrs. ******* should have contacted us immediately after receiving her son's graded exams in March 2013, and our Instruction Department and Principal's Office would have assisted her at that time.
Moreover, those exams should have been submitted to us one at a time, starting with exam 1 being sent within one month after her son received his study materials in the mail. We sent study materials for Photography on October 9, 2012, and Essential Math 1 on January 15, 2013. Our record system indicates that grades for Essential Math 1 exams 1, 2 and 5 were recorded on March 12, 2013, and grades for Essential Math 1 exams 3 and 4 were recorded on March 11, 2013. Our system also indicates that Essential Math exam 6 was returned ungraded. This is in keeping with our policy that if 2 or more exams in a set of exams are not passing, we return the remaining exams ungraded so that the student can review them and do better the next time he submits them. In this case, her son passed ***** 1, 3 and 4 but did not pass ***** 2 and 5, so exam 6 was returned ungraded. In addition, grades for all Photography exams 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 were all recorded on March 8, 2013.
As stated in our most recent reply, we cannot guarantee that students will pass ***** exams on the first attempt. Therefore, they must allow extra time in case they *** need to retake an exam. By deciding to wait until late February to send in all of the exams, the student was robbed of extra time that could have been used to review graded exams if requested or successfully pass *** alternate exams that were assigned the student because he did not pass ***** on the first attempt.
We work with hundreds of public and private high schools across the country and grade tens of thousands of exams so that thousands of students can graduate from high school every year. We fulfill our obligations to them, and we fulfilled our obligations to Mrs. ******* and her son. We request a swift resolution to this matter. Thank you.
American School Public Relations Coordinator